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Altranter

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About Altranter

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  • Birthday 29/09/1966

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  1. Altranter

    2021 Timetables

    The crewing of NEX has always seemed complete lunacy to me. When times are good and you have a captive market, you might just be able to get away with the inflated costs of paying French wages and social employment costs, plus the accommodation costs for staying overnight in Portsmouth. Now that times are not so good, I don’t think even the French unions could force BF to lose money in this way. Remember also that post-Brexit, it will be even more useful for BF to manage its currency risk so that income in one currency more closely equals expenditure in that currency.
  2. Talking of expensive, I just noticed another strange thing when I looked at booking Portsmouth – Cherbourg in December. “Inside large 2 berth / 4 berth cabin £62 per cabin” “Inside 2 berth cabin. Wheelchair accessible” - £43 per cabin" There were no 2 berth cabins for non-wheelchair users. I wondered if you had to be a wheelchair user to have a 2 berth cabin if that is all you need. Or are these cabins available to all? £62 seems a lot for a single traveller or a couple to pay for a midweek, mid-winter smallest cabin with no windows. The Ibis at Portsmouth was just £39
  3. With almost no passenger service being offered by Brittany Ferries over winter, I wonder what regular ferry travellers will do during this time? Quarantine or not, there will still be many people who will need to travel – to work, to check on their properties, for medical treatment etc. Loyal travellers will have to break their habits and find an alternative which they may discover is actually better. I used to be 100% loyal to the ferry until a strike / lockout a few years ago, then I was forced to “discover” the Tunnel / Shuttle. And overall, it was much better than I had expected a
  4. Brittany Ferries has been running an advertising campaign to encourage people to book their sailings for summer 2021 now. Stories of cancellations like this will surely cancel out the company's efforts to get people to book early for next year?
  5. Private Equity firms and “Vulture capital” funds are circling distressed companies which have run out of cash but otherwise have good long-term market prospects – they are looking for a purchase at a knock down price. There is a fairly well repeated formula when private equity takes over – slash costs, outsource, load the company up with debt and then flog the company on as a lean, efficient, regular source of dividends. The ownership / asset structure of Brittany Ferries may complicate a distressed sale, but never say never....
  6. Unnecessarily annoying, I turned up 90 minutes before the scheduled 1445 departure time to Caen, so in all I had to wait for nearly 2 hours in a hot queue of traffic, next to a lorry running its refrigeration unit. I am now even more annoyed knowing that BF seems to have planned this later departure all along. The boat was fairly empty, quite soulless walking through the public areas. Functional, but not the experience we have been used to (and pay for). One thing that I couldn’t work out was some sort of staggered loading, which might have needed the extra time. I thought this
  7. The strike must be a sure sign that French life is getting "back to normal" . But I thought they usually waited until September rather than the summer holiday period to hold strikes.
  8. It is risky to book a ferry more than a couple of weeks ahead. I have noticed many “peak” dates to France in August still with lots of spare cabins – usually sold out by now. To fill capacity, I wonder if it would be a good idea for BF to reinstate day trip and short break offers, but with the condition that they are only available to book a maximum one week in advance. That will be good for BF because it doesn’t sell cheap spaces into the future when demand may have picked up, and good for customers who will have to act fast to get a deal, knowing that there isn’t that much risk bookin
  9. Altranter

    2021 Timetables

    Here is another thought about St Malo. Do you think BF is trying to do some integration with Condor on this corridor? I have always thought it would make sense for Condor to become the combined high speed operator with a British based crew and it would make a lot of operational sense for NEX to be crewed on a rota with other Condor high speed craft. And maybe even Clipper operating some kind of UK-CI-St Malo service as a freight oriented service? Unions and French pride aside, it would make sense for BF to base more of its operations in the UK. Now it has a share in Condor, it
  10. In these circumstances, I am still wondering how BF will handle discountiing to get people back on board. There are some great competing peak season deals with airlines and the Tunnel. Why pay a premium price for a non-premium service? But if social distancing only allows BF to carry about 50% of normal passengers in peak season, this will be a big hit on revenues - fewer people at lower prices in peak season. So perhaps it will make no economic sense to reintroduce the whole fleet back to service?
  11. If BF resumes from early July, I wonder if it will have to offer discounts in the summer peak to get people back on board? I have just checked prices with Eurotunnel and Ryanair and the prices for August seem to me quite a bit lower than comparable prices last August. Low fares may be needed to overcome the fear and hassle of travel. And if there is going to be the hassle of social distancing, I would prefer 35 minutes on the Tunnel shuttle train, or even an hour on Ryanair, not 7 plus hours on a ferry confined to my cabin with limited catering. It will be very difficult for Brittany Ferries t
  12. Regarding vouchers instead of refunds, and possible changes in government regulations, I am not sure whether Brittany Ferries would be considered a British or French company when booked through its UK website. This is what it says in the booking conditions: By making a booking, you will be entering into a contract for ferry travel with BAI SA, which acts through its appointed sales agent BAI UK Limited, a company registered in England and Wales under company number 01080495, and whose registered office is at Millbay, Plymouth, PL1 3EW. It then goes on to say that the contract will b
  13. I vaguely recall that BF extended CV membership free for a month or so to compensate for the strike / lockout of a few years ago.
  14. A note at the end of article states: Until the rules change, a strict entitlement to a cash refund remains. Also, the Package Travel Regulations in themselves probably wouldn't cover most BF customers who book ferry only - I think it would only apply to those who include hotel accommodation etc as well
  15. It is such arrogance of BF to impose a refund voucher, and judging by the message tweeted a few posts back, it seems to be saying that it must do this because it needs the money. There are lots of good causes that I might want to support with my cash in these hard times, and I want to choose these myself, rather than have BF decide for me. Every now and again French arrogance comes through at BF, regardless of what the law is. The booking conditions are quite clear: (iii) Re-routing and reimbursement in the event of cancelled or delayed departures Where a sailing is dela
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