London: The owners of the Costa Concordia, the luxury cruise ship that ran aground the Italian coast, have been slammed for offering survivors of the disaster a 30 percent discount for future cruises as they battle to stave off lawsuits which would cost them hundreds of millions of pounds.
According to The Telegraph, a British survivor of the disaster, which has reportedly claimed 12 lives with over 20 people still missing, branded the offer as ”insulting”.
But a spokesman for Costa Cruises, which operated the Concordia and whose parent company is Carnival, said that the company is trying to do everything they can for those passengers directly affected.
“The company is not only going to refund everybody but they will offer a 30 percent discount on future cruises if they want to stay loyal to the company,” the spokesman said.
According to the paper, in an attempt to help survivors, Carnival has been telephoning passengers daily asking if they are suffering nightmares or sleepless nights.
Passengers are also reportedly being sent letters by Costa detailing how to make claims for lost valuables and offering a full refund on the voyage.
Meanwhile, Carnival Cruises is facing a class-action lawsuit in the United States.
Italy`s consumer association Codacons and two US law firms have said that they would file the suit against the company on behalf of the passengers.
They want at least 160,000 dollars for each passenger on the ship.
Costa Cruises has blamed the ship’s Captain Francesco Schettino for committing “grave errors of judgement” by steering the ship too close to Giglio on an “unauthorised manoeuvre”.