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April 1999 Vol. 14, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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No Bad Weather Refunds

from the April, 1999 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Reader Dick Bennett is one of a handful of divers who I have heard from over the past year who have experienced problems with trips theyd arranged aboard Little Cayman Diver II. His trip was scheduled early last November, shortly after Hurricane Mitch churned up the Caribbean, but, after he had reached the island, he was told that stormrelated problems caused cancellation of the trip.

The LCD IIs cancellation policy states that forced cancellations due to tropical weather are not refundable and that trips will be rescheduled at a mutually agreeable date. Since the boat only accommodates six to eight divers and cancellation by just a few can leave the boat half empty, the LCD II says its strict cancellation policy is its only economically viable alternative. They add that theyre usually able to work with guests to reschedule trips at a mutually convenient time.

The effect of a no-refund clause like the LCD II's is to shift the risk of loss from the dive operator to the dive consumer. For us dive consumers, this amounts to betting our booking price on the weather, an all-ornothing proposition. One option is to factor in the extra cost of trip cancellation insurance, especially if youre traveling during the hurricane season. I wouldnt book this boat without it.

John Q. Trigger

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