Bargain Holidays – Don't get ripped off! Advice from

March 02, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
With so many millions of websites available online now how does a consumer know which ones are real and which ones are a scam? We ask to give us their advice on how to avoid being ripped off when buying your holiday.

"At consumer trust is very important to us" says Director Emma Healey, "Our holiday comparison website displays millions of bargain holidays updated on a daily basis, from hundreds of UK based travel agents. Our strict advertising agreement with them means they must be ATOL and ABTA bonded to be allowed to advertise" ABTA and ATOL are well known in the travel industry and offer help with protection in case anything goes wrong, helping to give the consumer peace of mind.

So how does a consumer tell if a website is real and what kind of protection is offered for the holiday?

1. ABTA and ATOL are strict about who displays their logos/numbers. Look for statements that the website is covered and look for the ATOL and ABTA logos. "On we place the ABTA and ATOL numbers/logos on each specific holiday offer, as we have millions of bargain holidays from a number of different agents/operators. The consumer can see exactly what protection covers them for the holiday and can call the travel agent directly to confirm this" confirms Emma.

2. Check that the agent is who they say they are: Both ABTA & ATOL websites allow a search on the number supplied by the travel agent to ensure that they are part of the ABTA/ATOL scheme.

3. Check for elements on the website such as a trading name, address and contact number. If the offer is vague on contact details then there may be an element of doubt with regards to the authenticity.

4. "DIY" holidays can be dogged with problems if something goes wrong. On average, according to the CAA, one in five holidaymakers believe their holiday is covered when it isn't. No frills airlines are not protected by the ATOL scheme and could cause problems if a flight is cancelled.

5. Paying for a holiday by credit card may help protect it financially if the company booked with goes bust. It is worth checking the credit card issuer's terms and conditions to make sure some form of protection is offered.

6. Some travel insurance policies will provide cover if the airline goes out of business but again check with the provider to make sure before you book.

"If you are looking to book a holiday online choose a website you can trust" says Emma, "Many people want a fantastic deal on their bargain holidays and perceive that 'doing it themselves' is a sure fire way to ensure this when actually, by using a holiday comparison website like, the holidaymaker has access to hundreds of bona fide travel agents on one website who they can haggle with still for money off, but with the extra peace of mind that if they book with one of them, the holiday should be protected".