Wednesday, Apr 16th

Last update:12:51:14 AM GMT

Ship rules

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Dear Editor – Whilst acknowledging the service provided by MV Lady Wakehurst to travelling passengers in particular for Malaita Province, I would like to make a few comments with regards to some of the rules imposed by its management on travelling passengers.

Glancing through the Solomon Star Issue No.5017 on Friday the 16th of November I was caught by the advert published on page 11 on schedule trips for MV Lady Wakehurst for the month November-December.

Anyway, the thing that caught my attention here were the rules printed in bold at the bottom of that add which reads:

1.        No more student fares, 14 years and up is adult fare. Children’s fare applies to those between 3 and 12.

2.        Tickets are non-refundable. If you leave ship and the ship leaves early without you, the company is not responsible, meaning that you will not claim any portion of the money you paid for your fare.

Well, this is where I raise my concern by saying that these rules are irrational.

First, let me begin by asking why the management has to do away with students fare?

Can you explain? Does this cause any detriment to the company’s operations?

From a reasonable person’s point of view I think that this is irrational and myself I am of the opinion that our students should be given some special privilege.

Based on that I would suggest students should be given school Identification Cards (IDs) to be used during school vacations whilst travelling.

As such I would rather think that shipping company should look into that, allowing students fare to students that provided valid IDs. Have some pity on our students.

If other transport service providers such as buses and the airline can provide special privilege for students what is wrong with MV Lady Wakehurst?

The second thing that captured my attention is the non-refundable policy.

As mentioned above all tickets purchased are non-refundable meaning that in any event where a passenger who is already booked does not travel he/she loses entitlement to refund.

Well, from my limited understanding that’s legal contract (offer & Acceptance), when one pays the ticket that means he/she accepts the offer and thus legally binds him or her.

However, for our case I would rather say this is irrational.

Why not make it reasonable for our travelling passengers? Say at least claim only certain percent and refund the rest. I think that would be logic and common sense should be applied here.

To totally claim the whole of somebody’s money I think is gravely unfair and as such what would you call it? Beliga at its best!

Finally, my question is do we have any legislation in place that regulates Shipping Operators from imposing such unreasonable rules?

Or is there any law to do with fairness in business dealings?

Can somebody enlighten me on this issue? On the other hand if there is no such legislation, then my second question is: Is it necessary to create one?

And if so then can the responsible authorities look into it and try to come up with a mechanism to regulate this selfish attitude of those money hungry shipping opportunist?

Lest we forgot that a lot of passengers are from the rural areas especially students who are big time victims.

It’s time we start look into such issues. Don’t let irrational rules fool and rob us.


Georgina Atoa
East Kwara’ae

Malaita Province