All set for Easter! We boarded the Easyjet flight for Palma, Majorca and after at least a week of packing and unpacking his bag, our 7 year old is finally packed and we board the plane from Gatwick with great excitement for our Easter break. We couldn’t wait, the villa booking agency had even booked airport transfers for our family to the villa with a special food arrival welcome pack; they even told us what temperature the pool would be when we arrived.
We arrive at Palma, a beautiful clean airport and a really friendly welcome from the custom officials. I am thinking, I love it already as we glide through the arrival gates. But I can’t see our driver with a message board with the name ‘Kennedy’ on it. I walk up to all the taxi drivers holding up notice boards- but our transfer doesn’t seem to be there.
Slight hitch, ½ goes by, then 1 hour, then, O.K. something is wrong. I ask my wife for the emergency contact number and name. I call a number and the letting agency is closed. Damn it! Ok where’s the address.? It’s late and our 7 year old is now hard work. So I call a couple of taxis and we are on our way to our dream holiday villa. The pictures looked amazing. Just a slight hitch – all will be good; but I have an uneasy feeling. I had it the night before.
We zoom off in two taxis, boys taxi and girls and everyone really excited. Our taxi driver stops at one property, hmm not that one then, we turn around, not the next or the next either. I have a nasty gut feeling. Finally we arrive at some huge gates and I mean huge. I jump out the taxi and press the door intercom at the massive gates, please let this be the property, I muse. They open! This is it!
Wow it’s amazing, (pictured) the kids scream, best villa, EVER! It’s just like it was online. We found it.
Our two taxis stop at the end of the drive and the door opens. The villa is quite palacial and they are coming out to welcome us! A gentleman comes up greet us. He doesn’t look like a caretaker. I could sense something was not quite right. I explain we have arrived, expecting him to know my name and say welcome. There is an awkward silence. “Holiday Villa – you know?” I say.
The gentleman explains that this is his house; this is not a holiday Villa. I show him the photos of the villa and he agrees it is indeed his house. “But I don’t rent it out,” he says.
The penny drops. I knew, my wife goes white; our 7 year old is already trying to jump into the pool and thinks it’s the best holiday on earth. We just got scammed, direct payment too; we lost several thousand in an instant. We also have nowhere to go, it’s late at night and we are tired hungry and now; well and truly F’d.
There us an awful moment as the taxi draws away, the Kennedy family are miles from home on an island and stuck at someone’s drive with 5 children 7 suitcases, quite and completely marooned with no flexible tickets.
The owner of the house and I look at each other, I have nothing to say.
I start to call a taxi and say I am really sorry. I start to walk away and I hear (Klaus) the owner calling. “No stop come in,” he says, “you can stay with us for the night.”
I am speechless. I reach out to hug him I can’t believe what he just said. We enter this enormous house – yes a real dream Villa.
Klaus offers me a glass of wine. Then his servants spring into action lasy th table for us, bring food and within a very short period of time we are having an amazing time with this fabulous German family we had never met in this amazing place! I was experiencing the best humans in the world and suffered actions of the very worst all at the same moment. Those scum bags ruined a family holiday, I thought but here I am a guest of the most amazing people having a grear time!
I didn’t sleep of course as we had nowhere to stay so in the morning we scrambled and mum dad and all the kids where online. But I had lost all my money and how I was going to afford another villa, God only knew. The German family where amazing they gave us breakfast but we knew it was time to go in the morning. So we found a villa in the mountains. But it had no heating, the cooker didn’t work and it had no Wi-Fi and I lost another 400 euro! We were really marooned now. The kids where fed up, my wife was fed up we had no food and even I thought it might be time to return to the airport and wait for the next flight. I tried hard to think positive. Angus try, try really hard. You are good at this and it works.
So I did. I imagined it was all meant to be. This had to happen. Actually I also did some very interesting psychic work in one of the houses that needed to be done. But how could I get another villa with no Internet or phone coverage. My son and I went up the hill to get coverage and literally went online to find a villa. And we did! So the next day we leave our family and spend a day on the beach, which was our new home until we could move into the next house. (Where I am now!)
We were conned not by the a gang in Majorca but by a professional international gang that fakes villa websites. I am keeping positive. I called the papers to tell our story (look it up-it’s viral). My wife and I decided to try and prevent this from happening to other families. I kept imagining that if we could stay and see this through it would be definitely worth it! I had to stay positive and be grateful. Our story went viral and within a short period of time we had offers from the people of Majorca to stay in their houses, we then had another offer from a UK holiday company, James Villas, to have a free villa from when we come back! Then I just had another email for the offer of a government official of a special Majorcan cake to say we are sorry.
Yes our holiday was ruined as I had to pay for another villa just now, yes there are massive storms here, yes its cold, yes I lost thousands of euros, yes the airports are on strike when we go home, yes, but my positive thinking is wiping it all out. We won, , we did not give in to the wrong emotion – ultimately we did not allow these criminals to ruin our children’s holiday.
I have experienced the very best and the worst of humanity and it’s the positive I will remember – ha who knows what amazing things might happen tomorrow. At this rate it might be tea the governor of Majorca himself!
AVery Happy And Positive Easter