Tuesday 5 March 2013

I can't walk on water....

..... neither can  I fly unaided. And I suspect you can't either. (If you CAN walk on water, then Hello, Sir, I'm very honoured that you are reading my blog.)

In fact I'm a flightless bird. As is this.

Which means that if I win a holiday in another country, I expect the prize to include a way to get me there. I can't walk there, I can't fly there, and if I can't get there it isn't much of a prize.

Yet is it quite common to see competitions where flights are not included in the prize. Only this week I saw one where the prize was a  week in a Caribbean resort. I picked a random week and had a look at the value of the prize and  the  possible cost to the winner:

Cost of one week all -inclusive for two people without flights £2,050.00

If the prize had included flights, it would have been worth £3,800 - so you might think to yourself that it's still worth entering because you had budgeted to spend £1,800 on next year's holiday. But hang on, that's the cost of buying the complete package. If you have a no-flights package you have to book the flights yourself and lose any potential saving. Booking scheduled flights for two people to go on that holiday would cost - and this is the cheapest I could find  - £2,800.  The is more than the value of the prize.

Flight-only prizes can work out equally expensive if you buy the very best hotel accommodation, but at least you can use the flights to visit friends or family, or stay somewhere less expensive. And if a prize only includes flights, it is almost always clear from the outset, where as accommodation only prizes often have the fact hidden deep in the terms and conditions, and occasionally not mentioned at all until the winner is contacted.

So before you enter a holiday competition, always check carefully to see what is included, and if an important element is missing, make absolutely you can actually afford to win!

If I cover a holiday competition in the Grape Vine magazine or update, I always check the terms and conditions carefully and tell you if flights are not included, but when you enter other competitions it's up to you to check. And if you are ever told that a holiday prize you have won doesn't include flights, and you are absolutely certain that it wasn't mentioned anywhere in the promotional material or terms, you have an excellent case for complaining to the Advertising Standards Authority and the Institute of Promotional Marketing. Here are some tips on how to do that.


  1. It happened to me! i won a holiday to Ibiza but the flights weren't included and I couldn't afford to go

    1. I'm sorry to hear that Esther - it's really disappointing when it happens isn't it?


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