Thomson Travel Group wants you to start thinking of summer with Just, its just-launched travel site. Just offers Thomson package holidays online for the first time, but don't look for anything before May: the only dates currently on offer are May to October 2001. Thomson is confident that the summer period is the most popular time to go away, with many resorts such as Greece being open only during summer months.
The site is targeted at the independent traveller who wants a no-hassle budget holiday. Non-essentials such as a holiday rep, airport transfers and meals on short-haul flights have been removed from just's holiday packages. Just claims that holidays can be sold for bargain prices by, for example, cutting out the gourmet in-flight meal -- which alone saves £5. You can add these extras back on, but you'll have to rely on Thompson's 24-hour contact number instead of the holiday rep.
Users can search for bargain deals in three ways. The QuickFinder allows you to make a customised search for the destination and dates of your choosing. The database is reportedly complete, but ZDNet staff found destination options to be limited to Greece and the Canary Islands, with no flights being available from Heathrow.
The search engine seems to ignore the details that you have entered anyway, only seeming to recognise your selected destination. There is also the option of viewing all holidays according to your budget, or clicking straight on the "Bargains of the Day" button.
This is the second season that just has sold holidays on the Internet, but the first time online booking has been available. The site is not intending to compete with the prices that companies such as lastminute.com can offer by selling off distressed revenue. "Our type of customers don't want to be herded around," said Sonia Wilson, brand manager for just.
The service: just.co.uk
What it does: sells no-frills bargain holidays online
Who it's for: independent travellers who would prefer not to waste money on holiday reps
The verdict: the Thomson brand may give the site a headstart, but branding isn't everything!
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