WE’VE all been there. You head bright and early to the hotel pool, only to find the best loungers nabbed with a towel on them, the supposed occupants nowhere to be seen.
Now UK tour operators Thomas Cook has sparked controversy by offering people the chance to book a lounger in advance — for a hefty fee.
The company said those willing to pay EUR25 (A$38) per day in advance will be able to book their favourite sun-bed at participating resorts.
Guests at 30 hotels will be sent an email six days before they head on holiday with a map of the hotel pool and the ability to choose a lounger in the shade or near the kids area, with the rest left up to chance.
It follows an annual frenzy over how to score the best spots dubbed the “Sun Lounger Olympics” where guests race each other for the best spots and jostle for position.
Other holiday-makers play a furtive game of depositing towels at dawn to claim a spot before heading to breakfast and appearing poolside when they feel like it.
Reaction to the scheme has been mixed in the UK as it comes as part of a trend for resorts and airlines to charge for things that were previously free such as extra legroom and priority boarding.
Thomas Cook claims the system will make the holiday “stress free”