In The Martin Lewis Money Show, the money saving expert explained how his co-presenter Saira Khan could get money off when booking her holiday.
He got Khan to find her ideal break online, then to call local agents and ask if they could beat the online price for her preferred holiday.
“Stay polite, charming and smiley throughout,” said Lewis, “travel agents don’t like the tactic – or us – much.”
The money adviser explained that consumers should negotiate the price per head, rather than the entire cost of the trip – this trick will make the discount seem less.
Lewis also said that it’s advisable to lie about the original price you find online, which will save time. “To speed up the process, you could knock about a tenner off your existing price before you haggle,” he said. “But don’t go too far with this, as the agent will often ask for the name of the rival outfit.”
Khan tried this process and is said to have got a price of around £1046 instead of £1572 on a holiday to Barbados.
After a barrage of angry comments from travel agents on Lewis’ website Moneysavingexpert.com he responded by saying:
“Sadly, travel agents are up in arms at me again for suggesting people haggle down the price of package holidays.
“I have no axe to grind against travel agents, but I can’t and won’t apologise for the fact that my job is to show consumers how to get the cheapest deals.”
Lewis added: “Asking me to shut up about haggling doesn’t wash. The only way to shut me up about it is to stop it working.”
Travel agent Nicholas Harding-McKay explained to The Daily Mail that consumers are “entitled to shop around” but that “cheapest is not always best”.
Kathy Kay who works at Independent Travel Experts also said to the newspaper: “I have had people ask me for prices, go away and book it themselves as it’s cheaper on the internet. They soon come back to you though if there is a problem.”