Brittany Ferries to offer refunds and credit notes

Brittany Ferries is changing their cancellation policy for passengers who have not been able to sail during the confinement period to include refunds.

29 April 2020
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Up to now the company which has cancelled all passenger sailings up to May 15 has been offering refund credit notes, valid for two years, for anyone who was booked on any of their ferries during this period.

However, the company has told Connexion it is in the process of changing information on its website.

European law states that if a ferry service is cancelled, the carrier must offer you a choice between a refund of your ticket or re-routing under comparable conditions to your final destination at the earliest opportunity and at no extra cost.

Brittany Ferries had hoped that in the light of the heavy losses they will incur by cancelling their sales they would not have to pay out refunds. However, it looks as if it is in the same situation as airline companies which must offer a refund for the amount the client paid for the ticket.

Recently leading French consumer body, UFC-Que Chosir warned it would take 57 airlines to court if they continued to refuse to refund passengers who had their flights cancelled due to the Covid-19 confinement period.

For people who bought a holiday package via Brittany Ferries including both travel and accommodation the policy may be different and the company are looking into this.

In France a law has been passed allowing tour operators to offer a voucher valid for 18 months concerning cancellations from March 1 to September 15, 2020.

The situation is different for ferry companies which are still running passenger boats, even though people are no longer allowed to travel unless it is for work or for urgent family reasons or to reach their home.

The European regulations state that passenger rights “do not address situations where passengers cannot travel or want to cancel a trip on their own initiative. Whether or not a passenger is reimbursed in such cases depends on the type of ticket (reimbursable, possibility to rebook) as specified in the carrier’s terms and conditions.”

This means that P&O Ferries and DFDS which are both continuing routes between UK and France do not have to give refunds to passengers who have already bought a ticket during this period but cannot travel.

DFDS is offering two alternatives for travel up to June 30. Either free re-booking with no amendment fees or free cancellation with no amendment fees and a travel credit equivalent to the ticket price valid up to December 31, 2020. Customers must contact them at least 24 hours before departure.

P&O has said they will give refunds to passengers who have bought a re-fundable ticket. If not they will give a credit against a future booking for the same ticket type, valid within 12 months of the original date of outward travel.

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