Six million travellers experience holiday hassles

As new research from Which? suggests more than six million people have experienced a problem or frustration on holiday in the last two years, we’re inviting travellers to share their getaway gripes and sign up to our campaign to “Stop the Holiday Hassles”.

One in seven people (15%) who have been on holiday in the last two years have had a problem, equivalent to around 6.2 million people in the UK, which is why we’re launching a campaign to Stop the Holiday Hassles by uncovering shoddy practices and offering advice to travellers.

Of those people who said they’d experienced a problem, 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.

Nearly two thirds (64%) who have taken a holiday in the last two years said if something goes wrong with their holiday they will usually make a complaint. Yet only half (54%) said they feel confident that they know their rights if something goes wrong. As part of its campaign, Which?, will provide people with travel tips and will challenge travel companies it finds breaking the rules or giving shoddy service.

We don’t think it’s fair that well-deserved holidays are spoilt by poor service so we want:

  • to help consumers get things put right quickly when they go wrong;
  • travellers to help us uncover and tackle shoddy holiday practices;
  • people to sign up to back our campaign and receive tips on making your holiday hassle-free.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

“People don’t deserve to come back from holiday as stressed out as when they left. This summer, we’re asking travellers to share their getaway gripes so we can expose the dodgy deals and shoddy service to stop the holiday hassles.”

The Which? Consumer Rights website has free advice and information on a range of issues including what you’re entitled to if you experience a delay or cancellation or how to make a claim if your accommodation wasn’t as described.

Notes to editors

1.    Top five problems experienced with a holiday in the UK or abroad in the last two years:

1.  Delays or cancellations with your flight (30%)

2.  Long waits to reclaim baggage (25%)

3.  Accommodation being different to what was described (24%)

= Unhelpful or rude staff (24%)

4.  Delays or cancellations with other forms of transport e.g. train, ship or taxi (20%)

= Accommodation being unclean (20%)

5.  Lack of information regarding delays, cancellations or other problems by staff (17%)

2.    One in seven people (15%) who have taken a holiday in the last 2 years say that they have experienced a problem or frustration on holiday. That’s the equivalent of 12% of the UK population. Based on the UK adult population of 50.2 million we estimate that this represents 6.2 million people in UK.

3.    Sign up to the campaign and share your holiday hassles here.

4.    Populus, on behalf of Which?, interviewed a representative sample of 2,079 UK adults online between 2 and 3 July 2014. Of these 1,408 people have taken a holiday in the UK in the last 2 years and 1,165 people have taken a holiday abroad in the last 2 years. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all UK adults. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.​

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