Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: A lesson on 'fluid pricing'
Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Thursday 10 January 2013
Q I booked a holiday with Neilson in November 2012 to ensure I got the skiing holiday I wanted. Today I find the exact same holiday with the same company at £64 cheaper but not being advertised as a last-minute deal or special offer. Neilson says that they cannot give me any reduction because prices can go up or down. I appreciate that it is a matter of supply and demand but without it being advertised as a last-minute deal can they still refuse some discount?
A Yes. “Fluid pricing” is the norm in the travel industry. Travel companies constantly nudge prices up and down in order to fill capacity at the pace they expect. When I got your message, I checked the Neilson ski holiday that I happen to have booked for this winter, and saw it is slightly more expensive. Conversely, the Thomson cruise I booked just before Christmas is now cheaper – had I waited, I would have saved about £100.
For future reference: late January is always good territory for late-notice bargains (indeed we featured a Neilson offer in The Independent last Saturday), and so if you’re not confined to school holidays it’s always worth biding your time and seeing what deals are around.
Click HERE to email Simon.
You can also tweet him your questions @SimonCalder
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Video shows how to turn your phone into a 3D hologram
- 2 Artist Jamie McCartney: How The Great Wall of Vagina is a stand against 'body fascism'
- 3 Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
- 4 'Gene drive': Scientists sound alarm over supercharged GM organisms which could spread in the wild and cause environmental disasters
- 5 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
Calais crisis: For desperate migrants it is 'England or death' as they brave dogs, riot police and speeding trains
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...
£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for an exciting...
COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Product Manager / Product Owner is required to jo...
£25k plus Benefits: Guru Careers: A Carpenter and Maintenance Operator is need...