Ferry travellers slam handling of sailings cancellation

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Ferry travellers slam handling of sailings cancellation
Ferry travellers slam handling of sailings cancellation

Irish Ferries’ handling of the cancellation of all its summer sailings on the new WB Yeats ship from Dublin to France has been criticised by customers who say they have had difficulty getting through to its helpline and are left “in limbo”.

On Tuesday, the company announced that it has been forced to cancel some 6,000 bookings due to a delay in the delivery of the new WB Yeats ferry by German shipbuilder FSG.

While a helpline is available for affected customers, some yesterday complained that they have been unable to get through to Irish Ferries.

Catherine Dowling was one of a group of nine supposed to be heading in three cars to France. She said she and her husband would have to sail to the UK and drive for 10 hours with her six-year-old and four-month-old children to the Channel Tunnel to make it to France instead of sailing direct.

“It’d be a benchmark for other companies that are facing potential PR disasters. ‘Can we manage it better than Irish Ferries managed the WB Yeats thing?’ That’d be the bar they could set,” she told Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1.

“It’s been really bad. To drop an email like that on people and then all of a sudden the phone line goes down. They’re going to know that people are going to instantly ring, to try to salvage their holiday, and you can’t get through on the phone, it’s terrible.

Daniel Magill said his family of four is supposed to travel, but the cancellation has left him “in limbo”.

“We’re still very much in limbo because we haven’t actually been able to get through to Irish Ferries to have any discussions as to what our options are,” he told the same programme.

“We’ve no idea where we stand at the minute. We’re frantically trying to get through yesterday evening and frantically trying to get through this morning again to absolutely no avail.”

“Like everybody else you look forward to your holidays no matter what it is or where it is, it is a highlight of the year and at this stage it’s the uncertainty; not knowing what we have or what we haven’t got is quite stressful at the minute,” he said.

Irish Ferries said it is “still experiencing very high levels of calls, emails, and messages” and that it has dedicated teams in place.

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