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US websites 'offer cheaper flights'

Holidaymakers in the UK should shop around online to make sure they get the best prices when booking flights, an industry expert has said.

Recently, the Times newspaper reported that UK customers could potentially benefit by booking UK flights on US websites. Indeed, the paper in one case found flights from the UK to Rome which were 47 per cent cheaper if booked in the US.

Sean Tipton, a spokesperson for the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), explained that flight prices were calculated on the basis of supply and demand and this meant that savings could be made by looking on US websites.

He explained: "I am sure you could find a flight which is 30 per cent cheaper. The flights are catered for the American market and if for whatever reason that flight hasn't sold, the price will go down.

"It is always advisable for people to shop around - but I think the best way to get a cheap deal is to book it as early as possible.

"On the vast majority of websites the prices will go up - the closer it gets to the flight - not go down."

However, Mr Tipton added that consumers should be careful when booking flights on non-UK websites, as they might not be "100 per cent safe".

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