IF WE'D ONLY KNOWN...Royal Caribbean

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#81
I looked at the Costco website and all I could see was their terms and conditions to get money from you if you fail the contract :) so I called.

I spoke with Suzanne at Costco Travel.

She said that, on the invoice you received, after you booked and paid for cruise and air, it states that they are not responsible for air issues. She could not tell me what section this information was in. She could only tell me that, on your final invoice, there are words that speak to the fact that Costco is not responsible for flight issues (the words may actually be more 'general' and surround 'any' issues encountered regarding your vacation) she said that travel insurance is the only thing that protects you in these cases. I believe she eluded to the fact that, on the final invoice, Costco recommends the consumer purchase travel insurance. In fact, she said they partner with travel guard. The partnership allows them to offer discounts on insurance packages. She said they also verbally suggest the consumer purchase travel insurance because issues do occur.

Take a look at your final invoice. Do you see the area where it says Costco disclaims travel issues? Do you see an area where Costco urges you to purchase travel insurance?

It is entirely possible that, even tho Costco may have arranged air utilizing flights from RCCL's Air2Sea program, the agreement between Costco and RCCL may be that RCCL is not extending the actual benefits of the Air2Sea program to Costco members who book RCCL cruises + air thru Costco.

Think about this - if RCCL and Coscto agree that these flights are non refundable, and RCCL and Costco agree that the Air2Sea program benefits do not extend to Costco consumers, should something go awry, by Costco disclaiming responsibility for all issues, on the final invoice, and by Costco acting as your travel agent, so you are not allowed to have direct communication to RCCL, both RCCL and Costco have just sold a flight and will pocket their profit. It's a win for both of them, whether you fly or not.

Suzanne mentioned that she spoke with someone yesterday who actually was unable to fly into the Tampa airport and she was upset for them, but there was nothing they could do. I was wondering if that was you @Jo Peck

Suzanne also said that Costco Travel is a call center, not a travel agent.
OMG. This explains why Costco would tell us to call RCCL, and why RCCL told us they wouldn't speak with us, they said we had to call Costco. OMG. Looking for the paperwork you referenced now.

And NO, we weren't the ones who called Costco yesterday. Our Costco and RCCL calls are over...I'm certain there are many others in a similar boat, who may not realize they have some recourse. (I sound like I still think there is some recourse...)

There's something seriously wrong with this picture. Our luggage stands packed by the front door. STILL. I just can't bring myself to deal with it...I KNOW worse things can happen! I guess it's the overwhelming sense of having little to no control over this mess.
 
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#82
Okay, so you don't *know* that your air travel was booked via Air2Sea. The only thing you know is that Costco called the Air2Sea program when your flights went awry.

So the truth is the matter could be that Costco reached out to RCCL's air2Sea department in an effort to maybe find an alternative itinerary Costco could suggest to you.

Kinda like Costco saying "hey listen, we have these travelers, they are stuck. if they were your travelers, what flights would you put them on? " and the Costco relayed that info to you - but there was no Air2Sea warranty standing with your itinerary.

This is such a bummer. promise us you will spent money on travel insurance from now on, please? :)
 
Likes: Jo Peck
#83
@Jo Peck okay, here's my non Debbie-downer post.

You have a flight credit on an airline.
Write to that airline and let them know that while it was reported that weather caused your initial issues, the shooting also would have caused issues and ask for a waiver of the change fees. Start with customer service. If you are ignored or denied, move up the ladder. Keep writing until you run out of contacts and let us know how you do.

And write RCCL a letter explaining what occurred and why you were unable to get to the airport and get to the ship. Let them know this was an anniversary cruise and that you cruised before on your honeymoon on this ship and ask for a credit or ask them to rebook you on a specific date. Start with customer service. If you are ignored or denied, move up the ladder. Keep writing until you run out of contacts and let us know how you do. If, in fact, it was the airport where the shooting occurred, use that and you are almost guaranteed of getting a credit (I would think)

I think RCCL will accommodate you. You may incur a change fee on the airline if they want to play hardball, but, with your credits, you can still take the trip and wont be out a ton of money..
We've already written and sent the letter to RCCL but hadn't done anything with the airlines. They've SAID we'll get some credit from the airlines, but no idea how much/when. Should I wait to find out what/how much, or begin the letter campaign now? Both American and Delta were involved, should I write both? Also, in reading the Costco advertisement:

We are Costco and We Know Travel

Costco Travel is staffed by Costco employees who appreciate the value of your membership. We are also trained travel professionals who can expertly advise you in planning and booking your vacation. Combined, our Costco foundation and travel expertise ensure you receive the quality, value and experience you deserve as a Costco member.

They also have a caveat about 'special treatment' for executive members, which we are.
Can't thank you enough for going 'above and beyond' in helping us find answers!
 
Likes: mmb
#84
Okay, so you don't *know* that your air travel was booked via Air2Sea. The only thing you know is that Costco called the Air2Sea program when your flights went awry.

So the truth is the matter could be that Costco reached out to RCCL's air2Sea department in an effort to maybe find an alternative itinerary Costco could suggest to you.

Kinda like Costco saying "hey listen, we have these travelers, they are stuck. if they were your travelers, what flights would you put them on? " and the Costco relayed that info to you - but there was no Air2Sea warranty standing with your itinerary.

This is such a bummer. promise us you will spent money on travel insurance from now on, please? :)
I must have miscommunicated somewhere along the way, I DO KNOW that Costco used RCCL and we HAVE the Air2Sea program, which I forwarded to Dwayne this morning. As for the flight insurance, YOU BETCHA. Always, from here on. We DIDN'T get it because the Costco initial agent told us if we got SICK or changed our mind, it would be good to have. BUT THAT RCCL guarantees we get to the cruise! so we decided to forgo the additional $250. Ain't gonna happen again.

Still sick about Costco being a 'call center'. UGH Something good must come out of this nightmare, perhaps a warning to other travelers? PERSONALLY, I'm making progress. Just got my toothbrush outta that big bag of luggage. :)
 

Neil Maley

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#86
I looked at the Costco website and all I could see was their terms and conditions to get money from you if you fail the contract :) so I called.

I spoke with Suzanne at Costco Travel.




Suzanne also said that Costco Travel is a call center, not a travel agent.
And there you have it from the horses mouth. This should be spread all over Costcos travel page.

Our disclaimer says we are not responsible for flights too. But that means we aren't responsible for cancellations and changes- that doesn't mean someone who books travel throws up these hands and says "oh well too bad".

I would be complaining now to the Attorney General about Costco too.
 
#87
And there you have it from the horses mouth. This should be spread all over Costcos travel page.

Our disclaimer says we are not responsible for flights too. But that means we aren't responsible for cancellations and changes- that doesn't mean someone who books travel throws up these hands and says "oh well too bad".

I would be complaining now to the Attorney General about Costco too.
Neil..just got one of those automated 'we're investigating this so hang on' responses from Costco, so I'll wait before doing anything else. I want them - and RCCL - to have an opportunity to check this out and make restitution of some sort. Costco has certainly made some mistakes in their advertising...and I am naive enough to believe they'll correct them. HA Although a novice at ALL THINGS TRAVEL, I have a lot of experience in dealing with people! I'm a retired real estate brokerage owner/manager...I learned long ago the job is similar to running an adult day care center...o_O and yet still have faith. I believe we have to first give folks the opportunity to MAKE THINGS RIGHT . Know from your postings that you do too! So the Attorney General is down the line a bit.
 
#90
Did you contact the credit card you used for the purchase to see if they have any coverage for the canceled flight and trip? I apologize if you answered this already.
Neil-- at first we thought that WAS the way to go, but after reading all these posts and rethinking the situation we put a Hold on that and wrote Costco and RCCL. We also realized we needed to wait and see exactly how much we would be getting back-- that way we won't have to reimburse the credit card company should we get our money back thru some other means
 
#92
I just got off the phone with my Royal Rep. He said if the air was actually booked by Air2Sea then Royal should have handled it. If I can give him the booking number he will look at it.
Neil..I JUST got a call from Mike Boone (Costco) who says he'll contact RCCL and get back with us within 24-48 hours...he was VERY NICE and supportive...don't know if you'll still need the booking number but it's #####. Thank you SO MUCH Neil. Thank you so much!

Edit: removed booking number since this is a public forum. Will send to Neil via conversation.
 
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#93
Neil..I JUST got a call from Mike Boone (Costco) who says he'll contact RCCL and get back with us within 24-48 hours...he was VERY NICE and supportive...don't know if you'll still need the booking number but it's #####. Thank you SO MUCH Neil. Thank you so much!

Edit: removed booking number since this is a public forum. Will send to Neil via conversation.
thank you for doing that!
 
Likes: technomage1

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#95
I follow your logic. Costco booked your flights under the Air2Sea program. My only issue is that it was up to Costco to advocate on your behalf with RCCL. When those flights fell thru, a Costco agent should have been on the phone with RCCL pushing them to correct the situation. If RCCL dropped the ball with Costco, then the Costco travel agent should have gone out of their way and corrected the situation outside of the Air2Sea program, at no additional cost to you, and then requested any compensation from RCCL. All this should have occurred behind the scenes, with you having no idea this was an issue.

I just don't see how your issue is directly tied to RCCL. Your Costco TA is the one that failed you.
This is my feeling too, sas. I think dealing with both entities at the same time, in addition to CC travel insurance, is guaranteed to be a nightmare. Costco is responsible for this mess, it will not be difficult for them to fix it. If two entities start investigating at once, things could go south very quickly.

Just read Jo's post about the call from Mike Boone at Costco. So the ball is rolling ... I actually do have faith that Costco will come through and take care of these nice people with a new cruise.
 
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#97
No real news but Mike Boone (Costco) did call tonight to tell us RCCL didn't respond as he'd hoped so he's sent an email? higher up the chain...he wanted us to know he was still trying. in his first call (this is the second) he told us he couldn't understand why they didn't honor the Air2Sea guarantee (he called it Choice Air?) Anyway, will let everybody know when something happens. DID WANT TO TELL EVERYBODY that it wasn't our letters that got Costco's attention..it was Dwayne (Mike said, some guy named Elliott?? ha ha He hadn't even SEEN our letters at that point). So if any good news comes out of this, it's BECAUSE of Dwayne and this forum!
 
#99
thanks for checking on this Neil. RCCL is telling Dwayne that they DID fulfill their guarantee and we cancelled!!! The last flight booked for us would get us to the ship after it sailed; RCCL told Costco to tell us to take that flight, and that they'd put us up in a hotel in Tampa for one night. AFTER THAT, we were ON OUR OWN.

We asked Costco how we were getting to Honduras and to the ship, and the Costco agent didn't know.. it was assumed we'd have to figure that out...Costco said RCCL would entertain NO other option! We asked them to put the details in a written email so we'd know who was providing WHAT, and we were told neither Costco or RCCL would provide that in writing...which is why, after asking to reschedule or get credit and being denied, we asked to cancel. (Not just the expense involved of the additional night and two days and food and transportation -- flight to Roatan and then transfer) but also we were afraid we'd get stuck in a 3rd world country not knowing the language, currency, etc. The homeland security advisory also concerns us..

RCCL told Costco it was too late to cancel, so we asked Costco if they could help us in finding a flight or hotel in Honduras or transportation and Costco said they don't do that. We began searching for options and this forum gave us ideas..it was then that we learned of trip interruption insurance! which would have covered the cost!! Sunday we called Costco back and asked them to ask RCCL if we booked and paid for a flight to Honduras if they'd meet us at the airport and get us to the ship; RCCL said NO...we still had the room but we had to get to the ship.

I am angry now. What did we do wrong? I don't believe RCCL told Costco they'd provide a flight to Honduras and get us to the ship initially...the guy at Costco made a point of telling us RCCL said WE WERE ON OUR OWN after Saturday night in Tampa. When Costco called us yesterday -- just to tell us they were still pursuing resolution with RCCL but no answers yet -- Mike Boone (Costco) didn't mention any of this. He just said RCCL wasn't responding like he'd like, so he was going up the 'chain'.

Sorry for the ranting Neil. I've been up most of the night...I'd finally had a peace about all this before hearing RCCL is denying they didn't fulfill their guarantee. It's not like we're financially ruined over this, and we'll fight it as long as is feasible...at least, if we're STUCK, we're STUCK at home.
 
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The air2sea program website says "When your vacation comes around, you don't want to miss the ship because of flight delays or cancellations. Book airfare through us and we guarantee our travel experts will get you to your cruise."

http://www.royalcaribbean.com/contentWithGallery.do?pagename=air_travel_programs

It sounds to me there's a lot of information being relayed that is causing you more questions, and the Costco rep isn't asking these questions on your behalf. A decent travel agent should ADVOCATE on your behalf. These are pretty reasonable reply/follow up questions.

I would suggest that you insist on a 3 way phone call with Costco and RCCL.

I think it is very relevant to specifically ask Costco "We do appreciate you suggesting alternate flights into Tampa, and agreeing to put us up for one night. However, the flights you suggested would put us intpo Tampa on X-day, after the ship has sailed. When we expressed concern over missing the ship by agreeing to these flights, we were told by the Costco representative that this was the only option RCCL was providing to us. We were perplexed, what were we to do after that night? We received no instructions on how to reach the ship. RCCL rep, what was your plan there?"

You've got to stop allowing the Costco rep to advocate on your behalf. he or she is giving up too easily because there is no financial investment for them.

You also have the option of stopping this madness and simply saying to Costco - listen, we booked thru you. Since you chose to book via the Air2Sea program, YOU had the duty to arrange with RCCL that we make it to the ship . You should have never accepted the responses RCCL was giving you about telling us we were 'out of luck'. In order to stop this madness, the solution to this issue is that we are either refund the entire amount we are out, cruise and air, OR book us on another cruise, with air. It would be nice to receive a ship board credit as well, for all of our troubles.

This suggestion might be easier than spinning your brain, time and emotions, trying to make someone take responsibility.
 
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