Authority examining if Irish Ferries passengers due compensation
Some 29,000 passengers their crossings are off due to delayed boat delivery
Irish Ferries has cancelled thousands of bookings for August for the WB Yeats, the company’s brand new luxury vessel.
The authority which regulates sea travel to and from Ireland has said it is examining whether thousands of passengers impacted by Irish Ferries cancelling its summer sailings on the WB Yeats are entitled to compensation.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) said it was “extremely disappointed” by the cancellations which will see all crossings from July 30th to September 17th scrapped .
All told approximately 19,000 passengers in addition to 10,000 passengers already affected by a previous wave of cancellations in April have had holiday planes thrown into disarray.
An NTA spokesman said those affected were entitled to full refund or an alternative sailing “at the earliest opportunity, under comparable conditions and at no additional cost”.
He said they may also “be entitled to claim compensation depending on length of delay in arrival at [THE]final destination and depending on the cause of that delay”.
The NTA is the national enforcement body for maritime passenger rights under EU Regulations and the spokesman told The Irish Times that it was “considering in light of this development how [EU RULES ]will apply to ensure that passengers impacted by this announcement receive the protections provided for”.
Passengers have expressed anger at frustration at the difficulties they have encountered in trying to make contact with the company since the cancellations were announced.
Flood of calls
Irish Ferries has struggled to deal with the flood of calls that have come in the wake of the news that it was cancelling the scheduled sailings because of delays at the German shipyard where the boat is being built.
While it has apologised to customers and promised to rebook the vast majority of those affect on alternate sailings, impacted passengers have said they have found it virtuallly impossible to make contact with the company to find out what is happening and what they need to do next.
“In December I booked a return journey to France on the WB Yeats for travel in August,” said Keith McGouran. He tried to make contact with the company as soon as he heard of the cancellations on Tuesday afternoon.
“Their phone lines have been down or engaged” he said. “I’ve sent five emails and five DMs through Twitter. No reply. It’s the communication vacuum that really irks though.”
The company accepted there had been problems with communications after the anouncement was made. It said it had been dealing with “an extremely high” volume of calls and had to contend with “a technical fault” on Tuesday which was “external to Irish Ferries”.
It said that by 4pm on Wednesday it had transferred customers on approximately 25 per cent of the affected bookings, “the vast majority of which are being transferred to alternate Irish Ferries sailings.”