Pensioneer Saves For Cruise For 10 Years, Misses Flight, Princess Cruises Keeps All Her Money

A 78-year old pensioner saved for a cruise for 10 years, but after she missed an airplane connection, she missed the cruise ship and Princess Cruises gets to keep her $2500 paid for the cruise. They’re also keeping the $559.80 the airlines refunded because she didn’t take the flight. (See how that works? You don’t get charged unless you actually use their service…) You gotta read the Washington Post column for the full run-down of all the different things that went wrong on this lil old lady’s trip.

For the cruise industry, cancellation fees of 100% are the norm. It’s clearly stated in the fine print on your contract. Since there’s disclosure, the FTC isn’t of the opinion that there’s anything wrong with it. With these non-existent refund policies, perhaps floating prison rides are one time travel insurance is worthwhile?

The Dream Trip That Wasn’t [Washington Post]
RELATED: Princess Cruise Lines Requires Death Certificate To Get Off Junk Mail List
(Photo: Getty)

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  1. headon says:

    She should consider herself lucky. She did not get lost at sea or contract stomach flu due to filthy conditions on the ship. She did not have to eat cardboard food and overpay for off ship excursions. Sounds like Princess Cruise Lines did her a favor.

  2. Raignn says:

    This story made me sad. Really sad :(

  3. JustinAche says:

    They booked their airfare through the cruise line, usually that covers making sure they make the boat….HOWEVER, she refused to go on the last flight, that would have put her at the port the next day. I consider this a non-issue. It’s her fault she didn’t want to board. It’s the cruise line’s fault for booking the flights like they did, it’s nobodies fault (well, except for the airlines cheapness when it comes to maintenance) for the mechanical breakdown, but it comes down to her NOT WANTING TO CATCH UP TO THE CRUISE.

    And it is in her cruise contract/ticket. I’ve taken around 14 cruises…thank god I live near 3 ports, cause I’d never fly out to one, or I’d fly out the day before.

    PS People, always book your flights yourself, you end up saving a couple of hundred dollars, money you can use to get yourself a hotel room and enjoy the port the day before you leave. This is a tip from cruisemates.com

  4. sonichghog says:

    The flight was made through the cruse line. They should at least refund 1 day. Since THEY messed up that day, not her. So if this was going to be a 4 day cruse she should get %25 back. 10 day 10%.

  5. sleze69 says:

    @DemolitionMan: Yeah, I am going to agree with DemolitionMan. She missed catching up with the cruise because she was “tired”. She didn’t buy travel insurance but her friend did. She deserves nothing.

    That said, I will probably buy travel insurance if I ever get around to taking a cruise.

  6. sixninezero says:

    What would Andy Griffith do? Everything can’t be done by the book.
    He would give her money back, just as Carnival stated, situations such as this have to be decided on a case by case basis. Compassion and respect for this woman is what really was lacking from this story. The only people who showed any of that were the passengers willing to give up their seats. Shame on Alaskan airlines for being so narrow minded.

    @DEMOLITIONMAN – I have adjusted my travel on the fly, slept in train stations and airports and endured all the discomfort of botched plans, but this elderly woman knew her limitations and you shouldn’t fault her for that. Sometimes I think the airlines (travel industry)expects everyone that comes through it’s gates to be a seasoned veteran of travel, ready to adapt at a moments notice. That expectation and apparent requirement would prevent people like this woman from enjoying a hard earned dream.

  7. cashmerewhore says:

    Such a sad story. I’d keep bitching for the full amount back, not just airfare. And after all that drama with the airport and her friend’s health issues, I wouldn’t have gone on the cruise either. If something happens they have to call a “bright star” and medfly her back to the nearest hospital. Not a fun experience (my grandfather had a mild heart attach when we were ported in NOLA, but wasn’t too bad until we reached Tampa, when he could not walk at all. We got him back on the plane and told family to take him immediately to the hospital when we landed).

  8. sonichghog says:

    One thing everyone is missing, is that she would of missed part of the cruse. Would you still pay full price for something if part of it was missing?

    This lady deserves at least a partial refund.

  9. cashmerewhore says:

    Is it so hard to offer her a voucher for free airfare and room for another cruise? It’s gotta be cheaper than all this bad publicity…..

  10. distractbill says:

    It seems to me that having a 100% cancellation fee is just a way for the cruise companies to make money by travel insurance. She should still be due some money back for the consumables she didn’t use by not being on that cruise (e.g. food, etc).

  11. Phipps6505 says:

    Three airlines, with three legs in each direction? C’mon, Princess has to take just a little bit of ownership in this. That sounds like an obstacle course designed to keep her from getting on the flight.

    I realize that the woman we are talking about is on a limited income, but she really should have purchased travel insurance. I cringe whenever we go someplace and we buy the insurance, but it really is something you should do.

    Have a little sympathy, cut this lady some slack.

  12. andrewe says:

    @headon: She bought her airfare from the cruise company who sold her a gruelling trip, especially for a 78 year old lady. Was it even probable that she could make her cruise?

    I think the cruise company is responsible and I feel terrible for the little old lady. Let me know where I can send some Canadian dollars to top up her vacation fund.

  13. DadCooks says:

    Too bad for this lady, but…

    As long as people continue to take cruises (and fly for that matter) the cruise lines (and airlines) will continue to screw the traveler.

    You are seriously naive to think that the “Regulators” or “Legislators” will ever do anything to help the travling public, they get too much money and under the table perks from the travel industry lobby.

    And, beware of travel “insurance”. There are a few good policies out there, but you have to be careful and read the fine print for all the exclusions.

  14. swalve says:

    This is silly. If I buy a movie ticket and don’t go, I’m out $10. If I buy a hotel room and don’t sleep in it, I still have to pay for it.

    So why shouldn’t I have to pay for travel that I haven’t used?

    @cashmerewhore: Wow. You put a man having a heart attack back onto a cruise ship and then onto a plane, knowing he had to go to the hospital? Cold.

  15. MeOhMy says:

    You dilligently saved for 10 years! OK, you’re 78 and you don’t have the energy and wherewithal that you used to have, but after scrimping and saving since The Clinton Years to take the vacation of a lifetime, are you really going to just pass it up? I’d be getting to Alaska if it killed me.

    One of the reasons you would pay the high price of air fare through your cruise line is because they will catch you up to ship for situations like this. Which they did. She might have even been able to get credit for the lost time. But she didn’t do it.

    Cruises are one of the few times where insurance seems pretty useful…especially if you’re flying!

  16. lalala1949 says:

    My social security payroll taxes are paying for her cruise yet the whole social security pay-go system is slowly collapsing due to expenditures?

    Perhaps time to raise the retirement age.

    Ok totally off topic, sorry

  17. Pylon83 says:

    While I admittedly feel bad for the lady, she deserves nothing. When she refused to accept their accommodation to get her to the ship, she lost any sympathy from me. I realize she is old, but that is entirely irrelevant to the situation. Age should not be considered at all. If the passenger who refused was 25, would anyone say they were right to do so? No. The fact that she is elderly is the sole reason people are siding with her here. One of the risks you take when you buy a cruise, or even inexpensive airfare, is that it’s essentially non-refundable. This is not a situation where the cruise line was out to get her, as some have suggested. They are not in the business of constructing elaborate obstacle courses to keep people from getting on the cruise. They are in the business of making money. If it’s cheaper to set up a flight with 3 connections, that’s what they are going to do. Another risk involved in allowing them to book your airfare. Further, the cruise line couldn’t re-sell her room, so why should they eat the cost when she refused to meet the ship? I think if she had taken the offer to meet the boat, she could have pressured the cruise line into some sort of on-ship credit or a room upgrade. But instead, she was too “tired” to travel. Because of that, she loses.

  18. Jacquilynne says:

    I can’t say I have a lot of sympathy for the old woman here. I mean some, because she’s old and was stressed out by the travel. But they were fully prepared to catch her up to the freaking boat — which is why when we cruise, we always buy our airfare from the cruise line, even though it’s more expensive that way, so that if you don’t make it, they’ll catch you up. And then she just decided not to bother and went home? What are Princess supposed to do under those circumstances?

    And realistically, three flights to Alaska is not an unreasonable number. There are not that many places with direct flights to Alaska, so they had to get her to one of those few places first. It’s basically a one-connection continental flight via a hub — not as ideal as a direct flight to Seattle, but something few people would see as unreasonable — followed by a flight to Alaska.

    There are many Alaskan cruises that leave from Seattle and Vancouver, as well. If she was greatly concerned about the air travel portion of the trip being too much for her, she should perhaps, have booked something that left from the contiguous 48 states.

  19. Falconfire says:

    @Jacquilynne: She would then be paying extra for less “cruse” how is that fair?

    If someone only gives me 3/4th of what I was entitled for that would be illegal… yet everyone here says its perfectly ok for these hacks to do it. Why is that?

  20. mph says:

    I think technically the Cruise is in the right – its not like they could have rented the “unused” room to someone else.

    But I guarantee they are in the wrong in the spirit of service, and I more than guarantee they will lose more in bad publicity. This exactly the kind of story news shows eat up.

    I am sure the woman will get another better trip to Alaska courtesy of some talk show like Oprah or Ellen or something.

  21. LTS! says:

    The cruise lines aren’t going to lose, consumers are by and large too stupid to remember or really care about situations like these more than a day or the 30 seconds it takes them to hear the story. They’ll say, well, that’s stupid. In 3 months they’ll book a cruise because to them it’s more important that they go on a cruise than they encourage better service.

    That said, they’ll agree to the same policies this lady agreed to. She deserves nothing because she refused the help she was offered. Saying she is paying extra for less “cruise” is naive. She paid for a cruise, there was an issue and there was an offer to get her onto the ship at the next port. We don’t know what would have happened at that point because she just went home (btw: it should be noted Northwest flew her home without charge). At the point she had trouble she should have simply contacted the cruise line to get things straightened out as they are in essence her travel agent. She returned home and decided to skip the trip, her choice, not theirs. Now she wants refunds for airfare.

    It should be noted at the bottom of the article, she has actually received some compensation:

    “In the end, the woman might be able to take “some little trip”: Northwest, to show its concern about the missed connection, has decided to refund the woman her original Northwest fare of $386.32, plus a $200 voucher. “

    BTW: No mention of her asthmatic friend who had the wherewithal to purchase travel insurance.

  22. SpdRacer says:

    How are the cruise lines going to lose business from screwing some old lady? All the publicity from the people who have been murdered/fallen overboard in the last two years hasn’t put a dent in their business, but now that they have screwed with the elderly, ooh boy they gonna get it now.

  23. emjsea says:

    And? The woman should have had travel/vacation insurance. She would have then been reimbursed. As a frequent (at least once a year), I’m glad Princess didn’t reward her for her stupidity. If they did, then my cruise fare would be going to subsidize her lack of planning. Sorry, but NO.

  24. sonichghog says:

    @swalve: This is different. Like if the theater was providing transpertation to see the movie. If the transpertatin was late and you were going to miss the first 30 minutes of the movie, would you still expect to be charged full price?

    If this lady made her own travel arangements outside of the cruseline, then sure, she should be out of luck. But in this case the cruise line did, so they are responsible.

  25. Pylon83 says:

    @sonichghog:
    But they did offer to get her to the ship. There is no way of knowing how she would have been compensated had she taken them up on the offer. Instead, she chose to just abandon the trip altogether. That is why she loses.

  26. SpdRacer says:

    @DemolitionMan: As an A&P Mechanic I have to say airlines are not cheap when it comes to maintenance, after fuel it is the highest expenditure in the business. Granted some mechanics are complacent, but since the article doesn’t mention what the mechanical failure was, can’t tell if this was a lazy mech or just an old plane.

  27. weg1978 says:

    This sucks, but i have to recommend travel insurance…we were bumped off a return flight from europe (the airline paid us 600 euro), so we used the trip insurance to stay in a really nice hotel in Paris and have a fantastic meal. money well spent, especially if you are receptive to getting paid to spend another day in your destination

  28. swalve says:

    @sonichghog: The cruise line wasn’t providing “transpertation”, an airline was.

    The theater might hire a Towncar for the theater-goer, but they aren’t going to be responsible if the thing has a flat tire.

  29. dapuddle says:

    I just got back from my first, and last cruise. Food was amazing. Service was great (Royal Caribbean) but 124 Sq ft rooms are a bit tight!

    I’d rather just hang on a beach somewhere…

    I did however fly in a day early to avoid possibly missing the sail date for exactly the reason of the story.

  30. balthisar says:

    @weg1978: Don’t forget that AAA and some credit cards already include this type of travel interruption insurance simply by being a member.

  31. edebaby says:

    LOL
    “Clearly stated in the fine-print on your contract”.
    Why, if you wanted to state something clearly, would you put it in “fine-print”??
    The purpose of “fine-print” is to obfuscate. In this case, mission accomplished.
    Shame on Princess Cruise Line.

  32. swalve says:

    @edebaby: IN THAT CASE, LETS MAKE A LAW THAT SAYS EVERYTHING SHOULD BE IN THE SAME TYPEFACE. EVERYTHING. THE PURPOSE OF FINE PRINT IS NOT TO OBFUSCATE BUT TO FIT EVERYTHING ON THE PAGE. OR DO WE ONLY READ THE REALLY LARGE PRINT NOW?

    (I’M NOT YELLING I’M TRYING TO SHOW HOW THE SAME TYPEFACE FOR EVERYTHING WOULD BE ANNOYING)

  33. Pylon83 says:

    @edebaby:
    You can absolutely state something clearly in fine print. You can also state something ambiguously in fine print. The fact is it was in the contract. She either read it or she didn’t. The fact that it was in the “fine print” is entirely irrelevant. Unless it was written in “invisible” ink, she has no claim that she was no told about it. This is 2007, everyone knows there is “fine print”, which is usually not even that “fine”.

  34. Morgan says:

    @swalve: I’ve gotten a refund for a movie ticket I bought but didn’t end up using, and seen others do the same. I agree with your point, but that comparrison isn’t an apt one.

  35. lemur says:

    An action being legal does not automatically means that action should be performed, or that it is right from a compassionate standpoint. I just can’t condone the lack of compassion of the cruise company. And yes, age does matter. You can’t expect the same kind of physical and mental tolerance out of a 78 year old customer as you can from a 25 year old. Judging from the article, I don’t think the cruise company or the airlines took that into consideration at any point.

    As for the legality of the action, as far as I understand the story, the woman paid Princess Cruises for the flights and the cruise and thus established a contract between herself and Princess Cruises. The fact that the flights were ultimately provided by another company do not automatically absolve Princess Cruises from their responsibility to deliver on the contract. There has to be a clause clearly stating that Princess Cruises is not responsible for the airlines’ failure to provide timely transportation. Such a clause may well exist in the contract but I don’t see evidence of that in the article. (And if it is present, it may well in fact vitiate the contract. The mere presence of a clause in a contract does not mean the clause is legal.)

    Another difficulty is what precisely constitutes “cancellation”. At which point can a customer decide that the service provider won’t be able to deliver on the service? Let’s say I paid for a 7-day stay at a hotel and find upon arrival that the place is infested with cockroaches, the plumbing is shot, etc, when it is clear that the hotel was advertising clean rooms. Am I supposed to just patiently wait for the exterminators and the plumber to show up? Or should I just find another hotel? If I go to another hotel, did I cancel my first reservation or did I have justifiable reason to believe that the first hotel would not be able to deliver on the service they promised? I’m not convinced that the woman’s decision of calling it quits constitutes “cancellation” considering all the hoops they were making her going through. Of course, whether it is cancellation or not depends on who was responsible to get her there on time. And that depends on the details of her contract with Princess Cruises.

    I know the FTC does not seem to think the cruise line is at fault but then again I don’t see the FTC as a great champion of costumer causes. They are probably too busy dealing with the toxic toys fiasco that happened while they were sleeping at the switch.

  36. psm321 says:

    What I don’t get is everyone saying she should’ve caught up to the cruise anyway. Even if the cruiseline did agree to give her a partial refund for the missed day, she paid for the full experience and should get that, perhaps at another time. Would you pay 3/4ths the cost of a movie ticket to see 3/4ths of a movie? It’s the same thing here…

  37. jgodsey says:

    this would have been REALLY entertaining if she had a heart attack and died when she was told to RUN for her plane.

    regardless of what is legal or illegal, it is just another example of how the travel industry just don’t care about its customers.the folks she met during her odyssey had no vested interest in making her travel pleasant or efficient.

  38. MrWashy says:

    @swalve: “The purpose of fine print is not to obfuscate” That’s just a bit naive; many companies will intentionally make their contracts and legalese difficult to read. Sorry for the rant and off topic, but you’re really giving the contract writers way too much credit. I’m sure they could afford another sheet of paper if necessary.

  39. sixninezero says:

    Of course the cruise line is within their contractual rights to deny this woman anything.

    But is that really the point? Is it okay to treat someone this way when they may not have the capability to handle the above normal travel stress. Would you want your granny treated this way?

    Everyone can’t have a red carpet rolled out for them nor should it be expected. Princess booked the flights as part of a package, the onus is on them to make sure that a woman of limited physical capacity has ample time to make 3 connections even in the case of foul weather or mechanical issue. It would not be hard for the booking agent to arrange the travel to best suit the passenger.

    This is where the airline/cruise line or agent stops and sees the person instead of the passenger name and the bottom line dollar amount.

  40. HOP says:

    this is the pits…they shoulda re scheduled her trip….and the hump that said she was using the social security for a trip, didn’t read where she saved up for 10 years….she earned her social security anyway….man, therre are a heartless bunch of clowns that read this web site………

  41. cashmerewhore says:

    @swalve:

    It was my grandfather. At the time we did not know it was a heart attack (he was a hypochondriac and screamed heart attack at the slightest bit of indigestion). He would not go to the hospital. Hell, he didn’t even want to go when we were making arrangements to get him straight to one from the airport.

    It was not cold. It’s not like he coded or anything after the attack. Had that happened, YES, he would have been medflown off the ship in a heartbeat. That was not the case.

  42. MeOhMy says:

    @psm321: Of course she bailed before actually getting on the cruise so we have no way of knowing if she would be credited for the lost time. Maybe she would. Maybe she wouldn’t.

    This movie analogy doesn’t really work. Going to a movie is not the same as going on a cruise.

    Travel in general is a risky proposition. If you miss two days of your vacation because of air shenanigans, you would probably also have a tough time getting your hotel to reimburse you.

    Crusing is even riskier because now your hotel is mobile, more susceptible to weather-related problems, could even sink. There are a lot of pitfalls that are not under your control or the cruise line’s control.

    It’s just something you have to be ready to deal with when you go on a cruise.

  43. lihtox says:

    I see all the compassionate conservatives are out in force today. It’s this sort of social Darwinism that makes America as great as it is today, eh?

    The point isn’t whether she has legal recourse; the point is whether this particular corporation is run by assholes. And I think that’s one of the functions of this website: to let people know which companies are run by inconsiderate asses. Then you can avoid them or, if you can’t, you can take steps to protect yourself when you deal with them.

    One can’t live a happy life by being paranoid and watching your back every minute. Saying “Oh she deserved it” fosters such an atmosphere. Better if we as a society chastised antisocial companies, to encourage an environment where people can go about their business without having a lawyer on call 24 hours a day.

  44. Pylon83 says:

    @lihtox:
    I’m not sure anyone said “she deserved it”. What some of us are saying is that she does not deserve special treatment because she is old and “saved for 10 years”. It has nothing to do with compassion, it has to do with good business. They start to make an exception in this case, and every person who misses a cruise and refuses the offered accommodation would then demand and expect a refund. The fact is the woman got screwed to start when she missed the connection. However, she turned the whole situation on herself when she refused to allow them to get her to the boat. Rather than make the best of it, and possible get some sort of compensation once on-board, she gave up and went home. It is for that reason that she deserves nothing in return. She signed a contract. They agreed to get her there. Though there were come complications, they made a valiant attempt. She, however, refused to accept their assistance. I would see little difference if she had taken the first two connections, decided she was too tired to make the third, and decided to go home. It is entirely unknown what might have happened on-board as far as credits, etc., but she chose to not find out.

  45. erratapage says:

    Way to go on the customer service, Princess! Diligent adherence to corporate policy that I don’t have any input in when we contracted (except of course, to be able to refuse to contract) really makes me want to do business with a company!

  46. AT203 says:

    Shame on you Princess Cruise Lines.

  47. sixninezero says:

    @Pylon83: Princess failed by booking this lady a three leg trip with apparently very little breathing room and no consideration of her age. Most of The Princess line customers will run across airport to make the flight because they have no choice it is that or lose out on their trip. Sprinting for a plane doesn’t sound like something this lady could physically handle. That is not her fault. Princess should have noted it may take her a little longer to jump through those hoops and planned her connections accordingly.

  48. Noyo says:

    Did the customers get what they were led to believe they were paying for ? If not, they the onus of repair belongs to the supposed provider.

    Any “escape” clauses buried in the fine print should be null and void, if they are under the subcontractors of the provider. I assume that if the Cruise Line absconded with the airline money, then the airline was a subcontractor

    When you buy a car, you make the assumption that the parts are put together correctly, and milled to engineering specs that will allow the car to function as advertised, for the normal lifetime of the vehicle. You do not have to take the vehicle apart, piece by piece, and measure all of them, and do the calculations. You are allowed to assume that it will work. Likewise, 4 point type is like the inside of your fuel injector. Given that the cruise package was assembled by the Cruise Line, and they choose the airline, they are responsible for the failure of the “part.’ (missed connection) The “lemon laws” should be available in all consumer transactions.

  49. jpmoney says:

    @Phipps6505:
    3 Connections for BWI -> Achorage? I think she’s lucky to get there in that many connections.

    BWI isnt the biggest airport and is ~1.5 hours from both Washington Dulles and Reagan. Depending on your destination any one of those 3 airports could work out better. Maybe should could have gone Dulles->Seattle->Anchorage?

    In any event, it doesn’t matter. In the end she decided to go home and forgo the offered fixes for her problem. She got flown home for free so she has gotten compensation. Yes they’re being jerks about it, but as others have said, the only outcry is because shes old.

    You can blame any party along the way. In the end, it was her choice to give up.

  50. Pylon83 says:

    @sixninezero:
    Do you know for a fact that Princess was put on notice that she was even an old lady and needed such assistance? You’re basing your (rather unpersuasive argument) on facts that you aren’t even certain exist. They may not have had any clue that she was elderly. That aside, it’s an awfully broad assumption/stereotype that ALL old people would need special assistance when booking airfare. If she didn’t tell them “I can’t make 3 connections in that period of time”, they had no responsibility to take any action. Further, she knew well in advance of the itinerary for the flight. Did she call and ask for a change, letting them know it would be physically difficult for her to make it as it was set? Even further, the reason she missed the connection was because of a maintenance problem, not that the window was too small. So your entire argument fails.

  51. jpmoney says:

    @sixninezero:
    How many times have you seen the carts going through airports? How many times do you hear about “a representative at the gate to help you” when you’re finishing up a flight?

    If you’re running low on connection time its very easy to talk to a gate agent and they can easily notify the next gate to either hold the plane or to get a faster means of transportation.

    Also, since she has special circumstances (old, etc), she should have been specific about her needs to the travel booker. If you don’t ask for a wheel chair and can’t get off of a plane, isnt that your fault? Airlines/travel agents/etc are not mind readers.

    Princes should have noted her needs? How are they supposed to know? And if she did tell them, why didn’t she make sure things were good when she got the tickets?

  52. sixninezero says:

    You both are right, I have no idea if she notified Princess beforehand if she needed assistance. That is her fault. Chances are Princess didn’t ask her either.

    There is no argument. Princess is within their contractual rights. You win.

    I was brought up to never treat my elders so poorly. If your granny should ever come through the doors of my business I can guarantee she will not be treated in such a sterile and cold manner.

  53. MrEvil says:

    A three leg flight to Alaska doesn’t sound unreasonable to me. If I wanted to fly to Alaska I’d have to fly from home to DFW or Houston (depending on airline) then from DFW or Houston to SeaTac then from there to Alaksa. I could see it easily becoming a 4 leg if a longer route was that much cheaper.

    The cruise line doesn’t owe her anything at this point. They made a good faith effort to get her to the boat even if it wasn’t where she wanted it to be. Their obligation has been fulfilled. Also, as others have said, it’s not like the cruise line can resell her room to someone else.

    Still though, if this lady took 10 years to get this sorted out….why couldn’t she have, I don’t know, left a couple days in advance and stayed in a motel 6? That’s what I would have done, I would have booked a flight that arrived at least a day before the ship leaves port and stayed in the cheapest hotel I could find.

  54. Youthier says:

    My favorite part of the article is when Carnival basically says “We would never do that” even though they admit to having the same policies.

    I have a difficult time being sympathetic because the article seems to play up the fact that this is an old lady who can’t function in the modern world. She’s so old she doesn’t know that she’s supposed to see how many connections she has before booking a non-refundable trip! She’s so old she can’t figure out how to use a pay phone!

  55. MYarms says:

    Yes the cruise line CAN resell the room to someone else. Its a frequent practice and happens more often than not. I used to be employed by a certain cruise line that operates out of Seattle, Wa. During the summer months with cruises to Alaska they would always overbook the ships knowing that every week there would be people that wouldn’t show up. Its important to them because if a week goes by where the ship isn’t full, they’re losing revenue. In the instances where a ship is overbooked and all of the passengers show up, the cruise line will just put them up in a hotel or rebook them for another time. I was made to believe that it wasn’t a big deal to the cruise line because it rarely ever happens.

  56. Mr. Moto says:

    Man, why do you guys even read this stuf. I can’t believe how everyone here always blames the consumer and says, “should have known better” or “she got what she deserves”. You guy’s tire me out.

  57. UpsetPanda says:

    @Mr. Moto: But a lot of readers want to discuss the good and bad policy…if they think that Princess Cruises was in the right, they can do it and it doesn’t make them any less of a decent person, unless they are in fact, evil. I don’t see how it is a BAD thing that not everyone thinks the woman should be reimbursed for everything. Aren’t differing opinions important to foster discussion?

  58. @sixninezero:

    There is no argument. Princess is within their contractual rights. You win.

    I was brought up to never treat my elders so poorly. If your granny should ever come through the doors of my business I can guarantee she will not be treated in such a sterile and cold manner.

    Well put, and my thoughts exactly.

  59. Pylon83 says:

    @CaffeinatedSquint:
    Well, differing opinions are important to an intellectually stimulating discussion. IT seems some of the commenters on here would prefer that everyone agree and side with the consumer every time. That certainly would make the site and comments worth reading, right?

  60. Pylon83 says:

    @sixninezero:
    You certainly do give up awfully easily.

    Now on to my actual point. I recognize that you and others sometimes go above and beyond for the elderly, because you “respect your elders”. At times, that kind of thinking is appropriate. At others, it is most certainly not. Further, the fact that YOU go above and beyond to ensure the special needs of the elderly are met does not mean that a company that does not is “wrong” or “scamming” the elderly. They are simply meeting the status quo and there is nothing wrong with that and not something they should be raked over the coals for.

  61. UpsetPanda says:

    Is Princess Cruises wrong? Not really. They offered to put her on the cruise anyway, it’s not their fault she missed her flight. It’s her problem if she refused.

  62. swalve says:

    @jpmoney: BWI is between DC and Baltimore. I’d be surprised if it took 30 minutes to get from BWI to National, considering you can get from Arlington to Baltimore in 45 minutes.

  63. Ass_Cobra says:

    @jpmoney:

    There are plenty of 1 stop flights from BWI to Anchorage. For those that are saying it is not the cruise line’s fault, they acted as her agent in booking the flight. Anyone with the slightest bit of air travel experience would not schedule a 2 stop flight to a time sensetive destination with narrow connection windows at both stops. It does not say in the story what the layover times were so we don’t know how tight they were running it but based on some of the facts it sounds like they were too damn close.

    Additionally the second they were delayed in Minneapolis, Princess should have been on the phone getting her accomodation on whatever the hell flight they had to to get her to Anchorage on time. It’s completely unacceptable that Princess was not able to find them room on a timely flight. I don’t know who on here uses a travel agent still but one of the advantages of using one is that you have someone working thier ass off to make sure you get where you’re going. Looks like Princess wanted to charge a premium like a travel agent but not do anything you’d expect from a travel agent.

    Additionally, for all those interested, it looks like her cruise would be 7 days (only princess one leaving from anchorage is 7 days). As she stated in the article she would have missed her glacier day which is what she was most interested in. I don’t see why she should feel obligated to take a truncated vacation and miss the portion that is most important to her. She bought her airfare through Princess, if they can’t deliver her on time to her ultimate destination I don’t see why it is her risk? Please remember that just because something is in a contract does not mean it’s enforceable.

  64. dohtem says:

    Fucking Princess Cruises

  65. Jacquilynne says:

    I haven’t cruised with Princess specifically, but if I had to guess, if she’d caught up to the boat, and then been sad that she missed the glaciers (by which I assume they mean a day spent cruising one of the glacier bays), they’d probably have tried to compensate her with something like a free glacier tour shore excursion at another port to ensure she got to see them. Cruise lines are generally pretty good about that sort of thing.

    But just bailing and leaving the trip outright? Apparently without even notifying the cruise line, because apparently she’s just too terribly old to use a *phone*?

    I think her getting the money back for the flights makes sense, since Princess got that back. But her making none of the cruise was not Princess’s fault, it was hers. Had she made it, they’d have no doubt been able to arrange some sort of compensation for the lost day. She chose to go home instead.

  66. TPK says:

    @swalve: You must live in the fifth dimension, where there is never any traffic!!

  67. sonichghog says:

    @Pylon83: Yes, but she lost the first day because of the delay. They owe her for THAT day.

  68. Pylon83 says:

    @RowdyRoddyPiper:
    What about her responsibility to mitigate the damages?

  69. caj11 says:

    I am appalled, I don’t care what anyone says. Okay, I know there was a contract and I know that Princess is entitled to keep all the money. I still feel that the way they are treating this situation (admittedly, a newsworthy one or there would be no sympathy) is extremely poor and while it is true she might have been able to make the cruise, you have to take into account that she was tired, confused and 78 years old. I think that all types of companies have a propensity for just walking all over senior citizens because they can (keeping the airline ticket money is perfect example of that). The bad PR is going to cost Princess in the long run. It was neither the cruise line’s nor the woman’s fault she missed the ship, so I think that refunding half of her cruise tickets – $1250 – plus the money for the airline ticket (or at least giving her a credit for the unused portion of the ticket) – is plenty fair. Compromise, people – don’t blame the victim. That seems to happen way too much in this forum.

  70. caj11 says:

    Executive email carpet bomb, anyone?

  71. Ass_Cobra says:

    @Pylon83:

    There is no duty to mitigate in this circumstance. She did not receive the benefit of her bargain due to negligence on the part of Princess. They had every opportunity to get her there on time and fell short. Again the situation would be different had she booked airfare separately. As it stands, Princess assumed responsibility for her timely arrival when they became her agent in booking her transportation. They held themselves out to be her agent when dealing with the airlines and they should accept the level of responsibility that comes with that.

  72. pearlandopal says:

    @swalve: Obviously you’ve never actually drive that route. Or you regularly drive at 150 mph.

  73. chalicechick says:

    Has nobody read this article?

    It says:

    Since May, her daughter has been fighting for a refund of the air tickets. The woman finally contacted CoGo last month, saying she accepted forfeiting the money for the cruise but asking for help in recouping money for unused flights .”Please let me know if you think I am being unreasonable,” she wrote in an e-mail. She added that she’d never again be able to afford an Alaskan cruise , but if she got her unused airfare refunded, she could take “some little trip.”

    Again, she accepted the lost cruise. To my reading, the cruise line collected twice for the airfare:When the woman paid them and then when the airline refunded it.

    Why shouldn’t they pass it on to her? Is keeping the refund any more fair?

    To take an analogy upthread, if I paid a movie theater sent a car service for me and the car got a flat causing me to miss the movie, I would be cheesed off, but wouldn’t necessarily expect a free movie ticket.

    BUT if I found out that the car service had refunded the theater for my transportation, I would want the refund.

    Seems unfair for the theater/Princess to PROFIT off of the situation.

  74. swalve says:

    @pearlandopal: I have, but I don’t schedule flights during rush hour to avoid traffic. And I sure as heck wouldn’t use the route google maps gives.

    And if I drive 150 mph, I would get there in 15 minutes. Of course, there wouldn’t be any traffic if I could do that.