Ferries slow on reservations

Customers calling to make vehicle reservations for the Port Townsend/Keystone route have experienced unusually long waits in recent days.

“We are very concerned that the volume of calls we are receiving to our customer service lines is frustrating our customers, despite our best efforts,” David Moseley, assistant Secretary for Washington State Ferries, speaking before the Memorial Day weekend.

Only about 64 percent of reservations made in advance are used, said Laura Johnson, spokesperson for Washington State Ferries. She said the primary reason for fewer reservations used than made is there’s no incentive for customers to redeem reservations such as a financial penalty.

Wait times are not an issue for reservation holders. Standby customers usually deal with a one-boat wait during the week and a two-boat wait during the weekend.

Minimal information is required for online reservations. Customers are prompted to enter approximate length and height of their vehicle, number of passengers, driver’s name, email address and phone number. A confirmation numbers is sent to the customer’s email address, to be presented upon arrival at the terminal.

Vehicle reservations on many sailings are filling up far in advance. Many customers have attempted to make reservations online, only to discover that their desired sailing time has no reservations available. When a sailing has no reservations available, the sailing time appears in gray, and if a customer chooses that sailing time, the “Continue” button cannot be clicked.

State Ferries requests that customers not call customer service in this case, as there is no way to reserve space on a full sailing. For more ferry system information, please visit To sign up for free email alerts about service disruptions and other route information, click on the link in the far left column of the Web site.

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