Stena Line is preparing to assist travellers in crossing the Irish Sea following the UK Met Office prediction that another ash cloud will reach the UK, with the potential of throwing thousands of peoples travel plans into chaos.
As people nervously watch the progress of the ash cloud as it heads towards Europe, Stena Line has increased its web capacity, brought in more staff to deal with customer enquiries in its call centres and has additional crew on standby to ensure it will be able to efficiently help any stranded travellers if Britain should once again become a no fly zone.
Last year, the arrival of the ash cloud, which affected global airspace for up to six days, saw Stena Line experience an unprecedented 350% increase in hits to its UK and Irish websites where visitors can view ferry timetables, up to date ferry sailing information and book ferry tickets online.
“We are currently working hard to prepare our services for the possibility of increased passenger numbers so that we can ensure we can do our best to assist with peoples travel requirements,” said Stena Line Communications Manager Eamonn Hewitt.
“Last year the situation with the ash cloud and cancelled flights caused people a lot of stress and inconvenience. Our plans are now in place so should the situation arise again, we are able to accommodate as many people as possible.
“We want to ensure that not only do people get safely to their destinations but that they get to see the best of ferry travel. When we have the opportunity to welcome new customers onboard we want them to experience all of the benefits of travelling by ferry - the convenience, space, no baggage restrictions, hassle free check-in and so on which could influence their future travel decisions,” Eamonn continued.
Last year Stena Line experienced one of its busiest years on record which saw the company carry an additional 60,000 passengers with a particularly busy spring period bolstered by the impact of the volcanic ash cloud.