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Thursday 18 July 2019

Compensation for Irish Ferries customers affected by delay in new ship WB Yeats

The newly commissioned Irish Ferries ship W.B. Yeats arrives into Dublin Port (Niall Carson/PA)
The newly commissioned Irish Ferries ship W.B. Yeats arrives into Dublin Port (Niall Carson/PA)
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

Passengers who suffered as a result of the delayed delivery of the WB Yeats ferry are in line for compensation pay-outs that could be worth hundreds of euro.

Thousands of Irish Ferries passengers had their bookings for the Dublin to France ferry cancelled between July and September last year, owing to a delay in the German shipbuilding yard completing the new ship.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) investigated Irish Ferries after more than 100 people complained of cancellations.

“The authority was not satisfied that the unavailability of ‘WB Yeats’ is an extraordinary circumstance hindering the performance of the cancelled passenger services which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken,” it said in its report today.

It said it formed the opinion that Irish Ferries is failing to comply with maritime regulations.

After being notified of the decision, Irish Ferries submitted representations to the NTA and these representations were reviewed and discussed.

However the board confirmed its initial finding.

“The compensation payments are based on reasonable expenses arriving from the cancellation of the booking,” a spokesman for the NTA said.

However, the NTA said if a passenger accepted reimbursement of their ticket price in full, then no further compensation is payable.

Irish Ferries has a period of two months to comply with the notices.

In a statement, the company expressed its disappointment with the issuing of notices by the NTA.

“These cancellations were due to extraordinary circumstances which were completely outside of the company’s control,” it said. 

“Since the delay was due to unforeseen delays by the shipbuilder, and was notified to passengers months ahead of planned sailings, Irish Ferries does not agree that the company infringed the relevant EU Regulation.”

Irish Ferries said it believed it  took every reasonable action to provide passengers with alternative travel options including “a no-quibble” immediate refund to allow them to make alternative travel plans.

A goodwill gesture of €150 discount for a sailing to France this year has already been provided to all customers impacted by the cancellations, it said.  

 

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