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Holiday nightmares on the rise

25 July 2016 08:02

Tourists have found rubbish dumps next to hotels

Tourists have found rubbish dumps next to hotels

More and more holidaymakers are reporting horror stories about their travel experiences, according to the Citizens Advice charity.

Rubbish piles next to hotels and non-existent flights are among the increasing amount of complaints being relayed to the consumer group.

The proportion of problems it dealt with between March 2015 and March 2016 rose by 9% compared to preceding period.

This has swelled the amount of tourists it has helped to 9,400, with difficulties also including package deals.

Holiday nightmares

Citizens Advice highlights the following two particularly nightmarish experiences suffered by callers.

• The return journey that never was: One British holidaymaker in Benidorm complained that they would have to wait four days to get home because their original plane back did not exist

• The hotel that wasn't: One tourist reported that her intended central Corfu hotel was no longer an option and that she was instead offered one nearly 25 miles away (40km). This left her family to undertake a 49.7-mile (80km) return journey out of their own pocket to see the sights

Protect against such traumas

Horror stories like these are where travel insurance really proves its worth.

Such protection can recompense tourists who have had their flight delayed, cancelled - or in the previous case - simply made up.

It can also cover holidaymakers who have their possession stolen, passports mislaid or baggage lost.

Stat attack

Citizens Advice also found that:

• 8% more travellers are seeking holiday help and advice via the web, with hits rising from 141,000 to 152,000 over 12 months

• Allegations of holiday companies breaking the terms of their contract have jumped by 35%. These include gripes surrounding inadequate accommodation and non-negotiable holiday swaps.

What the expert says

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, says that travellers should always get what they have ordered with package deals . They should be told beforehand if the terms need to change.

Holiday-goers should also complain immediately if their break is sub-standard, or becomes downgraded with no warning.

She recommends that people who feel hard done by should contact Citizens Advice.