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We explain to you why you can save yourself the price comparison on various travel portals for your dream vacation.

In fact, the price for an identical package tour is the same everywhere - regardless of whether it is booked through a travel agency, via an online travel portal or directly from the tour operator. The basis for this is the German Commercial Code.

The commercial agency law defined in Paragraph 84 of the German Commercial Code defines travel agencies as commercial agents for tour operators. Accordingly, a travel agency such as HolidayCheck arranges package tours on behalf of tour operators such as TUI, Thomas Cook or FTI and arranges travel contracts with holidaymakers. Tour operators are obliged to treat all sales partners equally. As a result, there are no price advantages by booking through a certain channel: Each travel agency forwards the package tour price specified by the tour operator 1: 1 to the end customer. Since all travel agencies are equally bound by this right, they inevitably all map identical prices.

In addition, all travel agents - online and offline - use the same databases. Providers in the package travel market are, for example, the sales systems of Traveltainment and Peakwork, through which the agents obtain the offers of the various tour operators. This means that not only do the prices for identical travel services match across all channels, but also largely the service portfolios of the travel agencies: At a certain point in time, a customer can go to X regardless of whether in the online travel agency or the travel agency around the corner usually book the same trip by the same operator for the same price.

This price equality was also confirmed by Stiftung Warentest in 2015 (test issue 02/2015): “Contrary to popular belief, the prices of classic package tours are the same, regardless of whether they are sold on the Internet or in a travel agency. In the test, immediately after leaving the travel agency, we compared the price of the recommended trip with the internet offer. That was not a problem with the relatively simple package tours to Turkey and diving to Egypt as well as the cruises. Online and offline prices were the same. "

In certain promotional periods, such as during the early bird season, organizers offer identical trips at reduced prices that are purely based on the time of booking. For example, vacationers can save if they book their summer vacation at the turn of the year. If an operator grants such discounts for certain trips, they pass them on 1: 1 to all travel agencies. This means that generalized, widely announced discounts such as "50% discount on package tours" merely suggest an artificially calculated savings potential. In fact, the customer receives his package tour for the same price if he books on an online portal that advertises without an early bird discount and one that advertises a 50% early bird discount.

How can it still happen that price differences occur?

In individual cases it can happen that an identical offer is found cheaper on another portal on the day of booking. For example, when tour operators change their calculations during the day, make price adjustments or updates and thereby access different technology providers. Using these providers, such as Traveltainment or Peakwork, they access different flight databases or flight intermediaries who, due to different booking classes, can in rare cases buy identical flights at different prices - and pass these different prices on to the travel agencies. All possible price deviations are due to the booking classes of the flights.

Are the prices for an identical product really always the same? You often come across price differences when you compare different portals and travel agencies ...

It is possible that a holidaymaker in his research across several travel agencies for apparent price differences and so-called Strike prices bumps. The latter suggest that the current price for a particular trip is X% cheaper than it was at another point in time. Most of the trips we have compared are, however just about apparently identical offers: Upon a detailed assessment, at first glance, the same package tours show small differences. These can be based, for example, on the room category (with or without a sea view, with or without a balcony), the food (breakfast or half board), the airline, the flight times or the flight class. Or the apparent saving comes about because a certain, irrelevant comparative price is used - for example the "third highest price in a period of 30 days around a travel date". For a vacationer who has planned a specific travel period, the suggested savings may be completely irrelevant if the dates differ significantly.

The fact is that a package tour with completely identical features is usually the same price at every travel agency, whether online or stationary.

Why is it still worth booking your summer vacation in the early bird period?

Organizers offer discounts for the early bird season, these are already offset in the total price of the trip and are usually not explicitly mentioned by travel agents. Therefore, it can be a price advantage to book your vacation with departure in the summer months early in the year. In addition, the early booking period has an explicit advantage: most hotels are not yet fully booked for the summer holiday, flights are still available for several departure and arrival times, so the selection of package tours that can be booked for summer holidays is greatest in the winter months.