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Not so EZ Air


Lois220
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Princess has cancelled all cruises departing up to June 30th due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I am a travel agent who has two couples scheduled to cruise out of London/Southampton on July 3, for a 12 night British Isles itinerary on the Regal Princess. They wish to cancel for obvious reasons. Bookings are already paid in full. Both bookings have Princess FLEXIBLE air. Princess specifically states: Cancellation: No fee until 45 days prior to departure. Fees apply within 45 days. However, Princess is refusing to refund the air, saying that it will be a "future CRUISE credit" applied to their profile. They refuse to budge. I don't think this is even legal but I'm not sure where to go on it. BUYER BEWARE!

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Lois220 said:

Princess has cancelled all cruises departing up to June 30th due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I am a travel agent who has two couples scheduled to cruise out of London/Southampton on July 3, for a 12 night British Isles itinerary on the Regal Princess. They wish to cancel for obvious reasons. Bookings are already paid in full. Both bookings have Princess FLEXIBLE air. Princess specifically states: Cancellation: No fee until 45 days prior to departure. Fees apply within 45 days. However, Princess is refusing to refund the air, saying that it will be a "future CRUISE credit" applied to their profile. They refuse to budge. I don't think this is even legal but I'm not sure where to go on it. BUYER BEWARE!

 

 

 

Wow ... that is so wrong!!   Stories like this are so discouraging.  I am hoping they will be able to fight this.  I know Princess is trying desperately to hold onto cash right now and probably hoping that people's FCCs are not used, but, this type of stuff just pushes away chances at new bookings.  

I'm trying to be patient, but still waiting for my refund and FCC for my canceled cruise.  I had rebooked another cruise for May and they wouldn't allow me to pull from my FCCs that were promised to me.  Now, I fear I am going to wait and wait and wait for my May refund as well.  If it takes longer than 60 days to get my first refund back, I will file a dispute with my CC company to refund the cash portion for my second cancellation.  Oh ... and did I mention I still have another cancellation to deal with as well.  

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1 hour ago, Lois220 said:

Princess has cancelled all cruises departing up to June 30th due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I am a travel agent who has two couples scheduled to cruise out of London/Southampton on July 3, for a 12 night British Isles itinerary on the Regal Princess. They wish to cancel for obvious reasons. Bookings are already paid in full. Both bookings have Princess FLEXIBLE air. Princess specifically states: Cancellation: No fee until 45 days prior to departure. Fees apply within 45 days. However, Princess is refusing to refund the air, saying that it will be a "future CRUISE credit" applied to their profile. They refuse to budge. I don't think this is even legal but I'm not sure where to go on it. BUYER BEWARE!

 

 

Wonder if the California Attorney Genereal would be interested in the crap Princess is pulling, not just on your clients.  Legal to change establshed policies once a company has client money?  California because Princess headquarters there 

 

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Seems to me that as a TA, you’d have a lot of experience with people canceling their cruise and EZAir after final payment and before the non-refundable date. What has happened with your other clients? How was it handled before this pandemic? 

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@Lois220

Couple of ideas-  1 If posting elsewhere I wouldnt mention you are a T/A

2.   If they have not already formally cancelled  how about waiting until 14 May.

Last extension was made ( at least on FB  ) on  14 April. for 30 June

45 days before 3 July is 19th May . So still time to cancel  if Princess dont.

I dont know if that would make any difference regards getting cash refund but maybe

worth waiting to see if  Princess cancels  - There are no sailings in June so are they

sailing an empty ship  to the UK?

3.   Look through  other threads on the Princess Board  I dont recall if EZ air has been

mentioned  but if it has not  you could ask how anyone else is doing with EZair.

(The one re Credit Cards is "HOT"  32k views!)

4. I assume you have the original EZair booking conditions- anything in there on cancellations

 

UK is a bit behind Europe in topping out the virus lockin extended until mid May   and talk

of a partial return to normal then. So  personally I doubt if  cruise ships will be on the top

of the list of things that are allowed.

 

 

Edited by Aulanis
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2 hours ago, Lois220 said:

Princess has cancelled all cruises departing up to June 30th due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I am a travel agent who has two couples scheduled to cruise out of London/Southampton on July 3, for a 12 night British Isles itinerary on the Regal Princess. They wish to cancel for obvious reasons. Bookings are already paid in full. Both bookings have Princess FLEXIBLE air. Princess specifically states: Cancellation: No fee until 45 days prior to departure. Fees apply within 45 days. However, Princess is refusing to refund the air, saying that it will be a "future CRUISE credit" applied to their profile. They refuse to budge. I don't think this is even legal but I'm not sure where to go on it. BUYER BEWARE!

 

 

Its Princess and not the airlines withholding the refund.  Princess/Carnival, along with other cruise lines, are hemorrhaging money.  They will hold on to anything they can and wait until legal action is taken.  Of course, by then they will be in bankruptcy restructuring and  your clients will lose they money.  I'm in the same " boat" in a sense with a Uniworld river cruise.  They have my full payment for a two-week cruise through France starting in June.  Big $$$.  France is closed and will unlikely be open for tourism by June, much less this year.  FCC is offered for next year, but waiting another year under the current CLIA/CDC travel restrictions for those of us over 65/70 is a non-starter.  And the cruise lines know this.  Uniworld is held privately as part of a larger conglomeration of travel, hotel and tour companies - all of, which are likely closed.  In essence, these cruise lines are stealing out monies.  No other way to look at it.  Not the way to encourage cruising following COVID-19 and not the way to attract new passengers.  

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1 hour ago, Pam in CA said:

Seems to me that as a TA, you’d have a lot of experience with people canceling their cruise and EZAir after final payment and before the non-refundable date. What has happened with your other clients? How was it handled before this pandemic? 

Not all agents specialize in cruising. It is possible the OP books all types of vacations and doesn't have a lot of experience with one specific line. Each company seems to have their oddities.

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2 hours ago, Lois220 said:

Princess has cancelled all cruises departing up to June 30th due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I am a travel agent who has two couples scheduled to cruise out of London/Southampton on July 3, for a 12 night British Isles itinerary on the Regal Princess. They wish to cancel for obvious reasons. Bookings are already paid in full. Both bookings have Princess FLEXIBLE air. Princess specifically states: Cancellation: No fee until 45 days prior to departure. Fees apply within 45 days. However, Princess is refusing to refund the air, saying that it will be a "future CRUISE credit" applied to their profile. They refuse to budge. I don't think this is even legal but I'm not sure where to go on it. BUYER BEWARE!

 

Your understanding is accurate.

 

Final payment is now 60 days right - maybe it is 75 days? They should be able to cancel everything with out penalty.

 

With Princess, I would call back and speak to someone else. If you are not getting the answer you want, ask to speak to a supervisor. Last case, speak to your Princess rep.

Edited by Coral
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Same here. We cancelled our Princess EZair  flexible fare outside the 45day windows near mid-March for a May 4th cruise,  and still no refund/FCC yet. I recalled the agent told me at the time that I'd expect refund on CC. Now I am not so sure anymore. Will have to see how this will unfold. May be we all have to file complaint with our state AG so we don't get screwed.

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Thanks for the suggestion, but I have already exhausted all those options. I am now registering a complaint with the Federal Maritime Commission, Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services. 

 

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2 minutes ago, nini said:

I have found that Princess reps give many different answers to the 

identical question. So, call again and again if you need to. And ask

for a supervisor if needed.

and that answer will be good until the call is ended … sorry

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In the past, when canceling EZAir after final payment has been made but before the 45 day limit, Princess refunded the payment back to the credit card, However, the TA had to request the refund, Princess did not automatically generate the refund.

 

Something new as of this week, is that Princess is keeping non-fare funds, such as air, taxes, fees, etc. in a new ‘holding account’ to be used on a future cruise(s) for people who request Option 1 and are receiving FCC for their fare.  The holding account is similar to an FCC but is specific to that type of non-fare expense.

 

People who requested Option 2, cash refund, do not get their non-fare expenses placed in a holding account, nor should people who cancel before Princess does. The OP‘s clients should be getting their EZair as a refund not a holding account.


I don’t know if the reps are just confused about the holding account, or if the cancelation timing has not been discussed correctly,  but Princess’ own document says otherwise.  See post # 673 in the big ‘Who is Getting Their Refund‘ thread.

Edited by cherylandtk
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2 hours ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

Its Princess and not the airlines withholding the refund.  Princess/Carnival, along with other cruise lines, are hemorrhaging money.  They will hold on to anything they can and wait until legal action is taken.  Of course, by then they will be in bankruptcy restructuring and  your clients will lose they money.  I'm in the same " boat" in a sense with a Uniworld river cruise.  They have my full payment for a two-week cruise through France starting in June.  Big $$$.  France is closed and will unlikely be open for tourism by June, much less this year.  FCC is offered for next year, but waiting another year under the current CLIA/CDC travel restrictions for those of us over 65/70 is a non-starter.  And the cruise lines know this.  Uniworld is held privately as part of a larger conglomeration of travel, hotel and tour companies - all of, which are likely closed.  In essence, these cruise lines are stealing out monies.  No other way to look at it.  Not the way to encourage cruising following COVID-19 and not the way to attract new passengers.  

Sure that they will go into bankruptcy are ya?

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This is their stated policy from their web site:

https://www.princess.com/plan/cruise-with-confidence/cancellation-final-payment-policy/

 

  • What if I have Princess EZair® on my booking? Is that covered too?
    The following guidance applies to guests in North America who purchased air via the EZair® program.

    It depends; for Flexible Air, any outstanding cancellation fees will be added to the Future Cruise Credit. For Restricted Air, there may be a credit issued by the airline, which will become a separate Future Air Credit for that airline that can be used when booking your Princess Cruise (the credit only applies to that airline). The balance of the air cost paid will be added to your Future Cruise Credit.

    For guests in Australia & New Zealand where air credits are not available, applicable air cancellation fees will be added to your Future Cruise Credit instead.

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11 hours ago, Lois220 said:

Princess has cancelled all cruises departing up to June 30th due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I am a travel agent who has two couples scheduled to cruise out of London/Southampton on July 3, for a 12 night British Isles itinerary on the Regal Princess. They wish to cancel for obvious reasons. Bookings are already paid in full. Both bookings have Princess FLEXIBLE air. Princess specifically states: Cancellation: No fee until 45 days prior to departure. Fees apply within 45 days. However, Princess is refusing to refund the air, saying that it will be a "future CRUISE credit" applied to their profile. They refuse to budge. I don't think this is even legal but I'm not sure where to go on it. BUYER BEWARE!

 

 

 

Since final payment was not due until May 4, why did they pay in full early?

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Is there any chance that you requested to have the air ticketed? Sometimes clients request this done so that they can upgrade seats, etc. If so, at that time the Flexible Air becomes ticketed air, and is no longer refundable. 

I doubt this is the case in this instance, but wanted to mention it for others that may be reading it with similar circumstances.

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8 hours ago, caribill said:

 

Since final payment was not due until May 4, why did they pay in full early?

People do. It makes no sense to me. I have a relative with a August European cruise. She has been making payments. I told her to "stop doing that" as I know Princess is taking awhile to refund people. My earlier suggestion of putting money into a savings account as opposed to making payments didn't make sense to them.

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1 hour ago, Coral said:

People do. It makes no sense to me. I have a relative with a August European cruise. She has been making payments. I told her to "stop doing that" as I know Princess is taking awhile to refund people. My earlier suggestion of putting money into a savings account as opposed to making payments didn't make sense to them.

Normally I would agree with this - pay yourself up until the final due date.  I recently paid off our cruise early so I could get the minimum spend on my new Southwest card to get the Companion Pass as soon as possible.  The Companion Pass was worth more to me than the tiny interest rate I get in my savings account for those couple of months I paid early.  I didn't really think there would be a world-wide pandemic cancelling my cruise in June.   

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I have absolutely no idea why anyone would pay their cruise fare before the final payment date.

 

Just as I have no idea why anyone would pay any portion of their cruise fare with cash or with a debit card rather than a credit card (and some of the protection that the latter can provide).   Or why they would ever give money to a travel agency instead of having the transaction process directly by the travel provider.

 

I don't understand why someone would accept an FCC for a cruise line cancelled cruise and then be willing to give the cruise company even more money in the form of a cruise deposit when booking a replacement cruise for a future date.  How much sense does that make?  Not to mention the other restrictions that some cruise lines are placing on the use/application of FCC's.

Edited by iancal
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I also had EZAIR for a May 4th cruise.  I had been ticketed.

I canceled the air on February 27, when things were starting to heat up,  paid a penalty of 770 and after multiple inquiries to TA and Princess am still waiting for the 3500+ to be refunded.

I did turn it over to AMEX with all the supporting documents.

They have taken the charge off my bill and are pursuing it with Princess.

I did re book the cruise and move the excess cash to a May 2021 cruise, even paid a 200 penalty/change fee.

I am know thinking of cancelling that cruise but will wait until things settle down a bit

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