A NEWLYWED couple’s honeymoon ended in turmoil when the bridegroom had to fly back alone after being ordered to pay £4,000 to replace a broken television.
Former soldier Wesley Dyson and his bride Heather were on the last day of their holiday in the resort of Holguin at the Paradisus del Rio D’Oro when they were ordered off their airport transfer coach.
The Farnworth couple were told a damaged TV had been found in their hotel room.
Mr Dyson, aged 36, was told he would have to pay 10 times the cost value of the TV — 6,600 Cuban pesos or about £4,000 — or the police would not give him his passport back.
He had to wave his 31-year-old wife off in a taxi before spending an extra night in a separate Cuban hotel, frantically making arrangements for the cash to be put in place.
Neither of the couple remember damaging the 32-inch television that had been in their room and hotel staff would not allow them back into the room to inspect it.
Mr Dyson, who now works as a HGV driver, said they are desperately hoping their travel insurance will cover the replacement payment or they will start married life in debt.
He flew back alone to Gatwick, rather than Manchester, a day later than scheduled on June 3.
Mr Dyson said: “The hotel was run by the military and we were advised paying would be in our best interests.
“They said, if you don’t pay that within three days then an investigation will start and you will be held.
“I was in the army for 13 years and have been all over the world but I’ve never been treated like that anywhere.
“It was horrendous — like a Cuban hell.”
He warned other holidaymakers to be on guard when visiting countries like Cuba and to carry out a personal inventory of the contents of their hotel rooms complete with pictures.
Mr Dyson added: “I don’t want anyone else to be waving their new wife off in a taxi in a foreign country on her own. It was terrible.
“We had been saving for the wedding and a dream honeymoon for months so we just don’t have £4,000 to hand.
“I had to borrow it off my dad in the end.”
The couple booked their holiday through Thomas Cook and Mr Dyson said the reps in Cuba had been helpful but also advised him that paying for the TV would “in his best interests”.
Mr Dyson is now anxiously waiting to see if his travel insurance policy with ERV will pay out for the bill.
By paying, despite the circumstances, Mr Dyson is concerned it will appear as though he is accepting liability.
A Thomas Cook UK and Ireland spokesman said: “As soon as our highly experienced resort team was made aware of the situation Mr Dyson was in, representatives went to the hotel and offered him every support possible right through until the time he was able to return home.
“Our customer services team is also in contact with Mr Dyson to see if any further assistance can be provided.”
The management of the Paradisus del Rio D’Oro failed to respond to requests for a comment.