National Holidays

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Stephen's complaint against National Holidays

Stephen Barrett

21/01/2018

Coach holiday to Lake Garda that went badly wrong for my 83 year old mother

Complaint against National Holidays

My mother and her partner travelled from Leeds to Lake Garda on a national holidays trip on 22/12/17. My 83 year old mother fell ill during the trip and appears to have been simply left in a French hospital. The drivers left the hotel with her partner on the coach and returned to England. She was left in France. It was only by ringing around that I found out where my mother was. The company never rang the hospital to see how she was. They never attempted to ring any of her relatives and they didn't attempt to make sure that her 85 year old partner had a safe onward journey until we contacted the NC office in Hull. My mothers partner asked for her suitcase to be given to him to return to England and the driver refused. The case was left in the hotel in Metz with no way of retrieving it other than by us travelling over and fetching it ourselves or paying for a courier. My mothers partner later listed a Catalogue of behaviours by the drivers which was questionable to say the least but the worst from my perspective is that they relinquished any duty of care after leaving my mother in France. The main complaints other than leaving my mother in France are: from the outset pressurising the coach travellers many of whom are old and infirm to buy excursion tickets, a Complicated drinks and raffle tickets. The drivers seemed according to my mothers partner to be preoccupied with their own families who also travelled on the trip. Trips were unsuitable for infirm travellers and the travellers themselves had to sort out arrangements for accessibility. My mothers partner overheard one driver telling a relative that if some of the travellers could not organise themselves without a wake up call, then there would be no breakfast available for them. The company made no attempt to contact any one of her family and there was no support whatsoever In that crucial 24 hours. Everything that happened was due to my wife and I initiating enquiry after enquiry, Eventually we did stumble on the right hospital and my French speaking colleague managed to get a message to my mother that we knew where she was, She is now home safe without any help or support from National Holidays. We are deeply shocked and ask you to do investigate and respond to these points. We want to know what the policies are for passengers who are taken ill and need hospital treatment due to an emergency and what is the company policy on contacting relatives during this critical period. Finally what process was followed by the driver and national holidays on this particular case.

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