Important Update

29/07/2022

With lower-than-normal staffing levels, it is with regret that we’ve found it necessary to amend our Red Jet timetable on specific dates.

To provide certainty to passengers, we will be running an amended timetable for Sunday 31st July as well as Thursday 4th and Saturday 6th August.

26/07/2022

We regret to remind our customers about planned strike activity within our business starting from 27 July and also planned for 1, 3, 5, 9, 11, 15, 17, 19, 23, 26, and 29 August. We wish to thank all customers for their understanding and support as our teams work very hard to keep everyone moving and sailing. Please note that due to a shortage in staff some team members may be assisting in areas where they do not normally work, so we thank our customers for their patience and kindness. Tomorrow (27 July) will also mark the first day of our revised vehicle ferry timetable up to 29 Aug.

We will continue to do our best to deliver our service as efficiently as we can, but please note that strike days may be subject to further disruptions. If you’re travelling with us, please be sure to check our live service status for the latest information ahead of your travel.
 
For more information about the pay dispute with Unite the Union, please see our update from 05/7/2022 (below) and scroll down for answers to frequently asked questions.
 
If you need further assistance, please contact us at customerservices@redfunnel.co.uk
 
We apologise for any interruption to your journey and thank you for bearing with us as our teams do their best to support you.

Previous Updates

21/07/2022

If you've been awaiting contact about possible changes to your crossing due to industrial action taking place between 27 July and 29 Aug, please note that all customers awaiting an update have now been contacted via email. Please note that our system will send one email for each crossing / direction of travel (meaning two emails for a return/round-trip booking). We have emailed ALL customers who originally made their booking prior to us receiving notice of the strike dates and who are due to travel between 27 July and 29 Aug.  

If you have NOT received any emails from us confirming your booking time, and think you should have, please contact us at customerservices@redfunnel.co.uk and send us a copy of our original e-ticket. We can look into your booking for you and confirm any changes to your booking.

Didn’t book with us direct?
Has a hotel or other holiday agent booked your ferry travel for you? If so, and you did not originally receive an e-ticket from us, you should expect to get an update direct from the agent/property you booked with. If your booking is still a few weeks away, we’d suggest giving them a few more days to get in touch with you as the process of contacting customers may be time consuming depending on how their systems work. If you’re worried at any point, do get in touch with them and if you’re not getting the assistance you need, contact us at customerservices@redfunnel.co.uk  

Looking to make a new booking?
If you’ve been on our website over the past few days and tried to book travel for select future dates between 27 July and 29 Aug, you may also have noticed a message stating ‘SAILING LOCKED FOR NEW BOOKINGS’. We did this to temporarily pause taking bookings for some dates/times as our teams reassigned customers to new sailing times as a consequence of revising our schedule. As we’ve now completed all adjustments to customer bookings, all available sailings with remaining space have now been ‘unlocked’ and are available for new bookings as normal.  However, please be aware that remaining availability on a number of dates is now limited and we would strongly recommend that if you’re planning to travel during this time, to book as soon as possible in order to avoid disappointment.

14/07/2022

In response to receiving notice of dates intended for strike action by union members, we have revised our vehicle ferry timetable for 27 July – 29 Aug. You can find this new timetable, here.

The current planned strike dates (to be actioned by up to 20% of our workforce) are:

  • 27 of July
  • 1, 3, 5, 9, 11, 15, 17, 19, 23, 26, 29 of August

The strike action has no planned impact on our Red Jet timetable, and we anticipate running this service as normal

All customers with current bookings between now and 26 July are unaffected and should plan to travel as normal.

While almost 50% of the dates within the 27 July – 29 Aug period will see no changes, the other dates will see our average of 19 daily round trips reduced to 12 round trips. We’re confident that this frequency will still enable us to keep the Island connected and supplied as normal. This includes ensuring those travelling for holidays can still arrive and depart on the same days they planned, albeit a few hours sooner or later.

We will always endeavour to prioritise passengers travelling for work, education and essential medical appointments, as well as the transportation of fuel, medical supplies and food.

What the revised vehicle ferry timetable means for customers currently booked to travel between 27 July and 29 Aug:

- Customers booked to travel between these dates (inclusive), will receive further communication from us within the next 7 days. This will be to confirm either their new crossing time, or that there is NO impact to their booking. These individual customer notices will be sent out via email and text (if mobile number was supplied upon booking).

- Due to the complex nature of adjusting ferry traffic in our systems, we appreciate your patience as you wait to hear from us. While we understand it’s unpleasant thinking about impact to planned travel times, please refrain from getting in touch until you’ve heard from us.

- Once we contact you, we will include instructions on how you can let us know if your new crossing time doesn’t work for you, and what your options are.

- If for any reason you have a booking during the impacted date range and do not hear from us by 20 July, then please contact us.

Thank you for your understanding, patience and continued custom with us during this difficult time.

Our teams will be doing their best to support you.

If you have further questions about the impact of strike action at Red Funnel, please see our frequently asked questions below.

05/07/2022

Following ongoing pay discussions with Unite the Union, some of our colleagues participated in a ballot to vote on whether to take industrial action. We are disappointed that our fair and final offer has been rejected and ballot papers were issued to Unite the Union members – representing 20% of Red Funnel colleagues.  
 
We are incredibly disappointed to have received notification today from Unite the Union that members voted for strike action.  
 
At this stage, Unite has not communicated dates for strike action; however it is obliged to give two weeks’ notice ahead of any action. We can confirm that customers  with any bookings travelling before 22nd July will not be affected by industrial action.
 
Our priority is ensuring the Island remains connected and we continue to provide a lifeline service that so many rely upon. We will contact any impacted customers ahead of their booked crossing and advise of their options. We’d like to assure you that we have prepared robust contingency plans and do not anticipate a full stop to our services, rather, we expect to operate on a revised and reduced timetable, which we will communicate on 12th July.
 
We are keen to recognise and reward all colleagues, particularly during these uncertain times, however we must be realistic in terms of what the business can afford to ensure we continue to provide lifeline services for our customers, promoting the long-term success of the Island economy.

We will ensure our customers are kept informed throughout.

FAQs

Are Red Funnel ferry services completely shutting down on strike dates? I’m reading reports of ‘Red Funnel staff walking out’ and ‘Ferries will shut down’

NO, contrary to some misleading wording in the media and social media, our ferry services are NOT shutting down. Our ferries will continue to keep sailing daily; albeit with a reduced timetable for our vehicle ferry service. We do not expect to make any changes to our Red Jet timetable and expect that this service will operate as per our regular / current timetable.

To see a copy of the reduced vehicle ferry timetable (27 July to 29 August) click here

I’m booked to travel on the vehicle ferry during the time window where strike activity is scheduled to take place (27 July – 29 Aug) what is going to happen to my crossing time?

Customers who booked their travel between 27 July – 29 Aug, prior to us receiving notice of strike dates may have had a change to their booked crossing(s). Please note that all customers awaiting an update have now been contacted via email. We note that our email system will send out one email for each crossing / direction of travel (meaning two emails for a return/round-trip booking). Please do check the email you received from us to check if your booking time has changed (or has not changed) relative to your original booking.

If you have NOT received any emails from us confirming your booking time, and you think you should have, please contact us at customerservices@redfunnel.co.uk and send us a copy of our original e-ticket. We can look into your booking for you and confirm any changes to your booking.

Are you changing your timetable?

Yes, at this time, we have notice of strike activity taking place between 27 July and 29 Aug. While the strike action is specifically planned to take place over 12 days during this time frame (27 July, and 1, 3, 5, 9, 11, 15, 17, 19, 23, 26, 29 of August), we’ve had to introduce a new timetable to cover the ripple effect of the strike activity on all dates in this window. To see our new timetable for 27 July – 29 Aug, click here. Our current timetable will stay as is until 26 July. Bookings can also continue to be made as normal for dates beyond 30 Aug, as per our original summer season timetable.

Is your Red Jet service going to be impacted?

While the impact of the strike action is expected to mostly impact our vehicle ferry service, there is a chance that we could experience some disruption to our Red Jet service. These instances could occur at such times where our overall staffing levels cannot support the concurrent delivery of both our scheduled vehicle ferry and Red Jet timetables.

Is there a chance of more strike dates after 29 Aug?

At this stage, Unite has not communicated dates for strike action beyond 29 Aug; however, it is obliged to give two weeks’ notice ahead of any action. While we are fully committed to resolving this situation as quickly as possible, it is possible that if the pay dispute remains unresolved, we could see more strike dates beyond 29 Aug.

I have a vehicle ferry booking between 27 July – 29 Aug, my ferry travel was booked via an agent (e.g. holiday park, holiday package operator, hotel, etc.) – will you be contacting me if there is a change to my booking as a result of the strike action?

If you supplied a mobile number to the agent that booked your ferry travel for you, and the agent included this number in setting up your ferry booking with us, you will receive a text message (from us) indicating if there is a change to your booking. Furthermore, depending on how the agent processed your booking with us, it is possible that you may have received a Red Funnel e-ticket, direct from us. If you received your original e-ticket direct from us (we would appear as post@redfunnel.co.uk in your inbox), you would also learn of any change to your booking, via email, direct from us. If your ferry e-ticket was sent to you by the agent you booked with, we will email the agent and ask them to get in touch with you to advise of any changes to your booking. Update: 21 July: If your booking is still a few weeks away, we’d suggest giving them a few more days to get in touch with you as the process of contacting customers may be time consuming depending on how their systems work. If you’re worried at any point, do get in touch with them and if you’re not getting the assistance you need, contact us at customerservices@redfunnel.co.uk

You said that you would contact customers by 20th July to advise of any changes to vehicle ferry bookings between 27 July – 29 Aug as a result of the strike action. I haven’t received any texts or emails from you. What should I do?

If you haven’t received any notification from us by the 20th July to specify that your booking has changed, and you haven’t received a notice to say that all those impacted by the strike action have now been informed, then there’s been a technical issue with you receiving communications from us, or we don’t have your correct information. If this happens, it’s important that you contact us. Before getting in touch, please be sure to check your junk folder in the email account you used to secure your booking. We would appear as post@redfunnel.co.uk or mail@e-redfunnel.co.uk in your inbox

Has the vehicle ferry timetable changed for more than just the 12 dates that have been announced as strikes?   Will this impact other days?

We have revised our vehicle ferry timetable for the period of the 27th July until 30th August.  On many of the ‘non-strike’ days, the services are either unchanged, or only have 1 sailing impacted very early in the morning (as each period of strike lasts from 04:00 until 04:00 the next day).  On a few other selected days, we have made revisions to our timetable to be more consistent from day to day (rather than changing back and forth each day), and also to provide greater resilience in terms of available staffing levels.

I’ve received an update from you confirming that I have a new sailing time.  Will I get a new e-ticket?

No. If you received an email from us to confirm that you’ve been assigned a new sailing time, our system will NOT generate a new e-ticket for you. You can treat the email you received from us as though this is your new/revised official booking confirmation for your crossing. This email includes your original booking reference number, which you’ll continue to quote upon arrival at check in.

The new crossing time you sent me doesn’t work for me, what can I do?

You have two options: Amend your booking or cancel your booking. You can read more about this on our amends page.

Please note that due to high volumes of traffic departing from both Southampton and East Cowes, we are generally unable to accommodate changes between 07:30 and 18:00 on Mondays and Fridays between 27 July and 29 Aug at this time. We apologise for this inconvenience.

You got in touch to let me know that my booking crossing time has changed due to the impact of the strike action (27 July – 29 Aug) – how long do I have to decide if I want to amend or cancel this new time?

To maximise your options for changing to a new time, we’d suggest contacting us to request your amendment as soon as possible. If you wish to cancel, you can do so and receive a full refund up to 24 hours before your new departure time; thereafter, you would forfeit your right to a refund. Letting us know you’re not going to travel also helps free up deck space for other customers looking to travel with us at that time, so your consideration in contacting us sooner than later is very much appreciated, both by us and fellow customers.

Am I still able to contact you with a request to stay in my vehicle when travelling with you?

Yes. We are able to consider request for extremely vulnerable passengers travelling to an NHS appointment, as well as customers who may need to isolate for other reasons. Please note that due to the impact of strike action between 27 July and 29 Aug, 'Stay in Vehicle' requests may be subject to interruption. We will continue to do our best to serve and support customers during this time. For more information and to check crossing times where we can consider requests, please visit our Stay in Vehicle page.