A man who feels ‘short-changed’ by a new drinking rule in some Spanish resorts which is urging holidaymakers to check the fine print of their all-inclusive package holidays.
Jason Walker, was left “angry” after he had budgeted for his holiday only to be informed on arrival at the hotel that there was a new ‘six drink’ rule he was unaware of.
The new law will widely affects hotels in the the Balearic Islands and means tourists will be forced to pay more money if they want more than a total of six drinks with their meals.
Jason, 42, claimed he was left “angry” and “upset” by the restrictions.
He jetted off on a trip to Majorca to celebrate his cousin’s birthday earlier this week having paid £240 for the three-night trip with operator Love Holiday.
Jason assumed that the all-inclusive stamp on his booking means he could eat and drink whatever he wanted.
But, the security officer was gobsmacked when he arrived on the Mediterranean island as he discovered the limit on booze – and now he urges others to check the fine print in their contracts.
He said: “We only found out when we checked in and only budgeted so much because thought all our food and drink would be covered.
“We were very upset and angry.
“We’ve come as a family of eight to celebrate my cousin’s 40th and while we have still had a good time, we have incurred extra costs as a result.”
Spanish officials announced the new law in January, but hundreds of Brits have been caught out as they arrive on their holiday.
The new rule affects certain resort areas of the Balearic Islands, including Palma, Ibiza and Magaluf.
Regulations now state that “alcoholic drinks will be limited to six per day” in an attempt to limit anti-social behaviour on the islands.
It’s thought that there’s also a ban on pub crawls, happy hours and two-for-one drinks offers and those caught breaking the rules will incur heavy fines.
Jason, from Blackburn in Lancashire, said he understood the government’s attempt to limit loutish behaviour.
However, he thinks the rules need to be better advertised.
He said: “I understand they are trying to stem alcohol abuse and rowdy behaviour, but I think this has been done very sneakily – I was not made aware of it and didn’t know about the law.
“We are also here as a family and all-inclusive is great for families as you don’t have to worry about budgeting for food and drink.”
Jason wants travel operators to make the rules about drinks clear and how their trips might be affected.
The Brit also believes that resorts affected by the six drink limit are mislabelled and should not be sold as “all-inclusive”.
He said: “I have looked at the small print and the alcoholic drink rule is there, so I don’t think it should be sold as an all-inclusive inclusive holiday, it should be sold as half-board or something along those lines.
“If you are booking an all-inclusive holiday, I recommend that you look at the small print and see what is actually included and what’s not because the rules have changed.”
On social media, other holidaymakers have reacted with fury to the new rule.
One Twitter user said: “Brits will now be restricted to just six drinks a day, which can only be accessed alongside their lunch and dinner – offering them a mere three drinks per meal.”
“[That’s] usually referred to as “Half Board Plus”. It’s time to cancel the hotel contracts for All Inclusive basis.”
A spokesperson for the ABTA – The Travel Association – said the rules may cause “confusion” among holidaymakers.
They said: “ABTA strongly supports initiatives that improve the health and safety of holidaymakers, as well as the welfare of local communities.
“Some of the measures introduced by the Balearic Islands authorities to limit anti-social behaviour have potential to cause confusion for UK holidaymakers.
“We welcome the recent clarification from the authorities, including that the restrictions will only apply to certain limited areas in Mallorca and Ibiza rather than the whole of the Balearics as originally proposed.
“ABTA will continue to engage with the Balearic Islands Government, ABTA Members and other parties, to encourage clear communication and exchange of information, in order to ensure holidaymakers travelling to hotels in the designated areas enjoy a positive customer experience.”
Whereas, Travel operator Thomas Cook warned its customers via email.
The operator said: “Please be advised that a decree has been issued by the Balearic Government on a new restriction for All Inclusive meal option.
“There is a maximum of six alcoholic drinks per person per day that can be served and these drinks will be provided only during lunch and dinner ( 3 each).
“Please be aware that Magaluf, El Arenal, Playa de Palma in Mallorca and Sant Antoni in Ibiza, there is new restriction on All Inclusive.”
A spokesperson for LoveHolidays told the Daily Star : “We were sorry to hear that the customer was disappointed with their stay at the Aluasun Torrenova hotel.
“We appreciate any and all feedback from our customers, and constantly review our processes to offer our customers the best experience possible. Unfortunately, on this occasion, the customer did not get in touch to raise the issue. As such, we have not had the opportunity to address the query with the customer.
“A decree issued by the Balearic Government restricts alcoholic drinks to a maximum of six per person per day for the all-inclusive meal option. Taking this into consideration, we detail the drinks available to the customer on the hotel details page under the heading ‘All Inclusive’. In this case the hotel details specify:
- Selection of Spanish and international non-alcoholic drinks.
- Three alcoholic drinks per person (beer & wine) during lunch and dinner
“We would always urge customers to read the details of their hotel to ensure they are happy with their purchase.”
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