A GRANDMOTHER has hit out at a holiday company for recommending her an unsuitable Benidorm hotel that had ‘too many Spaniards in it’.

Freda Jackson, of Intack, said she endured a two-week ‘disaster’ trip with her friend, from Shadsworth, at the Spanish holiday resort in May.

She said travel firm Thomas Cook recommended the hotel and that despite her request the accommodation be located on flat ground, because the two pensioners have mobility issues, it was located on a slope instead.

The pensioner also said the company had failed to inform the two friends that their holiday dates had been changed until six days before the trip was due to start.

Ms Jackson, 81, and her 61-year-old friend paid £1,133 for the holiday and have demanded a full refund or a free holiday from Thomas Cook. Instead bosses offered them a £75 holiday voucher as compensation for the ‘disappointing’ trip abroad.

The 81-year-old from Blackburn, who has been on holiday to Greece, Turkey, Portugal and Tenerife, said: “I have never complained about a holiday before but it was a disaster from start to finish.

“I have never been to Benidorm and was really looking forward to it.

“My friend and I paid for it from our pensions. It was a struggle trying to fund it over 12 months and the holiday was totally ruined. I cried after."

Grandmother's Benidorm holiday hell story goes global

Ms Jackson, who had never booked with the British holiday company before going to Benidorm three months ago, said Thomas Cook ‘mis-sold’ and ‘ruined’ her dream holiday.

She claims that one of her biggest disappointments with the holiday was the ‘rudeness’ of other Spanish holidaymakers and the lack of entertainment catered towards British tourists, such as English tribute acts.

The former care assistant, who was born in Whalley, said: “The hotel was full of Spanish holidaymakers and they really got on our nerves because they were just so rude.

“One evening a Spanish guy nearly knocked me flying and he just walked off without even apologising. The entertainment in the hotel was all focused and catered for the Spanish. Why can’t the Spanish go somewhere else for their holidays?”

Issues surrounding the holiday started just months after they booked to stay at the Poseidon Playa, located on the outskirts of Benidorm in south east Spain, in April 2017.

Thomas Cook had changed the date of their holiday, back in July 2017, without informing the two friends. They only found out their flights had been moved to a day in advance when they visited the former Blackburn Thomas Cook, on King William Street, to pick up their tickets less than a week before the start of the holiday.

After travelling 1,500 miles from Manchester to Alicante on May 10, the two were ‘shocked’ to find out the hotel was located on a hilltop rather than flat ground.

Ms Jackson, of Peronne Crescent, said: “There was a high step off the coach and I banged my right leg and was in agony after. I have chronic arthritis in my right leg and am getting an operation on it this week.

“We wanted to go somewhere on flat ground and not in the hills because we have mobility issues.

“To top it off once we got to reception they told us we had been put on the 14th floor, thankfully we were moved to the second floor, and that it was 42 steps down to the hotel’s swimming pool.”

Ms Jackson said there were no reps on the holiday who they could complain to about the trip, so instead Ms Jackson submitted a letter of complaint to Thomas Cook.

A reply was sent to the Intack resident's home on Tuesday and in the letter a company spokesman said: “Due to the upset caused I would like to offer you a goodwill gesture of a holiday voucher to the value of £75.

“I do hope that in despite of this we will have the pleasure of your company in the near future.”

After declining the initial 'goodwill gesture' made by the travel company, Thomas Cook has now made an improved offer of £566 between them. The two friends have yet to respond.

Thomas Cook bosses said they had made an improved because of the flight change - not because there were too many Spaniards in the hotel - and also said they had offered Ms Jackson assistance on the small slope but she declined. 

A Thomas Cook spokesman said: “Due to a system error Ms Jackson was not informed of a change to her flights until six days before departure.

"We are very sorry for the inconvenience this caused and are investigating to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

"We have offered Ms Jackson and her travel companion a gesture of goodwill to try and put things right which we hope she will accept.”