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No Flight Refunds for Triumph Passengers.

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If you were one of the tens of thousands of people who were booked aboard the Carnival Triumph during the months of late February, March, and early April 2013 you have undoubtedly heard that Carnival has offered refunds for the cruise costs and non refundable airfare. What you may not have heard yet is that Carnival is quietly backing out of its commitment to refund passengers for the non refundable airfare. Here is the initial press release from Carnival:

…Carnival has also canceled 14 voyages of the carnival Triumph through April 13, 2013. Guests on the affected sailings will receive a full refund of their cruise fare, as well as non-refundable transportation costs, pre-paid shore excursions, gratuities, and government fees and taxes.

What many of you already know or are about to find out is that Carnival has backed out of its commitment. Cruise fare is being slowly refunded, but the company has made a decision to not allow airfare refunds, stating that airlines will offer credit for non-refundable airfare. Here is the email we received March 2nd 2013 telling us that Carnival had backed out of their offer:

Dear **** ****,

We would like to offer our sincere apologies for the disruption and cancellation of your cruise vacation.

We have confirmed with Southwest Airlines that some of the flights are still active and no changes or cancellations have been made. They also advised that once you cancel you will have a credit for the cost of your flights valid until January 23, 2014. For the portions that were canceled Southwest Airlines issued a credit valid until January 23, 2014.

Since no fees have been incurred and a credit will be issued by the airlines no compensation will be forthcoming from Carnival at this time.

Sincerely,

F***** M*****
Guest Administration Coordinator
Carnival Cruise Lines | 3655 NW 87th Avenue | Miami, FL 33178 |
800-438-6744
iCare@carnival.com

Not all the details in Carnival’s letter are correct, but a credit that is good only for the next eight months and only on Southwest Airlines is nowhere close to a “full refund.” Thank you Southwest for being the responsible company and offering to give credit. But Carnival has really taken the low road on this one. As for us, we have our vacations planned out for the next year…and thus have no use for the credits. We are out about $1000 due to Carnival’s cancellation.

If we are any representation of “normal travel expenses” then $333 per passenger, 3000 paid cruisers, aboard each of the 14 cruises; Carnival seems to be sacking their paying customers with a $13,986,000 bill that Carnival agreed to pay in exchange for good will.

If you are one of the people negatively impacted by Carnival’s decision to back out of their offer please consider writing about it. Look up who wrote about Carnival in your local newspaper and write them. Here are some of the reporters that covered the topic.

Robbie Brown with The New York Times: RobbieB@NYTimes.com
Bill Burke with The Boston Herald: travelguy@bostonherald.com
Molly Hennessy-Fiske with The LA Times: molly.hennessey-fiske@latimes.com
Jessica Chasmar with The Washington Times: jchasmar@washingtontimes.com
Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. (one of the class action law firms): sealaw@aol.com
Carnival (the responsible party): iCare@carnival.com

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