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Harley52

**Feasible And Economical**

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Is it feasible and economical to book flights with the cruise line, travel agent or on my own.  Thank you

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All three ways are feasible.  Economic is another story.  I've done both the cruise line air and on my own.  I found both to be more or less equal in price point.

 

In my limited experience air fares change all the time.  They go up, they go down.  One flight can be one price, come back 2 weeks later and the price has doubled.  Or halved. 

 

Having never used one I'm assuming a travel agent uses the same search the cruise line uses.  And as far as I can tell, I get the same results with a search of my own.

 

 

 

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Usually, I will let them book flights, and if I come across a cheaper rate prior to final payment date, I'll cancel their air, and book my own.

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depends

I find it cheaper to use the cruise air for one way  transatlantic flights

 

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Interested in bizclass? DIY.

On a line that includes, at least, economy air (e.g., Oceania), take the air credit and add it to your own FF points and/or $ to get affordable bizclass on your preferred seeker/routing/etc.

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1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

depends

I find it cheaper to use the cruise air for one way  transatlantic flights

 

Ditto.  

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2 hours ago, LHT28 said:

depends

I find it cheaper to use the cruise air for one way  transatlantic flights

 

 I agree . Got a great 1 way fare from Cunard recently.

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Yes, no, maybe. Prices fluctuate daily; sometimes hourly for high demand routes. We monitor prices for a couple of months whenever possible, to get a feel for just what is or isn't a good price. Then book either with the cruise line or directly with the airline, depending on which is better. Just be sure you compare apples with apples- there are many different  fare categories even on the same flight; some have more restrictions and fewer inclusions than others.

 

As for TAs,  at least in Canada they don't get a commission on flight tickets, so most charge a booking fee for this. Some (like ours) may be willing to waive this fee as a favor to good customers. He has occasionally found a flight for less, but not often.

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Anyone wanting to DIY, should acquaint themselves with ITA Matrix for comprehensive/flexible carrier/routing info. BTW, no tix sales through ITA Matrix - just the best way to compare.

Just booked multi-city (SFO-SIN and NRT-SFO) bizclass on Philippine Air for $1000/person less than on the next lowest cost competitor. 

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We looked around on our own for business class to Barcelona then booked with rccl and there rate was cheaper by a lot .

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9 hours ago, George C said:

We looked around on our own for business class to Barcelona then booked with rccl and there rate was cheaper by a lot .

Well we found the exact opposite. Our (DL One first class) round trip from LAX-BCN via JFK this past May was significantly $$$$'s less booking directly with Delta than the prices RCI Air2Sea was quoting.

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We always book with a TA, we do that since we by law get a protection when we book a package trip (flights, hotel and/or cruise). If we book the flights with the cruise line or not depends on the price. Sometimes it's a lot cheaper, sometimes it's more or less the same and sometimes it a lot more expensive.

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Our experience is it all depends.  When you book, your destination, etc.   We are usually able to book as good or better airfares on our own.  We usually do one ways or open jaws (to and from Canada).   We have only booked cruise air twice out of many flights.

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This completely depends on YOUR definition of "feasible" and "economical".  In most cases, "feasible" means that it can be accomplished.  For example, it was feasible for me to use FF miles to fly back from the Seychelles.  Required a flight to Nairobi, then to Amsterdam, then to Los Angeles, then to home.  Some would completely balk at that routing - others would say it's fine.

 

As for "economical", that becomes again your own definition.  No one has your value judgments, no one knows your expectations.

 

So, the simple answer is - decide just what you mean and want, then do your shoeleather research.  There is no "right" or "simple" answer.

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On 7/29/2019 at 7:38 AM, Harley52 said:

Is it feasible and economical to book flights with the cruise line, travel agent or on my own.  Thank you

What have you decided on? 

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21 minutes ago, davekathy said:

What have you decided on? 

I am waiting on the advice from the commentators on here.

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Pros and Cons of each...

 

Cruise Line: tends to book super-early flights, which may include really inconvenient times, to ensure that you land in plenty of time to make embarkation, and fairly late flights home at debarkation.  They promise to get you there, but not that it'll be convenient.  EXAMPLE:  booked  on 5:30am flight, landed in MIA at 7:15am.  Between waking up at 3am and waiting 5 hours to board... made for a long day.  Flight home boarded at 6:16pm, with connection landed at 10:45pm.  Another super long day sitting at the airport, but "we made our flight!"

 

TA: potential for upcharge, or for additional goodies, depending on the length of your relationship with said TA.  Gives you someone to yell at if it's messed up, but also may mean you depend on the TA to intercede if you have to change the reservation for some reason.  Can be good, or bad, to have them in the middle, and it totally depends on whether you prefer to delegate responsibility and authority or not.

 

Self: you have full flexibility to choose departure time and airline, and take the responsibility for making sure you allow enough time for potential delays, bumps, etc.

 

Our personal preference is to self-book.  We often still book the super-super-early flight, and hope for/ volunteer for bumps.  The vouchers make up for the early wake-up call, and we score them once every 3 or 4 trips.  Once we split up, he went to Miami and I went to Ft. Lauderdale, and we met up at the ship with $1200 in vouchers.  Neither the cruise line nor TA would have wanted to play that game with us.

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30 minutes ago, Sue Do-Over said:

Pros and Cons of each...

 

Cruise Line: tends to book super-early flights, which may include really inconvenient times, to ensure that you land in plenty of time to make embarkation, and fairly late flights home at debarkation.  They promise to get you there, but not that it'll be convenient.  EXAMPLE:  booked  on 5:30am flight, landed in MIA at 7:15am.  Between waking up at 3am and waiting 5 hours to board... made for a long day.  Flight home boarded at 6:16pm, with connection landed at 10:45pm.  Another super long day sitting at the airport, but "we made our flight!"

 

TA: potential for upcharge, or for additional goodies, depending on the length of your relationship with said TA.  Gives you someone to yell at if it's messed up, but also may mean you depend on the TA to intercede if you have to change the reservation for some reason.  Can be good, or bad, to have them in the middle, and it totally depends on whether you prefer to delegate responsibility and authority or not.

 

Self: you have full flexibility to choose departure time and airline, and take the responsibility for making sure you allow enough time for potential delays, bumps, etc.

 

Our personal preference is to self-book.  We often still book the super-super-early flight, and hope for/ volunteer for bumps.  The vouchers make up for the early wake-up call, and we score them once every 3 or 4 trips.  Once we split up, he went to Miami and I went to Ft. Lauderdale, and we met up at the ship with $1200 in vouchers.  Neither the cruise line nor TA would have wanted to play that game with us.

Thanks Sue Do-Over

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4 hours ago, Sue Do-Over said:

Pros and Cons of each...

 

Cruise Line: tends to book super-early flights, which may include really inconvenient times, to ensure that you land in plenty of time to make embarkation, and fairly late flights home at debarkation.  

 

My experience is primarily with Princess. With them, I get to choose my flight times without paying for a deviation. For the three cruises we've taken that originated in Europe, buying the airfare through Princess was a lot less. Last year, our flights from North Carolina to London and from New York back home were under $300. We flew in seven nights early so we would have time in London.

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6 hours ago, geoherb said:

 

My experience is primarily with Princess. With them, I get to choose my flight times without paying for a deviation. For the three cruises we've taken that originated in Europe, buying the airfare through Princess was a lot less. Last year, our flights from North Carolina to London and from New York back home were under $300. We flew in seven nights early so we would have time in London.

Thank you for the invaluable information.

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Depending on the cruise line you can browse the fares prior to actually booking a flight in order to compare to market.  Plus, you will see several flight options-different airlines/routes/prices.  We do this on  the Celebrity and RCI web sites.  

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On 7/30/2019 at 6:44 PM, Sue Do-Over said:

and hope for/ volunteer for bumps.  The vouchers make up for the early wake-up call, and we score them once every 3 or 4 trips.  Once we split up, he went to Miami and I went to Ft. Lauderdale, and we met up at the ship with $1200 in vouchers.  Neither the cruise line nor TA would have wanted to play that game with us.

 

It seems I can never get these.  When they are offered, I cannot accept due to connections or the need to be somewhere.

 

ONE DAY. 😄

 

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