Letter from Pullmantur crewmember – We are still waiting for our money, they charged us for airplane ticket we never used

Nov 22, 2021

Hundreds of Pullmantur crew members are still waiting to receive their money back after they paid for return tickets. During the pandemic and the global shutdown of the cruise industry the company repatriated its crew back home, however before signing-off the company deducted money from their paychecks for returning airplane tickets, which they never used as the company filed for bankruptcy and two of the ships were sent to the scrapyard.

On 22 June 2020, the largest Spain-based cruise line announced they had filed for reorganization under Spanish insolvency laws. Back then Pullmantur was hoping to restart some operations with MV Horizon, the company’s last ship laid up in Eleusis Bay, and there were some rumors two Celebrity Cruises ships will join the Pullmantur fleet. However, Since mid-July 2021 Pullmantur was already in process of liquidation. The two major stakeholders Royal Caribbean (with 49% interest) and Springwater Capital (with 51% interest) agreed to proceed with the liquidation of the company.

At the start of the pandemic, Pullmantur was operating three ships MS Sovereign, MV Horizon and MS Monarch which at the time had about 1870 crew. It is estimated that Pullmantur owes around 1 Million US Dollars to the crew for returning air tickets, tickets they never received. 

Crew Center received a letter from a former Pullmantur crew member asking when and how they can receive the money back. 

“I worked in housekeeping department as a cabin steward. Last March 2020 due to pandemic, all of us were repatriated due to covid 19. Then before I go home they cut my salary $590 dollars for the plane ticket  returning assignment vessel. I asked them why you cut my salary this huge amount I did not finish my contract, I was 4 months onboard that time was supposed to be 6 months. Payroll said its company policy. So until now, we don't have yet email or they didn't inform us when we comeback onboard.

So I decided to ask for reimbursement for my money. Because I am jobless for over a year.. I want my money back to start small business here in the Philippines. 3 months I send email to the company but they said they don't have yet answer from the higher management. They should give that money for me because that is unused returning ticket.. They are not supposed to used that on the different circumstances.

They should not used our money because it means that is for our plane ticket. But until now we don't have yet assignments to go onboard. I asked them to reimburse my plane ticket to used to start a small business. I repeat over and over to send them email they only answered is the higher management is not yet responding to thier email

How can be they cannot send us back that money. That's my blood and sweat onboard. That's a huge money $590 around 30 thousands pesos in Philippine money.

Many Pullmantur crew members applied to other companies because they don't receive information what our status if they will rehire us or to transfer in another brand's ship."

Pullmantur crew don’t know what to do or how they can get their money back. This problem should be addressed by all authorities involved in the Pullmantur process included the Insolvency Administration headed by bankruptcy administrator Francisco Vera, and Pullmantur Cruises itself. The return of the money to the crew must be a top priority.