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too early to book Alaska Air for June 2021?


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Our June 2020 Alaskan cruise from Vancouver got moved to June 2021.  I had booked us on Alaska Air flights, which I was able to get refunded.  They have flights and times already available on their website for June 2021; should I book now or wait a bit?  My concern is booking specific flights and then those flights getting changed. That's how I was able to get a full refund for this past June; they actually changed two of our flights (we had four total, no nonstops to Vancouver from where we live) and I never got any notification of the changes in times.  I guess once you book, you just have to keep checking periodically.  

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At this point, even in a normal year, you're definitely going to encounter schedule changes between September and the following June. Add the unknowns of travel demand, another increase of the 'Rona, and all that...yeah, you're going to get plenty of schedule changes between now and June. That would be the case with any airline. Pricing is also a huge "who knows" these days, because demand is such an unknown at this point...could go way up, and you luck out; could go way down, and you don't. 

 

Long story short (too late) - if you book now, be prepared for several schedule changes, and likely some massive price fluctuations of an unknown direction. 

Edited by Zach1213
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Don't be surprised if Alaska changes flight schedules between now and when you depart.   They are offering "Peace of Mind" waivers right now if you need to change your flight once booked; however, the purchase price of your original ticket goes to "My Account" or is issued as a credit certificate.   If you don't book a refundable ticket, it doesn't look like you get your purchase price actually refunded.  And I didn't see anywhere how many times you can switch/change flights under this option. 

 

Here are their rules regarding the Peace of Mind waiver:  https://www.alaskaair.com/content/advisories/travel-advisories#flex

 

On another note, we live directly across the river from PDX and the airline with the most flights per day at that airport is Alaska (they are also the largest airline out of PDX).  We see planes departing and arriving all the time.  From what we observe, Alaska has been increasing the number of their daily flights in and out of the airport from earlier this year.  (We can usually take a lucky guess that any airline arriving or departing from PDX is either Alaska or Southwest.)  

 

But if we were taking Alaska Airlines to our cruise port next June, I would definitely wait until later to book.   

 

PS:   We love Alaska Airlines!

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 10/24/2020 at 4:30 PM, Ashland said:

Alaska flights for a cruise..........I would be waiting to see if those ships will even be sailing.

Agree.  I would be hesitant to book non-refundable air for a cruise since nobody knows what will happen with cruising in the next year.   If the cruise line is selling flex (refundable) air at a competitive price you might want to consider that type of booking.  With the air set-up used by many cruise lines (i,e, HAL, Princess, Seabourn)  you would be able to book air and get a full refund if the cruise is cancelled or if you later decide to cancel that air (usually no fees up to 45 days prior to a cruise).  The summer 2021 Alaskan cruise season might live or die on Canada's decision whether to open their country to cruises.

 

Hank

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It is not simply the question of  will cruises actually happen.  

 

We have been looking at international fares for a possible Sept/Oct 21 trip.   Prices are very good.  We will not book.  The covid issue is only one issue.  Our issue is will the airline financially  survive the covid downturn. 

 

The airline schedules three months out are in flux.  Scheduled flights may be on the board, you may be able to reserve, but that does not mean the the flight will actually happen.   Airlines are cancelling and doubling, tripling up scheduled flights in order to reduce operating losses.

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