British Airways has brought back its “Hello Weekend” offers for 2014. These offer (sometimes) very good short-notice deals on flight and hotel packages.
In a new development this year, you can now book for the coming weekend and the two weekends after that. Last year, you had to book on Wednesday for travel on Friday, which presumably limited the market quite a bit.
Some deals are great, some are not so great.
I decided to look at a couple of examples, priced as of yesterday afternoon.
Option 1 – Barcelona in a 2-star hotel, Sat 29 – Mon 31 March
The “Hello Weekend” site was offering a headline price of £133 per person, based on 2 sharing. I was able to find this rate at a 2-star hotel.
7.20am out of Gatwick on Saturday 29th, leaving Barcelona at 22.40 on Monday 31st. 2-star hotel, room only (better hotels are available at a supplement). Total cost £266 for two.
For comparison, booking the flights alone via ba.com showed a price of £198 for two people on a ‘hand baggage only’ fare. You are effectively paying £34 per night for the hotel – probably an OK deal, but better deals may be available at the 2-star level.
Option 2 – Vienna in a 4-star hotel, Fri 21 – Sun 23 March
This was not my first choice. I tried to find deals for Nice and Amsterdam, but the flight times for the cheapest prices quoted were laughable – leaving Saturday evening and returning Monday morning.
The headline price shown for Vienna was £155. I was able to get a Heathrow departure for this price.
7.15am out of Heathrow on Friday, leaving Vienna at a (pointlessly early) 11.30am on Sunday. 4-star hotel, room only. Total cost £310 for two people.
For comparison, booking the flights alone via ba.com showed a price of £552 for 2 people with NO accommodation. This is a good deal via #helloweekend.
“Hello Weekend” is not a guarantee of a good deal. However, as the Vienna offer above shows you can get lucky and do very well.