Founded in 1988 at the peak of the dot-com boom, .com is a mix-and-match online travel agent offering holidays, flights and hotels in destinations all over Europe, as well as in holiday hotspots further afield, such as Florida, Mexico, Thailand and the Caribbean. With more than 500,000 hotels to choose from, and thousands of flights, this travel company promotes ‘cheap holiday package deals’ and ‘fuss-free booking’.
It sits at the bottom of our results tables for both package holiday companies and city break providers, so booking with Lastminute.com should only be a last resort.
With so many ways a holiday can be disrupted, it’s essential you book with a provider that will look after you if your trip can’t go ahead. Lastminute.com is not one of those providers.
In a Which? analysis of more than 80+ holiday companies, Lastminute.com told Which? it wouldn’t even guarantee a refund if the country you are travelling to imposes quarantine restrictions – meaning you have to self-isolate for part of your holiday.
Avg price per day: short haul/long haul
Description matching reality
Organisation of holiday
Value for money
PACKAGE HOLIDAY PROVIDER
CITY BREAK PROVIDER
Lastminute.com is an online travel agent that allows you to tailor your holiday to your exact budget and schedule, thanks to its array of flight and hotel options that you select over the phone or online. You can even filter available flights down to ‘best’, ‘cheapest’ and ‘fastest’ for simplicity. It sounds ideal, but the reality is a different story – this online travel agent was the worst rated in two of our travel surveys.
In our survey of package holiday companies, customers rated Lastminute.com a mediocre three stars out of five for its accommodation. Holidays didn’t live up to expectations either, with the brochure description not matching the reality, and was also rated only three stars.
Those ‘low prices’, averaging at £75 a day for a short-haul package, weren’t even the cheapest when we compared costs with its competitors. Customers were obviously disappointed too, and rated Lastminute.com an average three stars out of five for value for money.
Still, the company didn’t fail all-round. People liked how ‘quick’ and ‘thorough’ staff seemed when helping customers over the phone. The DIY element was also a big hit with online bookers, giving them greater choice and flexibility compared with typical tour operators. One customer said: ‘It was so straightforward to book and everything was there for us to see for ourselves.’
Based on its approach to coronavirus cancellation refunds alone, this company is to be avoided. OK, you may find a cheap holiday, but whether it will live up to your expectations and be good value for money is another question altogether.