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Carnival Triumph Non-Refundable Flight Refunds

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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 (one of the class action law firms): sealaw@aol.com

Carnival (the responsible party): iCare@carnival.com

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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.

 

Says it all to me. I understand you would rather have cash in your hand, but you have to understand, you are being given a credit by SW. You cannot have both. If SW was not issuing a credit, Carnival would have given you the cash. I think your problem is with how SW handled it, not carnival.

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Carnival is sticking exactly by their word. They said they would cover non-refundable costs. You have a perfectly good credit to use for air travel with the airline you chose.

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Since they said it, they *should* do it. Not *should* as in legally binding and such, just *should* as in their word meaning anything.

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This has been discussed extensively on several threads. What Carnival is offering is exactly what they promised, and what I expected when they announced the compensation package. I knew that by "non-refundable travel expenses" they meant the change fees (if any) to apply the value of those airline tickets towards new dates.

 

You can't double dip. In other words, you can't have a credit equal to the value of your tickets PLUS have a full refund. And Southwest didnt give you a credit because you were canceled by Carnival. That's just their regular policy.

 

If you had purchased tickets that couldn't be used except for the original flights, (and were truly non-refundable), then Carnival would be reimbursing you.

 

I know that you may not think its fair, but that's the way it is. Sorry.

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Yes it does sound like the same person, who just happend to also be from Chicago. And as on the other thread, I can ask OP how is Southwest giving you credit in exchange for your ticket, any different then a dept. store giving you in store credit for the pair of pants you are returning. And no given the fact that Southwest flys to over 75 places from Midway, they don't go where I want to fly dosn't really cut it. Cause you do have tickets from Southwest so they do go at least one place you want to fly.

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You are from Chicago, Southwest has many flights leaving out of Midway. Take your credits and fly somewhere that you haven't been to. Make a long weekend of it.

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So, I guess since the cruise is cancelled the whole vacation is cancelled. I would still fly into Texas and maybe find a nice hotel by the beach to stay at. Or maybe fly to another warm sunny location.

And non-refundable means exactly that...

 

You buy the cheap fares then you take the chance of loosing money when you or something else causes you to cancel.

 

You are cancelling the flight, not Carnival.

 

Ship happens.

Edited by lylone

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I think the OP already got an answer to this question, but for the sake of discussion, I'll add my $.02 again.

 

Doesn't Carnival offer the option of booking the air transportation on a traveler's behalf (for a fee of course)? In doing so, Carnival assumes the risk if something goes wrong. The OP opted to make their own private travel arrangements independent of Carnival. Now, they want Carnival to assume the risk, although they waived that service.

 

In my opinion, Carnival has gone above and beyond the call of duty by offering to pay for non-refundable travel costs. Its really no different from booking an excursion with Carnival as opposed to booking it privately. If a Carnival booked excursion is late, Carnival delays departure until it returns. If a traveler books a private excursion, they are on their own if something happens. Its the risk a person assumes by making their own reservations.

 

In the same way, Carnival has nothing to do with the private relationship between the OP and SW. I'm not sure how one could expect anything more than what Carnival has already offered. One could argue that it was Carnival's fault that the vacation was cancelled, but to me its a mute point. If the scenario were reversed, and Southwest was the one who cancelled (or delayed)your flight, causing you to miss your cruise, are you suggesting they should reimburse you for the cruise? What if (out of the goodness of their heart) they offered to do so, but found out that Carnival had given you a Future Cruise Credit. Would you still feel like it was their responsibility to do so? No matter how you slice it, this is not Carnival's responsibility. Just my opinion.

Edited by Cras108er

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To the OP:

 

Looking at your past postings, it seems like you cancelled cruise date is still 3 weeks away. Have you considered re-booking on a DIFFERENT ship, like the Elation from New Orleans, Paradise from Tampa, Ecstasy from Port Canaveral, Fascination from Jacksonville, or Victory from Miami? All of them offer 5 night cruises during that same week. You can apply the 25% discount towards your new cruise!

 

Here's the good part: SOUTHWEST FLIES TO ALL OF THOSE PORTS OF EMBARKATION!! :D

 

What that means for you is that you can use your Southwest credit and apply the FULL amount towards new flights. More importantly, it means that you can stop posting on various forums how you've been wronged. :o

Edited by Tapi

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I understand the OP's frustration. Maybe the cost of additional flight is too expensive? Although another thread said they would cover that difference with OBC. But a refund and a credit with a time limit are not the same thing. I know that I may not be able to fly within the same year if this happened to me.

 

I agree with trying to find another cruise but there could be reasons that isn't a viable option. I assume those other cruises are filling fast.

 

Wouldn't it be possible for Carnival to take the "credits" from the airlines and give the refunds? Then it wouldn't be double dipping and Carnival could use the credits to book new passengers that want to add airfare. I'm sure it would be a pain in the butt, however it would make them look better.

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You're right, Carnival has no legal, social or moral obligation. However, there is something called good will. And when they first started offering refunds, after their ship (which has been noted has had problems in the past) cruises had to be canceled, they were right there promising to make everyone feel better when the cameras were rolling. They made offers, and people felt good about them. I read something like this, and not so much. $1400 for me that may not be able to be used, is a bit more than a bit of inconvenience LOL.

This was not a weather related incident, or even an unrest issue. This was because their ship broke. We still don't know if this was a maintencance issue, or a past issue. We just know they made offers and are now saying that a very limited credit is a refund. It isn't. Good for SW, however, not so good for Carnival. That said, a well written letter to SW may find that because they are the company they are, they may get either an extension or a refund. Because SW knows how to treat their customers.

 

Their size has no bearing on their legal, social, or moral obligation. In fact, its their success at that that allows all of us to continue taking cruises with them (or for those of us who are shareholders to receive a ROI)). I could almost see them being more altruistic for the passengers who were stuck on the Liberty for those 8 days, but the OP is simply a person who is experiencing a bit of inconvenience as as result of that. I do not think Carnival has any particular obligation to him/her. They have acted in good faith, but as commonly happens, "no good deed goes unpunished."

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If you were one of the people who was denied a refund by Carnival for non-refundable airfare, please be aware they have changed their policy.

 

We were able to get a few of the newspapers who printed Carnival's press release where Carnival states that they are going to provide full refunds to follow-up with Carnival and ask why they were denying the refunds. Carnival caved in and decided to honor its public statement.

 

You need to convey to Carnival (and I suggest you do this in electronic form so you have a record) that you believe you will be unable to use an airline credit. They may take a week or more to get back to you, and have informed us it will take 14 days for processing...but they are now finally doing what they said they were going to do.

 

Thank you to the Miami Herald, L.A. Times, Lawyers.com, and a few other independent journalists for being good watchdogs!

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Well, given that Carnival hadn't done anything wrong and that this is just a case of people being lazy and unwilling to take control of their own lives and choices, I'm really sorry to hear that Carnival is giving into a group of laggards......

 

I can only hope that those involved will do the right thing and not try to double-dip, but I have little faith in that ever happening--too many people want something for nothing these days.

 

Disgusting, just disgusting.

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OP: You have already addressed this particular concern. Thank you for sharing your concern. However, it appears, from the last time you brought this up, and now, that the majority of people do not agree with your perception that Carnival is trying to stiff you, nor your statement that they are 'backing out of refunding.' That is a very broad blanket statement to make, based on your one experience, in which they have made the decision not to refund cash, because you are already receiving a credit from your airline. They are not backing out of making refunds... they have stated they are not refunding YOU cash.

 

The first time you posted, I had empathy for your situation. After all, I think we all recognize that credit with an airline is not the same as cash in your bank account. However, as many posters have stated, credit from your chosen airline is how your airline provides a refund, so it would be unfair and inappropriate for Carnival to issue a second refund. I won't go into all the details that others have already posted in both threads to you about precautions we all are responsible, as adults, for taking when we travel, and the consequences of not doing so (trip insurance, etc.).

 

However, as much empathy as I had the first time you posted, I have a bit less now. It may not be your intent, but the wording of this post (making it sound as though they have changed the policy, rather than this has just been your experience based on your airline's refund format), as well as the fact that you have already made this post once, really begins to cast you less in the light of someone who has been mistreated, and more as someone who is trying to garner support for your cause.

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I know that I may not be able to fly within the same year if this happened to me.

 

 

According to TAPI (I haven't looked for myself), the OP's original cruise date has not even passed yet. So the OP would not even have to apply for a different 'time off' from work, aside from maybe a day or two, if that.

 

 

I can only hope that those involved will do the right thing and not try to double-dip, but I have little faith in that ever happening--too many people want something for nothing these days.

 

Disgusting, just disgusting.

 

Agreed, OHCruiser. I very much agree. And that really seems to be the case here.

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Well, Doc, I've done what I can. I've sent an e-mail to Carnival CS, asking that it be forwarded to the appropriate department/person.

 

I expressed my disgust at the apparent policy change and chiding them for not being more careful about what they promised in the first place.

 

I can only hope that after a more thorough review, Carnival will realize that you just don't fork over $$ to someone who still holds a perfectly useable product for another 8+ months.

 

I hope that if Carnival plans to give the refund, they'll be willing to keep the books open for the next 24 months and to only send a check when it can be PROVEN that credits are no longer useable/transferable/sell-able.

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Carnival made a public announcement in the form of a public press release. A press release that implied that cruisers would receive a full refund for their canceled cruise and their transportation costs. They are now backing down from their press release (damage control).

 

Their own policy regarding canceled cruises defines that there is a difference between a Full refund and a credit. Here is the wording they use for early saver deposits straight from their contract.

"*Early Saver & Easy Saver: The deposit is non-refundable. All cancellations that occur prior to final payment due date will receive a non-refundable and non-transferable future cruise credit "

 

Almost every company that offers exchanges and credits but not a cash refund state that the product is non-refundable. This is why their receipts and contracts always state, no refunds, exchanges only.

 

This statement clearly shows that they distinguish the difference between a refund and a credit. Using their words from their contract, the OP is entitled to a full refund of the $'s spent for the transportation expenses. Carnival is basically wanting SW to absorb the cost from Carnivals fire.

 

According to the cruise contract, they are not entitled to a refund of airfare. They are entitled to a refund as a result of the press release that Carnival issued.

 

Ceases to amaze me the rose colored glasses and the kool-aid drinking customers that post in droves on Cruise Critic.

Edited by Tutankhamen

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If it were me I would be copying all negative posts about the refund issues posted on cruise critic. I would then be forwarding to all media outlets with a carbon copy to numerous Carnival departments. You will get a refund.

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OP: You have already addressed this particular concern. Thank you for sharing your concern. However' date=' it appears, from the last time you brought this up, and now, that the majority of people do not agree with your perception that Carnival is trying to stiff you, nor your statement that they are 'backing out of refunding.' That is a very broad blanket statement to make, based on your one experience, in which they have made the decision not to refund cash, because you are already receiving a credit from your airline. They are not backing out of making refunds... they have stated they are not refunding YOU cash.

 

The first time you posted, I had empathy for your situation. After all, I think we all recognize that credit with an airline is not the same as cash in your bank account. However, as many posters have stated, credit from your chosen airline is how your airline provides a refund, so it would be unfair and inappropriate for Carnival to issue a second refund. I won't go into all the details that others have already posted in both threads to you about precautions we all are responsible, as adults, for taking when we travel, and the consequences of not doing so (trip insurance, etc.).

 

However, as much empathy as I had the first time you posted, I have a bit less now. It may not be your intent, but the wording of this post (making it sound as though they have changed the policy, rather than this has just been your experience based on your airline's refund format), as well as the fact that you have already made this post once, really begins to cast you less in the light of someone who has been mistreated, and more as someone who is trying to garner support for your cause.[/quote']

Well, given that Carnival hadn't done anything wrong and that this is just a case of people being lazy and unwilling to take control of their own lives and choices, I'm really sorry to hear that Carnival is giving into a group of laggards......

 

I can only hope that those involved will do the right thing and not try to double-dip, but I have little faith in that ever happening--too many people want something for nothing these days.

 

Disgusting, just disgusting.

You both mention people being responsible for their own choices, and I agree completely. While I have sympathy for the canceled passengers' frustration, I believe it was frustration in their own making.

Instead of spending the money to purchase air through Carnival, they chose to book independently of their cruise ticket. Now it seems as if they want Carnival to back up their independently purchased air tickets as if they were protected by Carnival.

I said it before, and I'll say it again; many of life's lessons aren't pleasant to learn. But I would think many people, and not just those posting here about it, have learned not to jump so quickly on the cheapest price without learning ALL the details.

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I've been following this thread and find it amazing how there are actually those who don't believe that Carnival should follow through with what they released to the press. The cruise was cancelled by Carnival, not the OP, therefore Carnival should be responsible for the cost of the airline tickets, not the OP. It was said that people should take responsible for their actions, well so should the cuiseline. OP I believe if you make a big enough "stink" you will probably get the money refunded, it just may take time.

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So the OP is suppose to get a Flight credit and a cash refund isn't that kinda like getting paid twice?

yes

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