Agent complains to Channel 4 over programme’s ‘misleading’ holiday advice

By Lisa James
Home » Agent complains to Channel 4 over programme’s ‘misleading’ holiday advice

Independent agent Michael Carroll has written to Channel 4 to complain about claims in a recent TV show that he believes are misleading to customers.

Mr Carroll, an agent based in Sunderland, complained about Sunday night’s Luxury Holidays for Less show, which set out to show viewers the best way to get a luxury deal.

The show’s presenters said business class flights to Dubai were cheaper in July than April and business class flights to Singapore in May were 50% cheaper than any other time of the year – but didn’t explain why.

Mr Carroll wrote to Channel 4 to point out the Dubai flight difference was because April is peak season, while July is ‘the worst time to visit Dubai because it’s far too hot’. He added the programme presenters hadn’t explained Singapore flight prices were cheaper in May ‘because it’s one of the worst times of the year to visit’.

Presenters also used headline price examples from online travel companies, which did not include checked in luggage or transfers.

He wrote to Channel 4 to say he was ‘disappointed’ that some of the information broadcast was ‘potentially misleading to viewers’.  

Mr Carroll wasn’t the only agent to criticise the programme. Several posted on the Travel Gossip Facebook page to express their annoyance, with some saying they’d had to switch off in disgust and one complaining there was ‘no mention of travel agents, just bargain websites’.

Mr Carroll, who with his mum runs Michael and Carol Carroll travel agency, part of Hays Travel, told Travel Gossip: “Channel 4 has created a programme about luxury holidays for less but has not given the full details, with prices for the hottest time of year in Dubai or flights with no baggage. Who goes to Dubai without a suitcase?

“I do tend to watch these programmes, as sometimes you can get good points and tips.

“But a lot of the information is quite misleading. These sort of programmes have got a captive audience.  People do believe what they have said on TV.

“Agents have been through so much over the last two years but these programmes don’t help us at all, as people come in with unrealistic expectations or something they’ve found online and we can’t get anywhere near the price.

“When this happens, I always tell customers they need to be 100% sure the price they’ve found is the one they will actually pay.”

Channel 4 replied to say: “We are sorry however to read of your disappointment in some of the information that was included in the broadcast, especially when it comes to the peak travelling season in Dubai and Singapore and also the specifics when it came to a discounted holiday.

“We can assure you that your feedback has been logged and passed to those responsible for making Luxury Holidays for Less.”

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