On The Beach is poised to introduce new pricing technology after coming under fire for adding extra costs to customers’ holidays.
The online travel agent (OTA), which is trialling the new system in-house, says the technology will minimise the number of times it has to demand more cash from customers than what is advertised, due to out-of-date pricing information from airlines and hoteliers.
Some customers said they were asked for hundreds of pounds more by the company after submitting a holiday booking request, or cancel their break at no cost.
Chief executive, Simon Cooper, said the company held an “enormous amount of data” which “can move very rapidly”. He also stressed that every transaction is provisional.
The company conceded that while the new system should help it won’t eradicate the problem completely due to the possibility of airline and hotel systems failing.
The changes are due to be rolled out this year subject to the trial being a success.
On The Beach revealed the plans this week after posting a 50% increase in operating profit to £7.4 million from £4.8 million in the first half of last year.
Cooper also said he had started to see “appetite” for Turkey come back but numbers for the destination would not match last year’s, even with a strong lates market.
The OTA will look to expand further in Scandinavia, after launching in Sweden almost a year and a half ago.
“We’re pleased with what we have seen happen and look to continue that over the next 17 months. The more confident we get the more markets we will launch in,” Cooper said.
“But we’ll look to launch further into Scandinavia before considering mainland Europe.”
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