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Sisters Hit Out At London Hotel After Being Ravaged By Bedbugs

Travel Law Experts Call For Urgent Improvements To Hygiene Standards


Two sisters who suffered over 130 infected bedbug bites have slammed a notorious hotel in central London for its ‘appalling’ hygiene standards. The pair were angered that the hotel allocated them a room which was known to have an infestation.

Mrs Melanie Carmen, from Deal, and her sister Mrs Joy Mcdonagh, from Sidcup, both had to be treated in hospital after being attacked by bedbugs while staying at the Airways Hotel in Victoria, near Westminster.

They were both left covered from head to toe in bites form the bedbugs, with Mrs Carmen bitten 86 times and Mrs Mcdonagh in 52 separate places. The pair initially needed treatment at Bexley Urgent Care Centre where they were prescribed antihistamines, emollient and antibiotics. Mrs McDonagh also needed to attend her  GP for a further course of antibiotics. After, it was eventually four months before they fully recovered from the bites.

Travel law specialists at Irwin Mitchell representing the pair have criticised the hotel for allocating them a room which was known to have a bedbug infestation. They are also calling for urgent improvements to standards at the hotel.

Katy Bailey, a solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, said: “What should have been a relaxing mini-break turned into an absolute nightmare for Melanie and Joy, all because of substandard hygiene conditions at the hotel.

“Sadly it appears that their experience is not isolated, and a number of other guests have also complained about problems with hygiene and particularly bedbugs.

“It is vital that the Airways Hotel conducts an investigation and makes significant improvements to its hygiene standards. With the holiday season underway and the Olympic Games to be held in London next year increasing the number of bookings, it is vital that guests can be assured of a clean and safe environment.”

Mrs Carmen and Mrs Mcdonagh are issuing a warning to other travellers, urging them to make sure they spend time researching potential hotels before booking a stay.

Since staying at the Airways Hotel the sisters discovered it has been much maligned on travel review website TripAdvisor, where more than 55 per cent of guests who stayed at the hotel rated it as ‘poor’ or ‘terrible’.

Mrs Carmen said: “The bites were extremely painful and had a significant impact in our everyday lives. We were left suffering from deep aches, itching, and other flu-like symptoms and it took around four months for the bites to disappear and the symptoms to subside. Joy also had to have time off work.

“It makes it worse knowing that it isn’t just us who have suffered because of the appalling conditions at the hotel. The hotel must have known there were problems yet they were quite happy to put us at risk.

“I only wish we had researched the hotel more thoroughly before booking the holiday. Past guests have criticised the hotel all over the internet and if we had seen these reviews we certainly wouldn’t have chosen the Airways Hotel.”

Lawyers from Irwin Mitchell negotiated an out of court settlement of approximately £1,600 on behalf of each of the sisters, to cover the cost of their treatment and lost earnings.