BC Ferries customers are allowed to reserve multiple consecutive sailings in advance for $10 each. (photo BC Ferries)

BC Ferries not as full as reported due to ability to book consecutive sailings

Multiple reservation booking strategy artificially inflates BC Ferries “current conditions”

The volume of ferry traffic shown in “current conditions” displayed by BC Ferries has at times been artificially inflated by vehicle customers making multiple reservations for consecutive sailings to ensure they don’t miss the boat.

The reservation fee for booking a sailing seven or more days in advance dropped to $10 in April. This nominal fee paired with the BC Ferries website allowing customers with a myBCFerries Account to make up to 10 reservations at a time, has led some customers to buy the “extra insurance.”

RELATED: Four-sailing wait at BC Ferries Swartz Bay terminal

If the customers make it to the first sailing, they don’t always let the teller know that their subsequent reservations should be canceled, leaving the vessels to appear more fully booked than they are.

“We are not in a position to question customers on their bookings. They may be booking for family members to ride on different sailings,” said Deborah Marshall, director of media relations for BC Ferries.

RELATED: BC Ferries asked passengers to disembark and volunteer to take later sailings

Reservations are $10 if made seven or more days in advance, $17 if made less than 7 days up to the day before travel, and $21 if made for same day travel. The reservations must be claimed at the ticket booth between 60 minutes and 30 minutes prior to the sailing departure.

While the issue of multiple bookings doesn’t affect the number of vehicles that get on the ferry, as reservations that are unclaimed 30 minutes prior to departure are released, allowing other vehicles to board, the issue could frustrate customers planning their travels by monitoring the “current conditions” tab on the BC Ferries website. It could also motivate more people to reserve out of concern for not making it on a ferry that appears heavily booked.

BC Ferries is launching a new website in Spring 2019 to roll out a new pricing initiative that will offer discounts to customers to shift demand to non-peak times in order to cut wait times and fully utilize the fleet.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Hundreds rally in support of horse carriages outside Victoria City Hall

Crowd angry with Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion to ban local horse carriage industry

Rifflandia Festival cancelled for 2019

Early Bird tickets can be refunded at point of purchase, or held and redeemed for 2020

Five-month bridge closure poses early impacts on drivers during rush hour

Construction began Tuesday on the crossing commonly known as the Bay Street bridge

New virgin queen headlines ‘Bee Day’ at Saanich sanctuary

Taste bee spit and check out the hive at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary this Sunday

Mom who lost son to brain tumour in March joins the 24th annual Brain Tumour Walk

The Brain Tumour Walk takes place at the University of Victoria on Sunday, May 26

VIDEO: Canadian, U.S. Coast guards run oil spill response drills

20 vessels were on the water to practice international response methods

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Young Victoria distillery earns prestigious Scotch awards

Scottish influences range from techniques to ‘kilted tours’ at award-winning business

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Brewpub offers ‘boat valet’ for paddlers during Surfrider celebration tonight

Free ‘Surf Formal’ evening features a local art auction, door prizes, live music

Most Read