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BC Ferries clarifies why you may miss out booking a reservation

Last Updated Jul 3, 2017 at 1:52 pm PDT

FILE PHOTO. (Stephanie Froese, NEWS 1130 Photo)

There is no timer alerting you the session is about to expire when booking a reservation

You're allotted about 15 minutes to book your spot on a sailing

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – This long weekend serves as a reminder, we are fully into the busy summer travel season. And if that includes a trip on BC Ferries, be aware of taking your time if you’re booking online.

There is no clock or timer on the website to tell you that your session has expired. “Certainly there is a time limit like booking movie tickets or concert tickets or airline tickets, to work your way through an online booking. It can’t be held indefinitely. So there is a time limit. It’s pretty generous, it’s about 15 minutes,” explains Darin Guenette with the crown corporation.

The frustration is understandable if you click on ‘reserve’ only to be told the sailing is full and he completely accepts the fact people may want to avoid booking online all together.

“That’s one way that a lot of people book their reservations anyways. They don’t want to do it online, they like to talk to a person. We have a call centre of people right here in Victoria. They’ll let you know if there’s still room for whatever sailing you’re looking at. They’ll book if you want. And if it’s full, they’ll give you tips on maybe how to make that sailing otherwise,” says Guenette.

He points out only about 50 per cent of spots on busy routes in the summer are held for reservations.

“On peak sailing times, Friday’s on long weekends, Monday’s, this sort of stuff on certain routes — those reservations will sell out. But there is still lots of room on the sailings. We understand that it’s not always easy to figure out what’s happening in an online process. We’ve got a great call centre of live agents that are there very wide hours. So, we’d like to say, if you have any uncertainty, you’re not comfortable with the process, you’ve timed out, give our agents a call.”

You can call the reservations department at BC Ferries at 1.888.223.3779.