East Lancs man’s warning to all-inclusive holiday goers after booze ban

·3-min read
Jason Walker, from Blackburn
Jason Walker, from Blackburn

An East Lancashire man is warning holiday-goers to read the fine print of their all-inclusive holiday packages after a rule change has left him feeling short changed.

He has also thinks holiday providers should alter the definition of 'all-inclusive' if this no longer includes unlimited alcoholic drinks.

Jason Walker, from Blackburn, embarked on an ‘all-inclusive holiday’ in Majorca this week but was left feeling “angry” after being told he was only entitled to three free alcoholic drinks at lunch and dinner.

For him and his daughter, Jason paid £240 for an all-inclusive three nights and four day stay in Palma Nova.

When he arrived, he was under the impression that all food and drink would be included in the cost, as is the norm with all-inclusive trips.

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.”

This rule change, which currently applies to certain areas of the Balearic Islands, including Palma, Ibiza and Magaluf, was introduced by Spanish authorities as an attempt to limit anti-social behaviour and binge drinking.

As travel was restricted during the pandemic, many holidaymakers are only starting to feel the repercussions now as travel resumes.

Under the official new rules a limit of three drinks at both dinner and lunch can be served to each guest but if guests want additional drinks they will need to pay for it themselves.

Other rules ban the sale of alcohol in shops between 9.30pm and 8am, as well two-for-one drinks offers and happy hours.

Party boats are also unable to advertise in the regions, and they will be banned from drop off/pick up guests at the hotspots.

While Jason understands the government is trying to stop anti-social behaviour, he believes the new 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 also called on package holidays providers to relabel their offerings in these areas and a warning should be issued to any future holiday goers.

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.”

A spokesperson for the ABTA - The Travel Association 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, so 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.”