I’ve come across a suggestion that both P&O and Cunard are asking some passengers, via a confidential survey, for their opinions on fare options. As regular readers will be aware, the current structure with Vantage and Getaway fares has attracted a lot of critical comment. I’ve published one or two mildly critical posts about this, and picked up comments that were much more so.
The suggestion that passengers are being asked to comment on is a three-way fare structure with the following features:
- The full brochure fare. Under this a passenger would book a specific cabin; would have guaranteed dining arrangements; would have the highest priority for upgrades; and would pay the same sort of deposit as now;
- A slightly discounted fare. This would enable the passenger to choose the cabin grade and broad location (by deck? fore/aft, high/low? – it’s not clear), but not be given a specific cabin on booking; a lower priority for dining arrangements, so they might not get the dining arrangement they wanted; a lower priority for upgrades; and would require a higher deposit but not full payment when booking;
- A more highly discounted fare, available no more than three months before the cruise (if at all). This would be similar to the present Getaway fare: choice of cabin grade but not location, no choice of dining arrangements, and full payment at the time of deposit.
As it stands some of the features here are quite like some of things I suggested in this post, so I shall pat myself on the back – I’m sure that Messrs Dingle and Tempest are regular readers and got the idea from me! (Or perhaps not….). I don’t have any information as to what would happen to the much-ridiculed ‘Price Promise’.
The more I think about this, the more I wish they would do it the way it’s done in the US: “here’s a price; if we lower it we’ll compensate you in some way or other, but we may not lower it and in any case, not by much”. That way passengers know where they stand – none of this stress of wondering which fare they should go for. How about it, Mr Dingle and Mr Tempest? – you have a platform here if you want to use it.
(Update: It’s been pointed out to me that I got Mr Tempest’s name wrong – I called him ‘Templar’. My apologies to Mr Tempest for this mistake which I have now corrected.)