P&O Cruises left passengers ‘in cold terminal with no food’ for hours

Up to 50 P&O Cruises passengers will not receive refunds after they were left stranded for hours in a cold terminal building without any food or drink.

Despite some customers having traveled on up to 20 P&O cruises, those interviewed by The Mirror have vowed never to book with the company again.

The holidaymakers were due to set sail to the Canary Islands from Southhampton on P & O’s ship Aurora on April 1, 2022.

Before boarding, all travelers were given a lateral flow test, with around 50 coming back as positive for coronavirus.

The group were then told to wait in a small area inside the terminal building by staff.

The three customers interviewed by The Mirror turned out not to have Covid at all, as they all tested negative immediately afterwards.

But their disappointment soon turned to annoyance as they report being left for hours with no food or water provided by P&O.

One of the customers, Jonathan Biscoe, 78, was due 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 has put them off for life.

Jonathan said: “I didn’t mind the test situation, it was the treatment we all had afterwards.

The customers had booked a trip onboard P&O Cruises' Aurora.
The customers had booked a trip onboard P&O Cruises’ Aurora.

“We remained there in uncomfortably low temperature for five hours, not even being offered any food or drink, being completely abandoned by all the staff.

“On one occasion I requested to go out of the building to get some fresh air but was refused. On another occasion, my wife went to the inquiries desk to ask when our luggage was going to be unloaded as we needed to catch a train to get home. The lady’s response to this was “So do I”. “

When the Biscoes were let out of the quarantine area of ​​the terminal, they then had to wait another two hours to get their luggage back off the Aurora before being able to leave.

Another customer reported the same issue. Jennifer Jones, 65, was held in the isolation area for hours with her husband di lei, 66, and mother di lei, 86.

She added: “During the whole time in the cold isolation area P&O didn’t even offer a warming beverage or refreshments.

“We were put in an area about 12ft by 15ft, and there were 50 of us in there – some of us had to stand up as there were not enough chairs.”

On Facebook, other customers held in the isolation area said: “The 30+ of us who had waited four to five hours for our luggage were not even offered a cup of tea in the cold terminal building.

“One lady suffering from diabetes was shaking violently as her medication was still on the ship. Shame on you P&O.”

P&O has offered the customers vouchers for future cruises, rather than a refund.

Both the Biscoes and the Jones’s say they have both complained and asked for cash instead, but have been denied this by P&O.

Jonathan said: “Their policy is to give us a future cruise credit, but we will never travel with P&O again. I asked for a full refund on 4 April and have heard nothing at all, bar a brief confirmation email.”

Jennifer said: “I really don’t want to travel with P&O again. To rub salt into the wounds P&O have offered a future cruise credit which is substantially less than we each paid for our cruises.”

The Mirror contacted P&O, which has apologized and paid Jonathan £ 150, but the firm is still not giving the customers a refund, and is telling them to claim on their travel insurance instead.

A P&O Cruises spokesperson said: “P&O Cruises apologises to Mr and Mrs Jones and Mr Biscoe for the disappointment caused during their extended time at the terminal.

“We do advise all guests in their pre-cruise information that refreshments are currently not available at the terminal however we will work to ensure this message is more prominent throughout our communications.

“All guests who test positive for Covid-19 are offered a future cruise credit for the total value of their fare, so they can come back and enjoy the P&O Cruises holiday they planned at a later date suitable for them.

“The Future Cruise Credit is a gesture of goodwill and if guests would like to receive a refund of monies paid then they would need to contact their travel insurance company which we advise to have full Covid-19 cover included.”

P&O Cruises is a different company to P&O Ferries.

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