It’s the time of year many people turn their thoughts to booking a summer holiday.
But consumer group Which? has warned holidaymakers that not all flights and holidays being advertised are the bargain they appear to be.
A study carried out by Which? Travel found that several popular holiday companies could be breaking the law by seducing customers with misleading time-limited deals.
After tracking 30 deals, the watchdog found that over half were the same price or cheaper after the offer ended.
Among the deals noted, a one-week Virgin Holiday to Florida became £115 cheaper after the deal ended.
An all-inclusive seven-day Sandals break to Jamaica dropped in price by £50 the day after the sale ended.
And discounted trips to Capri and Milan with travel company Inghams were still available one month after the promotional offer came to a close.
Responding to the report, Sandals said they don’t create false time limitations and promote their packages to customers fairly.
Virgin Holidays said they do not intentionally mislead customers.
“We’re always looking to secure the best possible value for our customers, and should we be able to obtain better offers from our suppliers, these savings will be passed on to benefit the customer,” the company said.
And Inghams say they are now “reviewing all procedures” in light of the study.
Which? Travel editor Rory Boland advised holidaymakers: “Don’t be fooled – compare prices with other holiday companies and travel agents to check savings are genuine.”
Which? are now sharing their findings with the Advertising Standards Authority and Trading Standards.
The Association of British Travel Agents said that “the Which? findings relate to a small number of instances and we do not believe they are reflective of wider travel industry practice”.
The group added: “The number of complaints we receive each year about holiday pricing is very low – indicating that the majority of price advertising is trustworthy.
“We do encourage people to contact us if they have concerns about a member’s advertising so that we can investigate and, if justified, take appropriate action.”