Uproar over Brit's 'Too many Spaniards' complaint
Compensation culture taken to the limit by Blackburn pensioner on holiday in April
A Blackburn holidaymaker's complaint about her Benidorm holiday has irritated both expats and Spanish residents
AN 81-YEAR-OLD woman from Blackburn (Lancs) is demanding a full refund for her Benidorm holiday, which she claimed was ruined because 'there were too many Spanish there'.
The report published by Unilad.co.uk has gone viral among expat social groups on the Costa Blanca - with very little sympathy for the holidaymaker (See Irena Bodnarec's Around Town comments on page 53).
Eventually it has hit national newspapers, where the issue of ' compensation culture' among certain British tourists trying to get a free holiday has been widely expressed.
According to the online publication, Freda Jackson was recommended the Poseidon Playa hotel in the Poniente beach area of the resort by travel agents Thomas Cook - from which she is now claiming full compensation (over £1,100) or a free holiday from.
The report claims she was 'in tears' after her fortnight at the hotel. She claims the hotel was on 'a hill' and according to the report ' on the outskirts of Benidorm'.
She suffers mobility issues and claims 'the hotel was full of Spanish holidaymakers that really got on our nerves because they were so rude'.
She claims they nearly knocked her over, that the entertainment was all focussed on Spanish guests and the establishment catered for the Spanish.
The last straw in the report comes when Freda, who was accompanied by her 61-year-old friend on her holiday, asks: "Why can't the Spanish go somewhere else for their holidays?”
The reaction amongst both British expats on the Costa Blanca and of course Spanish residents is practically unprintable.
Practically no-one believes Freda, including Thomas Cook who nonetheless have eventually paid her 50% of demanded compensation because apparently her 'flights were changed without giving the customer sufficient warning' - but they insist it's not because ' the hotel was full of Spaniards'.
The establishment itself has also cried foul and so have other satisfied customers, both British and Spanish who ensure fellow holidaymakers the hotel caters for all nationalities, both food and entertainment-wise.
Even her mobility problems were well attended to; the hotel change her room at her request on arrival and said they offered her mobility assistance that she refused.
As for not being wheelchair friendly - the pool does have 24 steps from the reception to the pool area, but there is a wheelchair ramp also.
The hotel is practically beach-front leading straight to the Poniente promenade - however there is an uphill 100 metre road to the actual hotel receptions - hardly a steep hill and definitely no obstacle for a mobility scooter that is widely available around Benidorm as many pedestrians can vouch for.
Facing the facts, Benidorm is not a 'British' resort, but an 'international' one. And at any given time of the year, you are likely to find more Spaniards holidaying in Benidorm then Brits.
However certain areas of the Rincón de Loix district are literally called 'Zona Guiri' (Brit Zone) - the area around Calles Mallorca, Gerona and Ibiza -, because the majority of bar and other establishments mainly cater for British tourists. But let’s not forget, you are still in Spain.
The Poniente area of Benidorm is not so 'British', but hotels, including the Poseidon Playa, always cater for international guests, which is why UK tour operators such as Thomas Cook and others book with them.
April is by no means the peak season and does see a considerable amount of elderly Spanish holidaymakers around the resort as the 'Imserso' (Spanish state holiday plan for pensioners) runs to its end (May).
Hoteliers association Hosbec said: "We do not understand the non-existent controversy between British and Spanish holidaymakers this story has generated."
"It's quite the contrary, for decades Spanish and tourists from many nationalities have mixed together fine in the resort without any confrontation at all."