Black Friday travel deals could turn out to be exaggerated or non-existent, consumer champion Which? warned today.
Consumers are being urged to think twice before buying a holiday or flight advertised as a Black Friday deal on November 29 this year and to not feel pressured by time-limited offers which could potentially be misleading.
The caution follows analysis of offers made on Black Friday last year by companies such as Ryanair, easyJet, Norwegian Air and Tui.
Which? Travel analysed promotions advertised before checking the prices again two weeks later to see whether the deals on offer were valid.
Ryanair offered 25% off one million seats purchased by midnight on Black Friday for travel between January and April 2019. But none of the flights Which? Travel checked were any cheaper on Black Friday – November 23 last year – than they were when checked two weeks later.
Two flights – Stansted to Oslo and Stansted to Lanzarote – were actually £5 more expensive on Black Friday.
Which Travel? also claimed that out of ten Ryanair flights, only six routes were available at the headline sale price offered on Black Friday. A sale flight from Stansted to Barcelona at £4.88, did not appear to exist at all for the dates advertised.
EasyJet’s Black Friday sale claimed travellers could save £50 on 60,000 short city breaks, but out of the 21 holidays that Which? Travel investigated, eight of them were cheaper just two weeks later. A three-night trip from Luton to Barcelona in January 2019 was £26 cheaper – 13% less than the Black Friday ‘deal’ price of £203.
Norwegian Air advertised Black Friday discounts ‘up to 30% off short-haul fares and 15% off long-haul fares’ but the average saving was just £6.
Tui offered discount codes worth £100 or £150 off selected breaks but these codes failed to work on two of the five holidays that Which? looked at. An all-inclusive week in Lanzarote, flying from Birmingham, with a discount of £100 was actually only £32 cheaper than the price available two weeks later on December 7.
Which? Travel editor Rory Boland said: “Nothing beats the feeling of saving hundreds on your next holiday, but that feeling can quickly turn to anger when you discover it would have been cheaper if you’d waited to book.
“Our research reveals that Black Friday travel deals aren’t always what they appear to be. Avoid disappointment by comparing prices and approach attention-grabbing saving claims with scepticism.”
Ryanair said: “Ryanair complies fully with UK advertising laws. We expressly advertise that sale fares are subject to availability so it is not surprising that by the time Which? eventually got round to checking the sale prices some of the sale prices were no longer available.”
Norwegian Air explained that the saving offered was based on the net not gross fares, excluding taxes and charges.
No other companies responded to the organisation.
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