The Blue Puttees in Port aux Basques last week. — File photo by TC Media
Marine Atlantic said today it is continuing to address capacity challenges being experienced while the ferrt MV Blue Puttees is undergoing repairs in dry dock,
A news released states the company is continuing to re-route the Argentia service through Port aux Basques until Aug. 24.
With the significantly reduced capacity available with a three-vessel fleet, Marine Atlantic will continue transporting the largest number of customers possible during the service interruption. All impacted sailings and revised sailing times are posted on Marine Atlantic’s website, www.marineatlantic.ca and customers will be contacted directly with updates by Marine Atlantic’s customer contact system.
For Argentia customers, refunds will be issued and re-bookings will be offered through Port aux Basques at the Port aux Basques-North Sydney rates. Travel vouchers of $200 per adult and $100 per child for future travel will be offered to each passenger affected by this change.
For Port aux Basques-North Sydney customers with existing reservations, there is expected to be minimal impact.
Marine Atlantic rebooks 5,000 Argentia ferry reservations
The 5,000 people immediately affected by the removal of the MV Atlantic Vision from the Argentia ferry run have been contacted and rebooked, according to Marine Atlantic spokesman Darrell Mercer.
The ferry was taken off the Argentia run and brought to Port aux Basques last week after the MV Blue Puttees struck a dock in Port aux Basques.
The Vision is now filling in for the Puttees, which is expected to be out of service for several weeks.
Mercer said Friday was a tough day on the company’s communication services as it was making a lot of outgoing calls at the same time that people were calling in.
“On Friday we did experience a significant influx of calls, while at the same time we were trying to make outgoing calls, so there was a bit of frustration being experienced by customers because they couldn’t get through to speak to an agent.”
The reservation line had to be shut down while the company rebooked the 5,000 people previously scheduled for the Argentia run.
An article in Monday’s Telegram told of one woman’s frustration in trying to get her mother’s cremated remains back to Ontario.
Julia Brignall-Cook called Marine Atlantic’s customer service the worst she had seen because she couldn’t get anybody on the phone to tell her what was going on.
In the end she decided to drive to Port aux Basques from Corner Brook and speak with someone, and she was immediately booked on the 7 p.m. crossing.
Brignall-Cook said once she got there, the Marine Atlantic personnel couldn’t have been kinder to her, but she still couldn’t believe she couldn’t get anybody on the phone.
Mercer said the weekend, Friday in particular, were hard on communications.
“On Friday we called in every available agent and they worked overtime and they’d been there all through the weekend,” Mercer said.
Argentia passengers have been rebooked up to Aug. 10 according to Mercer, and the company is now looking beyond that date to see if there are any other rebookings that need to be taken care of.
He said there are some sailings with availability left through Port aux Basques, and people can check the availability and book either online or by calling the reservation line, which is now back up and running.
The MV Blue Puttees was put up on drydock in Halifax Monday and is expected to be out of service until near the end of the month.