Thursday, 26 April 2012 9:10 AM
Booking a holiday online can be much cheaper than going directly through a travel agent, a survey by Which? has revealed. However, the overall message for scoring the cheapest holiday deal appears to be shop around - both online and on the high street.
According to the consumer rights group 80 per cent of the initial prices quoted by high street agents were higher than those for the same holiday on the web.
When contacted about the price differential, half of the agents were able to match the online quote for a trip to Majorca and three in 10 were even able to offer consumers a better deal. However, when contacted about a holiday to Jamaica - only one managed to beat the online quote and only 10 out of 26 could match it.
The full report, featured in this month's Which? Travel, suggests customers should shop around online before booking with a high street agent and consider contacting a travel agent directly to barter with them.
It also suggests that consumers should never assume that online prices will always be better - in one case, a Co-op agent gave researchers a quote for a Flexibletrips package to Majorca that was lower than the same package on the Flexibletrips website.
Which? researchers contacted shops run by Co-operative Travel, First Choice, Thomas Cook, Thomson and Virgin. It found Virgin staff were the most reluctant to price match.
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