A PENSIONER’S complaint that there were too many Spanish people on her Benidorm holiday went viral as news outlets around the world picked up the Lancashire Telegraph’s exclusive story.

Freda Jackson, from Intack, hit out at travel company Thomas Cook after she endured a ‘disaster’ two-week stay in the Hotel Poseidon Playa last May.

The 81-year-old has demanded compensation for the holiday after a last-minute change to flight dates and for being placed on the 14th floor initially, despite mobility issues. She also complained the hotel was teeming with “rude” Spanish guests and questioned why the native holidaymakers were in Spain for their holidays.

Ms Jackson and her 61-year-old friend, from Shadsworth, together spent £1,133 on the holiday and have asked for financial compensation or a free holiday.

The story was picked up by the national press, including the Daily Mirror, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Metro and even made the front page of the Daily Star.

The Sun also reported that Mrs Jackson was not the only holidaymaker to report issues with the hotel. The newspaper, which ran the story on page three yesterday, said reviewers on TripAdvisor had raised similar issues with the same hotel.

Presenters on numerous national radio stations discussed the issue and it was also broadcast on BBC North West news as well as Radio Lancashire.

News outlets across Europe, including Spain, France and Belgium, also reported the story which went viral, receiving more than 120,000 page views on the Lancashire Telegraph alone.

Spanish outlets, including El Mundo, La Vanguardia and ABC published the story while Facebook pages with hundreds of thousands of followers also shared the story.

Thomas Cook has offered the two pensioners more than £500 as compensation for the unannounced flight change.

The travel company said their position has not changed since the story was published online on Monday.


Social media was abuzz with talk of Freda Jackson's complaints about her Benidorm holiday.

And as news reached the continent, Spaniards were quick to comment on the story.

Here are just a few of their comments.

Antonio Pérez wrote on Twitter: ‘When Mrs Jackson returns on vacation to Benidorm, Spain, please let the Spaniards know so we can choose another destination different from her. We will try to please her and during her holidays there will be less Spanish [people] in Spain.’

Another message read: "Please send poor Freda Jackson to a place she can feel more comfortable surrounded by her polite, well behaved fellow countrymen. Two weeks in magaluf will do :-) Jorge Magallon @JMagallonZ.

Others said:

‘Pues yo estoy de acuerdo con Freda Jackson, en Benidorm hay demasiados españoles... y británicos, y alemanes, y franceses, y suecos...’ @nachollenser

Well I agree with Freda Jackson, in Benidorm there are too many Spaniards... and Brits, Germans, French and Swedes...

Estoy contigo Freda. Yo una vez pasé un mes entero en Brighton... estaba lleno de ingleses.. por qué no se fueron a otra parte? Venga, propongo un mes de intercambio, y todos felices. @fer2365 Fernando Abrantes

Freda I’m with you. I once spent a whole month in Brighton... it was full of English people...why didn’t they go somewhere else? Come on, I suggest a month’s exchange, and everyone will be happy.