For several hours Tuesday morning, anyone who was able to book summer ferry tickets to Nantucket online was lucky.
The Steamship Authority opened their online summer booking to the island on Tuesday morning, but not without major system glitches that left many experiencing hours-long wait times only to then get booted from their reservation. Reservations were working again after several hours, but the cause of the problem remained unknown Tuesday afternoon.
Many took to Twitter to air their frustrations, with criticisms likening the reservation system to TicketMaster.
The Steamship Authority initially denied any technical issues, and directed users who were tweeting about the issue to call their reservation office.
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The ferry service then issued an update, saying they were experiencing "website difficulties" and directed users to refresh their browsers if they're wait time does not change.
"We know many of our customers are frustrated, and this experience is clearly not meeting the level of service we expect to provide," the Authority said in a statement.
The Authority processed 4,000 reservations as of 8:30a.m. on Tuesday, according to the service. It was unclear what has caused the system delays.
Reservations for Nantucket trips this summer were back online by 12:30 p.m., the Steamship Authority said in a new statement.
"Customers should now be able to use the virtual waiting room and book without issue. Again, we apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience. We will continue to review today’s activities to determine the cause of the system issues and resolve them immediately," according to the ferry service.
Ticket reservations for Martha's Vineyard open up next week.
This is not the first time users have had difficulty making online ferry reservations. In 2022, a broken air conditioning unit shut reservation systems. And, In 2021, the ferry service experienced a cyberattack that affected their online reservation system.