Complaining Travelers Prove That The Customer Is Not Always Right

by SharonKurheg

At some point in our lives, we’ve all made some sort of mistake when it comes to travel. Joe once miscalculated when we would get to our ryokan in a remote town in Japan, and it made the staff rush and give us all of our dinner at once, which is just not how it’s DONE in Japan.

But sometimes…SOMETIMES…the mistakes we make are totally inconceivable. Regardless, whether they’re from naivete, not doing your homework, a sense of self-centered entitlement (that’s a biggie), a mixture of all three, or maybe something else entirely, a mistake is a mistake. And when we make a complaint because of our own mistakes, although I’m sure it’s a very serious situation in the mind of the complainer at the time, well, in retrospect, let me know if you smiled (or rolled your eyes) at some of these as much as I did 🙂

These are actual complaints received by travel agents, hotels and other people in the travel industry over the years, mostly during pre-COVID times:

    • “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerta Vallarta 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.”
    • “We booked an excursion to a water park but no one told us we had to bring our bathing suits and towels.”
    • 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.”
    • “Why are there no kangaroos hopping around Sydney city? I’m very disappointed.”
    • “We had to cut our trip short to Yellowstone because we were informed that they don’t cage the animals at night for our protection. This is just dangerous and unacceptable.”
    • “The animals at the zoo looked very sad and it made our children cry. Can’t they train them to smile?”
    • A man sent a complaint to Walt Disney World, claiming that it was “too touristy.”
    • “The roads were uneven and bumpy, so we couldn’t read the local guide book during the bus ride to the resort. Because of this, we were unaware of many things that would have made our vacation more fun.”
    • 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.
    • “The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we went back to the room.”
    • “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow.”
    • A guest at a Novotel in Australia complained his soup was too thick and strong. He was inadvertently slurping the gravy at the time.
    • “Food in the Greek hotel was too Greek. We had to eat in the nearby fast food restaurant.”
    • “We went to a Mexican restaurant in Rome and the waiter was Italian. You assured us Italy was the best place for an authentic food experience.”
    • “On our trip to India our son was terribly disappointed and our trip ruined when he couldn’t get just a hamburger anywhere that we went. Someone should have informed us of what to expect before we went as we never would have gone in the first place.”
    • “Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers.”
    • “Topless sunbathing on the beach should not be allowed. The holiday was ruined as my husband, who wanted to relax, was very distracted and spent all day looking at other women.”
    • “The local women were too beautiful; it made me feel bad about myself.”
    • “My husband was jealous when we were in Spain because men wanted to kiss our cheeks. They should know that that is not polite to do this as we are married.”
    • “We bought ‘Ray-Ban’ sunglasses for five euros from a street vendor, only to find out they were fake.”
    • “No one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled.”
    • “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England, whilst it only took the Americans three hours to get home. This seems unfair.”
    • “I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends’ three-bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller.”
    • “We had to line up outside to catch the boat outside and there was no air conditioning.”
    • “My husband got carsick on the boat.”
    • “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”
    • “When I exchanged my money on my way back from Canada, I lost money. My money should be worth the same as everyone else’s.”
    • “Our flight left Heathrow at 07:55, and they told us the flight was 2 hours. But when we landed it was 10:55, making us miss our connection. The pilot didn’t even tell us we were delayed.”
    • “I was bitten by a mosquito. No one said they could bite.”
    • “I was bitten by a mosquito. The brochure didn’t mention mosquitoes.”
    • “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.”
    • “We could not enjoy the guided tour as our guide was too ugly. You can’t be expected to admire a beautiful view when you’re starting at a face like his.”
    • “We went on a canoe trip but were very disappointed that no one told us there would not be a bathroom onboard. It was very inconvenient.”
    • “There was no sign telling you that you shouldn’t get on the hot air balloon ride if you’re afraid of heights.”
    • “Nobody told us the sand would be hot. It was almost impossible to walk on it.”
    • “Our guide told us the reason the big tree blew down was because the wind caught the canopy. I don’t understand why they just didn’t take the canopy down before the storm, we wanted to see it and it was gone. That was the whole reason we went there.”
    • “I only got two toilet paper rolls per day.”
    • “I spent the night in the [hotel] room and experienced a friendly spirit. This presence got into bed with me, an old lady, she was nice and I just patted her on the head and we had a comfortable restful sleep. I think I will ask for a different room next time.”
    • “Hotel staff stole my eye serum and face cream. I am lucky they did not steal my jewelry or laptop.”
    • After being told she could reach the front desk by dialing 9, a lady complained when she was repeatedly unable to do so from her cell phone.
    • “My trip was ruined when I got sunburned and got sick because of it. They should warn you that the sun is brighter in Mexico than it is in the United States, I would have used sunscreen.”
    • “Tour company did not warn me that I would get wet during the river rafting trip. It ruined my $300 leather handbag.”
    • “You said the town was next to a volcano, but we went and there was no lava. I’m pretty sure it was just a mountain.”
    • “On our trip to New York, the streets were dirty and we saw people asking for money, it was depressing. There should be a warning to travelers.”
    • “Will never return to this hotel because there are homeless people everywhere in this city.”
    • “I’m sure I’ve stayed in this hotel in a previous life. I cannot stay here again.”
    • “I packed for a mountaineering holiday, and couldn’t believe no one told me that there wouldn’t be snow. I had to go out and buy new clothes.”
    • “The water in the Gulf of Mexico was too salty. No one told me that there was going to be salt in the water. It was gross.”
    • “Why doesn’t everyone speak English? We went Italy and no one understood English. We will never go back there again.”
    • “There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners now live abroad.”
    • “The street signs weren’t in English. I don’t understand how anyone can get around.”
    • “There were too many Bulgarians in Bulgaria.”
    • “So, [the Great Wall of China] took nearly 2000 years to make, did the Mongols not figure out a way around during the process? At what time did the Chinese realize it was a total waste of time!? SO WHY IS IT SO GREAT? The views are lovely, the wall is a waste of time other than crossing it off your list of things to do.”
    • “You told us that there was a rooftop pool, but above us was just another room.”
    • “I spent a whole week on safari, and didn’t see any good animals. There was only a load of antelopes.”
    • One hotel received a complaint about their advertised ‘homey feel’: it was apparently nothing at all like the guest’s home.

Don’t tell me the customer is always right….;-)

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1 comment

Scott February 4, 2024 - 3:04 pm

I once had a customer on my my flight get irritated because he couldn’t open the window


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