When is no discount better than any discount? When said discount is offered to survivors of a cruise catastrophe.
Rumors had circulated that Costa Cruises had offered surviving passengers of the Costa Concordia a 30 percent discount on future cruises as well as a full rebate on their recent trip. But according to an official release, the company says those rumors are not true.
A Costa statement released this afternoon said, "Passengers on board the Costa Concordia on the night of the accident have not been offered a discount on future cruises. Costa is refunding the full cost of the cruise, the expenses incurred on board the ship, any transport costs incurred to reach the port of embarkation and return home if transfers organized by the company were not used. Costa Concordia guests also will be reimbursed any medical expenses they may have incurred as a result of the accident. As regards items left in the safe in the cabin, these will be returned to guests as soon as we recover the safe. Regarding the loss of personal belongings and other forms of compensation, we will be contacting guests in the very near future."
A 30 percent discount off upcoming Costa cruises was reported by the New York Daily News and sparked new controversy following the January 14 accident in which 15 people are known to have died.
A personal injury attorney in New York told Local 10's Christina Vazquez he is working on filing a class-action law suit in Miami on behalf of clients from Peru to Shanghai. Hundreds of passengers will seek $160,000 each, more for those with injuries—a total that will reach more than $500 million if all the ships passengers are paid.
Mitch Proner said the ship's disgraced captain may be taking the heat but the entire company is at fault—all the way up to Costa's parent company, Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines, which is why he's working to file the suit in Miami by Wednesday.
Proner said he's working with an Italian law firm and Italian consumer advocacy group. However some maritime lawyers said even if a lawsuit it filed in Miami, they don't think it would stay locally, due to a contract clause all passengers sign.
Attorneys said when someone purchases a ticket to board a cruise, they are also entering into a contract with the company. In the case of the Costa Concordia passengers, on the back of their tickets there was a "venue clause" which says any lawsuits would have to be heard in Italy.
Proner said he's aware of the legal challenges but isn't letting that deter him.