P&O Ferries has cancelled services and made hundreds of staff redundant. It has said that sailings will not operate for the “next few days” as it makes changes and is advising passengers to use other ferry companies for their journeys.
Customers were on Thursday facing serious disruption at every port from which it operates, and some have reported being stranded.
This leaves travellers to plan an alternative route (P&O Ferries is offering services through DFDS for some of today’s affected sailings), and the question of how to get their money back if they prefer to cancel their ticket.
Here’s what you need to know.
Which routes are affected?
All services on P&O Ferries’ four routes: Dover-Calais, Liverpool-Dublin, Hull-Rotterdam, Cairnryan-Larne.
I’m due to travel with P&O Ferries today, what should I do?
P&O Ferries is advising customers to arrive at the port as planned (for Dover-Calais) and that it will arrange an alternative company for their journey.
The company advised on its Twitter account: “Once at the port please make your way to the DFDS check-in booths”.
For those travelling from Larne or Cairnryan, the firm wrote: “Where possible we are organising travel via an alternative operator. Space is very limited so we would suggest if your journey is not essential, please do not travel today. We apologise for any inconvenience.”
Customers are being directed to its website for information.
What should I do if travelling at a later date?
If you plan to secure tickets with another operator in advance, here are the alternative companies on the following routes:
No direct alternatives. Irish Ferries and Stena Line (stenaline.co.uk) offer services from Holyhead (Wales) to Dublin.
No direct alternatives, but Stena Line runs a Harwich-Hook of Holland service and DFDS runs ferries from Newcastle to Amsterdam.
This route is only offered by P&O Ferries, but alternatives include Cairnryan-Belfast (Stena Line).
Can I cancel and get a refund?
P&O Ferries has yet to issue details on refunds for those affected by its cancelled services.
However, in the section “delays or cancelled sailing” in its terms and conditions, it specifies:
“We will refund the Total P&O Ferries Fare of the affected inbound and/or outbound crossing if we cannot ship you at all with us or arrange a suitable alternative ferry crossing, or if you do not wish to take any alternative journey offered by us. If your departure is delayed and your journey will no longer serve any purpose, having regard to your original travel plan, a refund of the full ticket price shall be considered upon submission of reasonable supporting evidence.”
Adam French, consumer rights expert at the Which?, said: “If your ferry service is cancelled or departure is delayed for more than 90 minutes, you should be offered the choice between an alternative sailing at the earliest opportunity at no additional cost and reimbursement of the ticket price within seven days.”
A statement from P&O Ferries said “in making this tough decision” it was ensuring it could continue “serving our customers in a way that they have demanded from us for many years.” See the statement in full on the business live blog.