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linda1453

Airline Flights Through Cruise Line

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seashell, if you are going on Avalon you can have your TA mention the possibility of flights when you book.  Mine did that, and when it came time to book (we really only had the choice of KLM because of where I live...and I wanted a direct flight), they came in much lower than my TA could get.  Couldn't get the free flight when it came up 6 months after booking, but they did save quite a bit over either myself or TA booking the flights.

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We have a cruise on Scenic coming up in October. We booked way early,  before flights were published. When we got close enough to see flights I did my research, found routings from our small town airport and sent our preferred itinerary to our TA. She contacted Scenic Air and they booked the flights.  We paid less than we would if booking ourselves and we still got to select our seats and we will get miles. 

 

The price savings was was important for us as we decided a few years ago the travel to Europe must be business class. We saves several thousand dollars having Scenic book our air. 

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On 7/22/2019 at 6:21 AM, mskaufman said:

We bought air through Viking and paid the $50 to pick our flights.  With Viking's air promotion is was still several hundred dollars less than anything we saw on our own.

 

Same with us. Our local airport is small and uncompetitive when it comes to airfares. We requested specific Delta flights, and our frequent flyer accounts were credited with the correct number of redeemable miles and medallion-qualifying miles as stated in Delta's SkyMiles bulk fare policy. (Full MQMs and then redeemables based on miles flown times a fare class multiplier)

 

Because we were spending some time in Switzerland and Amsterdam before and after the cruise on our own, we didn't get to use Viking's transfer service. Other than Viking not communicating well about where to find the ship in Basel on departure day, that was not big deal. 

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I had always booked our own air with my previous 3 trips, but this year Avalon offered $300 air to Europe, which I jumped on.  It is much less stressful and I like that they will meet us at the airport.

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On our 30+ ocean cruises, we've always booked our airfare separately.  Since most ocean cruise ports are in major cities, airfare at usually cheaper booking on our own, & taxi fares are reasonably cheap.

 

On our 4 river cruises, we've always use their cruises' free or included air sale special, Since it's much cheaper than booking on our own.  Most river cruise ports are much smaller (except Amsterdam & Budapest) towns that we've never heard of before, & included transfers are nice.

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On 7/22/2019 at 11:28 PM, Shmoo here said:

3 trips with Vantage.  Every one we let them do the flights.  They're very good with flights.  On our first trip, about a month after being told what flights we were going to be on for our trip (not really great as we were scheduled for a flight from Germany to LA via Vancouver BC), they called and asked if we wanted to do a non-stop from Germany to LA.   Duh.

 

Our upcoming trip, I don't really like the fact that, in order to make the connection to our non-stop flight, we have to take a short flight that departs at 6:20 in the morning.  That means we'll be up at 4 am (European time) until noon (same day, Pacific time) that day.  I'm not sure what they can do about that.  

It'll be worth it to get that long haul non stop.  But if you have a 6:20 departure, you're going to have to get up long before 4AM.  You'll probably need to be at the airport by then.  On all three cruises that we've done, the cruise director insisted that we need to be at the airport close to three hours before departure.  Makes for a very short "last night" but you've got plenty of time to sleep on the plane. 

Of course, if you're doing your own transportation to the airport, you can book a taxi/UBER at whatever time you choose.  The good thing about such an early flight is that you'll flow through check in and security quickly. 

We have an 0610 departure out of Budapest in early September.  I plan on not getting to the airport earlier than 90 minutes or so before departure.   Smallish airport, very early flight, carry on bags only, priority check in,  and priority security lines should make it easy for us.  May have time to grab a mimosa in the Biz lounge before boarding.

For now, I'm going to stop worry about departure day and look forward to ARRIVAL!

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On 7/21/2019 at 8:46 AM, linda1453 said:

Is it worth getting airline flights through the cruise line, or is it better to book yourself? 

I can't bear the thought of getting crammed into cheap middle, basic economy seats in the back of the plane.  My bride and are both fairly tall.  I couldn't stand the torture of no leg room.   As a tour director who has escorted many groups from the US to Europe, I know the group booking seats are typically whatever's left over, which is most likely going to be middle seats.  So,  we always use miles for our seats and get at least the "Economy plus" seats with extra legroom, or splurge and use a ton of miles for biz class seats.

I've never investigated to see if you can pay to upgrade to a better seat than what you'd be assigned by buying your airfare through the cruise company.

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On 7/22/2019 at 7:21 AM, mskaufman said:

We bought air through Viking and paid the $50 to pick our flights.  With Viking's air promotion is was still several hundred dollars less than anything we saw on our own.

Agree; did the same, then dealt with airline to upgrade to premium economy.  Viking rep met us in Amsterdam at 6 AM and with another couple on same flight took us directly to ship, had breakfast, took a canal cruise and our cabin was ready.

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We are doing the Viking pre-cruise extension in Amsterdam---we figure that if our connecting flight is late we will still be picked up at the airport and brought to the hotel by Viking regardless of the time of day.  We aren't clear thinkers when jet-lagged, so we paid for Viking's hand-holding pre-cruise.

 

Even with the extra cost to pick our own flights and the deviation fee, we still couldn't come close to Viking's prices for the flights.

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