State ferries to increase cancellation fees

A picture of the state ferry Fairweather by Issac Taylor is posted at the Petersburg terminal in 2013. Ticket-holders will soon pay more to cancel tickets. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)
A picture of the state ferry Fairweather by Issac Taylor is posted at the Petersburg terminal in 2013. Ticket-holders will soon pay more to cancel tickets. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)

The Alaska Marine Highway System will soon charge more for canceling reservations.

The fee increase begins Oct. 1, the same day the winter ferry schedule begins. That schedule, which reflects state budget cuts, was made public today.

The new fees range from 5 to 40 percent of a ticket’s value, depending on the time until travel begins. Those booking more than a month in advance and canceling within a day face no fees.

Current policy charges a 15 percent fee for cancellations made within two weeks of sailing.

A ferry press release says no-shows and canceled tickets cost the system money. The closer a cancellation to sailing, the harder it is to resell that ticket.

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Ed Schoenfeld is Regional News Director for CoastAlaska, a consortium of public radio stations in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell. He primarily covers Southeast Alaska regional topics, including the state ferry system, transboundary mining, the Tongass National Forest and Native corporations and issues. He has also worked as a manager, editor and reporter for the Juneau Empire newspaper and Juneau public radio station KTOO. He’s also reported for commercial station KINY in Juneau and public stations KPFA in Berkley, WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and WUHY in Philadelphia. He’s lived in Alaska since 1979 and is a contributor to Alaska Public Radio Network newscasts, the Northwest (Public Radio) News Network and National Native News. He is a board member of the Alaska Press Club. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he lives in Douglas.