Holidaymakers warned to beware of sales gimmick

Tuesday 02nd January 2018 12:40 EST

An investigation has found that travel firms luring holidaymakers by using deceptive discount claims, making customers pay much more than necessary for flights and accommodation.

Trading standards have been asked to investigate after big travel brands who lowered their holiday prices after their sales ended. Sandals and Virgin Holidays are also included in the big brands.

During the summer, the consumer group Which? Kept a tab on many promotions and the results showed that alleged discounted deals were available for the same price or even less in more than half of cases.

It is alleged that Virgin Holidays had offered a seven-night stay at Coco Key Hotel, Florida, starting from £792 per person in its “summer sale”. However, after the sale ended, the price had dropped to £677 per person.

The investigation was conducted by researcher Jo Rhodes, who stated, “You'll struggle to find a time when Sandals holidays aren't on sale. It seemingly runs 60% off promotions back to back under various guises – flash sales, mega sales, sales for every season. The strapline on its Halloween promotion read 'no tricks, just treats' but a disgruntled customer who had rushed to book might feel otherwise.”

The travel editor at Which?, Rory Boland added, “Most of the time-limited deals we looked at are nothing of the sort. The tight deadlines, emotive language and countdown clocks are all designed to rush us into making a decision, but it might not be the right one. Don't be fooled – compare prices with other holiday companies and travel agents to check savings are genuine.”

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