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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4

    Major problem with Cunard before next weeks TA crossing! HELP needed

    Can anyone please help me with Cunard, as at this moment in time the last thing I want to do is be stuck on a ship for 7 nights with Cunard staff as I have had just about enough of the staff at their Head Office.

    We are sailing next week on the TA to NY.

    When I booked in December, direct with Cunard, I gave them the name I use everyday (I don't use 2 of my middle names) along with my date of birth. I was told I could update the voyage personaliser after booking. When I tried to change my name on the website it would not let me do this so I called Cunard in March and was told someone would call me back, which they failed to do.

    As far as I am concerned Cunard are at fault, because they said I could change the booking online and their system obviously dosn't allow for this.

    Cunard are charging me £235 to add 2 additional middle names to the form. They state this is because I could be a different person so they have to cancel the flight booking and rebook a flight for a different person. As they have my date of birth and my passport number I am obviously the same person.

    I have spoken to Virgin who have the booking reference and all the facts and have told me they would charge me £30 for the change. I have no problem paying the £30, I just feel that £235 is excessive and is clearly Cunard profiting from their own errors.

    Cunard tell me their terms and conditions with Virgin state Virgin will charge them £235 so they have to charge me this amount. Virgin tell me this is not true and Cunard are not only damaging Virgins reputation as they would not make such gross additional charges, but they are only paying £30 to Virgin and adding an aditional £205 as Cunard charges.

    Cunard have denied charging me anything and state Virgin are charging the whole £235. Apparently it is in the T&Cs between Cunard and Virgin that Virgin will charge me £235 for the change - a fact Virgin dispute but I cant prove as I am not entitled to see the T&Cs between the 2 parties.

    I couldnt get a name of the person I spoke to as apparently they are given "telephone names" and dont use their real names, so not very helpful if this esculates into a serious complaint.

    So, do I have any other choice but to pay the £235 charged by Cunard - personally I think they dont understand the T&Cs and are making unfair terms and conditions caused by their own ignorance of the law.

    Has anyone tried to check in with Cunard with a middle name missing - i.e. will they let me on the ship. Virgin have told me I can pay the £30 at JFK airport so I could avoid paying Cunard's mark up so long as they allow me to board or am I stuck between a rock and a hardstone. The person I spoke to who was extremely unhelpful said he didnt know if I could board as I need an ESTA - slight red herring as obvioulsy I have this and this matches my passport (and the passport number is the same on the ESTA as the booking)

    Before I board the ship I have lost all faith in Cunard as I know they are lying about the T&Cs, they have also failed to record the conversation I had with them about changing my name and then on top of this failed to send me out the medical questionnaire they promised on 5th March. And now they want to charge me to put right their error.

    Has anyone any ideas? All Cunard suggest is that I pay up or I will lose all of the money I have paid which is nearly £5000 - but to be honest at the moment I would rather lose the money than have anything to do with Cunard

    And I booked direct with them so I didnt get any problems - how stupied was I?

    My only thought is I have recorded the conversation and got "Alex" to confirm in no uncertain terms that the T&Cs between Cunard and Virgin have caused this charge and that Cunard have nothing to do with it. If I went through the small claims court they would be made to submit the T&Cs, which Virgin say are wrong and I guess in conjection with the telephone recording it would be for the law to understand the T&Cs and not an unnamed administrator is "Flights" - but thinking of legal action before I am even on board is not a good start.

    Sorry to rant - any help would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    You don't need middle names on an e ticket for a Virgin flight if that's of any help.
    ...and without looking, I don't think my voyage personalisers usually have my middle names.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    I am only commenting on my own personal experience so it is not a fact.

    At xmas I sailed on the QM2 and never gave my middle name although it appears on my passport and had no problems. I then booked another voyage for next month with a friend and when I checked my personal voyager somehow I had my friends middle name and she had mine, I couldn't physically change so phoned Cunard who said to leave it with them and they would sort it. The following day when I re checked they had. There was never a cost mentioned and I never actually booked direct with Cunard however it was them I phoned.

    Maybe phone them again and hope for someone more helpful ?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    359
    I think one of the stumbling blocks might be the US immigration -Cunard and Virgin make it very clear that names must match up to those on your passport, something that has caused me some consternation in the past when I realised that our middle names were not on the Virgin flight details and attempts to change the website details proved impossible. Virgin assured me that this would be ok (and so it proved) but I have heard stories about US immigration being extremely pedantic with UK citizens...

    But, angry as you might be, surely you will regret cancelling for the sake of £235? That will be something you would always regret.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    I think one of the stumbling blocks might be the US immigration -Cunard and Virgin make it very clear that names must match up to those on your passport, something that has caused me some consternation in the past when I realised that our middle names were not on the Virgin flight details and attempts to change the website details proved impossible. Virgin assured me that this would be ok (and so it proved) but I have heard stories about US immigration being extremely pedantic with UK citizens...

    But, angry as you might be, surely you will regret cancelling for the sake of £235? That will be something you would always regret.
    The e ticket never has my middle names on it.
    As long as the ESTA and passport have the same details, that seems to be all that matters.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4
    Thanks for the replies, they have calmed me down a little. What annoys me most is that I know Cunard are wrong but I can't get them to understand - we have left it that someone will call me but for me not to hold my breath as they won't change their stance. They have basically told me they are not prepared to look at this any further and have referred me to their booking T&Cs which state:

    13. Any request for a transfer of a package to another person which is received by Cunard 13 days or less before the departure date shall be treated as a cancellation.

    14. Any transfer of package including flights will also be subject to any charges imposed by the airline.

    They are arguing that I could be a different person so terms 13 and 14 apply and therefore they can charge me £235. Just because it is only middle names missing and that they have my DOB and passport number seems irrelevant. It is the refusal to see sense that puts me off being stuck with Cunard staff for 7 days.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    May I ask what started you off worrying re middle names?


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4
    I thought Cunard had changed the booking to include my middle names in March, but they are actually denying this conversation took place. I am getting all the paperwork together for next week and noticed my E Ticket still showed just showed the name I use on a day to day basis so I called Cunard to ask why it hadnt been updated, thinking they would just take the details again and update the booking - and then the fun started.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    I have made many cruise bookings and many flight bookings and a number of them into the USA.

    I have never bothered giving my middle name on any documentation other than my ESTA

    I'm thinking mountains and molehills here.........Wilba

    Wilba

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    4
    Thank you to everyone for their replies. This has finally been sorted after hours of arguing on the phone with Cunard and with special thanks to Virgin. As Cunard are my travel agent, Virgin couldn't do the change for me for me but they provided enough help for me to argue the case with Cunard, who eventually saw the light and offered to call Virgin to sort it out. Why they couldnt have done that in the first place is beyond me.

    I now only have to pay £30 as per Virgin terms and conditions and will never understand why Cunard insisted I pay £235. As Cunard are my travel agent as I booked the full package with them, they should have been there to help me sort this out, not make eveything 100 times worse.

    I just hope that the staff on board the ship have not been trained to the same poor standard as "Alex" and "Craig" from complaints, or I will be spending a very unhappy 7 days. They point blankly refused to even look into the situation, because they were so adament I had to pay £235 and it was only eventually sorted when a member of staff with a completely different attitude took over the following day.


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