A retired nurse who wanted to take revenge on Norwegian for the way she was treated on a previous cruise, managed to book and sail in penthouse state rooms on 8 different cruises – for free – by pretending to be a travel agent. Even real travel agents don’t know how to do that!
Kay Hooper, 58, devised the scheme to take revenge on Norwegian after she was bumped off a cruise which she had paid for after losing her passport in Rome.
So, she set up a bogus business called Travel Connections and spent up to 10 days at a time cruising in the Mediterranean, the West Indies, Bermuda and Canada in penthouse staterooms. She apparently had also filed an online form to gain an ABTA number.
Managing to work out the ins and outs of the system has all the makings of a con artist movie. She didn’t even pay a deposit because she told Norwegian her business was part of the Freedom Travel Group.
Exeter Crown Court heard she had booked a total of 54 cruises costing more than £300,000 for herself and her family for this year and next, but her scam was uncovered in October.
She was given a 20month suspended jail sentence, given a curfew for 6 months and ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge. The court heard Norwegian is suing her and she had offered to repay the cost of the cruises at £50 a month out of her pension and benefits.