Frequently Asked Questions on HolidayPirates.com
- General Questions
- Search & Book
1. How did the travel portal come about?
As students, the founders, Sebastian Kaatz and Igor Simonow travelled around the world at bargain prices. So that others could also experience the pleasure of travel on the cheap, the pair started publishing travel blogs at urlabspiraten.de and holidaypirates.com. What started as a hobby turned into a business in 2012 with the incorporation of HolidayPirates GmbH, which operates several portals in multiple countries.
2. Who are the HolidayPirates?
At HolidayPirates, we are a team of bloggers, flight experts and travel enthusiasts. We are all "online labourers" as we mostly hunt for bargains by hand. Our service saves you the hassle of searching for travel bargains - not to mention huge amounts of money and time.
3. Where do you get your offers from?
We search for the best travel offers from countless online travel providers covering flights, package holidays and hotels. We always assess each offer independently to ensure that not only is the price right, the quality also meets our expectations. In addition we only recommend trips that we would be happy to book ourselves. Our years of experience help us to know where and when bargains can be found.
4. Are the offers real and bookable?
Our deals are researched daily and are always bookable at the time of publication. If the price or availability of an offer changes, we'll always show this. As the best offers often have limited availability, you should always act quickly to make sure you don't miss out on a bargain.
5. How do the bargains happen?
The prices were always available online somewhere - but no one had taken the trouble to search through the internet to find them with a view to publishing them. For instance, there are often vouchers for city breaks that can reduce the cost of travel. Flight offers often include availability in last minute fare buckets or open jaw flights. Extremely low flight prices can also come about due to errors in the extremely complex flight booking systems - these are referred to as "error fares."
6. Where are the Holiday Pirates based?
Our headquarters are in Berlin, and we have additional offices in Lyon and London.
7. Do you also have portals in other markets?
HolidayPirates is now a worldwide operation. We have communities in Germany, Austria, Italy, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Poland, France, Switzerland, Sweden and Spain.
1. Why is this trip sold out?
This generally happens when only a few seats or rooms are available for the selected journey and several customers attempt to book the same offer at the same time.
2. Why has the price suddenly gone up?
Prices are adjusted depending on supply and demand. If flights are empty or hotels are under-occupied, travel providers respond with special offers. If demand returns in response, prices are adjusted upwards accordingly. Travel organisers can adjust their prices several times each day.
3. Error fares: what are they and is my booking safe?
Error fares are pricing mistakes in the airlines' booking systems or reservation platforms. However, they are mostly only bookable for a very short time. There is always a possibility that bookings will be cancelled; however, this was only ever rarely an issue in the past. Your booking is generally safe once your e-ticket has been issued. You should therefore wait at least until then before making further reservations, such as hotels.
4. Why is it more expensive to travel as a single person?
Higher prices for solo travellers are due to higher accommodation costs, as almost all hotel rooms are set up for two people, who can therefore split accommodation costs between them. This also applies to package holidays. It simply wouldn't be worthwhile for hotels to offer discounts for solo travellers when they could sell the room to two people at the regular rate. Some destinations, such as Turkey, represent an exception to the general rule during off peak months: as there is an enormous surplus of beds, single person supplements often disappear when the demand isn't very high.
5. Why do children sometimes have to pay full price?
Last-minute offers often come with deep discounts. Further discounts are often simply not available, depending on the tour operator. However, many offers are available from multiple tour operators. It can therefore be worthwhile to check out offers with a higher price per adult. If these higher prices come with a child discount, the total price may be cheaper overall than the offer with the lowest price per adult. In addition, you have to bear in mind that only very small children up to two years old can travel on the plane for free by sharing a seat with their parents. When they're older, they need their own seats.
6. Why is there such a difference in the cost of travel at different times of the year?
Prices vary throughout the year depending on supply and demand. Almost all destinations in Europe are in high demand during the summer, especially during school holidays. This allows tour operators to charge higher prices. Long-haul destinations such as the Caribbean, however, experience peak demand when it's cold and dark here in Europe. Public holidays and over New Year are also extremely popular. If you book outside peak periods, you can find good bargains at almost all destinations.
7. Can I change the length of my trip? Why isn't that always possible?
Most trips can be booked for a shorter or longer period. If, however, there is only one flight per week from your departure airport to your destination, obviously you won't be able to book a five or ten-day trip.
8. What is my baggage allowance?
Baggage allowances vary between different tour operators and airlines. The conditions relating to weight, content, and size apply from hand luggage upwards. If you want to know what you can take in your hand luggage, and what you need to bear in mind if you are travelling with hand baggage only, you can find out more at: Airline baggage allowance.
9. Why don't you specify the validity periods and departure airports in the headline?
Almost all trips can be booked at later dates or from different departure airports. In addition, additional capacity is often released very quickly, and prices can be raised from some departure airports or reduced from others. Headlines are therefore only indicative, as we can't keep updating the details on an ongoing basis. For full details, you must refer to the text and then click on the offer.
1.1 Are there any extra taxes and fees payable when booking a flight?
The prices displayed in our flight comparison engine are final prices including taxes, charges and payment fees. We recommend that you check the details of the offer at every stage of the booking process. The binding final price is only displayed at the end of the booking process on the relevant booking portal.
1.2 How do I pay? Is a credit card required to make a booking?
In order to display the relevant prices for you, you should select all payment methods that are available to you in the left-hand sidebar under "Payment costs." In addition to credit cards, many booking portals accept other payment methods including PayPal, bank transfer or direct debit. However, a few providers only accept credit cards. If you don't have a credit card, you should take a look at our overview of the best credit cards.
1.3 How will I get my ticket?
Your ticket will generally be issued as an e-ticket within the airline's reservation system. Information, in particular the booking number, will be sent to you by e-mail. You can use the booking number to check in online; and in some cases, that's the only way to do so. When checking in at the airport, you will normally use your personal ID or passport.
1.4 Can I change or cancel a flight reservation?
Change or cancellation terms can vary depending on the airline or the fare class. Generally, it's not possible to change a ticket without paying a fee.
1.5 Can I miss my outbound flight or, for multi-leg itineraries, can I miss some legs on my trip?
No, if you miss your outbound flight, you will generally forfeit the return leg. The situation is different if you've booked the outbound and return legs on different itineraries. If that happens, you can miss the outbound leg if you wish.
1.6 Whom can I contact with any questions or if I want to change my flight?
As our price comparison redirects you to the relevant booking portal, your contract is with the portal you book with and you should contact them if you have any further questions. You can also get in touch with the airline directly.
2.1 How can I change or cancel my booked hotel stay?
Conditions governing changes to bookings vary depending on the booking portal. If you are still uncertain whether you will be able to travel on the booked dates, then you should always make a reservation that offers free cancellations. As our hotel price comparison redirects you to the relevant booking portal, your contract is with the portal you book with and you should contact them if you have any further questions. It may, however, be quicker to resolve some smaller changes by getting in contact with the hotel directly.
2.2 Can children stay in their parents' hotel room for free?
Babies and small children can stay in their parents' room for free in many hotels. An extra bed is often available for a small supplement. However, you should review the descriptive text for each hotel on the booking portal to verify the specific details.
3.1 What should I check when booking a hire car?
In addition to a valid driving licence, many hire companies also require you to have a credit card when booking a hire car. In addition, some providers don't allow people aged between 18 and 20 to book a hire car - or if they do allow it, they charge extra. The age when additional charges apply can vary in different countries. In the USA, some providers charge extra for drivers under 25.
3.2 Which extra services, and which fuel options, offer the best
To avoid being liable for costs in the event of damage to the car or if an accident happens, it's a good idea to add comprehensive insurance with no excess to your booking. It's best to take the car with a full tank and return it full. This ensures that you only pay the usual price at the pump, without any additional service fees for filling up later.
3.3 Whom can I contact with any questions or if I want to make any changes?
As our price comparison redirects you to the relevant car hire
provider, your contract is with them and you should contact them if
you have any further questions.