Holiday Extras Reviews

Updated 18 Feb 2021

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3.8
63%
Recommend to a Friend
81%
Approve of CEO
Holiday Extras CEO Matthew Pack
Matthew Pack
124 Ratings
Pros
  • "Holiday Extras really care about welfare of their staff and everyone looks out for each other(in 27 reviews)

  • "Flexible hours, can work from home, time banking all help with childcare needs plus a great working environment and really lovely people(in 26 reviews)

Cons
  • "It's been mentioned before and HX can say all they want that it doesn't exist but it does(in 21 reviews)

  • "Call centre not appreciated and treated different from rest of company(in 12 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
  1. COVID-19
    Helpful (1)

    "Great company"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Manager 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Holiday Extras full-time

    Pros

    Worked for the HX group for over a year, and during that time the pandemic has caused massive disruption. Maybe the company could have responded quicker when the initial lockdown happened in March 2020, but I thought Matthew was holding off as much as he could until he had to make the inevitable redundancies. Having been through redundancies, in the end I feel the company handled it well. Although I see some reports of favouritism on here, I personally haven't seen it. Communication has actually been great in the company in my experience. It's impossible to be certain of a positive future for the company when practically no one is travelling, but I do believe that Matthew and the Leadership team have their employees interests and safety in mind.

    Cons

    None that I can think of

    Continue reading
  2. "Really great company to work for"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - SEO Copywriter in Hythe, Kent, South East England, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Holiday Extras full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Relaxed work environment with friendly staff, flexible hours, ability to work from home, perks like BBQs and activities --- they really look after their staff

    Cons

    HX seriously needs to hire more POC - the entire company seems 95% white


  3. COVID-19
    Helpful (3)

    "An engineers perspective"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Current Employee - Software Engineer 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Holiday Extras full-time for more than 3 years

    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.

    Continue reading
  4. "Great"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Dover, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Holiday Extras full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Lovely company, great work life balance

    Cons

    location if not a driver

    Holiday Extras Response

    January 8, 2021Group People Director

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us, we really appreciate it. We’re delighted you enjoyed your time with us, thank you for choosing Holiday Extras to invest your time, and I do hope we get to work together again some time in the future. All the best.

  5. "Bright Future"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Partnership Executive in Smeeth, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Holiday Extras full-time

    Pros

    Brilliant place to work with lovely people. Going through a difficult time but will no doubt come out the other side with exciting options.

    Cons

    Pay is lower than other companies but does make up for it with an enjoyable environment to work in.

    Holiday Extras Response

    January 8, 2021Group People Director

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience, we really appreciate it. We’re delighted you enjoyed your time with us, absolutely agree our people are what make Holiday Extras what it is. Whilst we can’t guarantee you won’t find a higher baseline salary elsewhere, we continually review total reward packages (financial, as well as other tangible benefits) to ensure we remain competitive. Thank you for your belief and support, we do have an exciting plan and are ready for when people can travel again..we know people cannot wait for their next trip! Thank you for investing your time with Holiday Extras, we wish you all the best for the future.

  6. Helpful (4)

    "Disappointed is an understatement"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Delivery Manager in Gillingham, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Holiday Extras full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The people are fantastic, atmosphere and knowledge is second to none. Flexible working and ability to be heard at senior level is regular.

    Cons

    Well what can I say I worked for a company I loved for 16 years. I did not have a performance review for the last 4 years yet I was selected for redundancy based on certain criteria. I asked for a copy of this which I never received. On multiple occasions I specifically asked how I was measured against others and was told “it’s just a score” so I still have no idea why I was made redundant. I asked if there was a review process or how I could take this decision higher and was told that’s it. My manager hasn’t spoken to me since my redundancy meeting and has not reached out to thank me for years of service or asked how I am. Just being a human being wouldn’t have gone a miss. To top it off the CEO sent me a card to thank me for all the hard work and I was in meetings with him every week and my name was wrong. This made me feel very appreciated so thank you. I am not angry at being made redundant I appreciate this needed to happen to save a business I cared about. The treatment and hostility I experienced throughout the process was horrific and I was shown no care throughout.

    Continue reading

    Holiday Extras Response

    January 8, 2021Group People Director

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We are really pleased that you feel the people, atmosphere and knowledge at HX is second to none. We love having a flexible and engaging environment for the team to work in. We’re really sorry that after 16yrs of hard work and commitment you left feeling this way. This is of course not the experience we pride ourselves on creating for our people. Thank you for your understanding surrounding the need to reduce the size of the team, it was an incredibly difficult period of time, with so much uncertainty and we know we asked a lot from our people whilst we navigated our way through. The process for selecting individuals for redundancy is incredibly difficult, especially when we’re losing fantastic people. It wasn’t something we wanted to do and worked hard to create a process that was both fair and respectful to our team. We’re sorry you found this experience difficult and felt you didn’t receive the support and care you needed. If you would like to discuss the scoring and criteria to better understand why you were selected please do email me at kwakeman@holidayextras.com so we can arrange a time to chat this through. Travel continues to be disrupted, but we have a great strategy to drive growth for the future and Matthew is keen to see as many people back working in the team as possible. I want to thank you for your contribution throughout the last 16 years. I wish you all the best for the future, if there is anything you need please do get in touch. We’re supporting those that have left as much as we can with CV advice, interviewing techniques and if any new roles become available at Holiday Extras we are speaking to HX Alumni first.

  7. COVID-19

    "Review"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Resource Planning Analyst in Hythe, Kent, South East England, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Holiday Extras part-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Family environment Work life balance Great company

    Cons

    Covid Salaries could be more transparent

  8. COVID-19
    Helpful (3)

    "Nice building and surroundings, but poor communication and management"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Delivery Manager in Hythe, Kent, South East England, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Holiday Extras full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Flexible working, Profit Share, nice surroundings, free parking.

    Cons

    Poor management, lack of opportunity, poor communication around business standing during COVID-19 pandemics.

    Holiday Extras Response

    January 8, 2021Group People Director

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback, we really appreciate it. We’re really pleased you enjoyed some of the benefits of working at Holiday Extras. It would be great to understand more about the areas you have mentioned that need improvement. We are always looking at ways to improve the overall experience, sending regular employee surveys to help us understand what is working really well and to help us identify areas for improvement, creating action plans which are then shared with the team. Please do get in touch with us on kwakeman@holidayextras.com, so we can arrange a time to chat through your feedback in more detail. If you don’t contact me, thank you for your contribution throughout your time at HX and I wish you all the best for the future.

  9. Helpful (6)

    "Disgusting, selfish, unfair treatment. Despicable company."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Holiday Extras full-time

    Pros

    There were pros during my time at Holiday Extras but the despicable treatment of myself and others far outweighs any positives.

    Cons

    There is a LOT so I will bullet point (and even this is cut down because I can't be bothered). - Worst HR team I've ever dealt with. BY FAR. 'People Team'? Not a chance. No one has any idea what they're doing, there is no support, only ONE person in the 'People Team' was approachable. - It's a Boys Club. It's been mentioned before and HX can say all they want that it doesn't exist but it does. They'll make it seem like you can get far but it's a glass ceiling. They only work with men that are old family friends. No new talent is genuinely considered. If you're female, don't bother. If you're a mother, DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME. - The favouritism at Holiday Extras is rife. If you're not friends with the right person (or brown-nosing the right person) you won't get anywhere. The amount of talent they have lost over the years because they're giving friends (and family!) opportunities is ridiculous. Again, if you're female, don't bother. - The whole environment is snakey and toxic now. Everyone is overworked. Underpaid. Hard-workers are overlooked (again, favouritism). It's a degrading, unhappy place to work and I wasted years of my life working there. - The decisions made as part of the redundancies this year were absolutely disgusting. The decisions themselves (i.e. who gets the absolute privilege of keeping their job and who gets the boot) were DESPICABLE. How the senior leaders and managers who made those terrible decisions sleep at night I don't know. How you got rid of mothers, fathers, hard-working, long-serving employees for people who had been hired only months prior, had been hired to cover maternity leave, had been underperforming for months, is absolutely disgusting. You made poor, inhumane choices and ruined peoples lives. - There is no room for creativity. Got an idea? Don't bother sharing it. It'll be approved, you'll spend 6 months working on it, then out of nowhere you'll be told what to do by a consultant or senior leader who isn't involved in the area at all. I don't know why they hire creative roles - they only need project managers that will do exactly what they tell them to. - On top of everything, my manager didn't reach out ONCE to see how I was during the redundancy process. 5 months have passed since I lost my job and I have received a text, email or Facebook message from them checking how I am. I spent many, many years spent at Holiday Extras and a fair chunk in their team and to receive absolutely nothing is inhumane and poor, poor behaviour. It was the managers who made the terrible decisions as to who to keep and who to get rid of and whether it's awkward or not, they should 100% show compassion and act with humanity which has not happened. It was the worst part of being made redundant. The stress and anxiety of losing my job and not having enough money to pay my bills was minimal compared to the fact that a) my manager didn't reach out at all b) barely anyone in my team got in touch and c) the stakeholders/people I had worked FOR for years not a single person reached out to say sorry/hope you're ok/thanks for everything. Inhumane. I couldn't be more disappointed in Holiday Extras and everyone that works there.

    Continue reading

    Holiday Extras Response

    January 8, 2021Group People Director

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback, we’re so sorry after years of hard work and commitment you have left feeling this way. We recognise the redundancy process was an incredibly difficult and emotional time for everyone. It is not something we have ever had to do in our nearly 40yr history, we did our best to ensure it was as fair, transparent and respectful for our people as possible. You have mentioned many points in your review that do not reflect the environment we work hard to create and I would really like the opportunity to explore these areas further with you. Please do contact me on kwakeman@holidayextras.com so we can arrange a time to talk though your feedback. In the meantime thank you for your contribution during your time at HX, I wish you all the very best for the future.

  10. Helpful (1)

    "great company to work for"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Delivery Manager in Hythe, Kent, South East England, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Holiday Extras full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Flexible working linking to a great work life balance, great training and development, autonomy, great friendships, fantastic values and links the company strategy to our values.

    Cons

    I do not have a con as I have thoroughly enjoyed my years here.

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