Holidaymakers who booked a P&O Cruises holiday to the Canary Islands were disappointed when the company isolated them for hours without enough food, heating or seating
Image: Jonathan Biscoe)
Up to 50 P&O Cruises Customers have been stranded in the cold for hours without eating or drinking – and the company is not giving refunds.
The incident has left some customers outraged. Although some have been at up to 20 P&O cruises those interviewed by The Mirror say they never want to set foot on the company’s ships again.
The affected passengers were due to board a P&O ship, the Aurora, bound for the Canary Islands in Southampton on April 1 this year.
All customers were subjected to a lateral flow test prior to boarding and about 50 tested positive and were told by staff to wait in a small area in the terminal building rather than boarding the ship.
As it turns out, the three customers interviewed by The Mirror didn’t have any covid at all, since they all tested negative immediately afterwards.
But their disappointment soon turned to anger when they reported being left by P&O for hours without food or water.
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One of the customers, Jonathan Biscoe, 78, was scheduled to sail that day with his wife Jan, 79.
The couple have been on around 20 P&O cruises but say their ordeal that day held them back forever.
Jonathan said: “I didn’t mind the testing situation, it was the treatment we all had afterwards.
“We stayed there for five hours in uncomfortably low temperatures, not even being given anything to eat or drink and were completely let down by all the staff.
“On one occasion I asked to leave the building to get some fresh air but was refused. On another occasion my wife went to the information desk to ask when our luggage would be unloaded as we had to catch a train to go home. The lady’s response was, “Me too.”
When the Biscoes were released from the terminal quarantine area, they had to wait another two hours to retrieve their luggage from the Aurora before they could depart.
Another customer reported the same issue. Jennifer Jones, 65, was held in the isolation area for hours with her husband, 66, and mother, 86.
She added: “During the entire time in the cold isolation area, P&O did not even offer a warming drink or refreshments.
“We were taken to an area about 12ft by 15ft and there were 50 of us in there – some of us had to get up because there weren’t enough chairs.”
Speaking on Facebook, other customers held in the isolation area said: “We, over 30, who waited four to five hours for our luggage, were not even offered a cup of tea in the cold terminal building.
“A lady with diabetes shook violently while her medication was still on the ship. Shame on you P&O.”
P&O has offered customers vouchers for future cruises in lieu of a refund.
Both the Biscoes and Jones’s say they both complained and asked for cash instead, but P&O refused.
Jonathan said: “Your policy is to give us a future cruise credit but we will never sail with P&O again. I asked for a full refund on April 4th and heard nothing at all apart from a quick confirmation email.”
Jennifer said: “I really don’t want to travel with P&O again. To rub salt in the wounds, P&O has offered a future cruise credit that is significantly less than what we both paid for our cruises.”
The Mirror contacted P&O, who have apologized and paid Jonathan £150, but the company is still not giving customers a refund and is telling them to use their travel insurance instead.
A spokesman for P&O Cruises said: “P&O Cruises apologizes to Mr and Mrs Jones and Mr Biscoe for the disappointment they have caused during their extended time at the terminal.
“We advise all guests in their pre-cruise briefing that refreshments are not currently available in the terminal, but we will work to ensure that this message is more prominent in our communications.
“All guests who have tested positive for Covid-19 will be offered a future cruise credit for the total value of their fare to allow them to return and enjoy their scheduled P&O Cruises vacation at a later time that suits them.
“The Future Cruise Credit is a goodwill gesture and if guests wish to receive a refund of monies paid they must contact their travel insurance company which we recommend for full Covid-19 coverage.”
P&O Cruises is a separate company from P&O Ferries.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/po-cruises-left-customers-in-26958388 P&O Cruises left customers out in the cold for hours "without food" - and with no refunds