In 20 years of history call volumes at holiday watchdog HolidayTravelWatch have never been so high!
Its recent holiday standards survey revealed some interesting facts about what really gets under the skin of UK holidaymakers.
HolidayTravelWatch has a real life example for each of the top 10 complaints.
1. 31% of holidaymakers complained about the overall standard or quality of their hotel room or cabin. We heard from some cruise passengers that complained about the overall quality of their cruise ship. Furniture was broken, old and falling apart, there was no Wifi or entertainment for families despite this being a 'child friendly' trip. When they confronted staff they were told 'there was no tour company representative on-board and that if they didn't like the ship, they could get off at the next port!' (EM - 18/8)
2. 23% had problems with the cleanliness of their hotel or cabin. One holidaymaker told HolidayTravelWatch of the mould, hair, dirt and insects in their room on holiday. Getting anyone to deal with the lack of cleanliness was another issue. (EM- 27/8)
3. 21% had been given an inaccurate description of their hotel or cabin. One vacationer had a shock when they arrived at their 'all-inclusive holiday'. In stark contrast to what they'd expected the hotel had no pool, no lunch, no drinks, no entertainment, no beach or snack bar and above all, it was not all inclusive. The tour company's solution left a lot to be desired. They wanted to charge them to come back to the UK! (EM - 28/7)
4. 21% suffered flight delays. A large number of holidaymakers have had problems with flight delays. Ranging from 6 hours (EM - 28/7) to 23 hours (EM - 27/8) and very few have been offered any compensation or clear explanations for delays!
5. 16% suffered awful customer service in their hotels or on cruise ships. One account received by HolidayTravelWatch detailed how on arrival at their holiday hotel, the hotel receptionist was obnoxious and failed to even check them in correctly. A further failure was her inability to direct them to their room. Once establishing the overall hotel standard was as appalling as the service the family's complaints fell on deaf ears. (EM - 14/9)
6. 14% had issues with holiday company representatives. One disabled couple had advised their travel company of their disabilities. When they arrived in the USA they had to fend for themselves at the airport and on their return, they were dropped off at an intersection and had to manage their mobility problems with 3 suitcases. The travel company has failed to deal with their complaint (EM - 30/9)
7. 10% have had holiday booking problems. One holidaymaker was about to leave for their vacation only to be told that their hotel had to be changed because of overbooking! They were informed that because they did not have a package holiday if they cancelled, they would lose most of their money. They were forced to make last minute arrangements and endured an 'absolute disaster' holiday as a result. (EM - 14/8)
8. 5% complained that they had suffered illness whilst on holiday. HolidayTravelWatch has received many reports of illness. Norovirus on a cruise (EM - 5/8), Campylobacter from Morocco (EM - 26/8), Cyclospora from Mexico (EM - 3/9), Cryptosporidium from Barcelona (EM - 17/9), Giardia from Turkey (EM - 28/9), Salmonella from Egypt (EM - 7/10), Legionnaires from Switzerland (EM - 7/10), Bacterial Pneumonia from Malta (EM - 13/10), Hepatitis A from Egypt (EM - 16/10), Giardia Lamblia from Cape Verde (EM - 21/10). To name a few, many people have had confirmed diagnoses following sickness and diarrhoea complaints!
9. 5% were bugged by a lack of security or crime activity within their hotel complex or on-board a cruise ship. In 2015, HolidayTravelWatch received a growing number of complaints related to rape and sexual assault incidents at holiday resorts from North Africa to the Caribbean. In many cases the travel companies failed to help the holidaymakers seek UK consulate assistance. In all of the cases holidaymakers have been apparently 'dissuaded' from making complaints to the police, primarily by hoteliers.
10. 2% complained about the poor standards in holiday resort kids clubs. One parent was understandably concerned when they discovered their child was not being looked after by the hotel mini-club where they had left her. Their daughter had apparently wandered around the hotel complex and entered the hotel pool unsupervised. (EM - 20/10)