Pushing traditional European "package holiday" to the dustbin of history
07/03/2007|9:24:00 AM|Eyefortravel

easyJet has introduced easyJetHolidays offering the flexibility of hotel and low-cost flight combinations. (6/29/2007)

Terming the new initiative as a "revolution in the holiday buying market", the airline stated that easyJetHolidays confines the traditional European "package holiday" to the dustbin of history. The new offering gives travellers the ability to combine easyJet´s 900 flights per day to 75 destinations with over 10,000 hotels across Europe to create personalised TTA-protected holidays.

Travellers can access the new website through www.easyJet.com or www.easyJetHolidays.com.

An official release stated: "Booking holidays with the high-street travel agents has come to mean fixed holiday durations and inconvenient, inflexible flight departure times; whilst the new breed of online holiday providers offer a more flexible product but can only offer the flights on low-fare airlines by daily "screen-scraping" and, in some cases, adding a booking surcharge of up to ?5."

It added: "easyJetHolidays cuts through all that nonsense to provide the most flexible, customisable flight and hotel combinations, booked easily and conveniently in one place. easyJet has unbeatable hotel deals at over 10,000 hotels in cities right across Europe and, for the first time is allowing customers to pick their preferred departure time from their preferred departure airport to their preferred destination airport in order to create their own holiday combinations."

"Travellers won´t find any travel agents´ commissions, fuel surcharges or the booking mark-ups on easyJet flights added by the likes of LastMinute.com. Perennially-unpopular features such as compulsory seven-nights stays, the holiday "sales rep" or "accommodation allocated upon arrival" are absent from easyJetHolidays."

easyJet Chief Executive, Andy Harrison, said: "Package holidays offered through travel agents and tour operators have developed a deserved reputation for everything that is bad about travel - fixed-term holidays in shabby hotels allocated on arrival with flights at the most inconvenient times on some of Europe´s least-known airlines. No wonder they are a thing of the past."

"easyJetHolidays is redefining holidays by enabling travellers, for the first time, to combine flights on any of easyJet´s 298 routes with over 10,000 hotels across Europe to create their own easily-bookable holiday combinations in a single place. There are no middlemen, no 7-night stays, no dodgy "sales-reps" or any of the things that really annoy the independent, savvy traveller," he added.

"easyJet has completely revolutionised the short-haul air market over the course of the last decade and we are now targeting what remains of the travel agent and tour operator business in Europe. Today really does mark the end of the European "package holiday" as we knew it," said Harrison.

Apart from offering a price promise guarantee on all easyJetHolidays, the airline said bookings on easyJetHolidays are fully protected by the Travel Trust Association; and booking flights and hotels together as a single package gives 100 percent refund protection in the event of a cancelled flight or disrupted hotel booking.