In 1998 My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion was breaking musical records. Cinema-goers round the world were feeling a bit glum after watching Saving Private Ryan. NASA had just found water on the moon (although nothing seems to have come of that).
And a man called Brent Hoberman was turning up at flash hotels trying to blag a top suite at a knock-down price.
He was surprisingly successful.
Brent decided that everyone should be able to get a five-star lifestyle for three-star prices. And once he joined forces with Martha Lane Fox, it became more than just an idea. That October lastminute.com was born, bursting with top-notch holidays minus the extravagant price tags.
Fast forward two years and lastminute.com had more than 500,000 regular users. So we decided to share the love even further, adding things like theatre tickets and restaurant deals to our repertoire.
In May 2005 the nice folks at Travelocity (part of Sabre Corporation) bought us. Brent stepped down as CEO in 2006. Matthew Crummack’s now the man in charge. Martha left lastminute.com in 2003 and, according to Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 in February 2013, is now one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK. So don’t mess with her.
Today, we’re champions of last minute travel and leisure. Giving people five-star experiences at three-star price tags is what lastminute.com lives for. We’ve been doing it since 1998 and we reckon we’re the best at it. When we asked independent researchers to ask people which European brand they associated with ‘last minute’ travel and leisure, 94 per cent of them mentioned us. Hotels, spa days, city breaks, meals out, theatre ticket… we provide customers with great last minute deals which enable and inspire spontaneity.