People arriving in the UK from Covid ‘red list’ countries are at risk of bankruptcy after indulging in minibar snacks.
Simon Williams has just returned from a business trip to South America and must now spend ten days locked up in an airport hotel room.
“I knew it would be expensive but I hadn’t even considered the hidden costs,” said the merkin salesman who has many Brazilian customers.
“I’d been told the hotel bill would be close to two grand but I figured that would be partly offset by all the freebies – shampoo, towels, duvet etc.
“However, the room service Caesar salad they delivered for my dinner was so small that I accidentally ingested the whole thing when I smelt it. So by nine o’clock, I was pretty hungry.
“What would be the harm in having a quick snack from the minibar?
“I removed a tube of Pringles, deliberately avoiding eye contact with the expensive miniatures, and went to lie on my bed to eat them.
“As I popped off the lid a small electronic voice, barely audible above the television, shouted, ‘Five pounds!’
“I peeled off the foil seal and the voice shouted, ‘Fifty pounds!’
“At this point I assumed the noise was coming from outside and I didn’t pay much attention.
“I ate my first Pringle: ‘Five hundred pounds!’
“My second Pringle: ‘Five thousand pounds!’
“I realised the voice was coming from the minibar. I turned off the TV and walked over the small, innocent-looking fridge.
“I ate a third Pringle. ‘Fifty thousand pounds!’ shouted the minibar. But what on earth could it mean?
“I ate a fourth Pringle to see what would happen. Sure enough, ‘Five hundred thousand pounds!’ came the reply.
“The cost of the snack was being multiplied by ten with each crisp I ate!
“I stared into the tube. It was only a small one and there was one crisp left. A crisp that would cost me five million pounds!
“Obviously I couldn’t afford it.
“The trouble was, I’d already popped…”