There is a really interesting video on BBC Fast:track regarding hotel price fixing claims where large hotel comparison sites and online travel agents are allegedly making consumers pay more for rooms.
Hotel price fixing, is it rife?
Hotel booking sites under pressure
Online hotel booking site, Skoosh, have apparently, received phone calls and emails from hoteliers asking them not to offer prices lower than other hotel booking sites. The larger companies are under pressure, to make sure that smaller companies are not undercutting them.
Office of Fair Trading investigating
Since the programme was filmed, the UK Office of Fair Trading has launched a formal investigation into the allegations of the online sale of hotel rooms, which could be good news for consumers.
Times are tough, and commission percentages are being cut, so, if consumers are finding better prices with smaller booking sites, then, it’s likely that they will book with them. Cost is one of the main factors when people are booking hotels nowadays, I know it is for me.
Hotel booking test
Tonight, I put this to the test and did a hotel search for Bewleys Hotel in Leeds on 21 October, for one night in a double room. Skoosh came up at £65.38 per night, where as Booking.com was £85 per night. Okay, so the difference was only £19.62, but it is better in my pocket.
It is worth checking the terms and conditions prior to making the booking though, because you may find that there’s a no cancellation policy, whereas the higher price might allow you to cancel just a few hours prior to your arrival.
Your thoughts and opinions
I am interested to read comments from hotel industry people, you don’t have to give your name, if you prefer to be anonymous, but come on, is price fixing rife in the industry? Also, consumers, watch the video and let me know what you think. Have you seen big price differences when searching for a hotel on different sites.