A BRITISH family were left flabbergasted by a derisory compensation offer from their tour operator after their dream Mallorca holiday turned into a bed-bug-infested nightmare.
Gary Turner, 57, and Jutta Turner, 55, suffered from being feasted on by swarms of blood suckers over the course of eight nights at a four star hotel in Puerto Pollensa.
Gary suffered an allergic reaction to the blanket of bed bug bites on the back of his head, which ended with an ambulance ride to hospital and a painful emergency shot in his bottom.
When confronted over the Turners’ nightmare ordeal, operator Tui only offered them 10% off one of the two rooms they had booked with their two adult daughters as compensation.
They were given an alternative offer of 20% off their next holiday with Tui, but this was rejected and Gary and Jutta demanded a full refund of the trip.
“We paid for a four-star plus rated hotel, with good reviews and never ever expected to be sleeping with bed bugs for eight nights,” Gary told the Olive Press.
“We never expected to suffer like we did, this is not what we paid for.”
The Turners arrived with their two daughters at the Hotel Illa D’OR at the end of March expecting a relaxing 10-day sunshine getaway.
But when Jutta and Gary started to notice bites on their hands and head after the third night, they assumed they were just from mosquitos.
Only a week into the holiday did the pair turn on the bedroom light at 3am.
To their undying horror, they saw dozens of little brown bed bugs crawling all over the fabric headboard and even the bed sheets they were sleeping in.
But the nightmare was only just beginning for the British – German couple.
Apologetic staff at the hotel immediately brought insect spray to bear and moved the couple to another room where the bed had a wooden headboard.
While Jutta’s arm turned bright red in a sea of vicious bed bug bites, the back of Gary’s head became inflamed as dozens of the little critters had chewed up his scalp.
According to their account, Gary and Jutta could not sleep at night due to the itching, while exposure to the sun caused the bites to flare up.
And the medication they got from the pharmacy – which the hotel paid for – left them feeling drowsy.
But, worst of all, the meds also meant they could not enjoy an alcoholic drink on their holiday.
“It all left us feeling tired, run down and exhausted,” Jutta told the Olive Press.
“We could not enjoy our holiday at all.”
A dispute soon erupted both with the hotel and Tui, the tour operator, over the level of compensation that was due to the Turners.
The hotel merely offered ‘a spa treatment or ride on their boat’. This offer was also rejected.
Gary and Jutta requested two complimentary rooms for two weeks in October as compensation.
The pair have also had to go to great lengths to make sure they did not bring any bed bugs back to the UK with them, including throwing out their suitcases.
“The only lucky thing was that our daughters were not in that room, otherwise we could have taken one of them back in a coffin if she had had the same reaction as my husband did,” Jutta said.
“She is disabled and immune suppressant due to a kidney transplant.”
“The whole experience has left us completely exhausted and stressed, due to the lack of sleep caused by constant itching and becoming rather paranoid about checking our bed for bugs in the hotel in the middle of the night,” Gary added.
“We were also worn out by the annoyance and upset caused by the indifference and lack of compensation so far offered by the hotel and TUI.”
A spokesperson for Tui told the Olive Press: “We recognise that some services fell short of our usually high standards.
“We’d like to reassure all customers that we regularly audit all of our hotels in respect to health and safety, including hygiene.
“Whilst the family were offered compensation during their stay, they unfortunately declined.”
Meanwhile, Hotel Illa D’OR called the Turners’ request for a two week free holiday in October ‘unreasonable’.
Although they did not deny the presence of bed bugs in the room, they said they would not ‘succumb to pressure from any guest seeking to receive free accommodations.’
“We want to emphasise that our hotel takes pest control very seriously and we have a company contracted to provide preventative and control services,” they said in an email to the Olive Press.
“In none of their reports has the presence of bed bugs been detected in our hotel.
“Furthermore, the room in which the guests stayed had been occupied by other guests previously without any complaints of this nature.”
Gary has started the torturous process of making a legal claim with Tui.