BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- A small claims court awarded a Los Angeles
travel agent $2,363 after the agent sued Princess Cruises for
Cecilia Pedroza of Pedroza Travel Center said Princess denied
her commission because the line canceled the Grand Princess' May 14
Mediterranean cruise before her clients paid their final
A Princess spokeswoman said that because the line canceled the
sailing, agents with final payment on the books were compensated.
Princess' policy for regular sailings is to pay agents when clients
sail, she said.
San Francisco travel attorney Al Anolik, who submitted a
declaration to the court as an expert witness, said the case has
"implications to Renaissance," referring to the former line's
bankruptcy case in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Attorneys acting on behalf
of Renaissance's estate have sued travel agents to recoup
commissions on unsailed itineraries.
Anolik argued that the travel supplier should pay agents
compensation "provided they completed their contractual obligation
of selling passengers onto the original itinerary."
But a small-claims decision is not a precedent-setting case,
other attorneys said, and it doesn't settle agents' age-old
question: Are commissions earned at point-of-sale or
Travel industry attorney Jeff Miller said a small-claims award
is "related solely to a small-claim action in that particular court
at that particular time."
Pedroza, however, said the award was a victory.
"Travel agents don't have to be afraid to go into small-claims
court," she said.
To contact reporter Rebecca Tobin, send e-mail to [email protected].