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HoverNews - November


Welcome to our second edition of HoverNews, a digital-only publication available on our website, and which replaces the previous paper-version HoverTraveller Update

We appreciate since our last HoverNews, some of our customers have experienced further disruption and extended travel times. The technical challenges we have faced, along with the weather cancellations, are frustrating and we apologise sincerely for these issues. All of us at Hovertravel respect the loyalty of all our customers and we thank you for your continued patience.

We are using this HoverNews to provide you with the latest updates on our fleet and our operation.

Solent flyer

In the coming days you will see Solent Flyer return to Ryde and enter service, following the completion of modification work carried out at our sister company, Griffon Hoverwork, in Southampton

Timetable

We will be continuing to operate the current winter timetable. We can, with two craft, add extra services when required, swap the craft to maintain the timetable and operate a separate Royal Mail charter to ensure the ‘service craft’ is not disrupted. As previously explained in HoverNews, we will not re-introduce a 15-minute service.

Island Flyer

This craft will need to undertake the same modifications as Solent Flyer, and we expect to see her depart for Griffon Hoverwork during January, but no date has been set. It is also expected for her to be away from the operation for a much shorter time than Solent Flyer. During this time, we will endeavour to minimise any disruption when only one craft is in operation, but to be open and honest, we want to keep our customers informed.

Push Notifications

As detailed previously we were experiencing major issues with the push notification service on our app and we decided to stop these notifications.  Since the last HoverNews our IT team have been able to develop a better solution.

We have also heard from many customers about the usefulness of the service status messages and in particular the type of information which is most helpful for journey planning. From next week those customers who request push notifications will receive a push notification from our app when the service is cancelled, for weather or technical reasons.

Preferred Bookings

We continue to offer a booked service as so many of you have requested, but it is essential we ensure there is a fair system for all and we are continuing to review the utilisation of the bookings. Our customer service team will be in touch over the next few weeks with those customers to assist them if they have not used their bookings over an extended period, to select a more appropriate time. Our aim is to ensure we use the seats available and offer a secure booking system with choice of seats for all, and this can only be achieved in fair and consistent consultation with individual users.

HoverBus – proposed changes to timetable

Since the last HoverNews we have requested the changes to the Hoverbus timetable from Portsmouth City Council. These revisions mean the Hoverbus will depart one minute after the scheduled arrival of the hovercraft, and arrive back in Southsea a little earlier than currently, to avoid breaking the 5 -minute rule, and give a little extra time for check in. We expect this to be confirmed early next year.

 
Season Card Direct Debit Payments

In the new year we will be moving to a new Direct Debit supplier which offers a more efficient, paperless process. This means customers can sign up or renew their cards through a weblink which which we will email once the deposit has been paid in one of our terminals.

 
Child Yearly Season Card Customers

If a child requires additional repatriation tickets for possible weather cancellations please see a Duty Manager or Team Leader in the terminals. For any technical cancellations, children are able to obtain a ticket from our staff on the day of travel

 

At Hovertravel we are all aware that customers have faced cancellations and delays and how this in turn this has affected both home and work life and we are genuinely sorry for this. We are now providing an apology voucher for each customer receiving a Wightlink ticket at the Pier or Portsmouth Hard, in the event of a technical cancellation.

We are also offering all season & travel card holders the chance to buy their travel companion a standard ticket at half price, during our off-peak service from 1st December to 7th January. The season card holder must accompany their Plus-1 on the journey to gain the discount. For more details, please see our website.

Throughout the business, our commitment to making Hovertravel 100% reliable is resolute. The operational changes, mentioned in the previous HoverNews, cannot be implemented until we have both craft in operation, when all the required work is fully completed in the New Year.

In the meantime, whilst we continue to strive for better on time performance and look to enhance our customer service, please be reassured that we value your custom and are dedicated to improving the Hovertravel experience.

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Hovertravel Ltd Company registered in England, UK. Company Registration 830401. VAT Registration 107-3428-91. Hovertravel Registered Trade Mark number 2614882 and Hovertravel logo registered trade mark number 2630390. Registered Office: Encombe House, Estate Office, Corfe Castle, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 5LW, England.

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