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Viking Air suddenly feels like a Bait & Switch...


SempreMare
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Posted (edited)

I recently made a decision to go with Viking Air plus based on a favorable price that included an excellent return routing: 
 

British Airways business class  Oslo to London --> London to Austin
 

My travel agent sent me new routing:

 

Scandinavian Airlines 1455, Oslo to Copenhagen
Scandinavian Airlines 943, Copenhagen to Chicago (T5)
American Airlines 2208, Chicago (T3)  to Austin
 

 I would not have paid for this routing at any discount because: 

- Scandinavian Airlines just filed for bankruptcy in the US

- It routes through Chicago.  Everyone says to avoid, and stories of immigration lines taking hours at ORD. 
(If anyone has been through ORD T5 recently with Global Entry, how much of a difference did that make?) 

 

Was very confused to look at FlightAware history for the SAS return flight and see Cancelled, Cancelled, Cancelled...
Then I read that SAS has filed for Chapter 11 and the pilots are on strike.
 
Viking Air suddenly feels like like a bait and switch.  I made a purchase decision based on the original routing and now have something completely different.  I thought it would be ticketed upon purchase because the flight out is < 60 days.  
Edited by SempreMare
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I feel you pain, but you don't get ticketed immediately when you use Viking Air.  You are ticketed when somewhere under 60-75 days from the actual flights.

 

I would not immediately blame Viking or Viking Air.  Obviously your original routing changed or cancelled and the re-routing happened.  If you were originally flying BA then something happened to your return flights with BA that caused the change.

 

I don't believe that someone is sitting at Viking Air wanting to mess with you so they change the flights - this would be initiated by the airline and Viking move to reroute you so you have flights.

 

We often book way out, but in that booking way out, there can be many flight changes before the actual flight.  Sometimes, yes, it is frustrating because we carefully chose our routes and in some cases even the aircraft type that we were flying and we end up with a totally different itinerary from what we originally booked.

 

First things first - if you used a TA go through them, but be on the phone with the TA when they call Viking Air Plus.  Find out what happened.  Before that search the flights YOU want again yourself.  When you are on with Viking Air Plus and the TA, outline the flights you want and have them change them.  Before the flights are ticketed, you can many any changes you want.

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1 hour ago, cruisinchrissy said:

BA are having to cancel flights now because Heathrow airport have reduced passenger capacity.

They have just cancelled our flight to Rome and we’ve had to re schedule the day we fly.

Did Viking reschedule you to the previous day?  We were scheduled to fly Belfast-Heathrow-Venice in September.  Our Belfast flight is still showing but the 1320 to Venice is gone. DH is going to phone them shortly.

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10 hours ago, SempreMare said:

I recently made a decision to go with Viking Air plus based on a favorable price that included an excellent return routing: 
 

British Airways business class  Oslo to London --> London to Austin
 

My travel agent sent me new routing:

 

Scandinavian Airlines 1455, Oslo to Copenhagen
Scandinavian Airlines 943, Copenhagen to Chicago (T5)
American Airlines 2208, Chicago (T3)  to Austin
 

 I would not have paid for this routing at any discount because: 

- Scandinavian Airlines just filed for bankruptcy in the US

- It routes through Chicago.  Everyone says to avoid, and stories of immigration lines taking hours at ORD. 
(If anyone has been through ORD T5 recently with Global Entry, how much of a difference did that make?) 

 

Was very confused to look at FlightAware history for the SAS return flight and see Cancelled, Cancelled, Cancelled...
Then I read that SAS has filed for Chapter 11 and the pilots are on strike.
 
Viking Air suddenly feels like like a bait and switch.  I made a purchase decision based on the original routing and now have something completely different.  I thought it would be ticketed upon purchase because the flight out is < 60 days.  

 

Unless you pay the Viking Air Plus fee, Viking chooses your flights without you input.

 

If you have already paid the fee, tell your TA to get on the phone with Viking to say that flying SAS is unacceptable as they have just declared bankruptcy. Ask them for alternatives. 

 

If you haven't paid the fee, pay it.

 

+

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10 hours ago, SempreMare said:

(If anyone has been through ORD T5 recently with Global Entry, how much of a difference did that make?) 

I flew through Chicago from LHR a few weeks ago.  Global entry took a minute or two.  There were perhaps 10 kiosks, and given that all you need to do now is stand still for a picture and grab your receipt, I was at the baggage claim in minutes.  Of course, you then need to wait for bags for 30 minutes.

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Starting to think that booking flights, at present, is dicey at best with the pilot shortages / delays / cancellations, and so forth. Amazing how Delta was offering $10k per passenger just awhile back due to an overbooked flight. I've been putting off contacting Viking for our January cruise - need flights to Rome and then back to the US from Athens. They probably can't do much for me at this point anyway. 

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1 hour ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

 

 

If you haven't paid the fee, pay it.

 

Agreed.....you can then request no SAS.  

 

Unfortunately I'm hearing this across the board...flights regardless if you book them, or using Viking Air, are vulnerable to changes.  Viking is trying to keep ahead of the airline nightmares.  

 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, Carraig said:

I flew through Chicago from LHR a few weeks ago.  Global entry took a minute or two.  There were perhaps 10 kiosks, and given that all you need to do now is stand still for a picture and grab your receipt, I was at the baggage claim in minutes.  Of course, you then need to wait for bags for 30 minutes.

 

My experiences, having returned to ORD from several international flights over the past year with the most recent one being in April, have been the same.  Once at customs and immigration, there has been virtually no wait at the GE kiosks or leaving the area after collecting your bags.  There is a good walk to get to the area, though, and then my experience has also been that the total time is most dependent on how long it takes your bags to arrive.

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54 minutes ago, AnyWayIsGood said:

Starting to think that booking flights, at present, is dicey at best with the pilot shortages / delays / cancellations, and so forth. Amazing how Delta was offering $10k per passenger just awhile back due to an overbooked flight. I've been putting off contacting Viking for our January cruise - need flights to Rome and then back to the US from Athens. They probably can't do much for me at this point anyway. 

 

I've had my January flights booked with Viking Air since the middle of May. I'm aware that things might change before we leave and I'm keeping an eye on it so that we can fix things as quickly as possible.

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4 hours ago, Strangford said:

Did Viking reschedule you to the previous day?  We were scheduled to fly Belfast-Heathrow-Venice in September.  Our Belfast flight is still showing but the 1320 to Venice is gone. DH is going to phone them shortly.

We chose to go in two days earlier. They could only offer us a flight arriving at 2.00am next day.

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2 minutes ago, cruisinchrissy said:

We chose to go in two days earlier. They could only offer us a flight arriving at 2.00am next day.

Instead of the 9.25am Belfast/Heathrow we've been changed to 1.10pm and to the 5.20pm to Venice.  I doubt we'll be onboard before l0pm.  Our only alternative would have been to fly to Heathrow on the Friday evening for the 7.25am Saturday flight.  It'll be a long day but as long as we - and our luggage - get there we'll cope.

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2 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

I've had my January flights booked with Viking Air since the middle of May. I'm aware that things might change before we leave and I'm keeping an eye on it so that we can fix things as quickly as possible.

This summer has been the “perfect storm” for airlines and airports so I wouldn’t blame Viking. I’m sure they are as frustrated as their passengers, and their agents must be going crazy having to make all the necessary adjustments; hopefully they have enough staff to handle the influx of changes.
 

In mid-June we made an impulse decision, booked a late November cruise and chose to use Viking Air. We had our “booked” flight information within ten days or so of our final payment (made in late June) and all the flights are already showing up on my airline account. That said, I don’t expect that, with all the airline craziness, our current flights will hold up to the exact minute as originally provided on the itinerary, but….one can hope.

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I had return flight booked on British Air from Venice to Belfast connnecting in LHR scheduled in October and scheduled  flight to Belfast cancelled so next available flight results in 6+ hour layover at LHR. At least I hope the reduced capacity at LHR will result in less bags being lost!

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We landed at Chicago T5 on June 22 (a Wednesday, which may make a difference.) and there was no wait for Global Entry, which we have. It don't remember the line for non-Global Entry being awful. This was around 2:30pm. We waited maybe 10 minutes for our luggage. The hardest part is the long trek to your domestic flight, which involved the tram/train. Our connecting flight was on the opposite end of the airport. We had three hours. In total 45/50 minutes gate to gate.

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6 hours ago, Pegct said:

I had return flight booked on British Air from Venice to Belfast connnecting in LHR scheduled in October and scheduled  flight to Belfast cancelled so next available flight results in 6+ hour layover at LHR. At least I hope the reduced capacity at LHR will result in less bags being lost!

We were booked on 9.25am BHD/LHR in September and our 1.20pm LHR/VCE was cancelled. Next Venice flight is 5.20pm so we got our Belfast flight changed today to an Aer Lingus operated flight at 1.10pm.  Is there an Aer Lingus flight during those 6 hours that you could ask to be moved to?

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We all need to be proactive now.  Go online and check. You are your best advocate.  If you have air plus, tell them what you want.  If you don’t have it, this is the year to splurge for it!

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

I've had my January flights booked with Viking Air since the middle of May.

I probably should have started looking into it sooner, but with getting ready for two trips in May (one was the Chairman's cruise) and then a ton of work to get started on once we got home, just never got around to it. I'm still having trouble getting inspired to do any international travel right now. Probably wouldn't have done any at the present time had the Chairman's cruise opportunity not come along. 

 

When you say you have them "booked" are you referring to knowing the actual seats? 

Edited by AnyWayIsGood
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23 hours ago, Sunflower &amp; The Scientist said:

Viking is trying to keep ahead of the airline nightmares.

Exactly why I've been in no hurry to jump into booking for our January trip. I need flights for an October trip also and haven't done anything with that yet either. That'll be easy since it's associated with DIY travel. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AnyWayIsGood said:

I probably should have started looking into it sooner, but with getting ready for two trips in May (one was the Chairman's cruise) and then a ton of work to get started on once we got home, just never got around to it. I'm still having trouble getting inspired to do any international travel right now. Probably wouldn't have done any at the present time had the Chairman's cruise opportunity not come along. 

 

When you say you have them "booked" are you referring to knowing the actual seats? 

 

Yup, seats and all. But not ticketed.

Edited by Peregrina651
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2 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

But not ticketed.

But paid for?  As I said a few times on these air-related threads, several agents told me to not even bother inquiring right now cause they won't be able to do much for me, i.e. assign a specific itinerary, let alone seats. 

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Posted (edited)

We have air for our next three cruises booked that go out to March of 2023.  Flights booked, seats booked.  Sometimes there are schedule changes, and sometimes you have to call the airline to readjust the seating, but in general, we don't experience issues having flights booked well in advance.

 

If you wait, you won't get the flights or the seats that you want.

 

Yes, you must "manage" this over time, but it is easier than being disappointed closer to the date.

 

TA's don't want to do anything this far out because they have to manage it.  This is why unless I am booking Air using Viking Air - which I will be on the phone to Viking with the TA - then we book our own air.  TA's have no interest in dealing with airfare in my experience.

Edited by CDNPolar
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, CDNPolar said:

having flights booked well in advance.

Agreed...I've often done this - sometimes close to a year prior, but generally have always done my own air and still prefer to do it that way. Only reason I think it best to put it under Viking is if we'd still decide to cancel under risk-free. I already have enough airline credits to use up from other canceled trips - don't really want more. Depends on what pricing Viking would quote me. 

Edited by AnyWayIsGood
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2 hours ago, CDNPolar said:

you must "manage" this over time,

I love managing my own trips anyway. Probably why DIY fly/drive or just driving is still my favorite mode of travel. Or cruising not involving flights. 

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