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  • sgoff - Tuesday 26 September 2017 17:14
    Good evening all,

    Never was the phrase 'from one extreme to another' so relevant !

    Last weekend's deadline came and went with 9 people committed to the trip, so we are a smaller and more exclusive group than last year but no matter, it will be a great trip. The group consists of Dave Whittle, Larry Johnson, Steve Carey, Robert Brown, Steve Goff, Linda Staunton, Bob Rial, Roger Wallace and myself.

    Everything has been booked up this week and the advantage of us being a smaller number meant that I was able to do it all myself on the net, the result being that we are quids in ! When you book with an agent you have to pay a mark up for the agent itself, for each sector of the booking (in our case flights, hotel and transfer) and probably even a local agent if that's the way they operate. If each of those stages takes an 8-10% fee then you are looking at a pretty big mark up, so it's obviously a lot cheaper to book yourself on the net and 'cut out the middle man'. That said, it would be impossible for anyone to book everything through the net for a group of 30 people - hotels generally do not release 20+ rooms for booking online, so having a smaller number and not having to rely on an agent worked to our advantage.

    Anyway, we are done and costings are as follows ...

    Flights
    £113.98 per person all fully booked

    Transfers
    £10 per person booked

    Hotel
    £224 approx. for a twin room (£112 approx. each) and £211 approx. for a single room all booked.

    I've had to pay out for the flights and transfers in full (a total of £124 per person).
    The hotel rooms are secured by credit card but we do not have to pay until we arrive. I have given approximate sterling prices because the bookings are actually in euros (125.56 euros each for a twin and 236 euros for a single).

    Total cost for the trip then comes to £236 approx. for those sharing a twin room and £335 approx. for those with a single room. Huge savings !

    The flights are those which we were quoted in the first place, that is with Ryanair leaving Manchester T3 Wed 6 September at 18.30, arriving Bratislava 22.00 local time (flight no. FR 34). The return leaves Bratislava Sunday 10 September at 16.35, arriving Manchester T3 18.05 (flight no. FR 35).

    I've booked 9 seats in a minibus for our transfers in Bratislava with a local firm. They've already emailed the relevant vouchers to me.

    The hotel is also the one which we were originally quoted, that is the 4* Hotel Tatra in Bratislava Old Town, and the internet rates are on a bed and breakfast basis. The rooms are all en-suite and include minibar, safe, phone, TV and all the usual towels and toiletries. Based on expressed and previous preference I've booked 2 twin rooms (Larry and myself in one with Dave and Steve G in the other) and 5 single rooms (Steve C, Robert, Linda, Bob and Roger).

    As I stated earlier, I have paid out £124 per person so I'll let everybody have a cheque for £76 back when I see you as I had already banked the deposit cheques of £200 each.

    I hope that's all ok for everyone. It remains to be seen if any other codgers will be joining us by booking at the cheaper rates, that will be up to them. We're all sorted and we can sit back and research between now and September.

    See you soon, DD