Fyre Festival may be one of the most notorious (and entertaining) scams in recent history. But Billy McFarland’s failed event is being given a run for its money.
Prospective passengers of a three-year cruise that fell apart last year are saying that they lost a total of $16 million in preparing to go on the journey, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday. And they want Miray Cruises, the company behind the botched trip, to reimburse them for the money they spent in anticipation of uprooting their lives.
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“They’ve not only dashed our hopes and dreams and upset the course of our lives, but they keep wasting our time,” Shirene Thomas, a passenger who moved out of her house, sold her car, and put her life into boxes, told the Post. “It would have been much easier if they had just come out and said this was falling through, but that was not what they did.”
Back in March, Miray began advertising the 1,095-day, 140-country Life at Sea cruise, which was set to sail in November. Turmoil soon set in at the company, however, and the embarkment was pushed back before being called off altogether, with Miray saying that it wasn’t able to secure a ship for the journey. It also let passengers know that repayments would come from December through February.
In January, though, Miray told the cruise-goers that credit-card and bank issues had delayed their refunds. And now a group of 78 potential passengers are elevating their concerns, with a letter sent to the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida that outlines their complaints. (It’s not clear whether the attorney’s office will investigate their claims. Spokespeople for Miray didn’t respond to The Washington Post’s requests for comment.)
“The failure of Miray to refund passenger money as promised has caused a significant number of residents to literally become homeless,” the letter says. Along with giving up their homes, many passengers got rid of their jobs, cars, retirement funds, and savings to go on the multiyear journey. According to the letter, only four passengers have gotten any portion of their money back so far.
While many cruise-goers are understandably unhappy with their Life at Sea experience, not all of them signed on to the letter. George Fox told the Post that he was always skeptical that the cruise would happen, and he took responsibility for spending his own money on the trip.
Miray still has a lot of angry customers to deal with, though.
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