Join a travel club and get tipped off about “seat sales”.
Six tips: Cheap flights UK to Barbados
1 Join the club: Join a travel club like Newmont Travel which will notify you by email when a “seat sale” has begun (see below).
2 Buy early: But beware of fees for making changes.
3 Avoid the school holidays: But if you can’t, see tip two above.
4 Tripadvisor alerts: Tripadvisor will tip you off about cheap flights.
5 Other carriers: Remember, TUI and Thomas Cook also fly to Barbados.
6 Fly via North America: Go via the USA or Canada when direct flights are expensive. It can sometimes work out cheaper.
Fancy cheap flights UK to Barbados? Escaping those winter blues couldn’t be easier.
On the day we checked, a flight from Newmont Travel with Virgin Atlantic was £490, that’s £44.50 cheaper than booking direct with the airline.
The day we discovered our £490 ticket with Mr Newmont, buying direct with BA was £534.50.
Both airlines now charge for an extra 23kg sports bag. The first 23kg bag is free.
The airlines clearly monitor each other’s online prices. A Viirgin Atlantic flight that same day was also £534.50.
The airlines are fairly comparable on service and reliability.
From Shepherd’s Bush Market to the Caribbean
The founder of Newmont Travel was a market trader in Shepherd’s Bush, London, selling blankets on credit to West Indians who arrived in the 1950s and found the UK winters very cold.
While collecting the weekly payments, he wondered why he didn’t see his customers during the summer – and discovered many flew home to see their families.
But because these newly arrived immigrants were struggling financially, they found it difficult to pay for the tickets outright. So he started selling his Caribbean customers airline tickets, allowing them to pay in instalments, just like they did for the blankets.
More than half a century later, Newmont Travel still enjoys access to these discounts on the condition that it targets the Caribbean diaspora and doesn’t advertise to the airlines’ mainstream markets. Which means only those on its database can buy these tickets.
Take advantage of “seat sales”
But here’s the secret… You can join that database and take advantage of seat sales. This opens up a choice of deals that might not be available if you buy direct, as our example shows. They’ll also offer a choice of airlines.
And using a travel agent means you can speak to someone on the telephone, a rare event in these internet times.
Newmont Travel is still owned by the same family that founded it in 1962 and still specialises in selling airline tickets to the Caribbean diaspora. It now offers good deals on hotels and travel insurance too.
And many of its clients still pay in instalments, often in small amounts each week. Some even remember “Mr Newmont”, the blanket man who took to the skies.
Cheap flights UK to Barbados: Our Six Tips in Full
1 Join the club: Save up to 10 percent. Join a travel club like Newmont Travel or Fly CRC which will notify you by email when a “seat sale” has begun.
2 Buy early: But beware of administrative charges for making flight changes. These can sometimes be up to £150.
3 Avoid the school holidays: But if you can’t, see tip two above. The flights fill up fast and remaining seats get more expensive.
4 Tripadvisor alerts: Tripadvisor will also tip you off about cheap flights. These are snapped up quickly and there may be restrictions on the amount of baggage you can take.
5 Other carriers: Remember, TUI and Thomas Cook also operate cheap flights UK to Barbados.
6 Fly via North America: If you have time, go via the USA or Canada when direct flights to Barbados are expensive. It can sometimes work out cheaper, even with an overnight hotel!