The Daily Sunbed Stampede

Open Jaw

The sunbed wars have reached a new low.

Thomas Cook is defending against claims that guests at one of its resorts in Tenerife are locked in until after breakfast, then released en masse in a daily stampede to claim sunbeds.

A family known as Higson claimed that crowds of up to 300 people gathered in the lobby of the Best Hotel Playa De Las Americas every morning during their holiday before storming out to get sunbeds as soon as the door was opened.The family sent video footage of the morning stampede to a U.K. newspaper. "Apparently the no-access rule is hotel policy and staff enforced this by locking the doors to the outside area and blocking the fire escapes with bins and chairs. When the doors are opened there are up to 300 people at a time piling out with no care other than getting the best seat possible."

They also claimed that chains were used to keep guests in and fire escapes blocked until the pool was opened. TCook denies that claim and says customers are told on arrival that the pool area does not open until 9 a.m.

A spokesperson for Thomas Cook U.K. & Ireland said: "We were sorry to hear about the Higsons’ concerns following their holiday at the Best Hotel Tenerife. We would like to reassure them, along with other customers, that we have investigated their claims with the hotel and are fully satisfied that the procedures they have in place are for the safety, well-being and protection of all guests.

"The pool area is thoroughly sanitized every morning between 8 and 9 a.m. and is temporarily closed to guests whilst this is undertaken. This closure is as a health and safety precaution and to maintain hygiene levels until the pool re-opens at 9.15 a.m..

In a message on TripAdvisor the hotel said: "The pool area is closed during the night until the morning to be cleaned and to prevent reserving sunbeds from early morning without being used. However, there are no fire escapes blocked and there is no risk and no need to queue up, as there are more than enough sunbeds for all our guests around the pool area."

(will not be published)