Half empty vessel sparks holiday anger

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Passengers trying to get to Arran for the May Day bank holiday were angry to find space on a ferry which they had been told was full.

One Arran resident was unable to obtain a ticket to bring his car over last Friday on the 7am sailing from Ardrossan as he was told the peak time service was fully booked.

Understanding that it was the start of the May Bank holiday weekend, he was then surprised and angered to see that a significant portion of the MV Caledonian Isles carrying capacity was not being utilised, with space on each side and at the back of the ferry.

The angry passenger told the Banner: ‘ My photos show the 7am sailing from Ardrossan which was “fully booked”. This sadly is becoming the norm and not the exception. Is it CalMac’s cunning plan to stop tourists coming to Arran?’

When approached for a comment, a spokesman from CalMac explained that the unused space had in fact been booked by three large commercial vehicles carrying tar, but they failed to make use of their booking.

He added: ‘We are working hard to improve processes of filling all available deck space in such instances, but it is difficult to manage no shows.’

CalMac offer refunds on most tickets as long as they have not been used and the tickets have not expired. Refunds can be also be provided for cancelled commercial reservations, provided the purchaser cancels in writing and faxes their cancellation notice to the port of departure at least 48 hours before the scheduled departure.

According to the CalMac website dealing with cancellations and refunds, purchasers who do not meet the cancellation requirements will have their future bookings and/or block bookings reduced proportionally, according to the number of no-shows and cancellations the customer has made in the preceding six months.

Despite the ferry being fully booked these images show the available space on either side and the rear of the MV Caledonian Isles car deck last week.

Despite the ferry being ‘fully booked’ these images show the available space on either side and the rear of the MV Caledonian Isles car deck last week. No_B19CalMac01 and No_B19CalMac02


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