Man jailed for telling airport wife had cancer to claim free £7 holiday

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Man jailed for claiming free £7k holiday after telling airport his wife had cancer

A man has been jailed for two years after telling staff at Manchester Airport that his pregnant wife had terminal cancer in order to claim a £7k holiday for free.

John Williams, 35, from St Helens, Liverpool, admitted attempted fraud at Liverpool Crown Court on 2 August, and also pleaded guilty to four other counts of fraud.

The incident came about after Williams called the airport's customer service centre to make a complaint.

The dad-of-two reportedly claimed he was a doctor and that his wife had pancreatic cancer.

According to the Daily Mail, he said she had contacted Airline Direct Travel (ADT), the airport's online travel agent, to book a family holiday to Florida.

The St Helen's Reporter writes that Charlotte Kenny, prosecuting, told how the 36-year-old claimed his wife had overheard call-handlers saying: "What is it with these dying people wanting to see Mickey Mouse?"

He claimed she had been vomiting over the stress of the situation and that a freelance journalist was keen to expose the story to the press. Both these claims turned out to be false.

Manchester Airport were made aware of the complaint on 26 July 2012, and offered Williams free flights to Orlando, as well as accommodation, worth £7,000.

But a full investigation found no evidence of the alleged conversation, and Williams was arrested at Manchester Airport when he arrived for his holiday on 17 August 2012.

According to the St Helen's Reporter, Judge Clement Goldstone told Williams: "You're a plausible, persistent and almost professional conman and you are entirely responsible for the position in which you find yourself. I'm afraid your luck has run out."

A Manchester Airport spokesman made no comment, telling Aol Travel: "This is a police matter."

Meanwhile, a new holiday poll has found that one in six British travellers admit to lying in an attempt to get an upgrade on a flight or at a hotel.

The survey of over 8,000 Brits by holiday reviews website TripAdvisor revealed that a surprising number of travellers are resorting to dishonesty in order to bag a free upgrade.

And the tactic of bending the truth for freebies doesn't end there. A poll of over 12,000 people found that one in eight has phoned work pretending to be sick to extend their holiday.

James Kay at Tripadvisor told Aol Travel: "We all know household budgets are tight at the moment, but even then it is surprising that so many Brits are so open about the tricks they use to try and gain an upgrade in service."

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