The latest twist in the ill-fated voyage comes as British workmen struggling to finish refitting her prepare to fly home for Christmas tomorrow, leaving the job to a freshly recruited team of Americans. The changeover may delay her departure from New York.
The failure of some British contractors to finish their work meant that 500 passengers could not board in Southampton on Saturday and another 158 will not now join her in New York.
Cunard has promised to compensate passengers but says they will have to apply in writing after their holidays.
Peter Ludlow, an organiser of the passengers' group, said: "Some people who are due to get off in New York are planning to refuse to do so unless the board of Cunard come and sort it out on the spot. The company's attitude is so cavalier."
Cunard was yesterday unable to say when the QE2, which is due to arrive in New York thisReuse content