Thomas Cook Announces New Promotional Offers for Travellers

Thomas Cook Group Plc, a UK-based travel company, has initiated a promotional event for holidaymakers who wish to travel before the increase in Airport Departure Tax (APD) is implemented.

The company is offering a three-week promotion for those travelling to international destinations, offering a saving of up to £83 per person on bookings made between August 24 and September 13, 2012

A company spokesperson said, ‘We’re committed to offering our customers the very best value for money and strenuously voice our disappointment to the Government about the increases to flight tax. Our offer just highlights the extortionate amount holidaymakers have to pay whilst hopefully making long haul getaways more accessible whether heading off for some winter sun or planning the family trip for next year.

The Government has steadfastly refused to listen to any of the arguments that the travel industry has presented on this tax and it is a great shame that at a time when they could – and should – be doing all they can to lessen the strain on hard working families, they are yet again making the consumer pay.’

The offer is valid on holidays booked with Thomas Cook, Thomas Cook Style Collection and Airtours, for destinations including Florida, Las Vegas, Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Goa.

Thomas Cook has been suffering major financial difficulties and has previously divested its stake in Hoteles Y Clubs De Vacaciones (HCV), and a 77 percent interest in Thomas Cook (India) Limited (TCIL), its Indian subsidiary, to raise funds.

Europcar Offers New Service in London

Europcar Groupe SA, a France-based car rental company, is launching a new fast track service in London, UK.

The company is offering its customers in the capital a London Key Ready initiative, which is currently on trial at its Kings Cross location. The initiative allows the customer to collect their vehicle key from a locker and drive away their car rental without having to visit a rental counter.

The London Key Ready programme is available to selected customers that organise the booking for their vehicle through the company website or call centre. The customers will receive a secure PIN, against which they can collect the vehicle key and paperwork from a Key Ready locker.

Ken McCall, the company managing director, for Europcar UK Group¸ said, ‘We aim to provide customers with as efficient a service as possible for vehicle collection so that they can get on their way with their journey without delay.

But London Key Ready takes this one step further, demonstrating our sustained commitment to providing travellers with highest level of convenience, choice and simplicity throughout their journey.

During the trial at our Kings Cross location, selected customers who may be arriving by train will be able walk the short distance to the branch to collect their vehicle key from the designated locker so that they can get on the road in minutes.

London Key Ready meets our goal to provide today’s busy travellers with a constantly evolving range of services designed to meet their needs and make their journey easier.’

Summer Travellers Should Not Rely On Individual Comparison Sites For Bargains

CheapFlightsFinder, a UK-based comparison site that assesses the cheap flight data from 16 metasearch engines, has announced that in their opinion, British travellers that use just one search engine when planning a summer vacation, may not necessarily be provided with the best available deal.

The website has warned British travellers that flight comparison websites may not offer the best deal as different flight comparison websites offer different bargain prices, making for a confusing choice. While one flight comparison website may offer a London to Malaga fare with a best price of £229 per person on August 29, 2012, another similar site may offer the same fare on the same day for £191.56 per person.

55 percent of travellers use the Internet to book holidays in Britain, with most tending to use comparison sites for a total package deal of airfare and accommodation.

Shahab Siddiqui, the founder of Cheap Flights Finder, said, ‘Comparison websites, or metasearch engines as they are sometimes known, have become popular ways for consumers to search the best deals. Each metasearch engine scans different sources, but no single one will cover all – so there is the potential to miss out on cheaper flights. By comparing many metasearch engines, many more sources can be searched in an accurate manner.

Money saved on flights can be used toward accommodation costs or holiday spends, a top consideration in the current economic climate where people are looking to make their funds go further. To pay extra for the same flight just doesn’t make sense – although ultimately having access to all the comparison sites means you can be sure of getting the best deal on a convenient flight time, from a trustworthy provider.’