Singled out for supplement
A reader contacted us last week to complain about the single supplement costs attached to holidays for single people. “I recently tried to book a three-day trip to London and Oxford with the Travel Department and was informed that I had to pay an additional €199 for travelling on my own,” she writes. “As this is my first time to book a holiday on my own I was shocked to learn this. I am unsure if people are aware of this. I think it is discriminatory against single people and it should not be allowed to happen. Why is it like this? Is this fair? Has Ireland really gone crazy with overcharging or even simply charging people for being single? This is maddening. I am very angry about this and I think this issue needs to be addressed.”
While we can completely understand this reader’s frustration, the single supplement is not new. Many hotels and tour operators’ price deals are based on a per person sharing basis and rates are not halved if selling to a single person. It is tough to avoid the supplement but not impossible. Shopping around is important. Some big operators use their buying power to negotiate lower single supplements, some hoteliers waive single supplements off-peak and some don’t charge single supplements at all.