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Re-Start of BF Passenger Services


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Just a query have you to book online or can you still call centre to book a crossing? A friend has told me to book online and not use the call centre number because you may not get through.any advice please.stay safe

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When you read what Roué has told us, it is jaw dropping! Some of us have been vociferously critical of BF, even suggesting that we could do a better job. Consider the following. 780,000 normal fo

I am pleased to report proactive contact from BF Customer Services in recent days. The revised timetable issued last week removed both of the sailings we were booked on [into Le Havre and Poole].

Well here we are all, after an uneventful crossing from Portsmouth on the MSM. Loading was a little slow with some mysterious colour coding in evidence, and we were 30 minutes late off the quay, but o

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1 hour ago, nodwad said:

Just a query have you to book online or can you still call centre to book a crossing? A friend has told me to book online and not use the call centre number because you may not get through.any advice please.stay safe

You can in theory book via the call centre, however they are unlikely to answer at present The simplest is to book online and if there are any issues / changes required (like specific cabins, multiple pets in cabin etc) DM a request on Twitter

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8 minutes ago, neilcvx said:

I wonder when we get more onboard services open onboard, I would have thought the restaurants could easily open, unless it’s to keep staff numbers down .

I suspect that it won't be until next year, a recent message included:-

https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/information/coronavirus/life-on-board#tab-4

Our à la carte restaurants will remain closed for the foreseeable future I’m afraid, it isn’t possible to prepare that kind of food in the galleys under current guidelines and protocols but I’ll keep you posted here as and when that changes. We’re also really keen to protect jobs (it takes 18 chefs to operate the Le Flora restaurant on Pont-Aven) and to this end are redeploying as many permanent staff as possible to cover all restaurant duties and are keen to avoid the cost of seasonal staff if at all possible; to be candid, it’s another cost we will struggle to accommodate in this, the most challenging of years.

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On 25/06/2020 at 15:47, Weby72 said:

Hi. I'm looking for some quite urgent guidance if at all possible, and will appreciate any help or suggestions.

Our situation is this:

We have a [fully paid for] overnight crossing between Portsmouth & Le Havre on the Etretat booked on Friday/Saturday 24th July, in a dog-friendly cabin. I understand this ship will not be running, and the replacement Connemara will only serve Le Havre Mon-Weds. Connemara will only service Portsmouth-Cherbourg on Thur-Sun, and only a 9am sailing.

I'm flexible with the destination but need a dog-friendly cabin (she won't go in a kennel and would rip the inside of the car apart if left), and preferably overnight as we have a long drive ahead the following day.

The issue we have is that our accommodation needs to be paid for by the end of June but I can't commit until I know we can actually get there. If we don't pay, we lose the accommodation - and there's next to nothing decent left for a decent price.

When BF announced their curtailed summer 20 programme, I wrote to them using their online contact section, to ask for clarification as to what they intended to do with our booking, and asking to be transferred to another ship on any of the routes in a dog-friendly cabin. I wrote a follow-up yesterday once I had looked at the freight timetables and gauged the best alternative options to ask them to transfer our booking. I stressed the urgency of our situation and pleaded for a quick answer.

I've had no reply yet, and can see the alternatives (the best was the Portsmouth-Caen on the Normandie, but sacrificing a day of our holiday) are now looking fully booked so I've [pun intended] missed that boat.

I'm a bit disgusted they won't take phone calls from people who have already booked and are having their plans disrupted by BF's changes. That they can't reply within 24 or even 48 hours is shoddy customer service.

Do any of you have any other suggestions as to alternatives, or even recommend a better way to make contact with them that might generate a quicker response?

Thanks.

 

Hello again

Thanks for the suggestions people made, and I just want to provide an update with my experience:

I've still not had a reply to my initial enquiries submitted through the BF website. 

I didn't get any response through numerous Twitter requests.

I did, however, keep trying the online chat option (when it was showing 'open') and on about the 5th attempt over 3 days managed to get connected to a great girl called Karen. She asked what I wanted to do with the booking and called me back to go through options. Managed to get moved to the Normandie in a dog-friendly cabin for a Portsmouth-Caen return. Not the overnight crossing, but we have been able to work round that. We even got a small refund as the new trip cost less.

I appreciate we've been very lucky here. I know a great many people have lost their holiday this summer, and not been able to get in touch with BF. They all have my sympathy because it's been a poor show from a lot of travel companies in terms of customer service.

Again, thanks to those who tried to help.

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Over a week I have been waiting for a reply to my email from BF for existing bookings - still no response to date! Also tried the Twitter feed two days ago and again no reply even though when I contacted them last month on Twitter I was able to make immediate contact. So yesterday tried calling and it was constantly engaged all morning until mid afternoon and actually got through after being on hold for 35 minutes and spoke to a helpful lady.

So gaining contact with BF is really pop luck at the moment and all I would say is don't give up.

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Not sure if this link has already been posted but found it this morning on Facebook.  About the restart of services.

https://www.business-live.co.uk/enterprise/brittany-ferries-starts-recovery-plan-18527178

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Anyone tried to book a crossing oline today?  I keeping being put in a queue with this msg. ?

You are now in the queue

Our sailings to France and Spain are now available to book for travel until November 2021. Pay upfront for the lowest price or secure one of our flexible tickets with just a deposit - only available if you book direct.

Why are you here? We’ve got a high number of customers in our booking and amendments facility. To give you the best possible experience, you’re in a virtual queue.

Once it's your turn, you'll have 10 minutes to begin your session.
 
I want to book Ply-Rosc in 2 weeks time, I guess the overload is due to the release of 2021 timetables.
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1 hour ago, colinschandler said:

Anyone tried to book a crossing oline today?  I keeping being put in a queue with this msg. ?

You are now in the queue

Our sailings to France and Spain are now available to book for travel until November 2021. Pay upfront for the lowest price or secure one of our flexible tickets with just a deposit - only available if you book direct.

Why are you here? We’ve got a high number of customers in our booking and amendments facility. To give you the best possible experience, you’re in a virtual queue.

Once it's your turn, you'll have 10 minutes to begin your session.
 
I want to book Ply-Rosc in 2 weeks time, I guess the overload is due to the release of 2021 timetables.

Try booking via the French site if you can't get into the UK one. It might be easier. Ed. 

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33 minutes ago, spancophile said:

I went on the booking engine about 7 p.m.,queued for about 1 minute then booked Plymouth-Santander and Cherbourg-Poole without any problem. Everything was working fine.

That’s quite a difference in outbound and inbound crossing!  Trying to experience both ends of BF’s offering in the same holiday? 😁

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2 minutes ago, jonno said:

Currently sitting in front of check in booth 15/16 at PIP. The overnight sailing to Caen is looking very busy, certainly more than what could fill 220 cabins and 774 beds.

They are allowing limited reserved seating as well & the Caen boats have a lot

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6 minutes ago, David Williams said:

They are allowing limited reserved seating as well & the Caen boats have a lot

Yeah I get that but considering the current situation it looks no less than normal, place is rammed. Quite a few bikers too.

It's good to see.

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We are sailing tomorrow Portsmouth to Santander so will be interested in how busy the ferry is bearing in mind its now school summer break?

I'll give you an update on how things go tomorrow/Saturday.

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From Connexion yesterday

Brittany Ferries: no foot passengers this summer

Brittany Ferries MV Pont-Aven RO-RO transport ferry arriving in Portsmouth Harbour  

 

Brittany Ferries joins other cross-Channel carriers in policy of only allowing passengers travelling in a vehicle to board

 

Brittany Ferries has confirmed that foot passengers and cyclists will not be able to travel on its ferries this summer due to anti-coronavirus measures it has had to introduce.

A spokesperson for the ferry company told Connexion there were practical reasons why Brittany Ferries and other operators can only take passengers arriving in vehicles this year and the company regrets not being able to restore a normal service immediately.

He explained that embarkation and disembarkation for non-motoring traffic is very different as it involves terminals, buses and requires separate attention by crew.

Travelling by ferry during coronavirus pandemic

DFDS told Connexion it does not have foot passengers so the question does not arise and that all its passenger routes to France are in operation and running to existing schedules.

P&O Ferries, which too is not carrying foot passengers at this time, said on its website it is running an ‘optimised service’ between Dover and Calais.

Read more: Coronavirus: P&O cross-Channel ferry services updates

 

 

Most of Brittany Ferries’ routes are up and running, though there is currently no service between Poole and Cherbourg.

Brittany Ferries said reservations for August are 'encouraging' considering the reduced onboard capacity to be in line with social distancing requirements.

Many of its August passengers are those who have moved their crossings after cancellations earlier in the year.

 

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Got a call yesterday about rebooking for 2021. Nice, quick and easy. We usually book nice and early but it did feel a bit odd this time around - who know what things will be like in 11 months. 

It was also good to read about the Armorique serving Cork on midweek services next year. It certainly suggests that BF are foreseeing demand for a non-economie service ex Cork.

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I notice no inclusive holidays are available to book yet.  I think (?) that is normal, and that they become available later in the year (?), and that this is not a clue that the holiday business is going to close. 🤞

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7 minutes ago, Gareth said:

I notice no inclusive holidays are available to book yet.  I think (?) that is normal, and that they become available later in the year (?), and that this is not a clue that the holiday business is going to close. 🤞

One of the messages mentioned that they would be out later in the year, It is only a problem if you want a dog cabin and they have different pricing for the crossing anyway.

The problem with the messages is that they get deleted and policies come and go (like free amendment for all ticket types up to a few days before sailing)

The other hidden policies are -

  • refund vouchers can be used to book within 2 years of issue, where as the T&C ones you have to sail within that time.
  • Tickets are valid for 18 months, whereas in normal times they are only valid for 12 months from original sailing date - that was quietly changed to allow for crossings to be moved a year, however will get reapplied at some time,

They are not behaving how I would expect a French company - ie clear policies over many pages.

 

Edited by David Williams
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42 minutes ago, des said:

It was also good to read about the Armorique serving Cork on midweek services next year. It certainly suggests that BF are foreseeing demand for a non-economie service ex Cork.

Remember that Economie was only born because as much as they wanted the Le Havre route they couldn't afford to put on anything other than Norman Voyager/Etretat, nor could they charge normal BF prices compared to the previous LD fares. If they could wave a magic wand all their vessels would be of cruise ferry standard but we all know why that's not the case. I know the current absence of a PO-LH timetable for 2021 has been excercising the minds of regular contributors, my personal view is that it will continue because it is an intricate part of their cross-channel web of services and the very last thing they will want to see is another operator taking over the route. Whether that's the best plan for Le Havre is a different question though, but I can still see a few surprises hitting the headlines in the not too distant future (sorry I'm making this point in the wrong thread).

And back to your original comment Des, yes it's great news Armorique is backing up Pont-Aven on the CO-RO route, giving the option next year of a 10 day break in France for Irish holidaymakers who are currently an almost extinct breed....:S

Chris

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14 minutes ago, Gareth said:

I notice no inclusive holidays are available to book yet.  I think (?) that is normal, and that they become available later in the year (?), and that this is not a clue that the holiday business is going to close. 🤞

I have it on pretty reasonable authority that the holiday business will certainly not close and will again be released in stages, starting on or around the middle of August...;)

Chris

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