MSE News: Cruise firm charges widow £385 to remove late husband from booking

A widow was left "beside herself" after Cunard billed her £385 to remove her late husband’s name from a cruise booking...
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'Cruise firm charges widow £385 to remove late husband from booking'
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Comments

  • agrinnall
    agrinnall Posts: 23,344 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker
    So the two key points from that story are:

    1) Persevere with your complaint, using social media to pull in some big names in support.

    2) Take out travel insurance as soon as you book (as we are always saying - although I'm not sure how effective that would be for a holiday booked 18 months in advance).
  • FBaby
    FBaby Posts: 18,367 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Mmm, not convinced with this one. It sounds like the issue wasn't with the name change, but her occuring a single supplement, which would be normal procedure. Sounds like Cunnard played ball to the complaint to avoid the bad publicity.

    Much sympathy with her loss, but not sure Cunnard did anything wrong in the first place, it is well known that going cruising as a single person is often not that much cheaper than going as two.
  • Marilyn's approach of not taking 'no' for an answer has paid off – by putting pressure on Cunard she's managed to secure a significant discount on her single occupancy rate and also had the £385 charge waived. However, achieving this has required a significant amount of time and effort at a difficult time.

    It comes across that Marilyn's effort didn't get anywhere, it was only when a journo contacted them that they offered a much reduced price to avoid bad PR.

    Emphasis should be on the need for insurance, that would cover for cancellation, allowing her to rebook a single fare.

    I hope she has a nice trip, and that she now has appropriate insurance in place.
  • Pincher
    Pincher Posts: 6,552 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    This is why I always go last minute.

    I was actually on the Queen Elizabeth (II ?) when David Frost died, in 2013.

    I suppose anniversaries are fixed, but actually I did it for my 50th birthday, but still booked four days before departure. Backup plan was less special, of course.


    £799 x 2 for two weeks to St Petersburg. Double that once you include all the extras: excursions, etc. Could have gone in May 2013 for £599 x 2, but could not get away.
  • buglawton
    buglawton Posts: 9,235 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    It comes across that Marilyn's effort didn't get anywhere, it was only when a journo contacted them that they offered a much reduced price to avoid bad PR.

    Emphasis should be on the need for insurance, that would cover for cancellation, allowing her to rebook a single fare.

    I hope she has a nice trip, and that she now has appropriate insurance in place.
    Pre existing condition insurance, or insurance based on disclosure of health situation, may have been very expensive.
  • buglawton wrote: »
    Pre existing condition insurance, or insurance based on disclosure of health situation, may have been very expensive.

    But then how would she have coped if he'd died while they were sightseeing in Barcelona (or wherever) or been taken seriously ill and they both had to abandon the cruise, spend weeks abroad and fly home layer.

    Although I do think in this case the fee for removing a deceased persons name from the booking is VERY insensitive, and it would have been appropriate for Cunard to have made the rest of the goodwill gesture without such prompting ....

    .... if you don't take out insurance you are accepting that you will manage the financial hits of something dreadful happening to your plans. They knew the risks, and ran with them ...
  • Nick_C
    Nick_C Posts: 7,453 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Home Insurance Hacker!
    Sounds like her travel agent should have done more to help her.

    (And the last voyage of the QE2 was 2008).
  • Pincher
    Pincher Posts: 6,552 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Considering the age group for Cunard cruises, they must be used to quiet passing away in the night. I saw David Frost waiting for the ice sculptures and chocolates on the last night, and then he left, in an ambulance, next morning, presumably he died in the night.

    I suppose we could raise it as an issue, so that premature "departures" are factored into the cost structure.
    If the cancellation is last minute, it does create a problem of to re-sell the state room, so a cancellation insurance premium?

    For old people booking 18 months ahead, not an unreasonable thing to pay.
  • schrodie
    schrodie Posts: 8,410 Forumite
    We were on a cruise last year and 3 days in we "lost" a passenger!!:eek:
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