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to think that travel companies discriminate against single parents?

(30 Posts)
bigredtractor Sat 10-Sep-11 20:57:07

Ok, I'm trying to arrange a holiday in Feb for me, my DH, our DS (baby), to travel with my friend and her twin girls (3yo). We don't need to worry about school so can go in low / mid season.

I spent over an hour at the travel agent last week and because my friend doesn't have a second adult rooming with her, she doesn't qualify for free or reduced child places.

We tried swapping the twins about (booking them with me and DH), but then she gets stung for under-occupancy charges. It's looking like the best part of £1200 for 7 nights, which is not affordable.

AIBU to think that travel companies / hotels should be more flexible for non-'nuclear' family groups- particularly at times of likely lower (or not full) occupancy?

Lucy88 Sat 10-Sep-11 21:07:54

Some travel agents/tour opertors do offer deals for single parents and some hotels will do this, but there are a lot who do not. The profit margin in the travel and hospitality industry is seriously squeezed at the moment, so under-occupancy is a big problem.

I have had a real mix this year. We stayed at a 7* hotel in Abu Dhabi and they gave me a child rate for my DS on half-board. I also got a free child place for my son at Butlins, because we booked really early. However, we are going to Lapland in december and I have had to pay adult price for both of us, despite the fact he is 6 and its cost me a fortune.

Swings and roundabouts, as I say - some places do it, some don't.

redexpat Sat 10-Sep-11 21:11:00

As long as you are extending that to people without children YANBU. Why should parents get special treatment? What if I want to go on holiday with adult friends? Or adult family members - they get no discount.

squeakytoy Sat 10-Sep-11 21:13:36

You are mad for going through a travel agent. Book yourself on-line, cut out the middle man, and save yourself a lot of money.

bigredtractor Sat 10-Sep-11 21:17:29

It's not about getting special treatment, it's about not being able to benefit from the published child prices because, through no fault of your own, you don't have a second adult to travel with.

Yes, we are reconsidering the whole trip and am looking online instead, we just though a package might be the easy option for 3 adults and 3 kids!

TastyMuffins Sat 10-Sep-11 21:20:33

I'm a single parent who used to work in travel but I don't think it's unreasonable. Think of the price of the accommodation as the price for a room, divided by two, which is how they get their price.

Sometimes it is actually much cheaper to book direct. Some hotels will charge a single room price for 1 adult and 2 children in a room. You might find an apartment might be more affordable for your party. Also, some airlines may charge a lot less for children although on others it is the same price as adults.

With any package holiday I would imagine our friend and her twins would be charged the same price as your family.

mosschops30 Sat 10-Sep-11 21:24:27

They discriminate against everyone so you just have to suck it up.
Basically if youre not 4 adukts who all want to sleep together youre fooked

Takitezee Sat 10-Sep-11 21:25:00

YABU. They are not discriminating against anyone, they are offering promotions to capture the biggest audience and she doesn't fit into it.

TrillianAstra Sat 10-Sep-11 21:29:53

If you are one adult and two children in a room that could be occupied by two adults and two children, why would you expect to pay less in total? You're still taking up the same room.

If meals are included then I would expect to pay a bit less, as you'd be eating less, but that's all.

bigredtractor Sat 10-Sep-11 21:34:42

I understand how the price is calculated, but at off-peak times I would maybe have expected some flexibility I guess. I was just sorry on her behalf that she'd be paying c.£700 for two 3 year-olds.

Except that she won't be cause we won't pay those prices smile

so then the travel company / hotel doesn't get the booking at all...

TrillianAstra Sat 10-Sep-11 21:38:32

If they thought it was reduce the price or go empty they would reduce the price. I guess they think they will get a booking with someone who is willing to pay more than she will pay.

DoMeDon Sat 10-Sep-11 21:40:55

YABU - why should they? They are a business trying to make money. They offer a free child place as they have 2 adults paying - if they only have one it's not financially viable is it!?! confused

Go direct - much cheaper.

HauntedLittleLunatic Sat 10-Sep-11 21:56:08

I guess its about the price of the room

If it is say £1000 they can do it at £500pp kids go free and they still get their £1000.

In your friends situation if they gave both her children free places then they would not get the £1000 to cover the cost of the room.

At the end of the day the pricing structure is per room £1000. It is an advertisig gimic which converts it to a price per person, allowing them to advertise a special offer to attract punters....

As long as t&c's are accurate wrt to exclusuions there isn't actually a lot you can do.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sat 10-Sep-11 22:46:13

YABU - it's not discrimination, it's business. I'm a single parent and on both of the two holidays I've taken DS on, I've had to pay the full adult price for him (he was 4 the first holiday and 5 on this year's). I've accepted that it's just part of being a single parent and I need to suck it up and deal with it if I want to go on holiday. You haven't said where the holiday is or what the board basis is, but if her holiday will cost £1200 I actually don't think that's too bad as it comes out at £400pp which isn't a completely hideous price (but like I said, depends on destination and board basis).

The first time we went away DS hadn't started school so we went in term time and it was half the cost of going this year in the main school hols shock. But that's to be expected really. Both times we went on a package holiday with a main operator but I booked online and got much better deals than the high st TAs could offer - try looking online for exactly the same holiday with the same tour operator and I bet it comes up cheaper.

Some tour operators offer single parent deals but you have to ring their call centres to get them (they're not available in the shops or online), so try that.

Morloth Sat 10-Sep-11 22:51:53

DH and I were talking yesterday about how the world is really set up to favour Mum, Dad and two kids.

YANBU to be annoyed, I doubt there is anything you can do, other than look for something else.

bigredtractor Sat 10-Sep-11 22:58:04

I would say that it's discrimination as it makes an assumption about a family unit (in a similar way to the recent theme park etc. threads).

It's to the canaries and all inclusive, so there's no way that 2x 3 year olds will consume the same as adults would.

We thought that she might be charged 2x child prices, which works out more than if 2 adults were to stay in the same room but the quote is always 2x adult price, 1x child price. That's the part that doesn't seem fair.

I guess having twins just makes it tougher, but nowt you can do about that.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sat 10-Sep-11 23:05:43

Both our holidays were all inclusive, in fact we've recently come back from one in Lanzarote. AI works out well with kids when you think how much they need to drink when it's warm and how much ice cream they'll demand ask for.

If that's too much to pay, could you look at a cheaper AI hotel or going on a different board basis?

Ifancyashandy Sat 10-Sep-11 23:08:24

It's an industry that caters for the majority. I'm single with no kids. Some of the holidays I looked at this year cost me over £1000 more as I was booking on my own. It sucks. But I've found some smaller, independent hotels that'll let you book direct which, as others have said, can keeP the price down.

There is a mahoooosive market for quality, non back packer, but relatively affordable accommodation for singles and LP's. I dont want a hostel, I want a hotel. With room service. And a decent pool. And to not feel like a social pariah. Seems simple, no?!

squeakytoy Sat 10-Sep-11 23:11:32

If it is to the canaries, then dont go all inclusive then. You can get an out of season holiday there for much less than that, if you go self catering, and eating out really is very cheap over there.

bigredtractor Sat 10-Sep-11 23:13:16

I completely agree. Ideally we'd like to take my grandma with us but don't get me started on what she'd gave to pay!

Package is not for us it seems so we'll look online etc. -I was just hoping to avoid the hassle of flights, transfers etc. I want an EASY option, ha!

MollieO Sat 10-Sep-11 23:16:50

I think there is a big difference between two adults travelling together and one adult and one child especially if it is full or half board. I looked at taking ds to Barbados but the hotels I looked at wanted £3000 for a week. Instead I rented a palatial villa for a third of the cost. I've never yet managed to stay in a hotel with ds without paying the adult price for him.

missymarmite Sat 10-Sep-11 23:18:23

I can see both side of the argument. It's not about discrimination. It's about economics. If you have a room which can take 2 adults, well, a hotel is naturally going to charge for 2 adults, it's not as if they can offer the other space to a random stranger to recoup the difference, is it ? (though it might be an idea-like a holiday blind date; match single parent with single non-parent for a holiday, if you hit it off, bonus!)

On the other hand, as a LP myself, it is frustrating. I mean, LP are disadvantaged from the outset; only one income, less earning potential, but having to pay double. Bummer!

squeakytoy Sat 10-Sep-11 23:20:30

Going to the canaries, transfers really are never an issue, because the islands are so small, you just get a cab to your accomodation.

We go to Lanzarote at least twice a year. Book flights with Monarch as they are usually the cheapest, and use HolidayNights or Alpharooms to book the accomodation.

Just got back from there on Thursday and stayed at a brilliant complex in Matagorda, which had 2 pools (one heated), and I am looking at booking us again in December, which at the moment works out at £130 per person for flight, and £100 per person for accomodation. You cant beat £230 for a weeks holiday, and food is not going to cost that much even eating out twice a day.

AfternoonDelight Sat 10-Sep-11 23:22:54

Why don't you look online for somewhere that charges per room rather than per person? It may well be cheaper.

Talker2010 Sat 10-Sep-11 23:26:33

Book a villa

Single price for accommodation and then kids flights are just kids flights

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