Holiday Prices Of The Future – Will You Be Charged More?

Holiday Prices - will you be charged extra?For many people checking availability or searching for holiday prices and offers involves sitting on the couch with a laptop or an iPad whilst drinking a cup of coffee. Long gone are the days of visiting four or five different travel agents to see what they have available and what the prices are. It is so much easier to check availability instantly online and compare prices from all the different holiday firms. You can even look for flights and accommodation separately and make your own package using different websites. In a recent survey over 60% of people questioned said that they would research their forthcoming holiday online.

Recently you will probably have noticed some websites come up with a pop-up box that displays the website's new cookie information on it or it may be highlighted in some other way. This is due to new EU regulations have come into force reminding people that the website you are on could be collecting information about you. Cookies are tiny files are stored on your computer by websites in order to keep track of your activity on that site. An example of this could be a shopping cart where it remembers what you have selected while shopping, when you clicked add to basket or cart.

On the Internet new software is becoming more widely used which detects the type of computer or device you're using to surf the Internet on as well as your location and also what you used in a search engine to arrive on the website. This information has been available for some time however it's not the information provided that is new but the way it could now be being used.

It is possible that travel firms may use this information in what could be considered an unethical way. We'll go back to you sitting on the couch with your coffee and your iPad in your nice house in a nice area. Using the fact that you have paid a few hundred pounds for that nice iPad and detecting that you live in a nice area, what are the chances are that you can afford to pay more for your holiday? In comparison someone else could be sitting on their coach also having a cup of coffee but using a laptop with an old version of the Windows operating system on it in and in a not so well off area. Using this information company could alter what is displayed on the website so that someone with an expensive tablet surfing the Internet would get more expensive prices than someone using an old laptop with an old operating system on it in a different area.

The (OFT) Office of Fair Trading is looking into claims that some online shoppers are actually being shown different prices on certain websites already.

For now it is still safe to surf from your sofa even on your iPad or brand-new laptop with the latest operating system as it is unlikely that any travel firm is actually doing this at present. However for conspirators the idea of this happening has got them convinced that it is more widespread than it really is.

So make sure when you do check prices and availability for your next holiday you do the most important thing, which is to shop around.

2013 Popular Destinations Guide from British Airways

British AirwaysIt's coming up to that time of year when many people book their summer holiday. Some people are happy to go back to the same destination year after year however others are always looking for somewhere new to travel to.

So for those people who are looking for some inspiration here are some destinations that are predicted to be the most popular in 2013 from British Airways.

British Airways top 13 destinations for 2013

British Airways have released their list of top destinations for 2013 and as you would expect being a worldwide
airline these destinations are spread out all over the world.

The first destination on the British Airways list is Sri Lanka which has beautiful beaches, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is also great for wildlife lovers. British Airways operates flights from London to Colombo, Sri Lanka from April 2013

Destination number two Rio De Janeiro, Brazil the city chosen for the 2014 World Cup as well as the 2016 Olympic Games. Not forgetting the world-famous carnival and the beaches makes this destination a popular choice.

For the third destination British Airways have selected Seoul in Korea which has an amazing culture with lots to do and see. British Airways offers flights from just £691 return between London and Seoul.

Destination four is a bit closer to home in a destination which is popular with many holidaymakers looking for clear waters and picturesque fishing villages and not to mention great beaches. Croatia is very accessible and British Airways operate flights to Dubrovnik from just £59

Vietnam is destination number five and is one of those destinations that is appearing on many lists of popular destinations for 2013. It is compared by many to Thailand 20 years ago and offers holidaymakers a less commercialised holiday. There is lots of cultural and sightseeing opportunities in Vietnam. British Airways operates flights to Hong Kong with connections with their partner airline Cathay Pacific onto Ho Chi Minh City.

Destination number six is Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic offers sun sea and sand in the Caribbean without costing a fortune. Flights to this destination start at from £676 per person return.

Destination seven is the U.K.'s city of culture for 2013 and is Derry in Northern Ireland. To celebrate the fact that it is city of culture for 2013 the are lots of activities and celebrations planned throughout the year. Look out for the festival of light which takes place on November. British Airways flights to Belfast start at £81 from London.

Las Vegas USA is destination number eight and is generally on most companies top destinations each year. Las Vegas offers a glamorous holiday destination but is also a good base to explore some nearby sightseeing opportunities. Flights to Las Vegas with British Airways start at just £575 per person return.

Destination 9 and this time it's Tbilisi Georgia which is one of those destinations that many people haven't heard of or have considered visiting before. It is said to be built on the crossroads between Europe and Asia and as such offers a fascinating mixture of culture which is reflected in the city's architecture.

For destination number 10 were back in the United States of America on the West Coast and California's second-largest city San Diego. San Diego is a great destination with a mild climate and an amazing bay side location. For many visitors to San Diego they head straight for the beach however San Diego offers a lot more. British Airways offers flights to San Diego from London from just £677 per person return.

Destination 11 is Cape Town in South Africa which saw a massive transformation when it hosted the 2010 World Cup. Cape Town offers a coastal location with beautiful beaches with easy access to some national parks for those looking to get some photographs of South Africa's more exotic inhabitants.

Destination number 12 is a bit of a surprise however it is one of the most popular destinations for holidaymakers in mainland Spain. Destination 12 is Alicante which millions of holidaymakers travel to each year and then either drive or take a coach to the holiday resort of Benidorm. However destination 12 isn't Benidorm it's Alicante which has a lot going for it itself. It has beaches, great nightlife and has undergone recent renovation which is why it is on the top destination list for 2013.

Finally destination 13 is a destination that also features on most people's top destination list namely Dubai. A popular destination with an amazing number of shopping centres, in fact they are over 65 of them. If shopping is not your thing the other activities such as hot air ballooning and desert drives in 4×4 vehicles and more. British Airways offers flights to Dubai from just £472 per person return.

For further details of these destinations and to check flight availability please visit the British Airways website where you will also find accommodation prices as well.

All prices shown are subject to availability and terms and conditions may apply. Full details on the BA website.


To see the top 13 list from BA > click here

Monarch Airlines have put their Winter 2013/2014 flights on sale

Monarch FlightsMonarch airlines 2013/2014 flights are now on sale and feature Monarch airlines popular flight routes to the Canary Islands, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Egypt, Spain, Turkey and many more. The airline also features flights to the popular ski destinations such as Innsbruck and Munich.

Monarch airlines have also added more flights from Leeds Bradford and Luton airports to its 2013/2014 range of flights. The airline will also base one of its aircrafts at Leeds Bradford airport next winter. During the summer months Monarch airlines will feature flights to Lanzarote, Faro, Cyprus and Tenerife which they will continue to operate throughout next winter as well. They also plan to continue to offer flights from Leeds Bradford to Grenoble as well as Munich which are currently operating this winter as well.

Monarch airlines are also adding a new route from Luton airport as well this time to the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh. This new flight to Egypt will operate three times a week starting from the first week in November 2013. This new route is in addition to the other fights Monarch currently operates to Sharm el Sheikh from London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham. The new flights to Sharm el Sheikh from Luton are on sale now.

So overall for 2013/2014 Monarch airlines winter flying programme will be operating six routes to both sun and ski destinations from Leeds Bradford as well as the new flight from Luton to Egypt.

If you want just more than a flight Monarch airlines can also offer you holidays as well. They have an extensive range of accommodation in all the popular holiday resorts you would expect. So if you want to book up a holiday up to April 2014 with Monarch holidays you can. To visit the Monarch web site > click here

Thomson Holidays 2013 Pricing Strategy Stays the Same

Tui travel the parent company of Thomson holidays looks like it will not be changing its marketing strategy after the announcement today from Thomas Cook holidays that it will no longer be offering online discounts. Especially after announcing a multi-million pound advertising campaign for the Thomson holidays 2013 summer season.

Thomas Cook holidays announced today that the online price for their holidays will be the same in all their travel agents. So rather than saving by booking direct online Thomas Cook customers will now pay the same in the travel shops as they would online.

Tui looks like they have ruled out any reduction in travel agents commission rates during the forthcoming peak sales period. So far there has been speculation that Thomas Cook's new pricing strategy could result in changes to their commercial agreements with third party agents This could effect independent travel agents and travel agencies owned by other holiday firms.

Tui had previously indicated that it was also considering price parity with their online sales and in their travel shops. Tui were also looking at charging a service charge to clients and this could also result in changes to their commercial agreements with third party agents.

The Thomas Cook an announcement today regarding moving to single pricing applies to its own brand of Thomas Cook package holidays. This also follows a similar move by Kuoni holidays who earlier this year removed its 5% online discount making its prices the same online as it would be a travel agents.

It will be interesting to see if travel agents themselves start to discount using their commission to drive business. Some of the cruise firms already this year reduced commission paid to travel agents to 5% to prevent them devaluing their products by discounting so much. This has seen a reduction in the discounting by travel agents on many cruises instead they are relying on offering clients a good service.

Thomas Cook Holidays To Stop Offering Online Discounts!

Thomas Cook holidays have announced that it is ending online holiday discounts for holidaymakers. The holiday firm says it will now offer the same prices for its holidays whether they are booked online or in one of its stores. Thomas Cook has recently run trials in some of its stores and online and as a result customers can now expect to pay the same price regardless of how the book. It is expected that Thomas Cook will use this as part of its January 2013 marketing campaign.

The Thomas Cook price parity offer is that they claim to ensure that Thomas Cook customers can get the best price for the Thomas Cook holiday whenever the book. It is yet to be seen whether Thomas Cook will extend this offer to third-party travel agents such as independents and rival to operator owned travel agents.

It's also hard to tell at this stage if this plan will work especially when customers compare prices online with other holiday firms. Offering a discount online makes prices more competitive against the other online travel firms and is generally expected by holidaymakers who do shop online. By using what previously would have been paid out in commission to travel agents the holiday firms have been using this commission to fund online discounts as a separate sales channel.

Depending on how Thomas Cook handles this new “price parity” concept will depend on what conditions travel agents have to agree to. All it takes is for one travel agent to start discounting using the commission to drive business in an effort to reach sales targets to get extra commission at the end of the season.

The other issue will be whether holidaymakers can get the same hotels and apartments that Thomas Cook use and tie them up with flights from low-cost carriers or other holiday charter flights. This is relatively easy to do using the Internet. I suspect Thomas Cook will still offer tactical discounts, however whatever they offer should be available in all their outlets if ‘price parity' is their goal.

For travel agents this is good news as for many years it's been frustrating for them checking holidays for clients for them just to go and book it online or at best resulting in them making very little for all their time and effort.

This is a bold move by Thomas Cook and it will be interesting seeing how it works for them and travel agents in general. If it works well will other tour operators follow? What do you think?

New Rights for Cruise and Ferry Passengers

Ferry passengers and holidaymakers travelling on a Cruise are now able to enjoy similar rights as those travelling by air if there trip is delayed or cancelled. This is the result of new EU legislation that has now come into force.

This is the first time that travellers across the EU are now able to claim compensation of between 25 and 50% of the ticket price for delays. The compensation offered will depend on the duration of the delay and the length of the scheduled journey. You will be entitled to some form of compensation if the delay is at least an hour and the journey time is four hours or less. The new rules also apply to inland waterways as well.

The new legislation which will apply to most cruise and ferry services operating within the EU also provides disabled passengers or those with reduced mobility similar rates of accessibility and assistance as airline passengers currently have. Ferry and cruise companies will not be able to refuse reservations from disabled customers or charge any extra.

The main benefits of this new legislation will be for passengers travelling on ferries rather than cruise ships where passengers have been previously protected by the existing package travel regulations.

Thomson holidays 2013 TV Advertising Campaign Has Been Announced

The new advertising campaign is a continuation of the “holidays just got better” campaign which is due to start just before Christmas. Tui, the company that owns Thomson holidays claims this is the first time that a travel firm has produced a two-part campaign. Previously holidaymakers were shown adverts for Thomson's new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft and holidays.

The new campaign takes a lot holidays over the past 50 years or so and compares them with holidays today. The aim of the adverts are to show that Thomson holidays have moved away from selling traditional package holidays to ones that are designed around specific holidaymakers requirements.

Thomson holidays have a number of specific holiday brands aimed at holidaymakers looking for holidays more suited to their needs. Thomson's offer adult only holidays through their Thomson Couples and Thomson Gold brochures and for families they have the Thomson family resort brochure. There are also all luxury brands such as Thomson A La Carte Holidays and Thomson Premier holidays. Thomson also have destination specific brochures as well as great value budget holidays with Sky Tours.