BC Ferries to refund expired tickets

BC Ferries is offering refunds for assured-loading passes that have expired.

BC Ferries' new Coastal-class ferries at the dock in Swartz Bay.

BC Ferries is offering refunds for assured-loading passes that have expired.

BC Ferries CEO David Hahn announced Tuesday that the company will provide a one-time refund to customers who purchased assured loading tickets between 1984 and July 25, 2011. For a 90-day period, from today to October 24, 2011, BC Ferries will provide a one-time cash refund to any customer who has an expired assured loading ticket.

BC Ferries phased out printed passes for assured loading last year and enforced a two-year expiry that canceled about 15,000 trips that had been paid for. The move sparked protests and efforts to organize a class-action lawsuit to recover the money.

Hahn said even if customers no longer have their expired assured loading tickets, if they can produce a credit card that purchased them, refunds can be arranged.

“The reason why we are going to offer time-limited refunds for assured loading is to clarify any confusion about this particular product once and for all,” Hahn said. “From now on, all customers must register their cards online, and read and agree to the terms and conditions of the product before they can purchase it, so everyone will clearly acknowledge the tickets have a two-year expiry and are non-refundable.”

Assured loading passes give priority travel on BC Ferries’ three major routes when presented on the three major Lower Mainland-Vancouver Island routes. They are only sold in groups of 10, for $1,250, and are good for one regular-sized vehicle and driver.

“If a customer does not have a need for 10 assured loading trips in a two-year period, we strongly recommend that they not purchase this product and use BC Ferries reservation system instead,” BC Ferries said in a statement announcing the refunds.