I posted recently about an elderly lady who missed out on a cruise she had saved for at great sacrifice for ten years. While Princess Cruise Lines was within its rights to deny her the cruise and keep her money, I felt that the decision to do so was not just a bad business decision, but morally wrong. The Washington Post followed up on the story with a very happy ending – again, no thanks to Princess.
From her apartment in Greenbelt, Almentia McKan vacillates between solemn wonder at the kindness of strangers and giddy excitement about being able to take her dream trip after all.
McKan is the 78-year-old woman whose story about missing her Alaska cruise was featured in last week’s Coming and Going column. In brief, a missed airline connection left McKan stranded in the Seattle airport on her way to meet a Princess cruise in Anchorage. After traveling from 6 a.m. until midnight, and still a flight away from meeting her ship a day late, she was too tired, sick and confused to continue.
McKan accepted that her failure to buy travel insurance meant that she forfeited the cruise. She asked CoGo for help getting airfare refunds that were sent to Princess, so she could take “some little trip.” Princess refused.
Although the blogosphere had already begun mobilizing and taking pledges for donations, a sympathetic Domino’s Pizza owner stepped in and committed to pay for the cruise in full. An anonymous couple matched that so Mrs. McKan could take a friend along.
“I just can’t believe it. It’s just the best Christmas present ever,” said McKan, who already has put out the Christmas decorations in her apartment, where she lives alone, surrounded by pictures of her two children, grandchild and dozens of other relatives. “I knew I could never afford to take this trip again, and it was a great surprise.”