I don’t care if a one way flight to Alicante is £13.99 before tax, without luggage and prior to paying for reserving seats. It’s blatantly obvious I will want to come back from my week in the sun and will need to take some luggage so instead of billboards promoting tiny prices for part of the holiday, why not show the full price of a return trip to Spain! If nobody ever just pays £13.99 it is just a complete piece of misleading and pointless advertising.
Holiday Autos are just as bad in the great holiday rip off! I searched car hire in Perpignan for two weeks in August. They offered a good price of less then £230. I could pay them there and then online and they would offer me a voucher to download that I simply take into Avis at Gare de Perpignan and exchange for my car.
BUT just before I clicked “buy now” I spotted very tiny small print, not bold and colourful like the price they imply is the complete package but small and hidden informing you there may be local prices and deposits to pay and if you can’t pay them you won’t be allowed to hire the car and Holiday Autos won’t refund what you paid to them.
I quickly retracted my finger from hitting “buy now” and decided to go direct to Avis website. I’m glad I did because if I had have turned up at Avis office in Perpignan with my Holiday Autos voucher expecting to collect the Opel Corsa I had believed I had paid in full for I would have been in for a shock. I would have been faced with two options. I could have paid another €168 for insurance (that was supposedly included in Holiday Autos price) with a lower excess or would have had to stump up a €800 deposit to drive the car away. This would have been quite a large chunk of my holiday money and is much higher then any deposit I have been required to pay for car hire in the past. I believe Holiday Autos should publicise this. Had I got to Perpignan then I could have coughed up most of my holiday spending money or not hired the car and lost the cash I had already paid to Holiday Autos because as far as they are concerned there part of the deal is done!
The holiday industry from hotels to car hire are obsessed with sneaky deposits. You don’t arrive at Asda faced with a £100 deposit returned to you a few days later when you have finished your shop! The worst bit is they are often not publicised. The attitude of the industry is that it isn’t a charge because it is refunded back so we don’t need to mention it. I once stayed at a hotel in Surrey who wouldn’t let me pay for my stay on arrival instead taking the money off my credit card as a deposit for the stay. This cash was the money I had earmarked for my stay so when I came to check out and didn’t have the cash to pay because as I pointed out to them “you stole it from my card on arrival” didn’t go down very well.
How many holidays are ruined because Holiday Autos are not clear with the facts!?!