Is this sand white or yellow? (Daniel Foster)

20 astonishing holiday complaints

5th September 2011

Presented to you, for your entertainment and pleasure – 20 of the most outrageous, ridiculous and stupid travel complaints made to tour operators

A recent survey from Thomas Cook and ABTA reveals 20 of the most ridiculous complaints by holiday-makers made to their travel agent.

1. "I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts."

2. "It's lazy of the local shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time - this should be banned."

3. "On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don't like spicy food at all."

4. "We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels."

5. A tourist at a top African Game Lodge over looking a water hole, who spotted a visibly aroused elephant, complained that the sight of this rampant beast ruined his honeymoon by making him feel "inadequate".

6. A woman threatened to call police after claiming that she'd been locked in by staff. When in fact, she had mistaken the "do not disturb" sign on the back of the door as a warning to remain in the room.

7. "The beach was too sandy."

8. "We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure.Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white."

9. A guest at a Novotel in Australia complained his soup was too thick and strong. He was inadvertently slurping the gravy at the time.

10. "Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women."

11. "We bought 'Ray-Ban' sunglasses for five Euros from a street trader, only to find out they were fake."

12. "No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled."

13. "It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England it only took the Americans three hours to get home."

14. "I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends' three-bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller.."

15. "The brochure stated: 'No hairdressers at the accommodation’. We’re trainee hairdressers - will we be OK staying there?"

16. "There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners now live abroad."

17. "We had to queue outside with no air conditioning."

18. "It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel."

19. "I was bitten by a mosquito, no-one said they could bite."

20. "My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked."

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 Your Comments (22)

  • 5th September by ttbko

    I have to say, number 5 is my personal favorite!  Don't you just love the delicate male ego?

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  • 5th September by andy morris

    Every one a testament to stupidity.  Do you think it would be possible to remove the passports of people achieving these heights of inanity?

    I like number 11.  We were in Tunisia recently and even the author of number 11 could have spotted the fakes - designer trainers labelled "Mike" alongside the famous sporting logo!

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  • 5th September by ElliFry

    Oh the fake things! A friend once bought some very decent adadiss flipflops in China. It wouldn't be a real holiday without real, genuine fakes!

    I also once came across a Trip Advisor review for a medieval house turned B&B in a tiny Italian town where someone had complained that the rooms were small and that there was no lift.

    Ok it might not be obvious, but there's no way a lift would be a feature of a medieval townhouse. (Which, incidentally, was beautiful and comfortable!)

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  • 6th September by Beccs

    On holiday in September 2009 in Skopelos, I went to the site of the 'Mamma Mia' church.  Very beautiful, wild surroundings, except the British tourist loudly complaining that she thought there would at least be a shop selling 'Mamma Mia' t-shirts with a picture of the church on it.

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  • 6th September by Liz Cleere

    I agree with number 15. I wouldn't want to find hairdressers staying in the room next to me!

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  • 8th September by Ellie L

    Just goes to show that some people should never be allowed to have passports or even leave their home towns to inflict their stupidity on others.

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  • 8th September by Alexandra

    I work in the travel industry and the best one I've heard was as follows:

    (In reference to a trekking trip in China, during a time of year that experiences intermittent rain)

    "Your suggested packing list was over the top and unnecessary. It suggested I bring a waterproof jacket, so I took one but there was no rain on the trip."

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  • 9th September by calamine2808

    Couldn't agree more with number 1.

    It near impossible to get a decent biscuit abroad. It should be stated in the guide books that biscuits in [insert destination] are substandard and wholly undunkable. At least then you can prepare yourself by bringing along your own bodyweight in hobnobs.

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  • 9th September by Sheesh

    I once heard a group of tourists chatting in St.Austell cornwall as one said to the other "look they've got a woolworths here too shall we go and have a look and see what they've got?" im assuming the cultural and geographical differences dont significantly affect the range carried by chain stores but I could be wrong.  Maybe I have in fact been missing out on a world of "northern" style clothes pegs, ironing board covers that are totally alien to the cornish lands... but I doubt it lol. 

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  • 9th October by louise3564

    I love number 12, actually reminds me of doing the Zodiak tour to Duck Island in Noumea.  Duck Island is a marine sanctuary and a girl wouldn't go in the water because the fish would swim right up to your ankles.. LOL Why go to a marine sanctuary then??? LOL

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  • 9th January by kiwitravelbug

    I was on a business trip to India, staying in the luxurious and world-famous Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. The hotel's fine dining restaurants arguably serve some of the best Indian food you can eat in the world. One of my colleagues was an academic from a top university in the USA, who had never been to India.  Prior to departure a friend had warned her "don't eat Indian food - it will make you sick", so she resolutely avoided eating Indian for the entire trip - always ordering "western" food such as pizza, even in the restaurants of 5-star international hotels such as the Taj Palace.


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  • 17th January by ellyd

    Number 20 is my absolute favourite. 

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  • 9th May by florenna

    All others are truly stupid & ridiculous, but nr 10 about topless sunbathing I could actually agree with... If you prefer to be (practically) nude in public you should go on a nudist beach! Not to mention it's stupid...

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  • 6th June by Sparkielspa

    Best laugh of the week! Might save this for any time I need cheering up!

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  • 7th June by Travelnuity

    #20 is a classic!

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    That's really cool. I would be interested in seeing more graphs of different information you pull from these logs.

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  • 29th September by dorothysammons

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