Top 10 Actual Travel Complaints


Thomas Cook travel agency occasionally receives ridiculous complaints from dissatisfied customers.  Here are my favorites:

  1. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.”
  2. “We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish.”
  3. “The beach was too sandy. We had to clean everything when we returned to our room.”
  4. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow.”
  5. “Although the brochure said that there was a fully equipped kitchen, there was no egg-slicer in the drawers.”
  6. “When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners.”
  7. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallarta to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time – this should be banned.”
  8. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local convenience store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”
  9. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels. We assumed it would be included in the price.”
  10. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom suite to our friends’ three-bedroom and ours was significantly smaller.”

My wife and I just returned from travel to Korea. With our job we have had the privilege to travel, teach and develop leaders on almost every continent in the world. We have made many new friends and learned with brilliant people. But I always wished I knew more about the cultures before I traveled. I am sure I have made cultural blunders along the way. For the people who submitted complaints above, some plain common sense intelligence might have done the trick. For those of us who lead and interact globally, cultural intelligence is needed.

Cultural intelligence (CQ) is described by global thinker and author David Livermore as “the ability to be effective across various cultural contexts—including national, ethnic, organizational, generational, ideological, and much more.”

CQ may determine success globally even more than IQ. His research reveals four capabilities that consistently emerge among individuals who are effective in culturally diverse situations:

1. CQ DRIVE:  a high level of interest, drive, and motivation to adapt cross-culturally.

2. CQ KNOWLEDGE:  a strong understanding about how cultures are similar and different.

3. CQ STRATEGY:  awareness and ability to plan in light of their cultural understanding.

4. CQ ACTION: when to adapt and when not to adapt when engaging cross-culturally.

Read the Forbes article, “CQ: The Test of Your Potential for Cross Cultural Success”.

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About Steve Morgan

I work in Global Leadership Development with Cru with my wife, Terry. We have been married 30 years and have 4 grown children. We have a Masters in Global Leadership together through Azusa Pacific University. I generally write about 5 “L’s: Living Well, Loving Deeply, Learning Continuously, Leading Courageously and Leaving a Legacy. I occasionally write about Laughing Loudly. Subscribe on the right side to receive an email whenever there is a new post. I invite you to leave your comments so we can dialogue on the various topics and learn from each other. If you are new to the site, you might start with looking at some of the top posts or doing a search on the right side bar for one of the 5 “L’s” that interest you. Or you can view the blog archives for topics. Photo Credit: sarahjoellephotography.com
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7 Responses to Top 10 Actual Travel Complaints

  1. This would be funnier if it were not true, augh….

  2. Paul Cheese says:

    Thomas Cook? They would be comments from Brits then? On behalf of my nation, I’d just like to apologise (although number 8 is a serious matter, the impact of which shouldn’t be underestimated).
    Glad you’re back safe and sound (or at least as sound as when you left)

    • Steve Morgan says:

      Yes, Paul. By the looks of it, I think the dude is Brit. Karen B said you would have to make a BIG apology. And yes, we are back safe, though with jet-lagged brain, I am not even sure where I am on the “sound” scale. I am a little gobsmacked that I am not more knackered though. Cheers for stopping by. That’s brilliant! Nice to have this little chin wag with you, mate!

  3. daylerogers says:

    If Paul is right and these were Brits, it makes it even funnier. But the sad thing is we all really have blind spots when dealing with folks of different cultures–or being in different cultures. Our tendency to think the world revolves around Americans is a bit arrogant–the ugly American thing. But it’s helpful to know how to deal–loved your points on CQ.

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