aviation: All tours heralds the comeback of last-minute vacation travel


For weeks and months most tour operators have denied that there will be attractive last minute deals this season. The booking situation would be so good that you don’t necessarily have to have it, one or the other company boss indicated. Unsurprisingly, it turns out differently, because Alltours is now pushing ahead with last-minute offers.

Airlines, tour operators, train and bus companies have a great interest in travelers booking as early as possible. One lures with supposed price advantages, but the advantages of the planned bookings are more on the side of the provider. You have planning security, because this allows you to estimate which destinations have to be removed from the program due to a lack of demand and which should be increased in return. In the case of package tours, payment plays a subordinate role, as in contrast to flight, train, bus and ship tickets, these usually do not have to be paid for in full immediately when booking, but a deposit is first collected and the rest is made a few weeks before departure is to be transferred or debited. For transport companies, however, money plays a very important role, because in a certain way you create more liquidity with « interest-free loans from customers ». As is well known, the money flows in the other direction, for example in the case of flight cancellations, extremely slowly and tenaciously.

The corona pandemic has meant that many passengers, due to the unclear situation, have again come up with pointless and useless travel restrictions and harassment, if they have booked at extremely short notice. This was definitely a problem for the tourism and transport industry, because not only did income come very late (or sometimes not at all), but everything had to be planned ad hoc. It is therefore quite understandable that the aim for the 2023 summer season was to get customers to book as early as possible again. It is best to book your summer vacation for 2024 at the same time.

“Pressure” from perceived scarcity

Targeted public relations work, in which it was suggested that the demand is so high that many flights are already fully booked or the quotas for package tours are quickly exhausted, should create a certain pressure. Sweetened with supposed price reductions, potential holidaymakers should be persuaded to book. However, it was particularly evident in the case of low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and Wizz Air that the strategy is also calculated, because many new bookings also lead to prices being set high in the dynamic pricing systems. Why sell for €9.99 when passengers can also book for €199.99 or more. However, seats almost always remain free and even before the corona pandemic, low-cost airlines in particular tended to lower prices between six and two weeks before departure in order to annoy classic network carriers, which charge particularly high ticket prices at this time . Occasionally there are also bargains a few days before departure from low-cost airlines, but these are becoming increasingly rare and, if at all, they are more likely to be found on so-called niche routes. At Austrian Airlines and Co, the felt principle has been adhered to that nothing will be changed shortly before takeoff, even if the machine is actually empty, to demand high prices from spontaneous people. This has always been the case and has only caused low costers to occasionally deviate from this practice, but it should not be relied on under any circumstances, as airline pricing is about as complex as the universe.

There have always been good last-minute offers in the package tour sector. In the past, these were often available directly at the airport counters and it is not uncommon for holidaymakers to make a pilgrimage to the airport and then spontaneously decide on a bargain. However, the Internet has led to many changes, as new sales channels have been opened up. For example, many tour operators sell off remaining hotel contingents via various booking portals. Customers only notice that they have booked through an organizer when they have received the reservation confirmation. Sometimes, but not always, such offers can also be recognized by the fact that either everything has to be paid for online immediately or that only a deposit is required and the rest can then be paid a few weeks before departure. But that is not universally applicable, because hotels also offer many different payment options and full advance payments or down payments are not uncommon, especially in the high season, because the hotels do not want to have no-shows, because in the worst case there is an unsecured prepaid card as security deposited and cross-border, enforcing claims can be quite tedious and especially expensive, because who says that the booker has his Has there been actual data?

Alltours hopes for last-minute bookers

In about two weeks, the summer holidays will begin in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The tour operator Alltours is now different from other players in the tour operator industry and aggressively advertises with last-minute offers. In Turkey, Mallorca and the Canary Islands, Bulgaria, Austria and Switzerland, there are still so many free accounts that they are now being marketed in the classic last-minute business. There is still a lot of choice, the tour operator said in a media statement.

« We have once again increased our flight contingents for the high season and the most popular holiday regions such as the Turkish Riviera, Mallorca and the Canary Islands. » « After the very high flight prices of the past few weeks, there are now attractive conditions again, » explains Willi Verhuven, owner and managing director Shareholder of the Alltours group of companies.

Travelers should not only look for outward and return flights on the weekend and also check different alternatives for the duration of the trip. It can also help to be flexible when choosing an airport. For example, no other federal states have school holidays during the first NRW holiday week. A flight from Frankfurt can therefore be an interesting option, especially because the train ticket to the airport is already included in all classic alltours package tours.

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