If you make a ferry reservation on the San Juan Islands’ route, you’ll get this notice with your confirmation: Effective March 20, 2016, you must arrive at the terminal at least 45 minutes prior to departure time. If you are not processed into the holding area at least 30 minutes prior to departure, you will forfeit your reservation and travel standby on a first come, first serve basis.
According to Washington State Ferries, it’s not really anything new.
“This isn’t so much a change as an effort to manage the 30-minute window to reach the toll booth,” said WSF Public Information Officer Ian Sterling. “Basically, it reinforces the rules already in place that customers must be at the toll booth 30 minutes prior to departure or face forfeiture of their reservation. Obviously, we don’t want this to happen and want to remind customers to allow some time for any possible line approaching the toll booth that could delay them from reaching it before the 30-minute cutoff. Hence, the 45-minute language. The verbiage also aligns us with the way BC Ferries communicates about their system.”