A couple are taking legal action against tour operator First Choce after their family holiday in Egypt left them fearing for the safety of their three young daughters.
Ian Perkins (40), his wife Theresa (33) and daughters Charlotte (8), Amy (5) and Hannah (1), all fell ill after staying at the four star all inclusive Park Inn Hotel in Sharm el Sheikh during July.
Despite paying First Choice around £4,000 for their 2 week holiday, the family, from Hereford, say poor hygiene and lack of health and safety standards made their stay "a nightmare from start to finish", and they have now approached travel law experts, Irwin Mitchell, to take legal action on their behalf.
During the second week of the holiday both Theresa Perkins and her daughter Charlotte were struck down with gastric illness. They became so dehydrated that after being seen by a local doctor, they were admitted to a local clinic and placed on intravenous drips.
During the course of their stay, the entire family experienced symptoms including diarrhoea and stomach cramps and believe that "awful" hygiene standards were to blame. They reported frequently seeing flies and other insects on the food, undercooked-meat, filthy floors, unclean kitchen staff and a smell of sewage "throughout the complex".
Mrs Perkins also had to rescue her one-year-old daughter, after being woken in the night to her screams, to find that a cot she had been sleeping in had collapsed on top of her.
"The holiday was a complete nightmare," said Mrs Perkins. "The hygiene standards were awful, the service was poor and, although I understand that standards do sometimes vary when abroad, on this expensive holiday we feel they were totally unacceptable, to the point where we all fell ill.
"I am also horrified that the cot my daughter was sleeping in had not been checked properly – I heard an enormous crash and found her trapped against the floor. The entire holiday was incredibly stressful, but we didn't receive any kind of apology until we were about to make our journey home."
Amandheep Dhillion, a travel law expert from Irwin Mitchell solicitors, who is representing the Perkins family, said: "This is a clear example of a tour operator putting people at risk by failing to ensure adequate health and safety standards at their accommodation.
"We frequently hear from people who have become severely ill whilst staying at resorts which are supposedly 'family-friendly' destinations and I am sorry to say that the Perkins’ experience is not an isolated one.
"Tour operators have a responsibility to ensure their clients are staying in a safe environment and that the brochures give an accurate picture of the holiday they are spending their hard earned money on."