I have to acknowledge Pauline Frommer, of Frommer’s Travel Guides, for finding a recent survey from Thomas Cook and The Association of British Travel Agents on the 20 stupidest traveler complaints lodged by British travelers regarding their vacations.
My favorites of the list below include people who were not informed that the sea was full of fish and the woman who complains their reservation caused her to become pregnant. So … without further interruption … the 20 dumbest complaints from vacationers you’ve likely ever heard.
— “I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends’ three-bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller.”
— “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”
— “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.”
— “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.”
— “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England, it only took the Americans three hours to get home.”
— “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels.”
— “I was bitten by a mosquito, no-one said they could bite.”
— A tourist at a top African Game Lodge overlooking 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.”
— A woman threatened to call police after claiming that she’d been locked in her hotel room by staff. In fact, she had mistaken the “do not disturb” sign on the back of the door as a warning to remain in the room.
— “We bought ‘Ray-Ban’ sunglasses for five euros from a street trader, only to find out they were fake.”
— “The beach was too sandy.”
— “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white.”
— A guest at a Novotel in Australia complained his soup was too thick and strong. He was inadvertently slurping the gravy at the time.
— “Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women.”
— “No one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled.”
— “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the accommodation.’ We’re trainee hairdressers — will we be OK staying there?”
— “There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners now live abroad.”
— “We had to queue outside with no air conditioning.”
— “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”
— “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.”
So … next time you plan to lodge a complaint with your travel agent, airline, or tour operator, check your complaint against this list. If your complaint seems like it might find a place on this list, don’t send the complaint.