Tour Operators and Travel Agents

Discussions regarding Tour Operators and Travel Agents
Reply
It seems these days the prices of holidays from the likes of Thomas Cook and Thomson are going up and up. My son is braver than I am and does DIY rather than package deals and not had any problem, using Airlines direct and booking site, and gets good deals too. I am still cudling the comfort blanket of a package deal I'm afraid, but the prices are too much now especially for solo travellers
Reply
Thomas Cook also seems to have also quietly stopped taking 'flight only' bookings to Holguin in Cuba - presumably so that they can push their own packages? This is a real pain in the neck for for me because Manchester to Holguin made getting to Santiago so much easier than flying from London or into Havana.
Reply
I bet Thomas Cook have took a battering recently, after Tunisia and Egypt they chose Gambia to push in a big way and that then bombed last month due to the leader problems their. Still, that is no excuse to hit travellers.

I presume the excuse will be BREXIT....
Reply
I tend to book my own flights and accomodation but never assume that is always the cheapest so I do check companies like Thomas Cook. Have never been to Cuba and looked at their packaged holidays. Very expensive in my opinion.
Miss Pink- ask your son to help you with a DIY holiday. Just try it the once. THere are just so many possibilities!
Reply
To be fair to Miss Pink, there are a lot of people who are in the same boat and who prefer to stick to the package deals because of the added security there is as opposed to going DIY
Reply
Hi Fiona, Yes it's not because I can't arrange for myself I can do that no problem at all - and sooner or later I will go that way if I want to carry on going on holiday the prices that the big operators are charging will probbly help with that choice for me - I guess I have always travelled that way, but now I am not sure of the need. Even when you get to your destination on a package, rarely do the reps travel with you on the coach, they usually leave a book in reception to contact a number if an emergency and they are there for a welcome (selling tours ) meeting if you attend, so I rarely need a rep.

Matt, I don't think I wasn't being fair I was just giving my opinion, thats all
Reply
Didn't say you weren't being fair Miss Pink - think you misunderstood what I meant.

My point was it's understandable that some people stick to the traditional method of booking a package.
Reply
Miss Pink
I think one of the reasons I came away from packages all the time was being stuck with a really late night flight and no room. I just like having more choice. But I do believe that DIY isn't always best or cheapest. I just research everything. You have been a member here for long enough to know I like researching:-D Where are you headed to next?
Reply
For some destinations eg Caribbean it is usually cheaper to book a package because stand alone flights can be horrendously expensive, and the rates that the big T.Os obtain for hotels are ridiculously low compared with the rates available to the travelling public.
We are "DIYing" again this Summer in Majorca having done 2 self planned holidays last year to Corfu -but what is very noticeable is how expensive flight only deals with Thos Cook and Thomson have become!
Reply
Fiona yes i understand and i am almost there, i probably won't travel long haul anymore unless lotto allows me to travel u/c which is not likely to happen have been to the Caribbean many times and u/c once with Virgin it was a delight, so spoilt now and won't go that far in economy, thats my choice. My son has been to Thailand a few times now and has booked 'cheaper' flights direct and accommodation with booking.com and been very happy and no issues what so ever. Maybe next year
Reply
Just a quick tip- I booked Club World to Bangkok last summer for just a little more than economy- but it started from Amsterdam. The comparison also includes flights to Amsterdam( with KLM). We did stay a day in Amsterdam just to be on the safe side. Also try looking at flights from Dublin. Its not for everyone but the Amsterdam day was just part of my holiday!
Reply
You make sound points there Fiona, will definitely have a think
Reply
Fiona -funnily enuf I've just heard a similar story re flights to Thailand from my step brother -they flew Heathrow to Amsterdam,Amsterdam to Heathrow then on to Bangkok - ended up with the lay flat bed seats (business class??) for ~ £6k LESS than direct business class flights.
Even better on the return, the flight overnighted at Heathrow -so they stayed in the hotel and didn't use the Amsterdam loop at all ,just driving home in the morning! Proves that flight prices are an even bigger mess than train prices!
Reply
As long as you don't book it altogether on one ticket. The long haul flight has to start out of the UK.
You need to do a lot of research as its not as straightforward as saying all flights out of one destination save you a fortune. Just try your dates from destinations which are easy to get to- Dublin, Paris, Amsterdam and various German ones are a good bet. Lisbon is another one which sometimes comes up. Build in an overnight there on way out and just make it part of your holiday.
Reply
These are commonly known as ex EU fares , as you are departing not from your home country , I just spent 5 mins looking at BA fares LHR to BKK on 1st to 14th November flights for example . A direct fare costs nearly 2800 in club world ( biz ) and a fare from AMS - LHR - BKK and return would cost 1263 , it does take longer and it's ok if you're in no rush , but the saving is great , regular BA flyers would also generally have a pool of Avios and buy the repositioning flights to AMS with a reward flight which would cost £35 and points , even when BA gave a sale on the prices wouldn't be this low for a club world seat . On the same flights I looked at economy fares were low , about 600 return direct , but the premium economy cost about the same as ex EU fare , and with that you are getting considerably more space , a flat bed which is useful on the 11 to 12 hour flight , lounge access and a more enhanced service . The reason for the low fares is that airlines want to put people through their home hub . On the previous points about DIY , I haven't used a traditional package agent for years , I book direct with the airline , and sometimes add car hire or a hotel to create a package , or I book direct with the hotel website , had no problems and feel in control of my "DIY package " and trust myself more than I would trust a " high street " agent or any of these OTAs , why buy something pre packaged that might not have everything you want or costs stupid amounts to improve when you can easily create exactly what you want for yourself and more than likely save money and get more .
Reply
hi Andy
good to see you back!:-D
Reply
I have to admit that for our long haul holidays we do book a package holiday, we do not just go for the cheapest and accept what is on offer with that we look for something that suits us and tailor it as much as possible to our requirements,

Short haul to European destinations we do almost always book it all fully DIY with our own flights, accommodation etc.

Our reasoning for this is that we do like the security that a package gives us on a long haul trip. Should something go wrong you have the security on a package that you will have accommodation and get home without having to start trying to sort it all out yourself, in some destinations it is hard to even get internet access let alone sort out a major problem. At least in Europe it is very easy to sort out return flights back to UK with very little hassle and quit cheaply from most locations.

Some might remember the collapse of what at the time was a very large charter / scheduled airline operator, XL Airways. When they collapsed they had around 90,000 passengers stranded abroad in 50 different destinations, 63,000 of those passengers were on a package and were repatriated without any cost to them, this left some 27,000 passengers abroad who had to try and find flights and also pay for them and any associated costs.

We had a holiday booked which happened to be a package due to the specific location which involved ferries and other odd transport requirements and as it was a package, when XL collapsed we received a full refund again due to that little bit of extra security.
Reply
I remember well the hoo-har with XL........

We normally only travel to Europe as hubby doesn't like long haul flights. I can't remember the last package holiday we had. We tend to do DIY as we prefer private accommodation due to receiving more home comforts & the added extras.

I can understand those who prefer package holidays though & would never rule one out, especially if booking a hotel. Each to their own after all.....
Reply
Depends on what you want. We gave up self catering years ago when my wife pointed out that she could have gone in a nice hotel and been waited on for less. For the last few years we have been a fan of the Riu chain. On a regular basis we look at booking direct but even with the special offers we get it is still cheaper to book a package. I have spoken to managers at various hotels over the years about it but they just cannot match the price we get from the TOs.
Reply

Post a Reply

Please sign in or register an account to reply to this post.

Sign in / Register

Ship image

Welcome to Holiday Truths

Register to contribute in our forum, leave your holiday reviews and enjoy exclusive offers from your favourite travel brands.

By registering, you agree to us sending personalised emails offering holiday advice and travel deals from our travel partners. By clicking Continue, I agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Statement.