Holiday Extras Employee Reviews about "holiday extras"

Updated Oct 2, 2021

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Found 39 of over 205 reviews

3.7
55%
Recommend to a Friend
84%
Approve of CEO
Holiday Extras CEO Matthew Pack
Matthew Pack
143 Ratings
Pros
  • "Great Team ethic and flexible working philosophy(in 30 reviews)

  • "I still remember reading these reviews before applying to Holiday Extras and how much of an impression they made on me(in 30 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "HX seriously needs to hire more POC - the entire company seems 95% white(in 24 reviews)

  • "Treated worse than dirt if youre in the call centre(in 12 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

    Reviews about "holiday extras"

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    1. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Almost gave up my long career as a Software Engineer after working at Holiday Extras.

      Oct 2, 2021 - Software Engineer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Flexible working, can't think of anything else.

      Cons

      Holiday Extras is one of the worst kinds of places to work at. Everybody is smiling and acting friendly to get you to believe that they are there to support you and to create this "We are one family" atmosphere. However, everything is absolutely FAKE. When I first started, I was told that I will be supported in learning and progressing further in my career. However, their progression/feedback system doesn't really allow for much progression, especially if you don't know the right people there. Basically, every three months they do 360 degrees reviews where your team members have to give feedback on how well you've done and what you can improve on. I really don't mind constructive feedback. However, this constant peer feedback promotes competitiveness and toxicity amongst everyone. Every single small mistake you make will end up on at least one of your feedback forms and hence on your progress report. And of course, will hamper your progression. This very slowly ruined my confidence as a Software Engineer completely. And the worst thing is that it happened so slowly and unnoticeably that I ended up thinking that it's all me, that everyone else is really nice and that maybe I am not good enough in whatever I was doing. On top of that, I got bullied by a team member. And when I informed my manager, all she said was "Oh well but she's been with us for a long time now and she is a very good developer." And when things got tough during Covid and redundancies had to be made, they were like "Oh we care about all of you. We will create an alumni Facebook group and as soon as things get better, you will be the first to be re-hired." That was, of course, a BIG FAT LIE! None of us - the people who were made redundant and who have been loyal to them for years was hired back. Honestly, being made redundant by Holiday Extras was one of the best things that could have happened to me. It took me a while to gain my confidence back but I am really happy now in my current company. It's nice to feel appreciated.

      4 people found this review helpful

      Holiday Extras Response

      Thank you for your review. Fostering an authentic culture where everyone feels valued, included and recognised is a priority to us. We’d therefore like the opportunity to speak to you in more detail regarding your comments about bullying, as we do not tolerate this in any form at Holiday Extras. If you are comfortable doing so, please contact me at mclarkecowell@holidayextras.com or any of the People Team with your preferred method of communication and we will get back to you ASAP. We’d also like to talk to you about your experience of our 360 feedback process. The intention of asking for peer support is to provide a broad spectrum of feedback to help each person develop and progress. The feedback is centred around the person’s strengths as well as their areas of development so that it is balanced and provides clear areas of focus for growth. The process takes place every 6 months - you mention that for you, it occurred more frequently, so we’d like to discuss this in more detail with you. In reference to your points about the restructuring process - due to the impact that Covid had on our industry, we were devastated to have to make people redundant. As part of our recovery, however, we have openly shared opportunities to rejoin our team via the alumni group and have made a number of re-hires as a result. We really hope that you are able to get in touch to further explore the points raised in your review. If we don’t hear from you however, we wish you all the best for the future.

    2. 5.0
      Former Employee, more than 10 years

      A fantastic place to work for 13 years.

      Jun 22, 2021 - Data Engineer in Folkestone, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      In technical roles, people are given a great deal of freedom to work with leading and bleeding edge technology. If it can help get the job done, you have the opportunity to prove it. The company started its move to AWS in 2009, that was early. We were very early and enthusiastic adopters of PPC. Employees have always been given great Apple machines to work on. There's a great sense of democracy, all code goes through pull requests, design decisions are debated and all opinions are counted. Data leads the way at Holiday Extras. Everything is split test. The workflow has been Agile in some sense or other since about 2010 - again, early adopters in that area. The tech teams have 10% of their time to themselves to work on their own ideas. A conference is held (biannually) to discuss and promote the benefits gained from these projects. Remote working has been encouraged for years, long before COVID. A forward thinking program of year-in-industry student placement has led to many students being offered work after their studies, staying on long after their initial commitment, becoming senior engineers and allowing them to concentrate on exams rather than job hunting in their final year. All new starters, including students, are encouraged to deploy something on their first day. The change may be trivial but you see the entire deployment process and meet people from many areas with different skillsets in the process. The benefits package is very good. Matthew the CEO deserves great credit for putting such an emphasis on tech at such an early stage, far ahead of many others in the industry. He's brought in top-quality people as both employees and consultants, and driven the company forward with strength and determination. Holiday Extras has always taken pride in taking care of its employees, the People Team are and have always been excellent and forward thinking. Above all I think it's a meritocracy where hard work is well-rewarded.

      Cons

      The travel industry is undeniably having a difficult time. There will be work that needs turning round super-fast as priorities change and the situation evolves. But that's exciting!

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    3. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 5 years

      The Best Company

      Jun 16, 2021 - Commercial in Folkestone, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The people and customers are at the heart of Holiday Extras. In such challenging times, I have never known a company to be so transparent with its people and look after its customers so well. The leadership team is also close to the people to ensure they involve everyone's views and opinions in the decisions they are making.

      Cons

      No downsides that I can think of.

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    4. 3.0
      Former Employee

      Good learning curve

      Jun 22, 2021 - Software Engineer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great opportunities to come in and learn. holiday extras have done well to work with local universities to bring on graduates and progress them to strong mid developers

      Cons

      It’s somewhat difficult to move past the mid level engineering stages. There wasn’t a clear progression opportunity and some promotions felt to be tenure based rather than based on performance. They also have a strong family culture but I felt this to be a bit of a cover for internal politics and “knowing who you needed to know”

      1 person found this review helpful
    5. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 5 years

      No Fun, No Point indeed!

      Jun 15, 2021 - Software Engineer in Folkestone, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Were very open to remote working even before the pandemic

      Cons

      The pandemic did hit the company a fair bit, but it only amplified the problems within the company as the cracks were really starting to show even before hand. The divide between the tech team and the rest of the business are staggering and causing a cultural separation, which was mostly ignored by leadership team. In the tech team itself, if you weren't on the leaderships favorite list, you would have to fight tooth and nail to progress your career here, let alone get your opinions and suggestions even remotely considered. The biggest problem however is Matt. It's his way or the highway. It's soul draining with a CEO micromanaging every key detail of our work. You can tell the atmosphere is more productive and open when he's out the office or on holiday. Finally, the pay and benefits are laughable in comparison to other tech companies. If Matt wants to state that Holiday Extras is a tech company, he needs to be providing benefits to reflect that.

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      6 people found this review helpful
    6. 2.0
      Former Employee

      Broken Promises and PR stunts

      May 20, 2021 - Software Engineer in Dover, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great Team (most probably gone now) Great Campus including Paddle Tennis Court Occasional Events - BBQs, Summer Party etc.

      Cons

      I was made redundant at the tail end of 2020 due to the massive effect that Covid had on the company, and the travel industry as a whole. While disappointed, I understood that the business felt it was needed to make redundancies to save the business. However, the manner in which Holiday Extras carried out the redundancies was nothing short of despicable. When the Government announced the extension of the furlough scheme, many believed that their furlough could be extended. Even if it led to inevitable redundancy, it would still give them a semblance of security while hunting for alternative employment. Holiday Extras, even though I'm certain they could have, chose not to help their now-former employees. The CEO delivered weekly updates of how the business was doing and when redundancies finally had to be confirmed the message was clear. “We will do whatever we can to help you moving forward” and "you will always be part of the Holiday Extras family and we will do all we can to get those made redundant back in the business as soon as possible". This seemingly genuine care made me overlook the fact that my mental health was something that was discussed when selecting me for redundancy - from a company that professes to be hot on mental health awareness and care. Holiday Extras announced recently (May 2021 - 10 months after the redundancies) "Holiday Extras launches £1m recruitment drive" yet the jobs were not advertise nor offered to the former "holiday extras family" as was promised. Furthermore when applying for the role that I had previously been fulfilling for several years, I was told that it wasn’t a good fit. Holiday Extras cares more about the PR spin than it does its “family” To make matter worse, there were pay raises and promotions being dished out left, right and centre once all of the redundancies had been completed. The redundancies were made to ensure the business had funds to secure its future - yeah, right. Since leaving Holiday Extras many of the team that remained after the cull have since left, due to the handling of the situation, the treatment of staff, and the enforced contract changes. Holiday Extras has discarded so many loyal, hard working and exceptionally talented people, treating them like something they’ve stepped on. Those people that, throughout the entire process, understood the decisions and accepted with grace, looking forward to a future with a company they loved. To now brag about a £1m recruitment drive, is nothing short of distasteful, heartless and shameless - stay classy HX Give this one a miss if you are looking for a lengthy career where your talent and commitment will be recognised. They don’t care about their people; they only care that money ends up in their back pocket...

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      4 people found this review helpful
    7. 2.0
      Former Employee

      It Looks Good From The Outside...

      May 17, 2021 - Software Developer in London, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      - Some great colleagues - Occasional BBQs - Nice office settings

      Cons

      I was unfortunately part of the redundancy cull that occurred in the Summer of 2020 and I fully understand the impact that Covid-19 had and continue to has on the travel industry. I understand that the business felt it was needed to make redundancies to secure the future of the business. However, the manner in which Holiday Extras carried out the redundancy cull was nothing short of heartless and disgraceful. Throughout the entire process, the CEO delivered weekly updates of how the business was doing and what the plan was moving forward. It got to the inevitable point where he had to confirm that redundancies would happen and this was met with extreme worry across the business. In the same video message the CEO sent regarding the confirmation of redundancies, we were also told "you will always be part of the Holiday Extras family and we will do all we can to get those made redundant back in the business as soon as possible". So it was great to see Holiday Extras proudly announcing on the 6th May 2021 (just 10 months after the redundancy cull) "Holiday Extras launches £1m recruitment drive". However, the question has to be asked, why are these jobs not being offered back to the former "holiday extras family". Those who have given years and years of service. Those who have given countless overtime hours to ensure the success of the business. Those who were told "we will get you back in the business as soon as we can". It's simple, all Holiday Extras care about is the PR....not the people. When the Government announced the extension of the furlough scheme, many people asked the question if their furlough could be extended, even if it lead to inevitable redundancy, it would still give them a source of income to pay their mortgage and feed their families whilst they applied for other jobs. Holiday Extras, even though I'm certain they could have, chose not to help their now-former employees. Throughout the redundancy process, the "people team" couldn't do enough for those who were unfortunately made redundant. However, the second your redundancy was confirmed, you weren't even worth the dirt on their shoe. Countless emails regarding things that the 'people' team promised they'd help you with fell on deaf ears. To rub salt in the wound, once all redundancies had been signed, sealed and delivered, there were countless payrises and promotions being dished out left, right and centre. The redundancies were made to ensure the business had funds to secure its future - yeah, right. To echo other reviews about Holiday Extras, this company is a Boys Club. If your face fits and you know the right people, you may get to a decent position. There are 32; yes, 32 Directors and Associate Directors at Holiday Extras and you could count on one hand the number who genuinely care about the well-being of the people there. There are people at Holiday Extras who are in positions of management, and weren't made redundant (surprise surprise) who wouldn't understand the basic principles of good management if they were written out in front of them. How some of these people got to positions of management is beyond laughable, not to mention questionable. My advice to Holiday Extras would be to take a really good look in the mirror and recognise that you discarded a large number of exceptionally talented and unbelievably committed people. At the time, all of those who were made redundant understood the reason why these decisions were made, but the manner in which you treated these people once their redundancy had been confirmed, and to now gloat about a £1m recruitment drive, is nothing short of distasteful, heartless and shameless - you've shown your true colours. Ultimately, if you enjoy working outside (if your manager allows you!) and having the occasional BBQ, you might like working for Holiday Extras. But if you are looking for a lengthy career where your talent and commitment will be recognised, I would give this one a miss. They will tell you that "People are at the heart of everything they do". They're not, external PR is. I anticipate a canned response to this review from the 'people team' asking me to get in touch to discuss further. Please don't waste your time - I'm sure even if I were to reach out, it would just fall on deaf ears...again.

      6 people found this review helpful
    8. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Not the kind of company they want you to think they are

      May 6, 2021 - Customer Service Agent in Hythe, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      It's better than being unemployed

      Cons

      They lie about future opportunities and leave you lingering in false hope The pay is poor The management put on a false friendly front all the way through interview and are then as strict as you can imagine in the job Toilet breaks are timed - you have 5 minutes to get to the loo (at least 1 minute walk each way to/from the department) and if you go over that, even by a few seconds, you are reprimanded by a manager. Targets are constantly pushed higher and higher, to the point they are unattainable. The whole place is full of smug management who swan about making sure you know they're much richer than you. Holiday Extras sell themselves as being a very welcoming, friendly, open, fun and progressive company to work for. The truth is the polar opposite. It's a closed shop. They don't promote from within, they higher in from outside and keep 'the little people' at the bottom. The hours are totally inflexible. They will tell you the hours will be flexible, but once you start, you get given your hours and if you ask to change them you're made to feel like you're asking for something horrendous. You're very unlikely to get them changed, and if you do, they'll hold it against you like an ex-spouse.

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      5 people found this review helpful
    9. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 8 years

      Improvement Required

      Apr 15, 2021 - Partner Delivery Executive in Ashford, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Pre Covid times lots of pros including BBQ's and profit share Some management is fantastic depending on department The people

      Cons

      During the pandemic it was understandable that Holiday Extras needed to reduce people spends. However, the way this was handled could have been significantly improved. I for one was on maternity leave when this happened and unfortunately I wasn't kept in the loop and had to be the one chasing. Which as you can appreciate was an extra added stress on top of having a baby. When returning back from mat leave in November after being extremely lucky to have been kept on I was disappointed to find the team morale had gone from 100 to 0. Again understandable as working from home can be tough, but there are simple things that can be put in place to help keep team spirit alive. Due to this it made me feel so disconnected from my team who I used to be able to discuss anything with. It also knocked my confidence massively as I felt that nobody really wanted to engage with anyone. Salary is also a huge factor. I personally feel the longer you work for the company the more you won't be recognised for the work you do and you certainly will not be paid for it. Progression. Its simply not there unless a role is specifically created for you. No recognition. There has been times in the past where I have worked very hard on a peice of work and thats gone completely unnoticed by the management. Its really disheartening when you have done something positive for the business to not even have so much of a thank you. Unfortunately these factors are what resulted to me leaving the business after almost 9 years of service. My first 6 years I would say were amazing and was the best job I had ever had. But the last two years were really quite awful and hard to get through.

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      5 people found this review helpful
    10. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      An engineers perspective

      Jan 7, 2021 - Software Engineer 
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      I still remember reading these reviews before applying to Holiday Extras and how much of an impression they made on me. The interview process was a sequence of video calls to meet different team members, followed by a coding challenge (a choice of frontend or backend problem) and then a meet in person and a pair-programming session. It was pretty intimidating, but I felt elated and a sense of achievement when I got an offer of employment. I don't think I've ever felt that about any other job I've taken in the past. HX is a progressive company. It's been around for decades and continually tries to improve with a culture of feedback behind it. At the time of writing, things are very fluid. We're going through a pandemic, there's no clear way out and I'm on my 2nd bout of furlough. We lost a lot of friends as a consequence of a restructure and that was truly heartbreaking. For anyone that is reading this after going through redundancy, I'm sorry this happened to you. I can only speak for myself, but I haven't reached out to many as I don't know what to say. The whole situation is so messed up. I hope we meet again on better terms one day. Our colleagues are the types of people who become friends and even family. They're very knowledgeable, kind, compassionate and fun to be around. This is what you should expect when joining HX, a team you can work with, that wants to be open and honest. I've read some of the other reviews before me and I'm surprised to read that this is not everyone's experience. As an engineer, you will experience a variety of problems to solve, predominantly using React/React-Native, Node.js and the Google Cloud platform. You'll work alongside really clever people that are always willing to pair-up and there's a real sense of teamwork to get something done. The products offered are focused on holiday assurance and insurance, and everyone loves a holiday so the product you help build is really wanted by the customer too. Unlike a lot of companies that have struggled to adapt to working remotely, HX was already ahead of the pack in this sense, having many remote workers already operating in the company. Not only is remote working fully embraced, but flexible schedules too. If you need to nip out or do something and make up the time later, there's no questioning - just do it. That trust goes a long way. When HX has navigated this pandemic, which it will in time, and you get the opportunity to join - I say seize it, hopefully you'll have a great experience like myself.

      Cons

      I would like to see the progression path removed for engineers, I think that the measurements used to move through the titles are subjective and the fact that there is now a hierarchy where there wasn't before will lead to more competitiveness rather than collaboration. There are some advantages to competitiveness between peers, but I think it can breed toxic behaviour and could undermine the Be One Team value eventually. I would hate to be reviewing this post in the future and disagreeing with the pro-team points I've made. I'd also like it quantified, via a survey, of how many engineers would like to keep the hierarchy vs how many have no preference or would like to see it removed entirely. I don't think the title differences should exist if the majority of devs don't actively encourage it. Now that we're a much smaller team (unfortunately), we're in the best position to implement a change such as this. Also, the salary isn't set quite right, which feels like something said in bad taste given the redundancies that have just been made and the challenges HX are facing. Unfortunately the physical location HX are set in doesn't help as you're relatively close to London and there's always going to be comparisons made. As a lot of those London candidates will have adapted to remote working, it's unlikely to ease the situation going forward either. I would like HX to reconsider the benchmarking used when evaluating salary and to be more competitive on pay, effective immediately. If the company loses too much talent due to competitiveness in the market, I fear there won't be enough knowledge left to transfer and this will cause much greater problems. The bonus was nice when it was around, I'd like to see that return when feasible, but I'm specifically talking about base salary.

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      4 people found this review helpful
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