If you’re reading this means you very likely have:
- An unquenchable thirst for travel
- Booked more hotels online each year than had haircuts
What you may not know even though you’ve booked and traveled very extensively is the sneaky truth behind rates on most online travel agency sites.
So imagine this. You’re looking to book a hotel in beautiful Phuket. You point your web browser to your favourite online travel agency. You’re excited. You feel happy. You’re about to book your next dream holiday.
Ah, Phuket. You want to go for 5 nights. You have a budget in mind. Hmm… US$300 per night. You want to cap it at that because you want to spend some money on a hot new bathing suit that will knock your partner’s socks off, and indulge in spa treatments and extravagant dinners while you’re there. You find an amazing hotel that is US$300 per night for your travel dates. Awesome. Click to the next screen. Oh — credit card details. Why, of course you can have my money to book this hotel. Tap, tap, tap. Click. Confirmation received.
If you weren’t paying attention you may have just paid 18.7% morethan you originally thought (or almost US$300 more in total) because the rate the online travel agency showed you initially was exclusive of taxes/fees. “Huh, what do you mean?” I hear you ask. Most online travel agencies try to hide the actual price you will pay per night, hoping than in your excitement of booking the hotel you won’t realise. Booking Bali? It’s even higher — as taxes/fees come up to 21%!
Here’s a chart of how much more taxes+fees add up to by country when you book a hotel in Asia:
This is an all-too-familiar story. And we don’t like it. We don’t like it one bit. Which is why at ImpulseFlyer, we believe in transparent pricing so all of our rates are shown inclusive of taxes+fees. Why would you trust a site that is trying to hide behind the actual price, hoping you won’t notice?
A quick research of some of the leading online travel agencies shows that many use this trick:
- First, they show you the rate exclusive of taxes+fees (usually in much smaller font that requires you to squint to read it, with a message like “Taxes+fees not included”).
- Then, they show you the total amount for the booking inclusive of taxes+fees only at the screen where you enter your credit card details, hoping you can’t/won’t do the mental maths on the actual rate per night you’ll be paying based on the total.
Unless you’re the Count from Sesame Street, you’re probably going to have to whip out a calculator to figure that out.
You’d think that online travel agencies that did this would be as popular as the Hamburglar at a burger eating contest, but sadly no. The popular online travel agencies pretty much all do this. So go ahead — if you’ve booked on other online travel agency sites, check whether they’re being honest and upfront with their rates or using the trick above.
You wouldn’t ever let a physical store swipe away hundreds of dollars from your credit card that you didn’t realize you were paying — so why let an online travel agency?
Book with us and you’ll not only get an amazing holiday, you’ll get transparent, honest pricing. And 4% of your booking back to spend on your next booking with us. And that’s how it should be.