At least that’s what she thought. It turned out that Gagnon was one of dozens of customers who booked a trip leaving the Southern Gulf Islands at the end of the long holiday weekend only to find out after arriving at the terminal that BC Ferries had sold trips for a boat that did not exist.
BC Ferries has since apologized online and via email to customers who had purchased reservations for the crossing, which was scheduled online to pick up passengers at Salt Spring Island and Pender Island and take them to the Lower Mainland.
“We sincerely apologize to our customers affected by the planning error between Tsawwassen, Pender Island and Salt Spring Island today,” said the email Gagnon received Monday evening.
Gagnon told CBC that she booked her trip online about two months ago and received a confirmation email just days before the boat’s scheduled departure. She was in a hurry to return to the Lower Mainland to see her mother, who had just had sudden heart surgery.
Ferry workers on Pender Island told her the boat was not arriving, she was able to make the trip later that day from Pender Island to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island and, from there, back to Tsawwassen.
hey @BCFerries, you are fully responsible for sabotaging the travel plans of 60 cars (+ passengers!) leaving Pender today, and you are treating the victims of your mistake worse than a commercial airline would. You could AT LEAST reserve another navigation for them. pic.twitter.com/eD9RBTeR3P
But Gagnon said she had to pay full price again to board the latter, despite showing the ticket clerk at Swartz Bay that she had already paid for a trip to Tsawwassen online.
She said the whole experience was a “total shock”.
“I have been traveling with BC Ferries for over 30 years… and I have never encountered a problem like this before,” said Gagnon. “We actually paid twice for the lack of service. “
It was only after 5 p.m. Monday that Gagnon received an email saying that she would be reimbursed.
“We thank you for your patience and apologize for any inconvenience encountered as a result of this error,” read the email.
Social media lit up on Monday as other clients in Gagnon’s stance voiced their displeasure.
The company posted on its Twitter account that the August 2 crossings were incorrectly integrated into its reservation system.
@CarriBell Hello Carolyn, our sincere apologies. There were incorrectly constructed departures in our system only for today’s Bank Holiday Monday schedule. We ask customers to travel via Fulford Harbor to Swartz Bay, then to Tsawwassen, on a Thrufare. We reimburse affected customers. ^ ka