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.