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Booking pages for hotels
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Uncovered: Hotel-booking pages do not show the REAL costs in advance.
We' ve found at least five realtors and four compare sites sometimes display a rate on their first results page that is LESS than what you actually have to spend when considering tax and resorts charges. Travelers only find out the real amount later in the booking procedure when they can be asked to add 100 pounds - in an example we have seen, a six-day visit costs 275 pounds more.
The current survey of hotel booking locations was unveiled last October, but more than seven month after the warning of measures, some locations are still not in a position to clarify all outlays. Broker (i.e. pages that process bookings) we have found do not always show the overall charges in advance: Agoda, Getaroom, Netflights, Travel Republic and Zenhotels.
We' ve also visited four compare pages (i.e. pages that show rates, but you click through to another page to book). The four - Kayak, Trivago, TravelSupermarket and Skyscanner - have all missed at least one opportunity to add tax or resorts charges for the lowest entry to their first sweep.
While our results are just a snap-shot of 55 pages of results, with the full costs made clear in advance on only 27 of these offers, it is clear that travelers should be careful with the first number they display on some pages. After our research, several sites said they were looking for ways to increase the price and one - kayak - said the problem had already been solved.
And for full help on the cheapest way to book a hotel, see our low-cost hotels and low-cost UK hotel guide. "It' confuses the customer and makes it very difficult to make a significant cost-balance. First displayed to you, the cost MUST be the full amount, inclusive of additional charges - even charges to be settled at the hotel.
"That doesn't mean you shouldn't use these hotel agents and compare pages when booking a room - they can still be the least expensive and limit the lookup for you. It' just a click away to be sure. In order to verify that travelers are shown the overall costs of a hotel accommodation at the beginning of the booking procedure, we have reviewed a series of 55 results - that is, the page you will first see on a hotel agent or compare page if you are looking for the hotel availabilities in a particular place on a particular date: we have reviewed the costs of five hotel properties - one in each of Amsterdam, Athens, Las Vegas, Orlando and Rome - by looking at the offers for a room for one or two persons over a six days time span, with different data between August
We' ve reviewed nine realtors - Agoda, Booking.com, Ebookers, Expedia, Getaroom, Hotels.com, Netflights, Travel Republic and Zenhotels - and four sites for comparisons - Kayak, Skyscanner, Travel Supermarket and Trivago. In the comparative pages we have examined the best prices and whether they reflect the full costs of booking through this agent.
We found 55 offers that have been submitted - not every hotel was on every page: The full costs of the hotel accommodation were made clear on the results page on 27 opportunities - however, in some cases additional charges were displayed in a different language. Twenty-three opportunities did not reveal the full costs on the results page.
All costs inclusive of tax and visitor's tax - especially those payable at the hotel - were only shown later in the booking as well. There were 5 times when the full costs were difficult to see on the results page - it only came up when you pressed a pushbutton to open a pop-up box with tax and surcharges.
Here is an example of how the overall costs of a booking can go from the first page of results. You can see the screen shot on the lefthand side showing the costs of an overnight stay at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Centre in Orlando for £137.
On the right side of the screen the increase to £174.50. We found that Booking.com, Hotels.com and Expedia displayed the full hotel rates on their first results page. At Booking.com the first page always showed the full amount inclusive of additional costs.
Hoteles.com and Expedia have also made the full charges clear on the results page, but they have broken down the additional charges incurred in the hotel and displayed them in the country code, so you need to perform a fast calculation to calculate the grand total. However, they have also shown the additional charges in the hotel in the country code. You can see on the following screen shots how the prices do not rise when you book. com between the first page and the last one: payment:
The price of the first booking at Booking.com always includes additional charges, as the above screen shots show. Agoda, Getaroom, Netflights, Travel Republic and Zenhotels DIDN'T always show the full price on the results page. On one case on Agoda we found over six nights staying in Orlando could end up you pay 275 more than shown on the results page.
We have not displayed all charges by standard on the results page for three of the four properties we have reviewed. By contacting him, Agoda said that it is possible to get the site to add all charges to the first list if you click the"£" symbol at the top of the page and then change from "basic rate per night" to "total rate per night".
Getaroom and Zenhotels both showed rates that did not contain additional features such as tax and resorts rates on the results page of the offers we reviewed. On the second page there was a notice of additional costs shown on the last booking page. GEARTAROOM informed us that it prominent indicates and reveals "ALL tariffs that the user will be charged before he accepts a payment", while Zenhotels said that it "always publishes the pertinent information about hotel tax and tariffs on the hotel website".
" On Netflights we sometimes found additional fees on the results page - but not in the case of the hotel in Las Vegas. An obligatory reservation charge was noted on a second page after the first page of results, but not on the last booking page.
"If local resorts charges or tax are incurred, they cannot be added to the overall cost of the property. We' re always striving to enhance our client bookings and we work very harshly on pricing visibility. "Travel Republic has shown a basic rate on the results page for the four properties we found on it.
When we clicked on a second page, we received a noticeable message that "where applicable tax is shown on the booking form", and detail of these rates was then given on the last page for payments. "of a hotel finder is something we're considering.
" Ebookers the full costs could not be displayed by standard on the page with the results of the offers reviewed by us. If you clicked on a pushbutton next to a message about "Tax and Charging Information", the only way to see it would be to click on it, in which case a pop-up box with the additional costs would appear.
The surcharges were also shown on the last page of the invoice. "All local taxes, such as hotel taxes, are shown to our clients throughout the booking process. "On the compare pages, we have reviewed the lowest rate for each hotel - and verified that it really is the full costs you would be paying if you click through to use this particular agent.
In Trivago, all local and tourist tax was only one of five in the lowest prices. At Skyscanner we found two of four hotel locations, at TravelSupermarket three of five and at Kayak three of four of them.
We' ve also found that in some cases, when a settlement page lists a number of agents for a particular hotel, some of the rates may or may not contain tax and resorts charges, which would lead to a potentially untrue benchmark. Looking at this in detail for a hotel - the Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas - we found that a comparative page, Skyscanner, actually showed the FALSE realtor as the least expensive one.
There was Zenhotels as the cheapest for a six-night sojourn, at 527, but when we did click through, there was an extra $291 to be paid for a resort charge and booking duty, making the overall costs around 705. Other sites rated by Skyscanner as less competive even exceeded this overall prize - Booking.com, for example, was quoted on Skyscanner at 616 and that was the end up.
How to compare pages? "Whilst the providers in most stores are sending us the overall hotel rate - minus the widely varying local taxes - in the Americas area, as in the case of Vegas, which you divide, some providers do not. We are aiming to simplify our trip searching, so be sure we have a dedicated staff working to unify and clearly differentiate hotel rates in America.