Why isn’t online holiday booking simpler?

Summertime, and it’s time to head for the sun. Preferably with minimum hassle.

These days, I prefer to book my holidays online. It should be nice and easy to tap a few details into a website and be served up with a selection of packages and destinations. You’d also expect the vast holiday industry to be desperate to increase market share via online bookings.

Why, then, is it so difficult to book a holiday on the web?

When I go to a site, I just want to key in a selection of dates and then view a list of destinations available during that period. This simply isn’t possible on many bookings pages.

I also want to filter information in ways that suit me. For example, if I’m quite happy to stay somewhere that has a three star rating or better, I don’t see why I should be forced to select a ‘four star’ or ‘five star’ option for any given search.

It’s the same story when it comes to some other options. I can see the point of being asked whether you want to depart from a specific London airport, or if you are content to select ‘any London’. But what if I want to run a search that checks for flight availability at two specific London airports? That functionality is often missing.

Rant over! I still prefer to book online, but let’s hope that when I book next year’s holiday these final touches will have been implemented by the big players.