The rights of ferry passengers to claim compensation for delayed or cancelled crossings will remain after Brexit, MP Bob Seely has confirmed.
Currently, compensation is available under European regulation raising concerns that the rights could be lost when the transition period for the UK’s exit ends in December.
However, Mr Seely has now received confirmation from Whitehall that special powers will be put in place post-Brexit meaning the right to compensation will continue.
Under the compensation scheme, there are opportunities to claim up to 50% of fares back in compensation due to delayed ferries.
Mr Seely said: “Travel delays are not only inconvenient they can be costly too and I am very pleased that passengers will continue to be able to claim compensation in certain circumstances.
“It will remain the case that there are some circumstances where you may be eligible for compensation of between 25% and 50% of your ticket price if your ferry journey is delayed or cancelled.
“There are also some exceptions where compensation cannot be claimed such as severe weather conditions and unavoidable circumstances, but delays and cancellations for any other reason can be challenged.”
Mr Seely is also calling on the three cross-Solent operators to publicise the fact that their passengers are entitled to make such claims.
He added: “The right to be compensated for delays or cancellations is not widely known, and I consider that the ferry companies should be much more pro-active in making this clear to their customers. I urge the local media, the Isle of Wight Council and other interested parties to help increase awareness of this scheme.”
When can you claim?
Islanders are entitled to compensation of 25% of the ticket price for the affected part of their journey if they’re delayed for at least:
- one hour for a journey of up to four hours
- two hours for a journey of between four and eight hours
- three hours for a journey of between eight and 24 hours
- six hours for a journey of more than 24 hours
If the delay is more than double the times set out above, you will be entitled to compensation worth 50% of the ticket price.
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
- reimbursement of the ticket price within seven days.
If you opt for an alternative crossing, you're still entitled to claim compensation for the delay to your original journey.
Meals and Refreshments
If your ferry journey is expected to be cancelled or delayed for more than 90 minutes, you should be given free snacks, meals and refreshments - even if the reason for the cancellation or delay is bad weather.
But you can only expect these to be provided if they’re available or can reasonably be supplied.
If your journey is delayed or cancelled and an overnight stay becomes necessary, the ferry operator must offer you accommodation free of charge, if possible.
Your ferry company is also allowed to look at other options, like allowing you to make your own separate plans to travel and reimburse your expenses.
But no overnight accommodation has to be offered or costs reimbursed if the delay is caused by weather conditions endangering the safe operation of the ship.