Win the Battle for the Pool-Side Sun Lounger!

For those unwilling to rise at the crack of dawn in order to bag a lounger, help is at hand

Thomas Cook is introducing a Choose Your Favourite Sunbed option on its website, allowing customers to pre-book a specific lounger for the entirety of their stay. It comes at a cost of 25 euros (£22).

British holidaymakers may be unsurprised to learn that the service has been available to German customers for several years.

A spokesman for the holiday company said the option would provide “peace of mind” when booking a break. “There can be a pressure to get up early and get down to the pool to put your towel down.

“By paying this small fee, you can have a lie-in, secure in the knowledge that there is a sunbed with your name on it,” the spokesman said.

Travel firms receive numerous complaints from customers unable to find a free sunbed. One video posted online from a resort in Gran Canaria showed a group of determined holidaymakers sprinting to reserve the loungers closest to the pool in scenes resembling a 100m dash.

Thomas Cook will trial the initiative at three of its own-brand hotels from the end of February, in Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura, rolling it out to 30 hotels by the summer.

Up to 20 per cent of sunbeds will be bookable, leaving the rest free for early risers.

Customers will receive an email six days before departure asking if they would like to make a reservation. They will be able to view a plan of the pool area that includes a compass, showing where the sun falls at different times of day.

Chris Mottershead, UK Managing Director, said: “We’re excited about the opportunity with Choose Your Favourite Sunbed, particularly among families that want to secure a number of beds together in a specific spot.”