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View Full Version : How much do you save booking own flights?


Cruise Junky
October 30th, 2005, 04:48 PM
Hi - we're just starting to look into going back to the Med. and are looking at Oceania. From their "2 for 1" deals...how much can you usually deduct if you book your own air?

Thanks!

Jancruz
October 30th, 2005, 04:58 PM
Usually between $600 to $1000 depending on itinerary..plus the air tax and fuel charge..
Jan
*************

Cruise Junky
October 30th, 2005, 05:00 PM
Thank you!

digby
October 30th, 2005, 07:06 PM
I do my own air plans not to save money, but to get the flights I want with the ability to upgrade to Business Class using FF miles.

Liat
October 30th, 2005, 07:49 PM
This is a great variable. If you are doing a round trip cruise from almost any port; you can probably save by doing your own booking. This is particularly true in the US with the availability of discount airlines flying to major ports.
We can do round trips on Southwest from Phoenix to many places a lot cheaper than the cruise lines' air fares. To give an example, one time when we were sailing to Hawaii from Ensenada, Mexico on Infinity, we let Celebrity book the flights because we were not sure of making the bus connection to Ensenada otherwise. Instead of sending us by either America West or Southwest non-stop to San Diego, they flew us via United to LA and then after a plane change, from LA to San Diego, about 200 unnecessary miles as well as a lot more time. But the cruise lines do not book on regional or discount airlines.
However we let Princess book our flights on our Alaska cruise because their block booking for this area was cheaper than anything we could do.
HOWEVER, when you are flying to and from Europe, or even from the US where you are landing in one city to embark on your cruise and departing after debarkation from another city to return, it is not easy to book these "open-jaw" flights. You can search air "consolidator" websites for overseas flights; and you may be able to find decent fares, but it takes a lot of effort and patience. In the US you can try search engines like Expedia, Orbitz etc. If you are using the cruise line you might pay less for this type of trip.
Sometimes you can do okay on your own. When we did our South American cruise we were starting in Santiago, Chile and ending in Beunos Aires. We found a round trip flight from Dallas to Santiago on American Airlines, a great non-stop 777. When we got to Buenos Aires we went to a travel agency recommended by the Lonely Planet, and bought one way tickets on Lineas Argentinas from Buenos Aires to Santiago. This is pretty much a commuter hop across the Andes with a fairly decent selection of flights so we had an easy and inexpensive connection. This was a lot better and somewhat cheaper than the Celebrity air fares. Also, when we did a European cruise/tour
on Regal Princess and were starting in Budapest and departing from Copenhagen after a three day extra stay following debarkation; we were able to find a consolidator who booked us on Lufthansa the whole way. Princess might have imposed a deviation charge had we tried to do the same with them, that is, stay over in the debarkation port for more than the arrival day. We are Captain's Club members on Celebrity and this exempts us from air deviation charges if we book through them. This should be checked by your travel agent.
Remember, you can always have the cruise line add air aftter you have made your original booking, any time up to the final payment date, and perhaps even after that [within reason]. This will give you time to explore all other options.
Of course when we did our Amazon cruise on Insignia, embarking in Manaus 1400 miles up the Amazon, we let Oceania handle the air. They did it by chartered flights which went directly from Miami to Manaus in about 5 hours. Commercial flights have to go through Sao Paolo or Rio, and easily take 12 to 16 hours!
So the rule is - there is no hard or fast rule. It all depends on the cruise, the route and the availability of alternativprivate es to the cruise line's air service.

Cruise Junky
October 30th, 2005, 08:06 PM
Thanks guys. I'm not doing it to save money. I'll be using points so I can get exactly what I want. We're comparing different lines to go back to the Med. and wanted to compare apples to apples.

Molliem
October 30th, 2005, 08:21 PM
Hi Cruise Junkie. We are from vancouver B C as well.

Oceania will advise you of the credit if you do your own booking. For a particular cruise, you can call them and they will give you the exact amount. Suggest reviewing flights and costs ahead of time. We have found it a good deal, no hassle.

digby
October 30th, 2005, 10:29 PM
In 5/2004, we flew nonstop from SFO to Frankfurt on United, and then Lufthansa to Venice. We flew from Milan to Frankfurt on Lufthansa, and on to SFO on Untited. We used FF miles to upgrade on the United long distance flights. We had no trouble making these arrangements on our own for about the same price HAL wanted to charge. Last winter we did a similar thing on AA from SFO to Santiago and back from Buenos Aires. I have never had a problem arranging an open jaw ticket. Doing the same thing for my upcoming Nautica Asia cruise.

Cruise Junky
October 30th, 2005, 11:06 PM
In 5/2004, we flew nonstop from SFO to Frankfurt on United, and then Lufthansa to Venice. We flew from Milan to Frankfurt on Lufthansa, and on to SFO on Untited. We used FF miles to upgrade on the United long distance flights. We had no trouble making these arrangements on our own for about the same price HAL wanted to charge. Last winter we did a similar thing on AA from SFO to Santiago and back from Buenos Aires. I have never had a problem arranging an open jaw ticket. Doing the same thing for my upcoming Nautica Asia cruise.

We did something similiar for our Med. trip this past month. I've also never had an issue using FF. We use them about three times a year and I've always got the flights I want.

Member
October 31st, 2005, 01:57 AM
Jan, how early could we have Oceania take our desired flights booking? If we have to wait till a month before the sailing date, then all the mileage seats will be gone. Also, do you know if Oceania has a deadline on us to claim for the air credits?

Bruin Steve
October 31st, 2005, 11:33 AM
Our TA told us the prices both with and without air (even though Oceania says "Free Air", it really isn't)...
The difference was just under $1100 per person...(which, to my recollection now, included taxes and fees)
We are paying $150 per person extra for a deviation and the fare differential...

So, basically, if we did our own instead, we could have taken around $1250 per person off the final price...

BUT, in researching flights on Expedia, Travelocity, etc., the best deal we could have gotten on our own (at least as of now) would have been close to $1400 per person...and with some worse flight schedules that we managed through Oceania with the deviations...

So, we figure we're still at least $300 ahead with Oceania and have excellent flights...

Plus, if we booked the air on our own, we would be paying NOW and might be stuck with nonrefundable tickets...

Oh, some added stuff...
We had Oceania do our deviation more than nine months before the cruise (which is not until next July), so we already have our flight schedule...We were able to get LAX to Istanbul with one stop in New York JFK (less than an hour between flights), leaving LAX at 8:20 am and arriving Istanbul the next morning at 10:15 local time...All on Delta...Returning, we got all Lufthansa flights...Leave Venice at 10:55 am (this is two days after the cruise ends), an hour and a half in Frankfurt changing planes, then non-stop Frankfurt to LAX, arriving home at 4:35 in the afternoon...Not bad...We actually already have our seat assignments as well...

7continentKaren
November 9th, 2005, 02:55 AM
We took the credit and the prices were almost identical. We are flying United San Fran to Munich, Lufthansa to Athens, then Lufthansa from Barcelona to Frankfurt, United to San Francisco. Cost $722, upgradable with our 1K systemwide upgrades so we are flying business class. We almost never take the cruise ship's air. Sometimes we use awards, sometimes we pay. We don't like not knowing which airline it will be and usually we are looking for award miles after flying so far. The one time we did take the ship's air was with Costa when it owned the Ocean Pearl and they took us to the cleaners. I won't sail with Costa because of that. It is a long sad story, honestly having to do with the Unabomer. Even the President of Costa refused to do the right thing.

Member
November 9th, 2005, 04:02 PM
Hi Cruise Junkie. We are from vancouver B C as well.

Oceania will advise you of the credit if you do your own booking. For a particular cruise, you can call them and they will give you the exact amount. Suggest reviewing flights and costs ahead of time. We have found it a good deal, no hassle.

For our 09/26/2006 Med. sailing, Oceania said each passenger gets $580 air credit, $125 ir tax, $180 fuel surcharge, $885 total out from our order. With the $75 deviation fee, I have $960 to compare with the other options.