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erdoran

NCL "free" air - upgrade to business for $$?

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Looking at cruising out of Southampton.  "Free" air from PHL is $399 which is an excellent price and well worth it - but hubby is a "business-only" traveler.  When I was working on reservation I asked NCL rep if we can book the free air and pay for upgrade to business and he said no, but I've gotten other misinformation from NCL call center.  Has anyone successfully done this, and if so, was it worthwhile pricewise or could you do better on your own?  TIA.

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Yes, you can upgrade and I dealt directly with NCL Premium Air on two occasions for business class bookings.  When you do the upgrade, you have more options and usually can select your airline, flights from those they offer, and seat selection.  I was even able to add my frequent flier number.  However, although you used to be able to save money by booking Business Class with NCL they now are linked with Oceania and the last cruise I priced with them in April was $3500/person more for airfare than if I booked on my own.  The prior cruise before this air booking merger we saved $1800/person from the cheapest airfare I could find on my own.  So check your own prices before you call and see what they can do for you.  The NCL Premium Air number is 1-866-625-1163.  You will need your cruise reservation number for them to see your booking/account.  Be prepared for a long wait on hold since NCL is still not fully recovered from their recent computer conversion/migration and there are big back logs. In addition, their offering the free/reduced airfare has seriously taxed their system and they are in the process of hiring and training new people to handle the added volume for the air reservations.

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43 minutes ago, mertziek said:

Yes, you can upgrade and I dealt directly with NCL Premium Air on two occasions for business class bookings.  When you do the upgrade, you have more options and usually can select your airline, flights from those they offer, and seat selection.  I was even able to add my frequent flier number.  However, although you used to be able to save money by booking Business Class with NCL they now are linked with Oceania and the last cruise I priced with them in April was $3500/person more for airfare than if I booked on my own.  The prior cruise before this air booking merger we saved $1800/person from the cheapest airfare I could find on my own.  So check your own prices before you call and see what they can do for you.  The NCL Premium Air number is 1-866-625-1163.  You will need your cruise reservation number for them to see your booking/account.  Be prepared for a long wait on hold since NCL is still not fully recovered from their recent computer conversion/migration and there are big back logs. In addition, their offering the free/reduced airfare has seriously taxed their system and they are in the process of hiring and training new people to handle the added volume for the air reservations.

This experience was not with the free or reduced promotion, right?

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1 hour ago, erdoran said:

Looking at cruising out of Southampton.  "Free" air from PHL is $399 which is an excellent price and well worth it - but hubby is a "business-only" traveler.  When I was working on reservation I asked NCL rep if we can book the free air and pay for upgrade to business and he said no, but I've gotten other misinformation from NCL call center.  Has anyone successfully done this, and if so, was it worthwhile pricewise or could you do better on your own?  TIA.

Last night I selected seats for my United flight on their website. I could see upgrade seats and when I clicked I was offered a price to reserve. 

 

Other airlines will likely do the same. Out of PHL to the UK you're likely to be on American or British Airways. Check to see their policies.

 

There seems to be some concern that the NCL promotion seats are not real economy seats, not true. I have my normal perks and mileage opportunity with my United flight. 

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36 minutes ago, Nola26 said:

This experience was not with the free or reduced promotion, right?

Actually we had the free/reduced air promo for both cruises and on the first one had airfare for this promo subtracted from our overall reservation with charges since we opted out of the free economy flights but when we upgraded to and booked Business Class flights they added it back on along with the upgrade fee.  I think the economy pricing is baked into the overall cruise pricing for many cruises.  And the promos vary from cruise to cruise so I’m not sure if this is always the case.  In the second case, we did not use their economy air offer and also did not get any credit for not using it.  It’s all very confusing but I know we saved a lot by booking through NCL with the first cruise and spent less by booking on our own for the second one after they merged with Oceania air department.  The agent admitted that to me when I questioned the final total being so much higher than I could do on my own.

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32 minutes ago, mertziek said:

Actually we had the free/reduced air promo for both cruises and on the first one had airfare for this promo subtracted from our overall reservation with charges since we opted out of the free economy flights but when we upgraded to and booked Business Class flights they added it back on along with the upgrade fee.  I think the economy pricing is baked into the overall cruise pricing for many cruises.  And the promos vary from cruise to cruise so I’m not sure if this is always the case.  In the second case, we did not use their economy air offer and also did not get any credit for not using it.  It’s all very confusing but I know we saved a lot by booking through NCL with the first cruise and spent less by booking on our own for the second one after they merged with Oceania air department.  The agent admitted that to me when I questioned the final total being so much higher than I could do on my own.

You said you upgraded to business class?  how did you do that?  Thru NCL?  Because you say they “added it back on along with the upgrade fee”

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On 7/17/2019 at 3:56 PM, erdoran said:

You said you upgraded to business class?  how did you do that?  Thru NCL?  Because you say they “added it back on along with the upgrade fee”

We called NCL Premium Air to book business class.  We needed our cruise confirmation number when we called.  When we first booked the cruise, our PCC removed the flight charges from our bill for the promo free/reduced air when we said we were not taking that offer but upgrading to Business Class.  When we later called NCL Premium Air (you have to be within 330 days I think and our cruise was booked much earlier) that amount was added back on to our reservation charges through NCL Air PLUS they charged an extra amount for the upgraded Business flight air fare.

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7 hours ago, Cariot said:

How do you know if you're eligible for the Free air?

 

Go on to NCL.com and go through the process of searching for the cruise(s) you're interested in. 

When you toggle down to see the sail dates, the promos show up with colour-coded tabs - Orange is the free/reduced air promo (see below).

 

I also continue through the booking process to where you select your perks and input your gateway info to see if the air for that particular cruise is "free" or reduced. I currently have two cruises booked taking advantage of this promo and for us, even though I have to give up control regarding what airline/flight time/etc. it is worth it financially.

 

For example, earlier this week I received my flight information for a cruise in December. I priced out those exact flights and they are cost $1040 Cdn to buy outright.

 

Hope this helps! 

 

 

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On 7/17/2019 at 3:42 PM, Nola26 said:

Last night I selected seats for my United flight on their website. I could see upgrade seats and when I clicked I was offered a price to reserve. 

 

Other airlines will likely do the same. Out of PHL to the UK you're likely to be on American or British Airways. Check to see their policies.

 

There seems to be some concern that the NCL promotion seats are not real economy seats, not true. I have my normal perks and mileage opportunity with my United flight. 

It also works this way on American.  Once your flights are set (and you see the record locator on your edocs), you can go to their website, pull up your booking, and upgrade your seats.  It's a transaction between you and the airline at that point.  NCL isn't involved

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On 7/17/2019 at 2:37 PM, erdoran said:

Looking at cruising out of Southampton.  "Free" air from PHL is $399 which is an excellent price and well worth it - but hubby is a "business-only" traveler.  When I was working on reservation I asked NCL rep if we can book the free air and pay for upgrade to business and he said no, but I've gotten other misinformation from NCL call center.  Has anyone successfully done this, and if so, was it worthwhile pricewise or could you do better on your own?  TIA.

 

Whether you can up grade or not depends on the airline that NCL books you on, and the fare category that they buy. Some times you are in a fare category that you can up grade but that is the exception rather than the rule.  (Note that this is different than paying a small fee to select seats which is what everyone above is talking about.)

 

If you wan tto sit in Business Class or above you need to deal with NCL Premium Air, not the package that comes with some cruise fares.

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3 hours ago, dbrown84 said:

It also works this way on American.  Once your flights are set (and you see the record locator on your edocs), you can go to their website, pull up your booking, and upgrade your seats.  It's a transaction between you and the airline at that point.  NCL isn't involved

 

That is different than upgrading categories. OP is asking about going from coach to business class. You can pay to move your seat around in coach, but you are not offered the option to move in to the business class cabin.

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2 hours ago, zqvol said:

 

That is different than upgrading categories. OP is asking about going from coach to business class. You can pay to move your seat around in coach, but you are not offered the option to move in to the business class cabin.

no, I'm talking about moving classes.  You absolutely get that option, at least on American.  It even tells you what you would get in the upgraded class, like two free beers

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