BC Ferries is reminding Queen of Prince Rupert passengers that it wants them to check in 90 minutes to two hours before sailing time, so that it can process passengers efficiently and stick to scheduled departure times.
The absolute latest time to show up remains 60 minutes before sailing time, as it has been previously. Reservations not claimed 60 minutes before sailing time will be cancelled and the space given to stand-by traffic.
Stand-by passengers and commercial traffic should arrive two hours ahead of the scheduled departure time.
Since the summer schedule started last month, there have been a couple of incidents where passengers were left behind because they didn’t show up before the cut-off time, said spokesperson Deborah Marshall.
The company is also advising travellers on the Skidegate-Rupert route to reserve well ahead of time, because of the reduced summer schedule.
“It is strongly recommended reservations be made as far as possible in advance of travel,” says a service notice issued this week. “With increasing demand, passenger space this summer may be limited on certain sailings.”
Ms Marshall said the Prince Rupert terminal will now be open all night when there is an early morning departure scheduled in order to make the new schedule a little bit easier on customers. The ferry to Skidegate now leaves Rupert at 6 am, meaning a check-in time as early as 4 am for some. Passengers can now stay in the BC Ferries parking lot overnight and use the terminal washroom facilities.
The Skidegate terminal won’t be open overnight because the scheduled departure time from the islands is 3:30 pm.
Customers traveling on the Ministry of Health’s Travel Assistance Program, or TAP, are also being advised to follow new guidelines. BC Ferries is encouraging these passengers to go to the terminal on non-QPR sailing days to process the pink TAP vouchers. They can drop by the terminal days or weeks before the actual travel date to redeem the pink voucher. To avoid the risk of missing their sailings, customers redeeming pink TAP forms on the day of travel must arrive at the ticket booth at least 90 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
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