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Anyone used Speedferries to France?

(9 Posts)
sievehead Mon 31-Jan-05 14:55:05

What was it like? Are they reliable? Don't know whether to go on them or whether to book the Tunnel...

miggy Tue 01-Feb-05 14:24:44

they are cheap BUT they only have one ferry so if thats broken there can be cancellations. Dont know if they have arranged anything for this year but they had no cover in place with other companies so if they cancelled the boat, you were on your own.
Also when we booked, we booked in advance and needed to change the time of travel by a very small amount (few hours) they wanted to charge us about the same again as we had originally paid-huge rip off imho.
If its your one holiday to France, I personally would choose the tunnel-easier with kids as no stairs on ferry etc, quick and prices from £98 return (I dont work for them )

JanH Tue 01-Feb-05 14:42:09

OTOH - Eurotunnel have only cut their prices, as the other ferry companies have, in order to compete with Speedferries. If Speedferries don't get enough trade and go bust Eurotunnel et al will then put their fares back up...British Airways tried to do this to Virgin, and Laker actually were forced out of business by a cartel of airlines cutting their prices, which did then go back up.

The increase in fares if you change later isn't a rip-off - the charge for amendment is £10, but the whole point of Speedferries is that the earlier you book the cheaper it is, and vice versa. If you subsequently change your booking you are charged the difference between an early-booking fare and a late-booking fare, which seems reasonable to me.

grumpyfrumpy Tue 01-Feb-05 15:05:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JanH Tue 01-Feb-05 15:13:05

Sea France have standard returns from £90, if you book now (don't know what they do about changing sailings later?) Speedferries are from £50.

miggy Tue 01-Feb-05 15:48:43

Janh-sorry banged on about this before but I dont think it reasonable to double the price to move sailing by a few hours, esp if you have booked well in advance and something crops up. I do agree that a charge for changing booking eg £30 for eurotunnel is fine. What I particularly disliked was the way that their site was at that point was plastered with banners saying "only £10 to change booking". There are some people (like me ) for whom this would be a major factor in choosing who to book with and people should be aware of it.
Not sure either that they are sole reason for all the price cuts, one small ferry only. Think large part due to oversupply (hence cutting of many routes by other companies) and budget airlines meaning less people flying.
we have a house in France and travel across regularly and I know many people that got their fingers burnt last year when speed ferries had problems with their boat.
Also depends on time of year, those little cats are very choppy in rough weather and cant sail at all sometimes. I am a terrible sailor which is another reason why I love the chunnel.
Will agree to disagree

TwoIfBySea Tue 01-Feb-05 23:12:37

After watching that programme I would go Speedferries on principal of the other ferry companies using dirty tricks.

Sometimes living in Scotland is a pain - the ferry from Rosyth-Zebrugge is hell of an expense. Last time we costed it we were quoted over £500! There goes most of our holiday budget.

If it wasn't for companies like Speedferries and Ryanair and the like we wouldn't be able to afford to go anyway. Or rather we could go and have no money to spend while there!

JanH Tue 01-Feb-05 23:25:48

miggy, I know you were only moving by a few hours, but you were therefore changing from an early (cheap) booking to a late (expensive) booking. If everybody did that it would ruin the system if it wasn't charged for. Agree they are running on a shoestring, and probably not the most reliable, but I agree with Twoifbysea and admire their intentions!

JanH Tue 01-Feb-05 23:28:26

It does say "Subject to availability an existing booking can always be amended to another departure. A standard amendment fee of £10 will be charged and if there is a difference in price between the original and the new departure, the customer must pay that difference."

I think it probably said that last year too - maybe it should say it in LARGE letters on the home page?

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