Holidaymakers are being warned over potentially misleading Black Friday travel deals after claims last year’s event featured exaggerated or non-existent special offers.
Consumer group Which? said some of the deals advertised during the annual sales bonanza “aren’t always what they appear to be”.
It analysed promotions by major airlines and travel firms on Black Friday in 2018 – which fell on November 23 – and checked what prices were two weeks later.
Ryanair advertised a 25% discount on one million seats purchased by midnight, but none of the flights Which? included in its study were more expensive if booked on December 7.
The airline issued a statement insisting it “complies fully with UK advertising laws”.
EasyJet’s Black Friday sale claimed travellers could save £50 on 60,000 city breaks, although eight of 21 trips analysed were cheaper after a fortnight.
A three-night break from London Luton to Barcelona cost 13% less if holidaymakers waited to book until two weeks after Black Friday, according to the research.
Airline Norwegian advertised discounts of “up to 30% off short-haul fares and 15% off long-haul fares”, but the biggest saving found by Which? was just 10%.
In response, Norwegian said the figures used in its promotion were based on fares excluding taxes and charges, but Which? claimed this was not clear when viewing the carrier’s website.
Tui offered discount codes worth £100 or £150 off selected bookings, but they did not work on two of the five holidays Which? analysed.
A spokeswoman for the travel firm said minimum spends apply to its promotional codes, although Which? insisted it took this into account in its analysis.
Tui added that holiday pricing is “very complex” and can fluctuate throughout the year due to a series of factors.
This year’s Black Friday falls on November 29.
Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said: “Nothing beats the feeling of saving hundreds on your next holiday, but that feeling can quickly turn to anger when you discover it would have been cheaper if you’d waited to book.
“Our research reveals that Black Friday travel deals aren’t always what they appear to be. Avoid disappointment by comparing prices and approach attention-grabbing saving claims with scepticism.”