BRITS looking to save on their next holiday should shop around when trying to find the best deals on flights and hotels if they want to save money.
A recent study by which? found that using the Booking.com platform was rarely cheaper compared to other options.
When searching for hotel deals, other providers such as Expedia were nine times cheaper in 12 comparisons.
Some holidays were up to £154 cheaper on Expedia, with a week in France being more expensive on Booking.com
This wasn’t always the case – for example, three nights in Porto cost £80 less on Booking.com than on Expedia, while another search revealed a week in Crete was £185 cheaper on Booking.com
For flights, however, Skyscanner was cheaper than Booking.com, which sells flights through its partner GoToGate, on all 12 occasions.
Which? tested four routes at three different times of the year for the study.
They reported: “Not once did Booking.com find the lowest fare, and for 10 of the 12 flights it was cheaper to book direct with the airline.”
For example, flights from London to Malaga cost £183 with Booking.com, but they cost only £129 directly on the airline’s website.
And flights to New York are just £506 with Skyscanner but £583 with Booking.com
Even Ryanair flights were cheaper with Skyscanner than Booking.com or the airline, costing £39 to France instead of £44.
A Booking.com spokesperson told Sun Online Travel: “As with many other online travel platforms, we conduct ongoing testing and experimentation (known as AB testing) on our platform to ensure we are fully optimizing the customer experience at every step and incidentally enhance the best of choice and value.
“While these tests are being conducted, this may occasionally result in temporary fluctuations in price – which we believe is the reason for some of the changes that which? to get presented. Travelers who use Booking.com to access package deals through our partners can rest assured that our prices match those on Lastminute.com.
“Booking.com strives to provide customers with great travel experiences and choices that meet their needs, whether it’s location, type of trip or amount they want to pay, and we do that with them full transparency and clarity across all travel services we offer.
“This means that travelers who book their flights on Booking.com have no hidden costs or fees.
“All associated airfare and fares are clearly displayed upfront, including any credit card charges. The price the customer sees when searching for flights is the final price they pay when they decide to book through Booking.com.”
A earlier study by which? found savings of up to 12 percent by avoiding well-known booking websites.
If you contact hotels directly to book a room, some even offer free upgrades or original breakfasts and discounts on spa treatments.
How to find secret hotel deals that are not advertised online.
https://www.thesun.ie/travel/8513329/booking-com-holiday-cheaper-deals-which/ Which? shows that you are NOT saving any money when buying a holiday on Booking.com