December 6, 2021

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Remaining places: - Don't be fooled

Remaining places: – Don’t be fooled

The short summer and beautiful autumn are soon replaced by the long, dark, cold days of winter. Perhaps it’s no wonder that Norwegians love the slow, hot holidays in the south even in winter.

But in the search for cheap tickets it is easy to get caught up and book cheap flights which may not be very cheap anyway. And that there are at least not too few flights and hotel rooms that websites can give an impression of. By the way, this applies not only to holidays abroad, but also to Norwegian holidays.

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More seats than you think

If the tour operator warns that there are only five seats on a flight, this does not mean literally five, as many believe. There may still be many vacant seats on the plane at competitors.

– When we write in Apollo “Only X number of flights left!” It applies to us on this plane, says Director of Communications Beatrice Rivera on the Apollo.

But at the same time you should be aware that travel companies share a number of planes, so selling them with one company can mean that there are still many vacant seats with another company on the same flight.

Thus, customers may be tempted to think that one should act quickly before selling it on a trip to the destination.

Regarding the plane in question that Dean Side had checked, which reportedly had a few seats left, there was still plenty of room on the flight to and from Gran Canaria in mid-December.

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We don’t use such numbers in our marketing, says TUI’s Director of Communications Nora Espengren.

– Tours are being marketed as ‘place left’ even though there are flights that won’t be completed until March/April of next year?

I know the phenomenon very well! It is a marketing ploy that attempts to create an impression of urgency in the customers’ decision. Such marketing can be quickly considered misleading, if in fact there is little doubt that there are few places left in the relevant journey, says Consumer Council Consumer Advocate Thomas Iverson.

– It was clear that it was a requirement that this type of marketing needs more transparency. However, the consumer should not experience stress or pressure through such marketing, Iversen says.

Prices go down


trap room hotel

Even when booking a hotel, it’s easy to be tempted to hit the “alarm button” to complete a quick reservation before you run out.

Sold out, however, rarely means it’s fully booked. The search engines that provide hotel rooms do not have a complete overview of the available capacity but they can sell a limited number of rooms. The fact that there are only a few rooms left does not mean that it is possible to get a bed for the night.

Warn

– We understand that several procedures are used to book a guest and the number of rooms provided by a third party in the individual hotel is indicated here.

We don’t like the practice giving the impression that there are no more rooms available and this can create situations in which guests choose another hotel if they are, for example, traveling with a group of friends, says CEO Stephen Minich-Bach of the Norwegian hotel chain Classic Norway. for hotels.

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Warning: Stephen Minich-Bach advises guests to drop hotel search engines in search of cheap hotel rooms.  Photo: Odd Roar Lange

Warning: Stephen Minich-Bach advises guests to drop hotel search engines in search of cheap hotel rooms. Photo: Odd Roar Lange
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What can customers do to avoid being scammed?

– I will always encourage guests to make direct contact with the hotel they prefer to stay in. And then they will have the right information about the hotel, often a better price and in many contexts a better overall experience.

Not many people also know that it costs the individual hotel between 15 and 25 percent in fees for third-party channels, money being taken out of the country that hotels can use to ensure better guest experiences, Meinich-Bach believes.

Don't drink this on the plane

Don’t drink this on the plane


Is it really a last resort?

By the way, did you know that the last place is not necessarily the last place?

The charter companies operate with the remaining seats at low rates. But the remaining space is not always what it seems, i.e. a few trips left after almost everyone is sold.

The space left was previously something that was sold at very low prices, the day before or the same day the flight was supposed to be completed. At that time, you can buy travel without a prescription at the airport or at a tour operator store.

Good space: When rental companies sell the remaining spaces four to five months before departure, there are rarely any remaining spaces in question.  Photo: Odd Roar Lange

Good space: When rental companies sell the remaining spaces four to five months before departure, there are rarely any remaining spaces in question. Photo: Odd Roar Lange
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Today, tour operators market a large number of excursions as a place left and at a discount, although several months pass before the trip is complete. You can easily find “remaining seats” on charter flights in March of next year.

Thus it is not about the remaining space, but the regular discounts marketed under the name can create the impression that it is necessary to order here.

it’s in the stomach

What does the Consumer Council think about this?

This is also a move that tries to get consumers to speed up demand. We see many variants of this, both “only three rooms left!” and “Only two trips for this price!”. Here, too, there must be real cases of a few remaining rooms for marketing so as not to be misleading. But – it must be said that on some portals this can be real quickly, since the space on their platform is limited. If the room you were going to hide was from one of the gates, there’s a good chance there are still rooms on other pages or on the hotel’s own website, says Thomas Iversen.

Licorice pipe must be sold as tobacco

Licorice pipe must be sold as tobacco


What should the consumer do?

My advice is that consumers should have some ice in their stomachs, and try to filter out this noise when they book a vacation. It’s rare that there aren’t actually rooms – they are only available on another platform or on the hotel’s website. Hotels can be booked from third-party platforms.

Look Ahead: While it's all sold out on one hotel booking site, there may be rooms available on another.  Look no further, advice from consumer attorney Thomas Iverson at the Consumer Council.

Look Ahead: While it’s all sold out on one hotel booking site, there may be rooms available on another. Look no further, advice from consumer attorney Thomas Iverson at the Consumer Council.
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Airline tickets

Does the same apply to airline tickets?

– Of course, flights should be booked directly from the company. Unfortunately, we regularly hear about consumers booking flights from different platforms and experiencing curls because not all of their information was passed from the platform to the airline.

It often has to do with information about route changes and delays consumers did not receive, which would have come via SMS or email if they had requested directly from the airline, consumer attorney Thomas Iversen concludes at the Consumer Council.

Read also: What day can you buy the cheapest airline tickets?