Travel ads online and in newspapers bombard us with promises of big savings if we act fast. But does it really pay to buy in a hurry? We investigated whether acting fast always guarantees the best deal.
I hate being hurried. So I react badly when I see an advert screaming at me to hurry up and ‘book now’.
I instinctively distrust such adverts because I never really believe there’s any need to hurry.
There are a lot of options when it comes to travel, and I think if I miss out on one particular deal, something very similar will still be around.
So I’d never buy a holiday just because a travel company told me it wouldn’t be around for long. I’d rather take the risk of missing out on one particular deal and take my time to do the research, making sure I get the right deal for me.
When an offer’s not an offer
I wondered – is there any real risk of losing out on time-sensitive deals? We had a look at ‘hurry deals’ advertised in newspapers over four weeks in April and May, as well as similar deals emailed to members of the Which? Travel team.
All the offers advertised a cut-off date after which the deal would no longer be available. And of the 30 ads we looked into, we found 13 where we could still find some of the deals on offer at the same price or cheaper after the offer period had finished.
If I’d rushed to snap up a ‘limited time only’ deal and then saw it cheaper after the time period had finished, I’d be furious. Why do companies risk annoying customers by doing this? It seems to be all about stimulating demand and getting cash into the business as quickly as possible.
There’s no rush for good deals
Companies have to adjust prices to reflect demand, but these ads run the risk of misleading consumers. I don’t think travel companies should kid us into thinking that prices on offer won’t be around for long, when there’s every chance that they actually will be.
Do you think these ads are misleading? Have you ever seen your holiday advertised for less money after you bought it in an offer?