/ Travel & Leisure

Air your getaway gripes and put a stop to holiday hassles

Holiday hassles illustrations

Despite the grey skies and heavy rain, summer is upon us and many take the opportunity to take a well-earned break. But many of you have told us that your holidays have not been quite as hassle-free as you hoped…

That is why today we launched our Stop the Holiday Hassles campaign. We want to help you tackle those problems that may make your holiday unforgettable for all the wrong reasons.

One in seven people who have been on holiday in the last two years have had a problem, equivalent to around 6.2 million people in the UK.

The most common issue was delays or cancellations to flights (30%). Also high among the holiday gripes were long waits to reclaim baggage (25%), accommodation being different to the description (24%) and unhelpful or rude staff (24%). Worryingly, two in 10 travellers (21%) said they once had a holiday that was so bad they felt like they needed another one.

Your holiday gripes

We’re grateful for the comments you’ve shared with us already, which in turn have prompted us to launch this campaign. Bill P told us:

‘I never fly now, but take the train or drive where I can, I refuse to fly simply because the treatment I receive at airports leaves me angry and frustrated.’

And Geoff P told us

‘I had a serious problem at Gatwick Airport and complained. Sadly I never got a satisfactory reply from them, it seemed to be swept under the carpet.’

David Mitchell caught our eye when he said:

‘Biggest bugbear? From arrival at the car park to taking off. Everything else is just dandy.’

But it’s not just airports that are causing issues, Wavechange shared his worrying experience of meet-and-greet parking:

‘I once hired a boat from a small company and they offered to park my car safely for the week. Quite by chance I found my car in a pub car park.’

Stop the Holiday Hassles

With six million of you experiencing an issue with your holiday over the last two years we’ve decided it’s time for action.

We want holidaymakers to be able to quickly resolve any problems that may arise by providing you with the means to take action. Through your stories we’ll also challenge companies to stop the holiday hassles.

Please share your experiences below and sign up to our campaign. We’ll be taking action to tackle shoddy holiday practices so you don’t have to suffer in future. And once we know your most common holiday hassles, we’ll provide you with useful tips and information from our Consumer Rights team to put the power back in your hands.


Towards the end of June I went on holiday for a couple of weeks. I checked my passport, which had expired several years ago. I had not obtained travel insurance. Never mind, I was going on a holiday in the UK.

I set off early on the Saturday morning and drove 250 miles, expertly guided by satnav, the printed AA route planner and road map being unnecessary but there in case I had needed them. The roads were quiet and I arrived ahead of schedule. I spent two weeks with friends, I have known for years and took a great deal of exercise. I ate lots of food, both ‘home’-made and at places on our route. The weather was amazing, with only one day with any rain, and it was warm. The return journey also went smoothly and I broke the journey by visiting a favourite place for lunch.

When I got home I felt exhausted but very relaxed. I had booked an appointment for routine tests and was told that my blood pressure was lower than last time it had been checked. Despite eating much more than normal I had either not put on weight. I never do on activity holidays.

I really must get round to planning my next holiday in the UK.

Oops. Am I supposed to be whinging about problems with airports, misfortunes with luggage going to a different destination, lost wallets, trying to make myself understood by people who don’t speak the language. Been there and done that. I want to go on holiday to enjoy every minute of it.


Hi Wavechange, I’m really pleased that you had the relaxing, hassle free holiday that you planned. We hope that this campaign can help others enjoy their holiday and minimise the hassles that may arise.


I am not quite clear if this holiday hassles is only for those who fly?

Avoiding airport stress are those 600,000 people who cruised from British ports in 2013*. Of course there are another 1.4m who flew to their cruise ship and therefore suffered the airport torment


I returned from my last cruise with multiple purchases including 20 plus books – noteworthy being the complete Far Side by Larson with 1200 pages and weighing 19lbs. Bringing home something interesting is not always easily possible by plane travel.

* Cruising does have problems but the embarking and disembarking is a lot less stressful than an airport.


Thank you dieseltaylor, we are keen to hear about any issues that arise on holiday whether that is by plane, train, automobile, or indeed cruise liner. Pleased that you took advantage of having no baggage weight limit!


The weight limit if you sale and return to a UK port is around 90kgs per person. Nice.

The hassles side of cruising is primarily that the guided tours can be misleadingly described. And in all honesty the vast majority of them are fine.

However stating it is 0.9km from the coach park to the entrance but not mentioning the further 2 kms required walking to get to the main attraction seems more than incompetent. Telling people they can observe various features on the way out would be hugely less compelling if they were honest and told you these were exactly the same as the ones you had to pass to come in! But then I suspect the copywriters do not care.

I will not go into too much detail as I am in mid-dispute but in some ways turning me down for compensation would mean I can unleash some inner spleen on what I consider the most shambolic guided tour I have ever been on. You know its bad when people collapse and you have to take the coach 200 metres to help them aboard.


Maybe it’s because I only holiday in the UK 99% of the time, but i have never really had any problems when I go on holiday.

The one problem I sometimes get is when I book a double room at the B&B, then turn up with my boyfriend and there is always a moment when the B&B owner is thinking “Are they together or do they want 2 beds” & it’s always funny seeing the look on the B&B owners face thinking that.

Plus to make matters worse I bring along my dog too and while the B&B owner will know this & while she is soft as anything she is a large Japanese Akita & Japanese Akita’s do get bad press even tho Akita’s are not on the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Due to this we, most of the time, stay at places we have been before and they know us We use a really nice B&B Whitby, plus another nice B&B in Lake District & like I say, 99% of the time have no problems at all.

Which: I know this comment might be classed as off-topic as it’s nothing about flying, train travel, passports or anything like that. But as it’s problems I have had I thought it gave another point of view to the subject.


Hi Lee, we really want to hear about holiday hassles both at home and abroad so your comment is very welcome. I am pleased that you have found some dog friendly B&Bs for your hols!


Luggage allowances always frustrate me. I often fly on low-cost airlines and don’t bother putting luggage in the hold, preferring the cheaper option of just take hand luggage. I have a bag which I have measured and know perfectly well that it fits the luggage requirements. However, once, coming back from a holiday in Barcelona, I was pulled aside to put my case in the metal basket by the departure gates and was told, quite shortly, ‘it needs to slide in easily, please don’t push it in’. This is despite there being no problems with this bag flying from the UK.

Perhaps I should have made more of a fuss, but I was flying on my own back from a foreign country, and it seemed easier to cough up the £50 I was made to pay in excess baggage fees and get on the plane. I always wonder whether those little metal baskets at the departure gates really are the correct size…