Blackpool family's Turkish holiday from hell

A family has been promised a full refund by tour operator Thomas Cook following a holiday from hell.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 8th November 2016, 6:56 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:51 pm
Andrea Flynn and her children Robyn, Rebecca and Ciaron at home after a holiday in Turkey where they were all ill
Andrea Flynn and her children Robyn, Rebecca and Ciaron at home after a holiday in Turkey where they were all ill

Andrea Flynn thought she and her family were jetting off for a week in five-star luxury when then booked in to the Liberty Lykia in Oludeniz, Turkey.

But her first wedding anniversary trip quickly became a nightmare when the entire family were struck down with a debilitating sickness bug.

Andrea says her family weren’t alone and is now calling on Thomas Cook to stop sending guests to the resort.

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The Liberty Lykia Hotel

Nursing student Andrea, 40, of Gretna Crescent, Norbreck, travelled to the Turkish resort with husband Jonathan Flynn 38, a self-employed decorator and children Robyn Rickard, 15, Rebecca Rickard 13, Ciaron Flynn, 10.

Within hours of their arrival the situation at the hotel became apparent.

Andrea said: “We wanted to all go away together for our first anniversary, somewhere special.

“We booked in November last year and paid almost £4,000 for five nights.

The Liberty Lykia Hotel

“We didn’t hear anything from the tour company before we went, even when we checked in nothing was said.

“Then on the first morning, three hours after breakfast my daughter said she felt really sick.

“She didn’t make it to the bathroom, we were so embarrassed, we didn’t know then there was a bug in the hotel.”

That was just the start of the problems for Andrea and her family.

“We took my daughter to the room and she went to bed. I thought that was it.

“But on Wednesday tea time the kids came back from a party. My other daughter started complaining she didn’t feel well.

“We went to Thomas Cook the morning after and there were so many people, all kicking off. We found out it had been going on for weeks.”

Andrea, her husband and son all caught the sickness bug, the family spending their entire holiday confined to the room, taking medications handed to them by Turkish doctors.

Jonathan’s condition was so bad all he could keep down was bananas which had to be delivered to the room by staff.

Andrea said: “It was just shocking, we were so ill.

“We were living on bread and water and bananas. It wasn’t a holiday.”

And their impression of what was happening around the hotel left them shocked.

Andrea said: “There were open grids we would walk past which stank of sewage.

“At the bar it stank of sick and there were wasps everywhere. We saw ambulances coming in to take people to hospital but the reps at the hotel they just denied it was a problem. On the final day, Andrea ended up in hospital after one of her children slipped on a wet stair.

She said: “There was no wet surface sign. She ended up having to have an MRI scan, it was terrifying with no translator.

“We couldn’t understand what they were trying to tell us.

“They said there wasn’t any bleeding but we didn’t understand everything and we’ll want to see a doctor in the UK.”

And Andrea, who arrived home late last Tuesday, is clear what action tour operators should take.

“They shouldn’t be sending people here,” she said.

“If they’d have told us before we flew or when we’d arrived we’d have gone to a different resort.

“I cannot believe they are still selling this as a destination, as a five-star holiday.”

The Liberty Lykia closed for the end of the season last week but Thomas Cook is still selling holidays at the resort next year.

A spokesman for the holiday firm said: “Nothing is more important to us than the safety and wellbeing of our customers.

“We are aware of an increase in reported cases of customer illness in late summer at the Liberty Lykia hotel.

“We arranged for an independent audit, and while it did not identify any specific cause associated with food or hygiene, we will take all necessary steps to rectify any issue before the hotel reopens for summer next year.

“We have reached out to the Flynns and are pleased that they have accepted our offer of compensation and our apology for the upset caused.”