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7/28/20 US FMC - Proposed Standard for Cruise Nonperformance and Refunds


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46 minutes ago, zqvol said:

Doesn't have a chance to survive a court challenge

Would never get to court unless there were unethical cruiselines that deliberately and willfully attempted to shaft consumers. The fact that this is even necessary to protect consumers speaks volumes to me.

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Might be enacted via regulation but has zero chance of actually being implemented & enforced.  The cruise lines could & probably would individually or collectively tie this up in legal knots for years.

 

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A far simpler way to protect the consumers is for the FMC to expand the existing PVO (passenger vessel operator) Performance Certificate from the present capped $32 million to remove the cap, and keep the limit as the "total unearned passenger revenue" (in other words the actual total of payments received for cruises not yet performed) that is required up to the cap.  But, the suggestions the Commissioner has proposed would be completely within the purview of the FMC, and merely a revision of the regulations under 46 CFR 540.25.

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4 minutes ago, tomk3212 said:

Might be enacted via regulation but has zero chance of actually being implemented & enforced.  The cruise lines could & probably would individually or collectively tie this up in legal knots for years.

 

 

Zero chance? Isn't it similar to how the US Dept of Transportation regulates the airlines. By the way, a similar refund standard already exists under the law for airlines operating from US cities. If it passes, non-compliance by cruiselines means no sailing from US ports.

 

What would be the grounds to deny refunds to passengers for sailings cancelled by the common carrier? What is the objection to giving consumers a minimum of six months from date of sailing to request a refund, the hidden benefit by the way is that it eliminates the mass backlog that the cruise lines impose on themselves by creating a limited 7 day refund window.

 

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@luv2kroooz  Because the airlines are incorporated & based in the US; cruise lines are not.  That's the BIG reason why the airlines received bail-out $$ from the US government & the cruise lines got nada from Uncle Sam.  That's an argument they'd make right off the bat if this regulation was implemented & they went to court to argue against it.

 

Yes, this might be "similar to how the US Dept of Transportation regulates the airlines...", but the cruise lines, as foreign corporate entities, would argue it doesn't apply to them. 

 

I believe, however, that YOU are correct that this SHOULD equally apply to the cruise ship industry.  My point is that they'd argue otherwise & tie it up in the courts for a LONG time...

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As I have noted, there is an existing PVO Performance Certificate program that all cruise lines, regardless of where they are incorporated must comply with before CBP will grant them clearance to enter the US.  The only problem with the current program is that the performance bond is limited to $32 million, which doesn't even cover one week's worth of cancelled sailings.  And, for the record, the FAA regulations on refunds apply to foreign airlines as well as US airlines.

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And this is nothing unique to cruise ships, every single foreign vessel;  tanker, freighter, bulker, fishing vessel, that wants to enter US waters, must present a performance/security bond to the FMC.

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1 hour ago, tomk3212 said:

Because the airlines are incorporated & based in the US; cruise lines are not. 

I hear what you are saying. However, the directive regarding airlines (posted above in this thread) applies to US and foreign carriers. If the planes touch down on US soil they are subject to the regulation regardless of incorporation.

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I have two thoughts on this.

 

1. I do not understand why it takes so long to process a refund. I understand the companies want to hold on to the money as long as they can, but I believe they could process them in a few days, not months. They are able to take my money as soon as I authorize it.

 

2. I do not care if they are incorporated in another country, they do a lot of their business in the U.S. and many have corporate offices here so they should be subject to any laws and regulations that govern their industry.

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