£200 penalty to take children on holiday
An investigation by a daily newspaper has found that parents face being charged extra for taking their children on holiday.
The Daily Mail found hotels and apartments in popular holiday hotspots such as Greece, Turkey and the Canary Islands were cheaper if the booking was for a group of four adults as opposed to two adults and one child.
Families are being charged more to take their children on holiday to compensate for lower bar and restaurant bills, it has been suggested.
Travel firms are charging families extra to make up for the shortfall in spending in the same way that surcharges are borne by single travellers as an ‘under occupancy’ addition.
One family holiday on Thomas Cook’s website based at apartments in Fuerteventura was priced at £2,060, which was £244 more than for a group of four adults in the same accommodation.
A spokesman for the consumer group Which? was quoted as saying: “It's completely unfair that holidays should cost more for parents because of under-occupancy charges for children.”
Travel firms Thomas Cook and Thomson have admitted that the pricing issues exist and Thomas Cook went so far as to suggest that families consider booking their children in as adults to avoid the extra costs.
Thomas Cook claimed that they only rarely charged families more. A spokesperson commented: “In such cases, it is common practice for any children travelling to be charged the adult price. Meeting the adult minimum occupancy can be cheaper.”
After the revelations, Thomson set up a phone line for families to claim refunds. A spokesperson for the company said: “We are aware of an issue with the pricing of a very small number of our villa and apartment holidays.
“On occasion, a villa or apartment will be more expensive if booked including adults and children compared to a purely adult booking. We are working to rectify this issue.”
Holidays can be expensive, especially when you are hit with unexpected additional charges. Keep holiday costs to an overall low by taking a prepaid card so you can continue to stay on budget whilst overseas.