NorthLink criticised after withdrawal of food and drink discount

NorthLink has come under fire for scrapping its islander discount on food and drink without any warning to customers.

Passengers travelling on the lifeline service on Wednesday night were faced with signs warning that the 20 per cent discount had been withdrawn.

NorthLink has stressed the decision applies only to food and drink, and not to fares.

One passenger travelling north on the mid-week sailing was Iain Robinson of Vidlin.

The 65-year-old had been down in Aberdeen to have his motorbike serviced.

He said he had been given no warning of the decision during his south-bound journey, and was only told of the decision during his voyage back to Lerwick.

Even staff, he said, appeared to have little warning about the decision.

Mr Robinson said he paid out £11 for a serving of Shetland roast lamb – a dish that would have cost him less than a tenner before the discount was withdrawn.

“I just came off the NorthLink ferry, and I was advised there is no longer a 20 per cent discount for food,” he said.

“There was no reason given – they said ‘we only heard yesterday’. Last night was the first night.”

“I went down on Monday and there was no mention of it. You used to get a 20 per cent discount.”

He added: “I was totally surprised. I only booked my ticket a week or so ago. I wasn’t advised, and it doesn’t seem as if their crew was advised – I did query it with them.”

Serco NorthLink’s commercial director Jim Dow said: “We are proud to offer an extensive food and drink menu on board that is very reasonably priced and equal for all passengers.

“Our commitment to working with local suppliers continues and we are proud to showcase those partnerships. 

“While the Islander discount code is no longer in place, all passengers do have access to a variety of choices and price points.”


Add Your Comment
  • David Spence

    • December 2nd, 2021 16:55

    A classic example of where profits are more important than the service Serco gives.

    Despite it being a lifeline service, Serco obviously see’s this as an oppertunity to profit from this by penalising islanders regardless. I would suggest people take onboard a lunch box, which would probably be cheaper, on their next trip down south. (One presumes Serco, cannot deny people bringing their own lunch box/food with them rather than being ripped off?).


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