Travellers looking for the best holiday deals are better off booking online than using tour operator brochures, Holiday Which? reveals today.
The Holiday Which? investigation looked at the price of a two-week Majorcan holiday for two adults and one child around late July 2007.
In one case researchers found a saving of £468 by booking with Thomas Cook online, instead of booking through their JMC brochure.
They also discovered costly extras on the advertised brochure prices and a difference of almost £250 between the least and most expensive package holiday.
Thomas Cook had the most expensive brochure price. This was followed by First Choice, which also had the most expensive online price.
The My Travel brand, Airtours, scored the best for value both in the brochure and online and was the only operator to include free in-flight meals.
Additional costs to the brochure price – often concealed in the small print at the rear of the brochure – ranged from flight supplements, having extra leg room and sitting together on a flight, to under-occupancy supplements.
Check small print
Holiday Which? Editor Lorna Cowan said: ‘For people already looking through holiday brochures and thinking about their summer holiday, make sure you read the small print.
‘Extra costs can make booking a package holiday an expensive option – we urge holidaymakers to check costs, compare prices and go online to the tour operators’ websites.’