Hilarious Holiday complaints
BRITAIN has been a nation of globetrotters for hundreds of years. In the 19th century we famously controlled an empire on which the sun never set because our possessions were scattered so widely across the planet that there was always at least one of them that was in daylight.
But scan a list of complaints our tour operators have had to deal with of late and you might think the country of Sir Walter Raleigh and Captain Cook has lost its pioneering edge.
“It was windy on the beach and the sand went in my eyes,” runs a complaint on the Twitter feed @HolidayComplaints. “Nobody warned us about the wind.”
Another holidaymaker moans: “The water in the Gulf of Mexico was too salty. No one told me that there was going to be salt in the water. It was gross.” While a third complains: “The ice in my glass melted too quickly.”
So what explains this spate of lily-livered grumbling from the descendants of Ernest Shackleton and Dr Livingstone?
Part of it is simple ignorance. Most of us are aware that when it’s winter in the northern hemisphere, it’s summer in the south. But not everyone.
“We went to Australia over Christmas and were shocked when it wasn’t cold,” said one geographically challenged traveller. Others find it’s the bloody foreigners that present a problem when they go abroad. “We went to Turkey and there was far too many Turkish people for our liking,” said one, while another complained: “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”
So what explains this naivety? “It might reflect that more people are doing more travelling,” says Lee Hayhurst, group head of news with Travel Weekly. “You’re getting less savvy people deciding they want to go and see the world. That might be the result of low-cost flying which brought travel to the masses.”
He adds: “A holiday may be the most expensive luxury they’ll buy in any given year. It’s probably their most important week or two weeks of the year as well so expectations are high generally.
“There may be a degree of people thinking a complaint will get them something from the company. They may think they’ll get next year’s holiday out of a complaint about this year’s.”
GIVEN the average Briton’s fondness for a tincture, drink-related issues often come to the fore. “The bar wasn’t open so I couldn’t have my 7am airport pint,” said one early starter.
Even being a generous host is no protection against the carping Brit: “When we arrived we were given free cocktails but I don’t like Sex On The Beach.”
Plying the punters with goodvalue nosh can also backfire. “The food was so cheap by the time we got home I’d put on half a stone,” chafed one holidaymaker whose bikini body had obviously gone west.
“The restaurant said ‘Children eat free’ but my 19-year-old daughter still got charged for her meal,” complained one parent whose progeny will clearly be a toddler for ever.
Meanwhile, a long-suffering wife blamed local hooch rather than her other half when he went rogue: “My husband drank the local beer and ended up violently drunk. They must put something in the alcohol here.”
As everyone knows sun, sea and sand can lead to sex. But so can sleeping arrangements: “My fiancé and I booked a twin room but we were placed in a double. I’m now pregnant.”
Couples who actively want to make a baby on the other hand should avoid rooming in sight of large mammals, according to one emasculated lover: “Spotting the visibly aroused elephant ruined my honeymoon by making me feel inadequate.”
Perhaps he consoled himself with some less sensual activity. But these hold pitfalls of their own. “There was no sign telling you that you shouldn’t get on the hot air balloon ride if you’re CHEERS: Alcohol is often blamed afraid of heights,” said one – presumably traumatised – vertigo sufferer. While another clearly didn’t know his kayaks from his cruisers: “We went on a canoe trip but were very disappointed that no one told us there would not be a bathroom onboard. It was very inconvenient.”
Winter sports holidays also have hazards for the unwary. A complaint sent to a ski resort read: “We put our towels out to dry on the balcony and they just froze.” One couple clearly laboured under a conceptual misapprehension: “We went on a skiing holiday but we weren’t informed that we would actually have to be able to ski.”
That said, not all holidaymakers are the sharpest tools in the box. One who found a Do Not Disturb sign on the back of his room door said: “I thought the staff had locked me in.’
The above complaints may well get us all chortling but our final grumble would disrupt the equilibrium of the most eventempered travel agent: “The weather at home was nice while we were away so the whole holiday seemed a bit pointless.”
You can’t see that coming out of the mouth of Captain Scott.