Celebrity sold us a deal, now they want to take it back

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Mar 15, 2018
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#1
My husband and I booked a great deal on an Aqua Class week-long cruise over July 4th through American Airlines Cruises (World Travel Holdings) on March 8th. We got the cabin, classic drink package, $150pp OBC, and AA threw in the tips all for a total of around $1200. This was a fantastic deal and we knew it. We booked immediately and, in the morning, contacted my husband’s parents who went on the site and booked the cruise also. We had been trying to plan a joint week together to introduce them to cruising. I was so nervous I called AA Cruises and confirmed it was legit and was promptly sent an electronic invoice confirming all the details. The promotion included the drink package and $300 OBC with AA covering the tips. We had used a very similar promotion back in December, but this rate was amazing, so we booked again for the chance to be with them. Mind you my in-laws canceled a trip to the Canadian Rockies to join us on this impromptu adventure.
Yesterday, I get a call from AA Cruises saying they made a mistake and that Celebrity would not honor the deal. Mind you this is after we have paid $500 deposits on both cabins and booked airfare to meet the ship in Miami. We were given three options and I don’t think any of them are fair.
  • They will honor the fare rate on the cabin, but not the drink package, gratuities, or $300 OBC.
  • For info: Drinks retail for $385pp, gratuities are $210 per cabin on this trip
  • We can re-book at the current rate ($904 extra per person) and they will give us an extra $200 OBC per cabin
  • We can cancel and they refund everything we have paid, except they will not cover our airfare cancellation expenses.
I spoke with the rep from AA, called my family and became the hated sin-in-law, and promptly called them back and pushed that there had to be some other alternative solution or compromise on this. They got a Celebrity rep on the line, who held to the offer, and I asked to escalate. They are supposed to be calling me back today to discuss.
Last night in frustration I posted a tweet about the issue and this morning Celebrity replied asking how they could help. They have sense pulled my reservation and are again supposed to call me back on this.
My question is what are my rights here and what would be a fair resolution? Can they do this? I would get it if you caught this right away, but apparently lots of people got through the website and just now finding out with final payment due on March 22nd that they want to renege on this. Thoughts?
 

Neil Maley

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#3
Your issue isn’t with Celebrity- it’s with AA Vacations. It seems like THEY made the mistake and they should be honoring it. I have never heard of a cruise line making a mistake like this. Perhaps AA Vacations held group space with those amenities and didn’t sell their allotment and Celebrity will not allow the perks. If that’s the case, AA should be eating this.

If you have a confirmation with AA Vacations, that’s who needs to be fighting for you.

We also have company contacts on top of our page for cruise lines. Start contacting the Executives.

If worse comes to worse you can file a complaint with your state Attorney General.
 
Mar 15, 2018
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#4
Thanks for the quick feedback and perspective. I completely agree that this is an AA issue. The assessment seems on point as well. AA made the deal and Celebrity is pushing it back on them and they are the ones not wanting to budge. Thanks guys.

Nate
 
Mar 15, 2018
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#5
Update: I got a call from Celebrity Exec Relations after a social media post on the issue. They admitted the mistake was their fault and not AA Cruises. Which explains why AA didn't want to negotiate on anything because they were caught in the middle. Celebrity made an offer to meet me in the middle with the package add on items and I am mulling that over.
 

Neil Maley

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#6
That is unbelievable. I guess there is a first time for everything. If AA threw in the gratuities, why would the take them back?

I suppose if it were me and I already had the air, I’d take their offer but perhaps try and squeeze a little more of an OBC if you are sure they wi t rescind the whole thing. Like maybe reply “how about increasing the OBC to xxx?”
 

Carol Phillips

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Dec 28, 2014
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#7
I'm glad Celebrity fessed up and acknowledged the error was on their end. And their negotiating with you is indicative of that.

Just a couple of quick questions:

Will AA continue to throw in the prepaid gratuities? Or is that something that Celebrity will now meet you in the middle about?

You said in your initial post: "We got the cabin, classic drink package, $150pp OBC, and AA threw in the tips all for a total of around $1200". Nosy Me would like to know if that was $1200/pp or $1200 for two?
 
Mar 15, 2018
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#8
The offers thus far was to strip the 1200 for two down to just the cabin - removing all of the add-on parts including the tips, drinks, and OBC. Was basically told accept this offer or we cancel your reservation by one supervisor today before exec relations got involved after I tweeted the CEO. The latest offer was to replace all of those inclusions with a $200 OBC, which is laughable, but not sure what other option I have. I know this is a ridiculous price, and that I can book the drink package this weekend during a sale they are running for 25% off, but it still feels messy. AA rep let it slip at one point that nearly 100 bookings are affected by this mistake in the upload of information from Celebrity to AA Cruises (World Travel Holdings).
 

Neil Maley

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#10
Ah, so it is on Celebrity then. Interesting. Turn the gratuities were not from AA- they were from Celebrity.

I asked my wife what she would do- she says she’d send a complaint to the attorney general. She said it should not have taken Celebrity that long to realize they made a mistake.

So they want to rescind $1200 in offers and give you a $200 credit? That isn’t meeting in he middle.
 

Carol Phillips

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Dec 28, 2014
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#11
The offers thus far was to strip the 1200 for two down to just the cabin - removing all of the add-on parts including the tips, drinks, and OBC. Was basically told accept this offer or we cancel your reservation by one supervisor today before exec relations got involved after I tweeted the CEO. The latest offer was to replace all of those inclusions with a $200 OBC, which is laughable, but not sure what other option I have. I know this is a ridiculous price, and that I can book the drink package this weekend during a sale they are running for 25% off, but it still feels messy. AA rep let it slip at one point that nearly 100 bookings are affected by this mistake in the upload of information from Celebrity to AA Cruises (World Travel Holdings).
You are indeed being reasonable, and logical.

I'd asked you whether it was ~$1200/cabin or per person, and then did the math. At ~$1200 for two, that's ~$600 per person. Adding the initial pricing of $385 drinks package, $105 tips and $150 onboard credit that's $640/pp value.... MORE freebies than what you paid. It means the actual cabin and cruise and port charges/taxes are FREE.

Of course Celebrity doesn't want to do that for 100 cabins ... talk about loss.

But knowing that breakdown, it doesn't make it too bad (in my mind) to get some freebies and pay more than the initial offer was. Just my 2¢. Please keep us posted on what transpires ... I'm interested.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#12
Wow; I am not a cruise person but find this very interesting, It does not seem to be the cruise equivalent of a mistake fare by an airline, or is it? I have no idea of what is a normal cruise price.
 
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Carol Phillips

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Dec 28, 2014
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#13
Wow; I am not a cruise person but find this very interesting, It does not seem to be the cruise equivalent of a mistake fare by an airline, or is it? I have no idea of what is a normal cruise price.
RIght now an AquaClass cabin on a 7-nt Caribbean cruise sailing June 30 is about $1279pp with no freebies. Choosing two freebies ($150pp onboard credit, prepaid tips, beverage package) brings it to $1730pp. These are just website rates.....there can be better deals out that.

So paying $600 pp WITH THREE freebies is definitely the deal of the century ... and a mistake for sure.
 
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Neil Maley

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#14
Wow; I am not a cruise person but find this very interesting, It does not seem to be the cruise equivalent of a mistake fare by an airline, or is it? I have no idea of what is a normal cruise price.
I think you can think of it as a fat finger error.

When the cruise lines make these type of offers, the offer is usually limited. Often (like almost always) they raise the price of the cruise to offset what they are giving away for free too. It sounds like Celebrity may not have raised the cruise price when they made the offer on AA.

They still show the offer as our writer booked it but I am betting the system had the old rates.

Drnc, how much more per person us the new cabin price than what you booked at?
 

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Carol Phillips

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Dec 28, 2014
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#15
I think you can think of it as a fat finger error.

When the cruise lines make these type of offers, the offer is usually limited. By that I mean the number of items they give are based on the cabin type you book. It sounds like perhaps the offer should have been for one of the freebies, not all and that the offer wasn’t sent to AA Vacations properly.

An example- NCL is offering up to 5 freebies for a booking right now. We booked a client in two inside cabins last week and she chose the dining package. Today she emailed us and says she received an email from NCL that said they can get up the five. I had to go to the offer and print the screen showing her it is UP to five but for an inside cabin she only gets one item, for oceanview to mini suite, two and for suites and Haven they get all five.

Celebrity probably put incorrect offer codes in AAs system.
Absolutely, @Neil . But: someone is responsible for the goof. Client made deposit in good faith. Now it's time to negotiate a fair settlement.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#16
Absolutely, @Neil . But: someone is responsible for the goof. Client made deposit in good faith. Now it's time to negotiate a fair settlement.
I agree and Celebrity admitted it was their fault.

But just as airlines don’t have to honor their fare mistakes and have the right to cancel the reservation:


The Company is not responsible for pricing, typographical, or other errors and reserves the right to cancel without liability any bookings made at erroneous rates.

So our writer needs the be careful because Celebrity can cancel their reservation.

It annoys me they can get away with this but we have to be careful in how we advise her to go forward because Celebrity can cancel the res.