Avoid booking sites to get the best deals on holidays, says Which?

According to new Which? consumer research, we should consider swerving booking sites when we’re able to get back in the air,

The consumer website’s survey of close to 5,000 people found they often faced issues with custumer service, refunds and cancellations.

Many holiday booking brands scored badly when respondents rated the sites based on their prices, including fee transparency, and what the sites are like to use.

These findings have again led Which? to recommend that travellers book their flights, hotels or packages directly with ‘a reputable provider.’

Flight booking sites ranked particularly low in Which?’s findings, with people claiming that some companies were difficult to get in touch with regarding cancellations and refunds, or charged extra admin fees for refunds.

The lowest score in this category was given to Opodo with 45%.

Those surveyed gave Netflights the highest score among other flight booking companies, with a ranking of 65% and three stars with it came to customer service even though refunds could take over 45 days to go through.

Under, EU law, passengers are entitled to refunds within seven days.

When it comes to comparison sites, Skyscanner did the best at 67%, with the site being given five stars for its user experience.

Travelocity came in at the bottom of that pile, with just two stars given to it in every category.

Accommodation booking sites did a little better overall, with some earning a customer a score of over 70% and Airbnb (75%) scoring five stars in customer service and price even amidst the chaos of cancellations in 2020.

This was followed by Booking.com (71%) and Vrbo (69%) while, with just three stars across the board, Lastminute.com came in at the bottom of this pack for the third year in a row.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: ‘Booking sites have been seen as a hassle-free way to find the best deal on travel or accommodation when booking a holiday, but our survey highlights serious problems, from dodgy refund policies and unwelcome admin fees, to non-existent customer service.

‘This year has shown us that nothing can be guaranteed when it comes to booking a holiday, so it’s more important than ever to ensure the company you’re booking with can be trusted with your money.

‘With a couple of notable exceptions, booking sites have let their customers down on this front, so the best way to ensure your money is in safe hands is to book a package, hotel or flight directly, and only with a reputable provider.’

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