Peter Mills, from Saddleworth Travel, looks at battling against the internet to find the perfect holiday
IT TRULY amazes me how long it can take to book a holiday these days and how much time people waste on the process.
There are occasions when a customer walks in knowing where and when they want to go and we look and find a possibility and they say ‘yes – go ahead and book it’ and we are sorted out in 15 minutes. But that is rare.
The problem, I believe, is choice or the illusion of choice which leads people to believe there is always a better deal, hotel or flight out there in the ether if we only spend more time looking.
Another issue is the websites we often use for our searches, which all operate differently and are rarely as intuitive as their owners would like to believe.
I actually believe some websites are designed to produce confusion and anxiety for the user in the hope they will book out of fear of missing out!
That is before we get to the outright lies used to lure you onto the site in the first place. I am sure there are laws against false advertising but they seem not to be enforceable on the interweb.
The other issue is that even if you know what you want and say so clearly and unequivocally you still get results that are completely unrelated to what you want. This is annoying, of course, but also very distracting and time consuming.
Finally, you are hounded by emails and pop-ups to rate, review and give feedback on the whole experience to help sucker some new victim into the process.
I am regularly told tales of people spending many hours of their ‘free time’ on this process, often in an attempt to save a really insignificant amount of money.
My suggestion, of course, is to ask us to do it for you. We are very good at it because it is our job and you don’t have to spend either time or money until we find what you want!
Now that is a deal that doesn’t take much thinking about.