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The dos and don’ts of bagging a Black Friday holiday deal

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

The aviation regulator is urging Brits to check holiday deals carefully if you’re looking to bag a discount this Black Friday.

As Brits look to get a cheap getaway in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) warns shoppers to do their research to ensure they get a good discount rather than a nasty surprise.

Its research found half of UK adults will actively be looking to book their next break during these annual shopping events.

And with three quarters booking package holidays through websites or online apps, shoppers are also warned to be wary of scams.

It said despite the current cost-of-living crisis, half of UK adults said even if the price of flights increased 10% in 2023 compared to 2022, they would not change how much they plan to fly next year.

Michael Budge, head of ATOL at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “Even with the sharp rise in the cost of living, it seems there is a real appetite to travel overseas next year. Travel companies are increasingly advertising discounts on getaways to UK consumers during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales period.

“Deals can seem attractive, but before booking, we would urge everyone to just do a bit of research to make sure it really is a bargain. Always check it has ATOL financial protection, watch out for hidden extras, book by credit card if you can and consider travel insurance are all top tips for anyone looking to book a holiday.”

Black Friday holiday deal shopping dos and don’ts

Watch out for hidden costs

The CAA said holidaymakers should check whether a deal includes baggage allowance plus the cost for additional luggage.

It suggests shopping around with other providers to check it really is a good deal. The CAA added that holiday bargains can usually be found through the festive period and into the New Year.

Check whether there is any flexibility in the booking such as whether parts of the holiday can be amended in the future without incurring any extra costs.

The CAA also said buyers should check where the seller is based. If it’s abroad and the deal is in a foreign currency, make sure to check how much they are charging in pounds before booking to ensure you get a good rate, and double check bank fees for paying in foreign currency.

Check for ATOL financial protection

Travel companies selling air package holidays in the UK are required to hold an ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) and the scheme also applies to some flight bookings. If an ATOL-licensed travel company ceases trading, the scheme protects package holiday customers, making sure they don’t get stuck abroad or lose money if they are yet to travel.

Some non-UK travel companies will be advertising their deals over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to UK customers and the CAA said these companies should be ATOL licensed.

Before booking, you should always check that your travel provider is a legitimate ATOL holder and check that the holiday is ATOL protected.

When you book, your travel company will provide you with an ATOL certificate, which tells you what you are protected against if your travel company ceases trading, and shows exactly which parts of your booking are ATOL protected.

Use a credit card when booking

Using a credit card gives you extra protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This means if you pay for your flight or hotel with a credit card and something doesn’t go to plan, your credit card issuer should provide you with your money back (for purchases between £100 and £30,000).

Get travel insurance

Travel insurance can provide extra protection if your holiday doesn’t work out quite as planned. It can protect you from cancellations, missed transport and medical emergencies as well as items lost or stolen when travelling.