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Public Announcements

Inter-Island Ferry Authority Boards 1,000,000th Passenger 

The story of the IFA has frequently been compared to underdog stories, the “little guy” somehow does it despite everyone who said it couldn’t be done, because no matter how hard it got the little guy didn’t give up. Supported by the communities that we serve, the IFA has been able to do what they said couldn’t be done.

After our first year of service, former IFA Board of Director Chair, Dewey Duvall, called out beginning “a tragic beginning to what I believe to be a bright future.”  Twenty years later, on the rear deck of the M/V Prince of Wales, less than twenty feet from where Chairman Duvall said those words a young man from Kansas shook hands with General Manager, Ron Curtis, after finding out he was the Millionth Passenger.

a group of people standing in front of water

Left to right: Chance Headley, Ron Curtis (General Manager), & Donna Halvorsen (Terminal Manager)

Chance Headley had planned to visit Alaska to attend his sister’s graduation from Craig High School on May 25th, 2023. Little did he know that the IFA was eagerly waiting for their Millionth Passenger to arrive. It was Chance’s sister who shared a post from our Facebook Page announcing that the lucky passenger would board either on May 24th from Ketchikan to Hollis or on May 25th from Hollis to Ketchikan. When Chance arrived to collect his ticket, he jokingly told a Ketchikan Terminal Agent that he would be the lucky one. What he didn’t know was that the agents and employees were closely monitoring the passenger manifest and waiting with bated breath for the final passenger to arrive. With just 27 minutes left before departure, Chance Headley and his brother checked in and boarded the ferry.

a man standing in a room Chance was awarded two round-trip Alaska Airlines tickets for being the lucky passenger of the day.When asked where he thought the tickets would take him, Chance replied that he hoped to return to Alaska. We look forward to welcoming him back on board our ferry soon. In addition to Chance’s surprise, all passengers on the boat were pleasantly surprised by IFA management’s decision to provide a refund for their passenger travel.

It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come since that first year. Sailing hasn’t always been smooth, but the celebration of one million passengers has proven that taking a chance on the underdogs can lead to great success. We would like to extend our gratitude to Prince of Wales and Ketchikan for taking a chance on us and supporting us for 21 years. You are the reason we do what we do, and we are excited for the future of the IFA with anticipation for the next million.