Tuesday, September 24

Passengers huff as Labuan ferry runs out of tickets

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LABUAN: Scores of passengers were left disappointed and angry when the supervisor allegedly announced that the tickets for the Kimanis 1 ferry trip from here to Menumbok were sold out just 10 minutes after the ticket counter opened yesterday.

Labuan PBS Youth chief Ambrose James told the Borneo Post yesterday that he was among those feeling unfairly treated as most of them had waited from as early as 6am for the ticket counter here to open at 8am.

“We have been waiting as early as 6am for the counter to open at 8am to buy the tickets for the 10.30am trip.

“We feel unfairly treated, for only 10 minutes after the counter opened the ferry supervisor announced that the ferry was already full.

“I wonder how come in just 10 minutes the ferry was already full as only some individuals had bought the tickets, whereas the ferry can accommodate around 50 vehicles,” he said.

Ambrose recalled that the ferry operator had previously said that tickets could not be booked in advance and only could be purchased on the day the passengers want to travel at the ticket counter.

He said he suspected the supervisor already had his own passenger list.

“I think the ticket sales agent is not really applying the policy and they should prioritise those coming to the counter to buy the tickets instead of the ‘hidden clients’.

“What is worse is the supervisor tends to scold the public, those wanting to buy the ferry tickets; he must know that some of the passengers are government officials, politicians and others.

“Their counter is also located at a corner of the ferry terminal and it is inconvenient for the passengers to buy the tickets in such situation,” he said.

Ambrose said the supervisor needs not utter harsh words to the passengers.

“When the passengers failed to get the ticket for the 10.30am trip tried to wait for the next counter to open for ticket sales at 1pm for the 3.30pm trip, the supervisor scolded them by telling them that it was useless for them to wait,” he claimed.

“He also tried to make a ‘joke’ that the ferry was not going to sail on the next trip at 3.30pm,” Ambrose said, adding that a fight almost occurred between one of the passengers and the supervisor.

He recalled an incident in which a woman whose leg was bandaged also failed to get the ticket for the 10.30am trip and she pleaded in vain with the supervisor to let her purchase the ticket as she had an appointment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu.

“The supervisor did not sale the ticket to her, but a few minutes later, I saw a man approached him and the supervisor let the man go inside the ferry with his vehicle,” he claimed.

“The woman was supposed to travel by Labuan Ferry Corporation (LFC) Sdn. Bhd’s ferry as she had booked the ticket earlier.

“But, because the Wawasan Perdana ferry owned by LFC was destroyed by fire on Tuesday, the trip scheduled for yesterday was cancelled.

Meanwhile, the Kimanis 1 ferry ticket agent, David Wong, when asked to comment on the complaint, said there were some 53 cars on the waiting list since Thursday afternoon.

He said there were many more of those on waiting list for yesterday’s afternoon trip to Menumbok.