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2021 Price increases on P&O (UK)?


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6 minutes ago, glennbtn said:

We were due to cruise in August but cancelled just before we were due to pay the balance and given the deposit as FCC. The cruise we wanted to go on will not go to the same destinations next year so do I stand any chance getting my deposit refunded being I can't get what I had originally booked?

Yes, you are entitled to a 100% cash refund of your deposit as an alternative to the FCC.

 

There is a form to complete on the P&O Cruises website.  You do not have to give any reason for not accepting the FCC.  Make sure that you take a screenshot of when you send in the form as you will not receive an email acknowledgement, but you do get an on screen reply.  This is vital for audit trail purposes.

 

P&O says that it will take up to 60 days for you to receive your deposit back.  Some people have been reimbursed within that time, others are now experiencing waits of 90-120 days. Occasionally, web forms are "lost." If you do not receive your money back in 60 days then they can be chased, but customer service on the topic is generally poor.

 

The Law on the subject is that you are entitled to a refund within 14 days, but is not being followed at this time. 

 

Your other option is to wait until holidays are released for 2022 (date unknown) and use the FCC then, however many passengers are becoming wary of them due to pricing change, itinerary/schedule issues, insurance concerns, other factors and worries about the cruise holiday experience, given the ongoing issues with Covid-19.

 

Hope this helps.

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3 hours ago, wowzz said:

I have posted this link on another thread, but have posted it again here as it seems relevant 

https://www.costacruises.eu/cruising-soon-again/safety-above-all.html

The key point it seems to me, is the confirmation that passenger numbers will be reduced.

It's all well and good having FCC, but if there is a likelihood of a 25%+ reduction in numbers, even if book a cruise now with your FCC, you will not be guaranteed a cruise.

Taking everything into account about social distancing etc I do not think that full capacity will the norm until some time into the future. A 25% reduction in numbers is not at all unreasonable in order to ensure a good cruise experience, so clearly P&O will have to decide who to cull, which in my opinion will be those with cheapest fares, insiders and so on. Understandably they will wish to maximise on revenue and therefore 'the more you pay, the more lightly you are to stay'. 

Bal

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33 minutes ago, Balaena said:

Understandably they will wish to maximise on revenue and therefore 'the more you pay, the more lightly you are to stay'. 

Bal

As a guess, I agree around the likelihood of this commercially-orientated approach to the problem, although I wouldn't have any sympathy with them.

 

If they do not retain early bookings (at any price point in permitted cabin types) then some passengers would complain around a deliberate overbooking policy, which I believe is not allowed.  The natural extension would be to say to affected passengers something as follows:

 

"Unfortunately due to the extraordinary and unprecedented impact of Covid-19, and Government advice which is outside of our control, P&O needs to reduce passenger numbers by x% to allow safe travel.  P&O is now unable to provide your Package at the prior agreed price. 

 

Therefore, you have the option of paying £££ by xx to continue with your booking, or instead accepting a full cash refund.  This will take "up to 60 days." Please complete a web form...

 

Alternatively, you can accept a FCC worth 125% of all monies currently paid."

 

If this doesn't resolve the overbooking problem, as too many people pay more, then the next group enters the auction (or some people just get cancelled automatically).  The risk is that fluid pricing gets ridiculous as a result. 

 

I'm sure that it would be communicated differently but that would be the general thrust.  Of course, one cannot assume that people with initially cheaper fares (balconies included) are not willing to pay more in such circumstances to keep their holidays.  FCC bookings could also be de-prioritized as less of the fare is real cash.

 

What you would hope is that if they are going to do this, and if is a real problem, then they provide at least four months notice, one so they don't have to pay anything extra out to passengers, and two so that people are not forced in to paying final balances to TA's, as that would be really unfair.

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Perhaps they’d look at our discretionary spend on previous cruises (don’t tell me they haven’t got records) and prioritise  the higher spenders?

Why let a precious cabin to tightwads who never spend more than their OBC - bring on the high rollers!

(I exaggerate to make my point)

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11 minutes ago, Eddie99 said:

Perhaps they’d look at our discretionary spend on previous cruises (don’t tell me they haven’t got records) and prioritise  the higher spenders?

Why let a precious cabin to tightwads who never spend more than their OBC - bring on the high rollers!

(I exaggerate to make my point)

 

That's our next cruises cancelled!

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21 minutes ago, No pager thank you said:

Unfortunately due to the extraordinary and unprecedented impact of Covid-19, and Government advice which is outside of our control, P&O needs to reduce passenger numbers by x% to allow safe travel.  P&O is now unable to provide your Package at the prior agreed price. 

 

Therefore, you have the option of paying £££ by xx to continue with your booking, or instead accepting a full cash refund.  This will take "up to 60 days." Please complete a web form

Whilst I understand your point, I am of the opinion that to, in effect, demand an additional payment, is totally outside of the T&Cs, and would be illegal. The lawyers would have a field day. 

Some holiday companies do insert a clause in their T&Cs that allow them to increase prices by 2% or so, to accomodate fx fluctuations,  but afaik, P&O do not have any such proviso.

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28 minutes ago, Harry Peterson said:

If they need/want to cancel, they will, and their terms and conditions allow them to do that.

 

Quite how they’ll pick which ones, who knows, but I’d be surprised if they don’t prioritise those paying with real money rather than credit notes.

I'm not disputing that they can cancel, but I don't think they can arbitrarily demand an extra 10% (or whatever) payment.

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1 hour ago, Harry Peterson said:

If they need/want to cancel, they will, and their terms and conditions allow them to do that.

 

Quite how they’ll pick which ones, who knows, but I’d be surprised if they don’t prioritise those paying with real money rather than credit notes.

Or those of us that booked early and got a really good deal?

Avril 

Edited by Adawn47
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41 minutes ago, wowzz said:

I'm not disputing that they can cancel, but I don't think they can arbitrarily demand an extra 10% (or whatever) payment.

I'm sure you're right. I haven't checked that point in the booking conditions but it's highly unlikely they've reserved themselves that right.

 

This is from ABTA rather than any legal source, but they do mention very limited circumstances in which increases can be applied, and cruises are covered by the Package Travel regulations:

 

https://www.abta.com/tips-and-advice/is-my-holiday-protected/new-package-travel-regulations

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1 minute ago, Adawn47 said:

Or those of us that booked early and got a really good deal?

Avril 

If they play fair, Avril, it will be first come first served.  And if they don't,  it won't take long to get out and damage their reputation still further. 

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1 hour ago, wowzz said:

Whilst I understand your point, I am of the opinion that to, in effect, demand an additional payment, is totally outside of the T&Cs, and would be illegal. The lawyers would have a field day. 

Some holiday companies do insert a clause in their T&Cs that allow them to increase prices by 2% or so, to accomodate fx fluctuations,  but afaik, P&O do not have any such proviso.

I am not legally trained and would be happy to be corrected.  I further agree with you that any such sharp practice would cause a lot of problems.  Any PR operation worth its salt would just say don't go there.

 

However, clause 36 in the P&O booking conditions (May 2019) appears to allow P&O to vary a Package price (if the difference is more than 2%) up to 20 days before departure.  Refund rights apply if the difference is more than 8%, with 14 days available for the customer to decide.  This would definitely apply as we are talking a lot more than 25%.  There appears to be a sub clause relating to "Government changes," in justifying / permitting this.

 

As with 99.99% of passengers (I assume), I wouldn't usually read booking conditions verbatim, just want to go on holiday.  However, I have looked at this for first time ever given the refunds nonsense.

 

As I say, I would much prefer to be proven wrong, but I don't think that this can be excluded and at the minute.  My usual assumption that they will look after people doesn't stand.

 

The only fair way, if there is one, would be to go in order of booking and if necessary offer a cabin upgrade to passengers who cannot travel in their booked cabin for safety reasons.  This would benefit us in some cases and dis-benefit us in others.

 

However, this would cost them 💸

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1 hour ago, Harry Peterson said:

If they need/want to cancel, they will, and their terms and conditions allow them to do that.

 

Quite how they’ll pick which ones, who knows, but I’d be surprised if they don’t prioritise those paying with real money rather than credit notes.

 

46 minutes ago, wowzz said:

I'm not disputing that they can cancel, but I don't think they can arbitrarily demand an extra 10% (or whatever) payment.

 

1 minute ago, Adawn47 said:

Or those of us that booked early and got a really good deal.

Avril 

I would imagine (hope) that cruises that are not due to leave for a minimum of 5 months, would not yet be fully sold. In which case P&O, and indeed most cruise lines, should be able to limit bookings to a level below whatever new capacity they intend setting. That could mean there would be no need for them to cancel anyone's booking.  Similarly they know that many customers prefer an inside or cheaper ocean view cabin, so although it might be cost effective to have these empty, it would not be good for long term PR.

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17 minutes ago, terrierjohn said:

 

 

I would imagine (hope) that cruises that are not due to leave for a minimum of 5 months, would not yet be fully sold. In which case P&O, and indeed most cruise lines, should be able to limit bookings to a level below whatever new capacity they intend setting. That could mean there would be no need for them to cancel anyone's booking.  Similarly they know that many customers prefer an inside or cheaper ocean view cabin, so although it might be cost effective to have these empty, it would not be good for long term PR.

 

Out of interest I have just tried a dummy booking for our cruise in July 2021 B118 Britannia Mediterranean. When it came to selecting a cabin all grades were showing as sold out, however when I removed our son from the booking there was availability. Presumably this means that the ship is already at maximum capacity in terms of child places.

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19 minutes ago, terrierjohn said:

I would imagine (hope) that cruises that are not due to leave for a minimum of 5 months, would not yet be fully sold

Normally John, I would agree with you. But on other social media sites, many posters are saying that they have used FCC to switch to cruises early next year. 

If P&O were to sail at 75% capacity, I wouldn't be surprised if they are not now at close to their new capacity level. 

The question is, will they continue to accept bookings, in the hope that circumstances change in the future, or temporarily stop taking new bookings until the situation becomes clearer? I think we know the answer to that! 

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4 minutes ago, DamianG said:

 

Out of interest I have just tried a dummy booking for our cruise in July 2021 B118 Britannia Mediterranean. When it came to selecting a cabin all grades were showing as sold out, however when I removed our son from the booking there was availability. Presumably this means that the ship is already at maximum capacity in terms of child places.

Which would indicate that many cancelled cruisers have used their FCC to book cruuses for next year.

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9 minutes ago, terrierjohn said:

 

 

I would imagine (hope) that cruises that are not due to leave for a minimum of 5 months, would not yet be fully sold. In which case P&O, and indeed most cruise lines, should be able to limit bookings to a level below whatever new capacity they intend setting. That could mean there would be no need for them to cancel anyone's booking.  Similarly they know that many customers prefer an inside or cheaper ocean view cabin, so although it might be cost effective to have these empty, it would not be good for long term PR.

To illustrate, I have just checked what it would cost to cancel and rebook one of my "Select Fare" cruises on Iona.  The cruise will have stronger than average demand and booked occupancy will be higher - as it's festive season.

 

The exact same cabin grade on Select Fare costs 27% more than when I booked early (i.e. FCC would be worthless/negative).  That's fluid pricing, and backs up the suggestion that demand is strong ... anyway...

 

I can also book an "Early Saver" fare for upwards of £1,000 less for an Inside (plus any other grade of choice). Of course, most people would book that as you are guaranteed freedom dining and your choice of cabins will now be limited.

 

However, this particular Early Saver fare though looks suspiciously cheap to me ... following any logic around cancelling based on cabin grade and/or fare type and/or order of booking etc you aren't guaranteed here ...

 

My antennae are also spotting that although various governments were banning travel for cruises in August, well before the suspension was announced, P&O (and most other companies if not all TAs to be fair) would have quite happily sold you a cabin of your choice.

 

I just think that, based on what we have seen so far with refunds, customer communication, payment dates and transfer policies, we cannot automatically assume that the next stages of the crisis will be managed in the fairest possible way.  We just hope that now the immediate impact of the pandemic is being managed, travel companies will start to improve, including P&O.

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11 minutes ago, DamianG said:

 

Out of interest I have just tried a dummy booking for our cruise in July 2021 B118 Britannia Mediterranean. When it came to selecting a cabin all grades were showing as sold out, however when I removed our son from the booking there was availability. Presumably this means that the ship is already at maximum capacity in terms of child places.

But that's not surprising because 3 and 4 berth cabins are also in limited supply, as well as the ship having limited child places, and this cruise has been on sale since October last year.

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3 hours ago, DamianG said:

 

Out of interest I have just tried a dummy booking for our cruise in July 2021 B118 Britannia Mediterranean. When it came to selecting a cabin all grades were showing as sold out, however when I removed our son from the booking there was availability. Presumably this means that the ship is already at maximum capacity in terms of child places.

Not necessarily. Cabins to accommodate young children have always been scarce in or out of school holidays. Most occasions you can't book without consulting PO first.

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4 hours ago, drsel said:

Just make sure that they are still in business next year or you will not get a refund of your deposit

Which applies to every travel company in the current environment. It's not exactly rocket science! 

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On 6/18/2020 at 11:20 AM, No pager thank you said:

Yes, you are entitled to a 100% cash refund of your deposit as an alternative to the FCC.

 

There is a form to complete on the P&O Cruises website.  You do not have to give any reason for not accepting the FCC.  Make sure that you take a screenshot of when you send in the form as you will not receive an email acknowledgement, but you do get an on screen reply.  This is vital for audit trail purposes.

 

P&O says that it will take up to 60 days for you to receive your deposit back.  Some people have been reimbursed within that time, others are now experiencing waits of 90-120 days. Occasionally, web forms are "lost." If you do not receive your money back in 60 days then they can be chased, but customer service on the topic is generally poor.

 

The Law on the subject is that you are entitled to a refund within 14 days, but is not being followed at this time. 

 

Your other option is to wait until holidays are released for 2022 (date unknown) and use the FCC then, however many passengers are becoming wary of them due to pricing change, itinerary/schedule issues, insurance concerns, other factors and worries about the cruise holiday experience, given the ongoing issues with Covid-19.

 

Hope this helps.

Thanks for this. They have already given me FCC so guessing I can just fill in the form to request a refund now?. I am guessing they will be awkward.

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16 minutes ago, glennbtn said:

Thanks for this. They have already given me FCC so guessing I can just fill in the form to request a refund now?. I am guessing they will be awkward.

If you’ve already accepted FCC it will, I imagine, have been as an alternative to a refund.  I imagine it also involved waiving your right to a refund.

 

If that’s the situation, I’m afraid it won’t be possible to get a refund now.

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1 minute ago, Harry Peterson said:

If you’ve already accepted FCC it will, I imagine, have been as an alternative to a refund.  I imagine it also involved waiving your right to a refund.

 

If that’s the situation, I’m afraid it won’t be possible to get a refund now.

I dont believe that's the situation Harry, my reading of the situation for cruises now cancelled, is that you have until 30th Nov to decide if you want a refund. At least that's my understanding, and why I am waiting to see if there is something I fancy when the summer 2022 cruises are launched, if so I will use the "automatic" FCC from my Sept cruise deposit.

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