The UK Web
Normally we see some outrageous stuff on websites and ridiculous legal claims ... Lastminute's website win's hands down! At the bottom of their main page was written -- "lastminute.com", "lastminute" and the colour magenta are all trade marks owned by Last Minute Network Limited -- they own the trade mark for the colour magenta? ;) Excellent. Must give that a go ... imagine if no-one could use my favourite colour ... white!
Anyway, whether it's holidays, flights, hotels, cruises, golf or gifts - you'll find it here at a discounted price.
As the name implies, everything on sale is offered at a discount to shift it before the item is no longer sellable. This makes for great deals as any hotel or travel agent who has too much space left will try their best to fill those spots even if only to cover costs. You can search for all inclusive packages, a flight on it's own or just rooms at a bargain price whether you fancy a holiday to Australia, France, the USA, Thailand, India or even Canada.
Everything is quite neatly laid out. The most popular destinations are linked to from the main page as are the top performers. Top gift ideas are listed along with the current bestsellers in their hot list. This is probably the best way to navigate the website as the search function seems a little redundant ... unless you're absolutely adamant about a particular destination and are willing to come back and check every day. Otherwise, when you type in where you WANT to go, the listings will be limited (well, they always have been for me!). If you are willing to be a bit flexible about which part of Italy you want to be in - you'll see a much bigger selection of available products. Allowing some room as to where you fly from always makes a difference. Certainly, using the navigation buttons to scroll through categories will save you a lot of time and point out a few areas and items you may not have considered.
Not everything is last minute stuff on the website. A large portion of the products available are not limited stock and have no "expiry date" as such. Even some of the holidays and other travel features show dates over a year in advance. Whilst this makes them a little less niche, it certainly has not lowered their popularity. This company boasts over two and a half million visitors every week, one and half million tickets sold each year with 80,000 hotel room properties to choose from and 300 airlines listing their flights.
One thing that confuses us, though, is the "top secret" thingy. If you scroll through the site, there is no mention. But (as many have found out) if you type "lastminute top secret" in to a search engine, you'll see a list of pages on their website with apparently better offers. Now, we had a look and there doesn't seem to be anything really special about those extra pages and sometimes they are linked to from parent categories. Whether what is on offer there is any different you'll have to decide depending on what you're looking for. I tried looking for the top secret cruise section but couldn't find one. If anyone knows where the best price cruises are listed please let me know!
Web Location Check:
Web address entered:
(last checked Aug 09)
www.lastminute.com - The main site and the one you should probably bookmark.
www.lastminute.co.uk - Naturally part of the company's group but still redirects to the .com version.
www.last-minute.com - Owned by the company, but redirects to the German version of the site.
www.lastminit.com - A common mis-spelling and owned by a different company showing adverts.
www.lastminite.com - Redirects to the right place and is owned by LM.
www.lastminute.cm - Another common error of great debate! Not what you're looking for though.
www.last-minute.co.uk - Owned by the company and redirects to the main site.
Summary: Even though this company has gone with two common words as its brand ("last" and "minute") it seems that not a whole bunch of people go astray. Very few variations to choose from unless you really are not the best speller. Of course, as this site takes money, always check you're on the right site and that the entry page is secure. ;)