British Airways puts holidays on sale until Nov 21
British Airways Holidays has today started selling a selection of summer and autumn 2021 holidays to some of its most popular destinations, on sale over a year in advance for the first time. A selection of the most popular destinations are now available to book, until 6th November 2021. Obviously BA needs cash now and given that long haul travel will be slow to return, offering holidays for people to look forward to far in the future is a clever idea. Don’t forget their current flash sale with the free lounge access offer ends on 23 July.
While previously only on sale 355 days in advance, 12 of British Airways Holidays’ most popular destinations are now bookable. Short haul destinations include the Greek islands of Kos, Crete and Corfu, Halkidiki, Paphos and Malaga. For those looking further afield, holidays to the Caribbean islands of Barbados, Antigua and St Lucia are now live, as well as Cancun, Mauritius, and Orlando.
They are only showing economy options on the website so these are some examples of what is available. I would expect you to be able to book any class of travel though.
- Mauritius: 7 nights in the 3* Coin de Mire Attitude from £999 per person, travelling 2 September to 19 October 2021. Includes World Traveller return flights from Gatwick, 23kg luggage allowance and half board accommodation.
- Orlando: 7 nights in the 3* Grand Orlando resort from £599 per person, travelling 02 to 30 September 2021. Includes World Traveller return flights from Gatwick, 23kg luggage allowance and accommodation.
- Corfu: 7 nights in the 3* Mediterranean Blue from £329 per person, travelling 02 September to 24 October 2021. Includes Euro Traveller return flights from Heathrow and 23kg luggage allowance and accommodation.
- Cancun: 7 nights in the 4* Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa from £939 per person, travelling 02 September to 19 October 2021. Includes World Traveller return flights from Gatwick, 23kg luggage allowance and all-inclusive accommodation.
The good news is that you only have to pay a small deposit now – from just £75 per person – as well as the opportunity to pay their balance in as many installments as you wish. The final payment is now not due until three weeks before travel, offering greater flexibility.
British Airways Holidays has asked its accommodation partners to sign up to its new Covid-19 minimum standards, created in line with World Health Organization guidance, to ensure customers can enjoy their holiday with complete peace of mind.
So should you book this far in advance? Well, it could be a way to get a good deal given that prices are generally low at the moment and with a low deposit, there is not much cash at risk. However, in such a rapidly changing travel landscape, there is no guarantee you will end up with exactly what you booked. Given that if there was a substantial change you would get your money back anyway, it’s a pretty low-risk option. You can’t book online but you can see some examples on the relevant page.
Claire Bentley, Managing Director of British Airways Holidays said: “We have seen an increased level of interest for 2021 holidays in recent weeks; no doubt our customers are eager to plan ahead and book a well-deserved break. We are delighted that we can now offer our customers a range of holiday options for later next year. The 12 destinations available are some of our most popular leisure breaks and we hope that this choice will give our customers the confidence to book their summer trip and get a holiday in the diary to look forward to. We always set high standards for the service we provide and vow to take great care of our customers, all the way from booking to landing home. From offering expert advice, to flexible booking options, to 24-hour helpline support if plans change or the unexpected happens, we promise to always be there.”
More details and how to book can be found here: www.ba.com/book-early
Thailand will give a 50% bonus for luxury hotel bookings
The Buy Now, Stay Later: Thailand scheme from the Tourism Authority Thailand is a way to encourage tourists to buy hotel or experience “bonds”. Thailand’s reopening is expected to begin in the more secluded provinces of Phuket, Krabi, and Surat Thani where health monitoring can be more easily controlled. At the moment it is expected to start accepting international flights from early August, but nothing has been confirmed officially.
In effect, it’s a way to buy a hotel voucher which gives you a bonus of 50%.
You book through the special website, where travellers can access a list of partner properties and connect with them directly to purchase bonds in US$100 increments. Then 60 days after your purchase, your $100 bond will be worth $150. The value of this certificate can be used towards your next trip. You can purchase multiple bonds for each property. For example, buying five $100 bonds will be worth $750 when guests decide to book a stay. Some properties may put a limit on how many you can buy though. Each property has different terms and conditions such as when you have to use the voucher by, so make sure you check them carefully. Obviously you also need to be aware that should the hotel close for some reason the scheme does not offer any guarantees. Makes sure you pay by credit card which may offer some protection in that circumstance.