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David Neal

Last-minute deals deliver poor value for holidaymakers

Consumers are not getting the best deals when booking 'hurry-before-it-goes' holidays, according to Which?

The consumer group found that a number of time limited deals on holiday offers are the same price as other adverts, suggesting there may have been "no need” to hurry after all.

The watchdog looked at 30 adverts for hurry-before-it goes holidays and checked again when the closing date for the booking had passed. They found that 13 of the adverts could be booked at the same or a lower price.

Travel companies could be doing several things that are mis-leading the customer, such as extending deals beyond the advertised deadline and cutting prices after the deal was on offer. In addition to this, Which? believed that travel companies are repeating such deals.

Which? claims that one cruise company sent out an email encouraging consumers to book a ‘dream cruise' in an offer which was only available for five days, yet three and a half weeks later a six day sale for the same cabins offered by the travel company were offered better prices.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "No one likes finding out that someone on the same holiday paid less for it. But it's even worse if you bought your holiday in a rush because the ads told you the prices would be available only for a short time.

"It's unacceptable that holidaymakers are hurried into making decisions that might not give them the best value for money.

"Travel companies understandably have to adjust prices up or down according to demand. But they shouldn't kid consumers that the prices on offer won't be around for long.”

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