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Jooles

New fare structure - massive hike in cancellation fees

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It's a great shame to see BF announce their new ticket structure with such a positive spin. In reality the fanfare seems more designed to hide that facts that cancellations and ticket changes will cost significantly more, whilst deposits taken in advance are subject to similarly large rises.

Net result is that as a very regular traveller I will delay booking until the last minute, post April 2020. Between now and then I'll book as many of next years trips as I can and benefit from the current booking terms and conditions.

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8 minutes ago, Jooles said:

It's a great shame to see BF announce their new ticket structure with such a positive spin. In reality the fanfare seems more designed to hide that facts that cancellations and ticket changes will cost significantly more, whilst deposits taken in advance are subject to similarly large rises.

Net result is that as a very regular traveller I will delay booking until the last minute, post April 2020. Between now and then I'll book as many of next years trips as I can and benefit from the current booking terms and conditions.

Don't understand why it's a shame really, everyone else whether air, sea or land charge similar cancellation fees whilst not offering any type of deposit scheme let alone a membership such as Club Voyage - as a regular traveller surely you must be enjoying significant cost savings year on year.

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I think I'll keep my powder dry until wednesday morning and read the small print, but as Jonno so rightly points out, which other travel company offers a 30% discount each and every time you book a ticket - certainly not most airlines who promise so much, take the full amount at payment and end up offering a free sandwich in a godforsaken airport at stupid o'clock in the morning once you've spent several thousands of pounds....:S

Chris

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I don’t really have a problem with it as @jonno says it’s still better Flexi wise than any other travel company that I know off let alone ferry operators, it certainly won’t put me off booking although it might delay it by a while .

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What happens now with someone who booked a ticket for late March 2020, can no longer travel as planned and wants to switch it to mid-May on Wednesday? Can they now downgrade to Economy and get the money back? Ed. 

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55 minutes ago, Jooles said:

It's a great shame to see BF announce their new ticket structure with such a positive spin. In reality the fanfare seems more designed to hide that facts that cancellations and ticket changes will cost significantly more, whilst deposits taken in advance are subject to similarly large rises.

Net result is that as a very regular traveller I will delay booking until the last minute, post April 2020. Between now and then I'll book as many of next years trips as I can and benefit from the current booking terms and conditions.

Where was this fanfare?!

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In our in-boxes at 15h09 today hf_uk, labelled Club Voyage newsletter - October, New sailings, new tickets, new experiences, New sailings, new tickets, new experiences etc, sounds like a fanfare to me...9_9

Chris

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34 minutes ago, Fine Whine said:

In our in-boxes at 15h09 today hf_uk, labelled Club Voyage newsletter - October, New sailings, new tickets, new experiences, New sailings, new tickets, new experiences etc, sounds like a fanfare to me...9_9

Chris

Cheers Chris.

I am not a Club Voyage member, alas! Incidentally - I may be over at the end of the month. Are you still in Cherbourg, or Roscoff?

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I will wait and see what the difference in price is between the three types of ticket. I don't think many people will want to pay over 100% or even 50% now, for a crossing in August 2020. 

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14 minutes ago, mjturner said:

I will wait and see what the difference in price is between the three types of ticket. I don't think many people will want to pay over 100% or even 50% now, for a crossing in August 2020. 

Plenty with dogs will, I probably will for my summer holidays if the price is right .

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1 hour ago, Cabin-boy said:

What happens now with someone who booked a ticket for late March 2020, can no longer travel as planned and wants to switch it to mid-May on Wednesday? Can they now downgrade to Economy and get the money back? Ed. 

Ed I'm sure it says that all bookings prior to the middle of April and the summer timetable will be treated in the same manner as they are today. The new booking structure begins with the summer timetable.

I still suspect BF noticed that travellers were block booking using the older very low deposit, hence the previous increase and now this. Yes I agree that in some ways it feels like we are all being tarred with the same brush but on the other hand if your booking is firstly genuine and secondly cancelled for a genuine reason there are mechanisms in place to stop you being out of pocket.

 

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I hope the new ticket structure doesn’t make ticket flexibility an expensive luxury. I often have to make a choice between flying and renting a car, or driving over on the ferry. When total costs of each are roughly similar, the ferry wins because of its flexibility to change dates and times very easily and cheaply. Brittany Ferries should never forget that it is becoming increasingly expensive relative to low cost flights and cheap hotels.  Adding extra costs for flexibility might give away one of its competitive advantages

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Already thinking how to avoid these extra "fees".

Having a place to stay in France, my first thoughts are to do one less round trip next year to keep my travel costs in check. They lose me for one trip! I lose nothing.
Always book one way tickets to avoid amendment fees on the return. That will save me a couple of hundred pounds after my final op in hospital is done. They lose again, I lose nothing.

I must say that with the UK economy and sterling struggling to lift above the Wrexit  fiasco it does seem an odd move to hit the British traveller who make up a large percentage of BF business with this move. We shall see.

I do love the spin that has been put on all this in their newsletter. Its just another business, no better or worse than others.

Stu

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4 hours ago, mjturner said:

I will wait and see what the difference in price is between the three types of ticket.

The difference is rather insignificant.

 

5 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

What happens now with someone who booked a ticket for late March 2020, can no longer travel as planned and wants to switch it to mid-May on Wednesday? Can they now downgrade to Economy and get the money back? Ed. 

From the customer side, the difference is rather simple, but would need to be done on the phone. It's a bit more complicated from the other end.

 

This is all based on what I'm told.

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There's no difference in the cost of the fare regardless of which level of booking you choose to make. The difference is in what you get back if you cancel... if your genuine, i:e medical emergency, breakdown, bereavement or birth etc then you'll get your money back through your travel insurance... It's what we buy it for and the more we pay for it the older we get.

I think a few travellers want their cake and eat it by booking multiple crossings then 2 or 3 months prior to travel finally commit to whichever crossing takes their fancy. If they are are Club Voyage members the 30% saving more than covers the current cancellation fee so they lose nothing whilst lessening the choice for other would be passengers. It's been a BF problem for a few years.

In real terms this skews bookings and now due to the modernised system BF began to use 2 or 3 years ago which is very similar to the airlines, raises prices for everyone else the closer you get to sailing day as the booking engine thinks the ships are more full than they actually are.

Do you, for example, jump on SAS, BA or Ryanair's website book multiple seats then choose which one you want closer to check in day... No you don't, so why should ferry travel be any different?

The railways are cursed by it. Companies block book seats which invariably are never filled leaving hundreds on the platform, standing in aisles or paying through the nose.

Edited by jonno
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It doesn't look dissimilar to the structure used by SNCF which is easy enough to navigate. Affordability might be an issue for people having to stump up full economy fares in advance. Does this mean economy fares will be cheaper than they currently are? 

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12 hours ago, jonno said:

There's no difference in the cost of the fare regardless of which level of booking you choose to make. The difference is in what you get back if you cancel... 

I'm not sure what you mean by that.  All will be revealed tomorrow, but how can there be no difference in the cost of Economy, Standard and Flexi and yet have different cancellation terms?

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Much obliged... I guess what remains to be seen is the difference in cost.

Also interesting to note the comments that the flexi can be changed until 4 hours before the outbound... seems to imply it's far less flexible on the return / there would be more merit in booking two singles.

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2 hours ago, Jim said:

Much obliged... I guess what remains to be seen is the difference in cost.

Also interesting to note the comments that the flexi can be changed until 4 hours before the outbound... seems to imply it's far less flexible on the return / there would be more merit in booking two singles.

But far better than current tickets for the alteration close to departure?

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Just wondering how the “Standard” fares are the most popular choice when they haven’t even been on sale yet?

I know I’m probably splitting hairs, but surely this is false (and disingenuous) advertising?

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9 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

Perhaps they are the most popular with their accountants. Ed. 

Have you noticed that everything is becoming the responsibility of the traveller? I recently struggled to find any staff member at an airport, it was all self scanning for passports, app based boarding card, weighing and then printing your own luggage tags... they'll be getting us to fuel the jet next and canvas all 170 odd to find a pilot.

Everything boils down to money.

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