P&O Cruises Faces £500K Liability Over Maleth Aero Flight Delays

P&O Cruises’ Collaboration with Maleth Aero Deemed a Major Blunder

P&O Cruises has faced significant backlash following its decision to collaborate with Maleth Aero for flights to the Caribbean last winter. This partnership is now considered one of P&O’s biggest blunders, with widespread damage to passenger satisfaction and the company’s reputation. The BBC reports that P&O Cruises could owe customers around half a million pounds in compensation due to delayed Maleth Aero flights, and other customer complaints.

maleth aero airlines interior
Credit: Maleth Aero Airlines – Maleth Aero

An investigation by The One Show revealed that five Maleth Aero flights experienced delays of over three hours, entitling passengers to compensation claims under UK law of up to £500 per person. However, Maleth Aero is refusing to pay these claims, citing unpaid dues from P&O Cruises’ parent company, Carnival, for onboard food and drink services.

Maleth Aero stated it is “fully prepared to pay 261 claims determined to be due to Carnival customers but requires full compensation due from Carnival for the flights in order to do so.” The airline claims it has not been compensated for onboard catering or alcoholic beverage services, which were not included in the original contract but were provided to minimise passenger discomfort.

Maleth Aero Flight Delays - Daz Taylor
Credit: Maleth Aero Flight Delays – Daz Taylor

P&O Cruises disputes this, indicating it is considering legal action to recover funds it says are owed by Maleth Aero. A spokesperson for P&O Cruises expressed disappointment over Maleth Aero’s refusal to pay compensation, emphasising that the airline is legally responsible under Regulation 261 for delays or cancellations due to their fault. They encouraged affected guests to seek advice from the Civil Aviation Authority.

The partnership with Maleth Aero has been fraught with issues. The airline provided only economy service with no in-flight entertainment, and several technical issues led to significant delays. One flight was even forced to spend Christmas in Bermuda after a tropical storm caused a diversion.

Enchanced Meal Service Promised by P&O Cruises - Pete & Simon Hichisson-Andrew
Credit: “Enhanced Meal Service” Promised by P&O – Pete & Simon Hichisson-Andrew

Maleth Aero defended its position, stating that while it offered aircraft with business class cabins and in-flight entertainment, Carnival opted for a high-density seating arrangement without these amenities. This mismatch between passenger expectations and the actual service provided led to dissatisfaction and additional unforeseen costs for Maleth Aero.

Following numerous complaints from both agents and customers, P&O Cruises has decided not to work with Maleth Aero for future flights. The cruise line has secured alternative airlines for the next winter season’s Caribbean routes.

Maleth Aero Ripped Seats - Jean Barley
Credit: Flying in Style, Maleth Aero Ripped Seats – Jean Barley

A spokesperson for P&O Cruises reiterated the company’s dissatisfaction with Maleth Aero’s service, stating it fell below agreed standards and was not what P&O Cruises would want for its guests. They affirmed that all due payments to Maleth Aero have been made and that legal action is being considered to recover funds owed by the airline.

This debacle has left P&O Cruises with a tarnished reputation and a significant compensation liability, highlighting the severe impact of their ill-fated collaboration with Maleth Aero.

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