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Speedferries cut channel sailings down to 3 a day from 22 September.


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A few days ago I booked a crossing with Speedferries for September when I had a choice of 4 Dover - Boulogne crossings each day.

Today I got an email telling me that they have cut the number of return crossings to 3 each way by starting an hour later in the morning and merging the last two sailings of the day into one.

Studying the revised timetable I suspect they've allowed to go bit slower too. The revised timetable is from 22 September to 2 November. After that, who knows - 2 a day?

Times are getting tough all round.

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Is that not their normal winter schedule?

I dont think it is a case of hard times just a sound commercial decision given that most of the bookings are pre paid and the boat is virtually empty during the winter months.

The airlines "consolidate" half booked flights all the time, I once profitted from being consolidated from a Kalula lo-cost flight in S.A. to flying B.A. club class.

Nofolklines have done the same thing to me frequently on night crossings blaming technical problems.

At least Speedferries have announced it in advance

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I dont think it is a case of hard times just a sound commercial decision given that most of the bookings are pre paid and the boat is virtually empty during the winter months.

Yes. I travelled from Boulogne to Dover yesterday on Speed 1. The vessel was carrying about 30 vehicles and  - I guess - 50 or 60 passengers. The big business period is now over and I would expect the company to reduce its operations.

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Ppretty soon they should start again the winter free trip promotions, it is quite good marketing really and good for their short term cashflow as people like myself who have already paid in advance and have tickets in reserve are tempted to buy another one to get one free.

It costs them no more as the boat is running anyway but the more that they do this the more I am concerned for the long term operation.

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I bet there is the original business plan that did not include : The explosion of low cost airlines and routes into France. The consequent reluctance of the other cross Channel operators to poush rices upwards. I also bet they original businessplan showed a second craft in service at least three years ago. Without the second craft they are not a viable turn up and go operator

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I pretty much agree with you A R.

Nevertheless, I will continiue to use them, champion the cause and hope they stay in business. They may run an hour or so late a peak-times and cancel the odd boat from time to time - but they've done a lot to keep cross-channel fares down. Now, depending on when/how you buy your tickets you can get a peak-time crossing for £28 max. This is way, way below 2003 / 2004 big operator charges.

Throw in the November freebies of the last couple of years and it's brilliant.

I do worry about the long term though and always pay with a credit card, so I can get a refund if it all goes pear-shaped.

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