Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Friday, April 03, 2009

Telegraph article points out the costs of a 'simple' ferry change

Daily Telegraph
Over on The Daily Telegraph I came across an article from columnist Gill Charlton on some of the pitfalls that can occur when changing your holiday booking.

One of the readers problems she investigated highlighted a sharp practice by some of the ferry operators:

Lindsay Hirst in Bowdon, Cheshire, writes
I booked a return ticket with Brittany Ferries travelling out from Plymouth to Santander and back from Cherbourg to Poole in mid-June. Now my wife and I have decided to spend an extra night in France, so I asked the ferry company to delay our return by a day.

This change is going to cost us more than £100. Brittany Ferries says that this is because we have moved out of the 10-day return fare bracket.

Where's the logic in that? What difference does it make to the company which day we return if it's an off-peak sailing?

Gill Charlton replies
Brittany Ferries says that customers travelling to Europe for more than 10 days always pay the standard fare. In an ideal world the company would like everyone to pay this fare, but recognises that people expect discounts for shorter hops across the Channel.

"It's a tradition," a spokesman said. "In a way these discounts are fair as they mean the ferry element is more in proportion to the total cost of a shorter holiday."

What I hadn't realised until now was that an open-jaw return (sailing into Spain and out of northern France) is available as a discounted return fare, so you don't have to pay for two singles.

What do you think is this a fair or not fair fare policy?



  • I have always thought that this was an unfair practise. The day trip, short stay and longstay all being different prices are the same with all the companies and in any other business would be called a cartel and investigated.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 07, 2009  

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