Directline Holidays, online travel agent offering bespoke and traditional tour operator packages, announces it will offer its customers the opportunity to pay monthly on its holidays as of 1 March 2013.
CEO Maria Whiteman comments: “For the first time ever we are offering holidaymakers the opportunity to pay off their holiday on a monthly basis, as they would do with high value items such as a car or a three-piece suite. We are trialing a new payment system to try and make things a little easier on the purse strings.”
Directline Holidays will become the only travel company that offers this across all its stock both on holiday packages they tailor make and also on holidays booked with the UK’s most popular tour operators. The payment terms are available in conjunction with the low deposit offer where customers pay a holding deposit of either from £25 (departing from 1 Nov 2013 onwards) or £49 (departing from 1 August 2013) per person with the final payment due 3 weeks before departure.
The original deposit payment is taken on booking any trip from 1 March 2013 with the second deposit payment due on 1 May 2013 (for bookings made by 2 April) with monthly payments thereafter until the final payment term taken 3 weeks prior to departure.
Standard cancellation procedure applies.
Historically final payments for traditional packages were collected 12 weeks before departure, and bespoke packages were collected 8 weeks before travelling.
For example a customer booking a four star self catering deal to Algarve for two departing London Gatwick on 9 November 2013 with a cost of £206pp (total cost £412) booked today would pay the following per booking:
· A deposit of £50
· A second instalment will be debited on 1 May of £186
· 5 monthly instalments of £29 on the 18th of each month starting on 18 May 2013
· The final instalment of £31 will be automatically debited on Friday 18 October 2013
Whiteman concludes: “We are taking this unprecedented decision amid reports of holidaymakers being cheated out of money early by a recent Which? study.
“Even though we only charge from £25 or £49 per person for customers to secure their holiday, we pay the tour operators for the full deposit on the customer’s behalf. We can do this based on our strong financial standing built up through more than 20 years as a successful travel company.
“Directline Holidays customers don’t pay any more than the actual holiday price - it’s simply a way for customers to budget for their all-important holiday and reflects a changing trading environment.”