IN KEEPING with the trend for charging for things travellers used to get free, it should perhaps come as no surprise that sunbeds are the latest feature of a standard holiday on which travel agents are slapping extra fees. Thomas Cook, a British package-holiday firm, has announced that it will allow holidaymakers to pre-book poolside loungers for £22 ($31) per person. Six days before the start of a trip, travellers will get an email offering them the chance to reserve specific sunbeds. The booking tool will include a map that allows people to see where the sun will shine at various times of day. The experiment will start in late February at three hotels on the Canary Islands and will expand to 30 hotels this summer.
To some holidaymakers, this will seem like yet another attempt by the travel industry to get money from every source possible. Airlines, for instance, made $82bn in add-on fees last year alone, according to IdeaWorksCompany, a research firm. Over the past few years, both full-service and low-cost airlines have introduced...Continue reading