Travel agents that Cruise West owes commission to have no recourse because the company has zero assets left, according to Cruise West's CEO Dick West.
Speaking by telephone today, one week after Cruise West officially closed, West said that the cruise line has nothing left and cannot even declare bankruptcy because it has no assets to protect.
"We've been depleted,' he said. "That's very distressful for me of course being a long time supporter of travel agents. We realize that they earned the commission but there is nothing to pay them with."
Several travel agents have said that they are out thousands of dollars in commission that Cruise West owes them both for cruises that sailed this summer and that were sold but will never sail.
"We paid travel agent commissions until August or so. But then we had to start holding back. I feel horrible. I was the past chapter president of ASTA in the Pacific Northwest. My Dad was president of ASTA," West said.
Unlike consumers, who are able to request refunds through their credit card companies, insurance providers or if their cruise was in the US, through the Federal Maritime Commission, travel agents have no such avenue of protection.