Welcome to the lastminute.com social media press office. Here you'll find all of the latest news and deals alongside some cool photography, videos and a widget or two as well. Stick around, have a play and let us know what you think.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Here’s to 2009 - a glimpse at 2009 from the experts at lastminute.com

Despite the challenging times lying ahead for the travel industry, online travel and leisure retailer lastminute.com is predicting 2009 to be a year for new destinations and new experiences. The new year will bring a host of opportunities and some great bargains to be had for savvy shoppers.

The online retailer is expecting to see interesting changes in consumers’ travel habits throughout 2009. Holidays are predicted to be the last luxury to go when things get tough and Britons will look at ways to cut corners and make their pounds go further.

Throughout 2008 lastminute.com has seen a strong 21% year on year increase in demand for all-inclusive holidays and in 2009, the retailer has increased its product to match customers’ expectations.

For short and mid-haul holidays, the online travel agent is expecting the non-euro zone destinations to continue their successful ascent. In 2008, Tunisia’s bookings increased by 71%, Istanbul’s hotels rocketed up by 53%, whilst Egypt and the Czech Republic were all amongst the top 10 best selling destinations. In 2009, whilst the UK is expected to do very well, non-euro zone places are all expected to be very popular with holidaymakers too.

Destinations where the pound is still strong, such as budget friendly Bulgaria and South Africa, will also benefit from the economic downturn.

The average length of a holiday will also be reduced to limit costs. lastminute.com is seeing a shift from fourteen day holidays to ten days. The seven night packages are the ones most likely to sell out. During 2008, the retailer has already witnessed customers reducing their holidays by an average of two days.

Hotels have also seen some changes in habits with a shift from five-star to three-star hotels in luxury destinations like Dubai. In 2009, big hotel groups such as the Hilton are opening their budget chains in Europe as four-star hotels are battling head to head with three star properties in prices. Consumers are increasingly price driven but do not want to cut down too much on the quality of a hotel. Sales of Top Secret Hotels at lastminute.com have increased a staggering 150% in 2008 and these are expected to perform even better next year as the number of destinations and properties increases.

UK hotels was the success story of 2008 with Liverpool bookings up 100% year on year, Scottish hotels up an average of 42% and Northern Ireland up 48% between 2008 and 2009.

lastminute.com Travel Sales Director Andy Washington commented: “ We are seeing some interesting changes in consumer habits as the economic downturn hits the UK. Our customers are determined to keep on holidaying but they will watch their pennies and make sure they do not break the bank when away. Destinations where the pound is still strong, all-inclusive holidays, the UK are all great cost saving options.”

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

lastminute.com massive clearance sale

Leading online travel and leisure retailer lastminute.com is ending the year with a bang as it unveils its biggest sale ever. The retailer will offer up to 75% off most of its products from 27 December until 5 January ensuring everyone can lay their hands on some great deals for 2009.

lastminute.com customers can take advantage of the great offers from as early as 24 December with fantastic prices on flights, up to 50% off holidays and 45% off Top Secret Hotels. Prices for worldwide flights start from just £259 to new York.

From 27 December even more offers will be available at lastminute.com with a wide range of UK products available at up to 75% off.

- Detox is still very much affordable this January with two for one spa experiences from just £25.

- No need to stay indoors in January with theatre tickets from £8.75 with Maria Friedman and West End best sellers such as The Sound of Music from £22.50. Club nights will be from just £2 at Shake Rattle and Bowl.

- If you're not watching the waistline then eating out won't be a problem either with top restaurants such as Gilgamesh and Mews of Mayfair offering up to 50% off total food bills. Many restaurants will also offer 75% off desserts when ordering a main course and a starter.

All offers are available whilst stock lasts and until 5 January 2009 from www.lastminute.com

Friday, December 19, 2008

lastminute.com launches new beta mobile application nru

The lastminute.com labs team continues to develop new and innovative products.

The latest beta mobile application nru (near you) for the new T-Mobile G1 phone uses the phone’s built in compass and GPS to allow users to search for near by entertainment.

The labs team are looking for people with the T-Mobile G1 phone to help them test nru.

For more information visit http://labs.lastminute.com/2008/12/16/nru/


For a video explaining nru please see below:

nru is the latest phone application by the labs team following on from the award winning fonefood application  http://lastminutelabs.wordpress.com/2008/08/22/fonefood-now-location-aware-thanks-to-new-google-gears-plugin/

Thursday, December 18, 2008

lastminute.com shortlisted in the Innovation Award - Globe Travel Awards 2009

lastminute.com has been twice shortlisted in the Innovation Award - Globe Travel Awards 2009 for its revolutionary fonefood application and its nifty one-box search pronto.

fonefood allows mobile users to search for and book restaurants from their phones free of charge. fonefood covers more than 6,000 restaurants in 12 countries.

pronto is one simple box where you enter what you need. e.g. you can enter things like Paris on Friday, Id like a 5 star hotel on 10 November in Gran Canaria for 3 nights.

Last week, fonefood scooped Innovation in Multi-Channel Marketing Award in the inaugural e-consultancy Awards and is shortlisted in the Retail Business Show Awards 2009.

The Globe Travel Awards 2009, run by leading travel trade title Travel Weekly, take place on January 27th.

For further information on
fonefood visit:


For further information on pronto visit:


To find out more about the Globe Travel Awards 2009 visit:


For the full list of e-consultancy awards winners visit:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas sorted right up to the very last minute! lastminute.com’s gifts, vouchers and certificates to the rescue

Still struggling with what to buy loved ones for Christmas? Not had the time or the courage to hit the shops this year?

Leading online travel and leisure retailer lastminute.com offers up to the final moment solutions for Christmas headaches with instant gift certificates, gift vouchers and next day delivery on a variety of items.

lastminute.com gift vouchers can be bought up to 24 hours in advance and  are the perfect gift for anybody who enjoys life to the full. The gift vouchers can be used on a wide range of the retailer’s products. Travellers can use the vouchers on flights, city breaks and hotels whilst at home they can be redeemed against theatre or gig tickets, attractions and experiences as well as spa treatments. lastminute.com gift vouchers are available in multiples of £10, £15, £20, £25 and £50. 

More than 100 gifts are also available to purchase until midday on 23 December with guaranteed next day delivery, just in time to put under the tree. Whether it be 30 year old bottles of single malt whiskies, pole dancing kits, Kama Sutra weekend sets, digital photo frame fridge magnets or adopting a pair of seal pups, there is still plenty of time for purchase the perfect gift.

For people with little time on their hands, certificates can be printed up to the very last minute when purchasing gifts on the site, whether for experiences, beauty products, spa treatments or personalised bottles of champagne.

lastminute.com lifestyle Sales Director Mark Bower said:  “lastminute.com’s fantastic range of travel and lifestyle product and offers mean you will be giving your friends and family an unbeatable Christmas ”

“There is no reason to not put presents under the tree this year with up to the last minute solutions and perfect gifts from as little as £4.95.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The first entry to the Christmas Cracker Competition

As you may be aware, we're running a competition to see who can make the most impressive lastminute.com Christmas Cracker using the excellent instructions described in the previous post.

We have had our first entry, albeit one in true Blue Peter style that we'd made earlier.

Now it's your turn to better it and win £50 for Christmas. We can't wait to see your entries.

lastminute.com shortlisted in the Retail Business Show Awards 2009

lastminute.com has been shortlisted in the Retail Business Show Awards 2009 Mobile retailing category for its revolutionary fonefood application.

fonefood allows mobile users to search for and book restaurants from their phones free of charge. fonefood covers more than 6,000 restaurants in 12 countries.

Last week, fonefood scooped Innovation in Multi-Channel Marketing Award in the inaugural e-consultancy Awards

The Retail Business Show Awards 2009 take place on January 28.

For further information on fonefood visit:

To find out more about the Retail Business Show Awards 2009 visit:


For the full list of e-consultancy awards winners visit:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas in the sun from only £399 with lastminute.com

Wouldn’t Christmas Day be even better in the warm sun?

What could be better than a Christmas Day BBQ dinner on the beach, drinking your favourite cocktail with the sun on your back and the sand in your toes?

Leading online travel and leisure retailer lastminute.com can make this dream a reality with Christmas week from only £399 per person in premium winter sun destinations Egypt and Cyprus.

Egypt and Cyprus are currently experiencing temperatures as high as 30 degrees and 23 degrees respectively, making them the perfect destinations to open your Christmas presents in.

Other Christmas Day holiday deals include Turkey from £349 per person, Kenya, Morocco and Spain from £499, Tunisia from £529 and Gambia from £599.

lastminute.com Sales Director Andy Washington said: “Christmas is the perfect time to escape the cold weather of the UK and enjoy the seasonal festivities in the sun.

“lastminute.com has a number of great Christmas Day holiday deals in southern Europe and north Africa starting from an amazing £399 per person.”

All holidays depart London Gatwick or Manchester Airport on 21 or 22 December.

To book visit www.lastminute.com

Monday, December 8, 2008

lastminute.com big cracker pull

lastminute.com has been pulling crackers all over London today in Oxford Street, Liverpool Street Station, Victoria Station, Covent Garden and Broadgate.

If you're around in Broadgate or near New Scotland Yard this afternoon keep an eye out for a big pink cracker and the launch of some great Christmas lastminute.com deals.

If you'd like to win £50 for Christmas, then please look at the lastminute.com Christmas Cracker Competition.

Make your own Christmas Cracker with lastminute.com and win £50

As part of leading travel and leisure retailer lastminute.com’s festive “Crack Christmas in your lunchtime” promotion, we’re offering you the chance to win a £50 lastminute.com voucher with our Christmas Cracker photo competition.

All you need to do is follow the instructions below, adding any festive touches you can. Take a picture of you and a friend pulling the cracker and submit it here. We will then select winner based on our favourite photo!

You will need:

Lastminute.com A4 paper
An old loo roll
Ribbon, wool or string. Even better, some festive tinsel
Glue Stick
If possible some cracker snaps, available from most craft shops, make sure your cracker goes off with a bang

To make the cracker:

Print off your lastminute.com cracker paper.

Place the paper in front of you with the lastminute.com logo facing downwards with longer sides at the top

Place the loo roll in the middle of the paper so that the ends are pointing towards the shorter sides of the paper.

Make marks at each end of the tube. Draw lines from top to bottom. Make more marks 2cm away from the tube and draw two more lines through the mark from top to bottom.

At one end, fold along the second line, and cut slits along the fold. Repeat this at the other end

Put some glue along the top and bottom edges of the paper. Put the tube at the top and in the middle, and roll the paper around it.

If you have cracker snaps, add them in. Tie one end of the cracker with ribbon, wool or string. The cuts should gather up

Fill the cracker with jokes, Christmas hats and gifts and tie the other end.

Find a friend to pull your cracker with, find a friend to take a photo of you pulling the cracker. Then post it here to enter for your chance to win a £50 lastminute.com voucher

Watch the 'how to' video here.

Friday, December 5, 2008

lastminute.com wins e-consultancy innovation award

lastminute.com is delighted to have won the inaugural e-consultancy Awards Innovation In Multi-Channel Marketing for its revolutionary fonefood application.

fonefood allows mobile users to search for and book restaurants from their phones free of charge. fonefood covers more than 6,000 restaurants in 12 countries.

For more information on fonefood visit: 

For the full list of e-consultancy awards winners visit:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Crack Christmas in your lunch break this December with lastminute.com

No need to tighten the purse strings this December as online travel and leisure retailer lastminute.com is hosting a whole range of promotions and offers at lunchtimes every day throughout the month.

With lunch breaks being the most favoured time to buy presents online and despite the recession, customers will be able to get easily their hands on gifts and experiences for under £10, save up to 50% on festive fun over Christmas and New Year and still have some cash in their pockets.

New offers will be available every day at lunchtime and will be accessible from lastminute.com’s Christmas homepage, which will be updated on a daily basis – http://www.lastminute.com/site/deals/sales/homepage.html - as well as on the homepage.

Promotions include:
  • Tenner Tuesdays – Gifts, restaurants and theatre for £10 or less
  • 2 December - Spas for £10 at nationwide Bannatyne spas as well as Thoresby Hall in Nottinghamshire and Portland Hall in Southport. There are also some £10 makeover and photo shoots
  • 8 December - up to 50% off Christmas and New Year entertainment
  • 15 December - up to 50% off gifts and experiences
  • 20 – 21 December - free nights for hotel bookings worldwide such as three nights for the price of two in New York from £129
  • 26, 27 & 28 December – 75% off clearance sale

£10 pampering on 2 December at Midday

Online travel and leisure retailer lastminute.com is offering £10 spa days and makeover photoshoots on 2 December from Midday.

Perfect Christmas present or a special treat to unwind during the hustle and bustle of December, there is no reason to hesitate.

Hundreds of £10 vouchers will be up for grabs for a spa day at the Sensory Spa at Bannatyne in 24 locations across the UK, giving full access to the spa facilities as well as a complimentary Elemis facial. There are also hundreds of £10 vouchers for full access and use of facilities at Thoresby Hall in Nottinghamshire and Portland Hall Spa in Southport.

Further hundreds of makeover photoshoot vouchers will also be available. The experience includes a consultation, a hand massage, a manicure, a skin refresh, hair styled and make up, a photoshoot with a top fashion photographer and a complimentary 5x7 print.