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Is it cheaper to book your own flight and hotel separately?

Online savings hit package industry

Compiled by Desmond Balmer 
Saturday May 17, 2003
The Guardian

Travellers who put together their own package holidays are making real savings, according to investment bank Goldman Sachs. In a report released this week, the bank said: "In 70% of cases, we found that it was cheaper to book your own flight and hotel separately." "We believe the relative discrepancy is quite compelling and indicates that the package holiday industry is in terminal decline - especially with single people, as opposed to families."

But in a separate report, researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University revealed that while cheap flights, late sales and short breaks are the most purchased travel deals on the net, travellers are still cautious about booking longer holidays online.

Professor John Lennon said: "Budget airlines have been catalysts to online travel bookings because they are simple, low-cost transactions. For most holiday bookings, there is still a lack of trust over transacting online. People still need to feel engaged with the person from whom they buy their travel."

The research is supported by Google's list of most-searched websites in April. Cheapflights.co.uk came second, easyJet third and Ryanair fifth - behind BBC News in first. David Beckham was fourth.

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