Originally Posted by RTB
A pity, as Cowes Express was real competition for Red Funnell, the fares were realistic as well. If I remember correctley there was an evening return fare, for around £3.00? a bargain.
Just before the start of the feerry service, volunteers were wanted for the ships emergency lifeboat drill, apart from the wet feet, I think we were all given four? tins of beer.
Pity the service did not last
Hi RTB thanks for your sentiments,
The £3 fare was imaginatively called the "midnight express" (long after our colleagues at Red Funnel were tucked up in bed I believe!)
I also remember the 4 or more cans for our volunteer "passengers" for the evacuation drills...you were right about Cowes Express' managements generosity with the beer- (None for us when on duty of course).
It also reminds me when we introduced the first "Business Class" on the cross solent route.
The idea was that we would serve drinks, with free newspapers and TV screens in the busineess class lounge on the upper deck complete with plush carpets and leather seats.
However we were advised that we had to suspend the sale of alcoholic beverages onboard because we didnt have a licence. So we solved that problem by giving it away for free!
You could pay a £5 supplement to upgrade to "Admirals Class" then be served unlimited complimentary drinks. We calculated that in the 20 to 25 minutes when the cabin staff could serve , the average passenger would consume less than a fivers worth. This was true 90% of the time although on one occasion a colleague reported that a stalwart passeger had managed to consume 8 bottles of Becks (about 1 every 3 minutes) I,m sure he couldnt work out later how he woke up on the Isle of Wight!
Appologies for getting off-thread here this is supposed to be about the OFT report- but it does illustrate the range of choice and alternatives that fair competition produces!