Eeww Alert: British Sisters Awarded More Than $2,500 for Hotel Bedbug Bites

USA Today
Thursday, August 25, 2011

Two British sisters, attacked by bedbugs at a two-star London hotel while celebrating one of the women's 50th birthday last winter, were awarded 1,600 pounds (about $2,525) in an out-of-court settlement, the Daily Mail reports.

Melanie Carmen and Joy McDonagh spent three nights at the Airways Hotel in Victoria, but McDonagh's birthday party was ruined when they suffered bites all over their bodies. Carmen was bitten 86 times, while McDonagh suffered 52 bites, and it took the women about four months to recover, the Daily Mail says.

After requesting a change of rooms, "we ended up on a higher floor. There were newspapers under the beds that were three weeks old, so it was clear to see nobody had swept there and then Joy actually found a bedbug on the pillow," Carmen told the paper.

The sisters aren't the only guests to report problems at the Airways, which describes itself as a "cheap budget hotel in Central London." It's rated #707 out of 1,062 London hotels on TripAdvisor, where one recent reviewer recommended staying away "unless you want bedbugs to eat you alive!!!"

"It's very unfortunate what happened to these two ladies, but we have no way of being able to trace exactly where these infestations came from," a hotel spokesman told the paper. "'This incident happened 18 months ago...experts say there are 20,000 cases of bedbugs in hotels across the UK every year, five-star hotels included, so we're not immune to the problem. We have a full-time contract with a pest control company and when problems are reported they come in immediately to deal with any issues."