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Warning over Black Friday holiday ‘deals’

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Bargain-hunters hoping to snap up a cheap holiday on Black Friday are being warned to do their research as many of these so-called deals are not what they seem.

Analysis by consumer group Which? found promotions from Ryanair, EasyJet, Norwegian Air and Tui are ‘exaggerated’ or ‘non-existent’.

Black Friday, an American import which sees retailers and firms slash prices to boost pre-Christmas sales, falls on 29 November this year.

Which? is warning consumers over potentially misleading flight and holidays ‘deals ‘after analysing promotions for last year’s event.

Ryanair offered 25 per cent off one million seats purchased by midnight on Black Friday for travel between January and April 2019. However, none of the flights Which? checked two weeks later were any cheaper on Black Friday. In fact, two flights were more expensive on Black Friday.

EasyJet’s Black Friday sale claimed travellers could save £50 on 60,000 short city breaks, but out of the 21 holidays that Which? investigated, eight of them were cheaper just two weeks later.

Norwegian Air advertised Black Friday discounts ‘up to 30 per cent off short-haul fares and 15 per cent off long-haul fares’. When Which? investigated, the average saving was just £6.

The biggest saving, almost £24, was for a flight from London Gatwick to Buenos Aires, which if purchased on Black Friday cost £226 – a less significant 10 per cent off the price Which? found on 7 December.

Tui offered discounts codes worth £100 or £150 off selected breaks but these codes failed to work on two of the five holidays that Which? looked at. An all-inclusive week in Lanzarote, flying from Birmingham, with a discount of £100 was actually only £32 cheaper than the price available two weeks later on 7 December.

Rory Boland, Which? Travel Editor, said: “Nothing beats the feeling of saving hundreds on your next holiday, but that feeling can quickly turn to anger when you discover it would have been cheaper if you’d waited to book.

“Our research reveals that Black Friday travel deals aren’t always what they appear to be. Avoid disappointment by comparing prices and approach attention-grabbing saving claims with scepticism.”

A Tui spokesperson said: “Holiday pricing is very complex and there are many variables which have to be taken in to account.  These can contribute to price fluctuations from year to year or even throughout the year.”

The other companies have been contacted for comment.

Which? advice for shopping on Black Friday

  • Don’t assume that the deal on offer is good value just because of an attention-grabbing saving.
  • Don’t feel pressured by time-limited offers, such as Black Friday deals. Which? research shows that prices are the same – or even lower – at other times of the year.
  • Try to compare prices elsewhere – like Skyscanner for flights.
  • Read the small print to make sure there aren’t any additional payments you will need to make.
  • Plan ahead and do your research.

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