Getaway Deals on Groupon Don’t Add Up

December 5, 2011

Groupon has reinvigorated the online coupon and deals business with its savvy approach. As consumers, we all like the appeal of saving 80% or 90% on things we wouldn’t normally do if it weren’t for the discount. And for the most part, it works out really well. I’ve often purchased a gourmet dinner, a massage and even an expensive hair cut for a fraction of what I would normally pay and been quite satisfied.

But when it comes to travel, I seriously question any deal that flashes across on my screen, be it from Groupon, Living Social or KGB Deals.

More often than not, if you price out their offering on your favorite travel site, you will find that you could get the deal at the same price or sometimes even cheaper if you price it yourself. Don’t believe me? I will prove it.

Today, I got an email with a KGB deal offering a trip to Budapest for £199 per person including return flights from London (Luton) and a 3-night stay at Lion’s Gate Hotel. You have to buy two vouchers since the price is based on double occupancy. So, this deal costs £398 for two people.

KGB Deals Budapest Offer on Dec 5, 2011


Now, if I price this out using, I get a rate of £144 for 3 nights (double bedroom) from Feb 10-13 (which is within the dates the coupon must be used).

Price for Lions Gate Hotel


Now, if I price the tickets from Luton using Easyjet, I find that two tickets for a direct flight from Luton to Budapest cost £236. In fact, if I prefer British airways (which I do), the fare is £322 for two round-trip tickets. See screen shots below:

Easyjet Luton to Budapest

British Airways Heathrow to Budapest

So you see, if you go with Easyjet, you can get the entire package of hotel plus airfare for two for £380 which is cheaper than the price of two KGB Deals vouchers, while the more expensive British Airways option is £466, which while higher than the £398 KGB Deal, is still only 15% more than the KGB option. This is no where near the “up to 50%” discount they claim to be providing. Also, while this is just one example, I have done this calculation on many travel deals over the last few weeks, and have noticed a pattern, which then prompted me to write this post.

Keep in mind, the “deal” comes with restrictions and you might not even get the dates/times you want once you buy the deal. So please be aware that while these travel deals from sites like Groupon et al look attractive, they really are not.

Safe travels!



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9 Responses to Getaway Deals on Groupon Don’t Add Up

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  5. Margaret on February 23, 2013 at 10:15 AM


  6. Steve Juba on April 3, 2012 at 7:15 AM

    Great article! I agree with this post to an extent but it is way too broad of a statement to claim that all travel deals on these sites are not good deals. Certain offers can be better and the ones that usually scream bargain are all inclusive packages, tour operator packages (ones that include private guided tours, etc), and deals where the flight is included.

    It’s best to always cross check your deals if you wanna make sure you aren’t getting the run around but I have found plenty that cannot be beaten in addition to the scammy ones…

    • steve on August 22, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      KGB deals for travel are a rip off. They tell you that you will be able to spend up to a $ amount for your trip. Trouble is they then want a fee to reserve, more for taxes and they get the highest price for airfare and hotel. Example, $250 of $850 voucher goes towards a $600 plane fare from Houston to Orlando. $600? You pay an additional $350 to them. Then the room part of the voucher was $300 for two nights at a dump that rents rooms for $45 per night. So they get your room and tickets for their agent price, give you a bill for the max the room and ticket costs, add $150 extra fee and they keep the difference. You paid $99 for the voucher on top of that. It’s a sham bait and switch.

  7. Simon Lee on March 3, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    Thanks for the comparison, this is also my normal practice, although i can see a very cheap price from any coupon site, i will still try to make comparison in 2 or 3 of other websites, just to make sure i really get the best deal:)


  8. mandy on February 7, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    thanks for the great info!!!!

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