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Booking blunders cost holidaymakers hundreds

Press release: 01/12/2011

  • Holidaymakers pay an average of £232 to correct an online error

  • Nearly one in twelve (7%) holidaymakers have made a mistake when booking a holiday online

  • Common errors include booking flights in an incorrect name or date, booking accommodation in the wrong resort and arranging transfers and hire cars from the wrong airport

UK holidaymakers have paid out hundreds of pounds to correct mistakes made when they booked their holiday online.

New research from LV= travel insurance reveals that almost half (48%) of UK holidaymakers now book holidays online but many type in the wrong details without realising until it's too late. Nearly one in twelve (7%) holidaymakers have made mistakes when booking online with slip-ups often scuppering holiday plans and leaving travellers out of pocket.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of holidaymakers who made a mistake admit they have booked flights on the wrong date and a similar number (26%) have even booked them in the wrong name, making these the most common online booking errors. Other mistakes include selecting the wrong departure airport (8%), forgetting to buy a return ticket (9%) or even buying two tickets in the same direction when they intended to buy a round trip (5%).

When it comes to booking a place to stay the statistics show we are no better with one in six (17%) of those who made an online error, booking accommodation on the wrong dates and one in twelve (8%) booking the wrong hotel by mistake. Over one in twenty (6%) admit they have booked accommodation that was too small for their group and a similar number (5%) have even booked it in the wrong resort.

These online errors are costing UK holidaymakers £232 per mistake to correct on average and 15% have even had to pay out over £500, yet the financial cost is not the only consequence of these online oversights. Over one in twenty (6%) who made mistakes say they were unable to get home as planned or were very delayed and a similar number (4%) had to cancel their holiday completely due to the mistake.

The internet is giving holidaymakers greater control and freedom when it comes to planning a holiday. Nearly three quarters (72%) of travellers say they now read online reviews of their destination and accommodation before booking and one in six (16%) check at least ten reviews before they book.

Despite this, there are factors outside of their control such as an airline or travel agent going bust, which can ruin even the best planned holiday. Although travellers should be able to get a refund for flights booked through an ATOL bonded operator, this may not be enough to cover the cost of a new flight on the same dates, as cheaper advance fares may have already been booked. Likewise, they may not be able to get flights on the same dates as their accommodation booking and may lose the cost of these as well. Some insurers will only cover holidaymakers for the lost accommodation or flight costs but will not cover travellers for any additional costs incurred such as additional accommodation at their departure airport or increased flight costs.

LV= is launching its new premier travel insurance today which covers travellers for costs incurred by factors outside their control. Not only are holidaymakers covered for any money paid to an end supplier such as an airline or hotel, which then goes bust but they are also covered for additional or lost costs incurred as a result of this up to £1,500. As well as covering delays in the UK, the new product also covers costs incurred by travellers delayed after they have left the UK and subsequently miss onward connections or have to abandon their holiday. This is ideal for those on multi-destination holidays and is often excluded from standard travel insurance policies. It also includes up to £5,000 excursions cover, giving peace of mind to those going on a safari holiday or a cruise.

John O'Roarke, managing director of LV= travel insurance, said: "We look forward to our holidays all year and it is very annoying when things go wrong and scupper our plans. Simple errors can end up costing hundreds of pounds to put right and can ruin the holiday experience. In the current economic climate, it is vital that holidaymakers check that their holiday is ATOL bonded before buying and that they have adequate travel insurance in place to protect them should the worst happen."

LV='s new premier travel insurance has been designed with the independent holidaymaker in mind and has been awarded the maximum five star rating by Defaqto. It is available from today 1 December 2011.

Notes to editors:

All research unless stated otherwise is taken from a survey by Opinium conducted from the 28 October – 3 November 2011 on behalf of LV= Travel Insurance. Research was conducted with a nationally representative UK-wide sample of 4,025 adults, 3,159 of whom had booked a holiday in the last five years. Interviews were carried out online.

LV= employs 5000 people and serves over five million customers with a range of financial products. We are the UK's largest friendly society and a leading financial mutual.

When we started in 1843 our goal was to give financial security to more than just a privileged few and for many decades we were most commonly associated with providing a method of saving to people of modest means. Today we follow a similar purpose, helping people to protect and provide for the things they love, although on a much larger scale and through a wide range of financial services including insurance, investment and retirement products.

We offer our services direct to consumers, as well as through IFAs and brokers, and through strategic partnerships with organisations such as ASDA, Nationwide Building Society and a range of trades unions.

LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, register number 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, the AFM and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.