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  #21  
Old June 9th, 2012, 09:57 AM
greatam greatam is offline
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Originally Posted by kenish View Post
Do you know the restrictions ahead of time? For example, the fare could be completely nonchangeable...take the flight or forfeit the entire fare. What if the flight is cancelled or rescheduled ? (which happens a lot nowadays). Are you automatically rebooked onto another flight at a different time or date with no recourse if the new flight doesn't work for your cruise? If the "mystery airline" is Aeroflot with a 10-hour layover in Moscow is that acceptable? The devil's in the details...you need to understand exactly what you give up and what risks you're taking in exchange for the low price. Otherwise you can't make an informed choice.

Also, why would you pick an unknown airline versus AA or DL if the fare is the same? There are quite a few airlines with better service than AA and DL but there are also ones that are far worse.
Another poster who believes an airline ticket, no matter where purchased, is the same as an airline ticket purchased from an airline website. The concept of different RULES doesn't even come into play in their thinking. The concept of those different RULES impacting their travel if there is any kind of glitch also does not come into play.

The OP suggested on another thread to look at the Choice Air tickets. Obviously, the RULES are not part of the equation. How many people have posted they got a PNR, a seat and flight details with their consolidator tickets??? They truly believe they purchased the same tickets as sold directly by the airline.
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  #22  
Old June 9th, 2012, 10:30 AM
iancal iancal is offline
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Call me old fashioned but I do not like to buy a pig-in-a poke! That includes mystery airlines.

We have been tempted once or twice but would not do it-most particularly on a
long international flight.

We like to know the carrier, the layovers, and the options as it pertains to other flights by the same carrier in case of trouble-before we push the purchase button.
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  #23  
Old June 10th, 2012, 12:11 AM
hulamoon hulamoon is offline
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[quote=greatam;34088233]Another poster who believes an airline ticket, no matter where purchased, is the same as an airline ticket purchased from an airline website. The concept of different RULES doesn't even come into play in their thinking. The concept of those different RULES impacting their travel if there is any kind of glitch also does not come into play.

The OP suggested on another thread to look at the Choice Air tickets. Obviously, the RULES are not part of the equation. How many people have posted they got a PNR, a seat and flight details with their consolidator tickets??? They truly believe they purchased the same tickets as sold directly by the airline.



I have purchased tickets from choice air and the rules were the same as directly with the airline, they say if the flight is refundable. With celebrity giving 200 to 600 dollars back, I do not know why anyone would not consider this.

I realize I am communicating with realists, but education is preferrable to smack downs.
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Last edited by hulamoon; June 10th, 2012 at 12:12 AM.
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  #24  
Old June 10th, 2012, 07:30 AM
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[quote=hulamoon;34097268]
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatam View Post
Another poster who believes an airline ticket, no matter where purchased, is the same as an airline ticket purchased from an airline website. The concept of different RULES doesn't even come into play in their thinking. The concept of those different RULES impacting their travel if there is any kind of glitch also does not come into play.

The OP suggested on another thread to look at the Choice Air tickets. Obviously, the RULES are not part of the equation. How many people have posted they got a PNR, a seat and flight details with their consolidator tickets??? They truly believe they purchased the same tickets as sold directly by the airline.



I have purchased tickets from choice air and the rules were the same as directly with the airline, they say if the flight is refundable. With celebrity giving 200 to 600 dollars back, I do not know why anyone would not consider this.

I realize I am communicating with realists, but education is preferrable to smack downs.
There is a time and place for Choice Air....IMO I'd only use it on a return flight from an outbound transatlantic or repositioning cruise, usually because of the expense of a one way overseas ticket. I wouldn't want to rely on it to get TO my cruise, as there have been too many horror stories of people not making their sailing and the cruise line failing to come through on their next-port protection claim.
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  #25  
Old June 10th, 2012, 08:23 AM
hulamoon hulamoon is offline
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Default Choice air...

This is my first time on this section of cruise critic, but I have personally never met anyone in two years who had these issues, I have read about them from all cruise lines but I meet more roll call members thrilled with their rate and service than otherwise.

I know plenty of folks booking direct who get terrible service when a plane is cancelled. Back up plans are necessary.

Cancelled cruises seem to be a nightmare if passengers are on the road, but that is going to be a mess no matter what.

If I book direct or from choice air, which I also do for one ways, I fly in early, and when I don't I realize the risk, however small I take.

The op on the thread asked for assistance in booking trans Atlantic, not sure if they are cruising with the possibility of choice air, but not mentioning choice air or cruise line air seems to not serve that OP.

Iancal.. I understand not buying a pig in a poke, actually I really have no idea what that is, but have heard the phrase enough to have a general understanding. We moved on with our choice, would like to meet someone sometime who bought those tickets however. I have been so unhappy with known carriers for comfort and sometimes clean planes, that for a while at least it didn't seem like much risk at all. That is why I ended up here, to reach out to other experienced travelers.

I could be a risk taker, once I used Priceline for a hotel, but I scored,
so do not regret it.


The reason someone must buy those tickets, is probably a lot like my consideration, steerage class on long haul flights has become unbearable.

Thanks for all the advice and humor.
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  #26  
Old June 10th, 2012, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by hulamoon View Post

I have purchased tickets from choice air and the rules were the same as directly with the airline, they say if the flight is refundable. With celebrity giving 200 to 600 dollars back, I do not know why anyone would not consider this.

I realize I am communicating with realists, but education is preferrable to smack downs.
The RULES are NOT the same when purchasing the cheapest of the Choice Air tickets. The FARE CLASS is different from even the lowest fare class sold by airlines.

What does refundable have to do with the equation? ONLY high dollar tickets on Choice Air or from an airline are truly fully refundable.

Choice Air sell the cheapest tickets in three categories-vacation package, cruise package and bulk purchase. ALL have much more stringent restrictions than the lowest fare class purchased directly from the airline. Some of the restrictions: cruise package fare class-you don't take the cruise, your ticket is no good for land travel. Your cruise is cancelled for whatever reason-can't use your ticket for a land trip to the same area. You MUST use it in conjunction with a cruise to the same area. Vacation package, same thing.

Bulk purchase-don't get me started.

1. The tickets are non reroutable and non endorsable. What this means to you: One little glitch-doesn't matter what it is-could be as simple as broken seat belt on a plane which will arrive late for your connection. You are restricted to flying the SAME route on the SAME airline. No seats on the next plane out-too bad. You will WAIT. You will NOT be seated on another airline except in extreme cases. Please note the Choice Air website states "work with" the airlines. No guarantees. And if you have more than 2 people on a booking, you will most likely be split up into 2, maybe even three different flights. With planes flying full, there is rarely 4 MT seats in any one plane to take those who have been displaced.

Check out this thread-Choice Air tickets that COULD NOT be rerouted or used on another airline, with the end result of a missed cruise. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...air+us+airways It was confirmed by another traveler that airline purchased tickets WERE re-routed and passengers placed on other airlines. The Choice Air ticket holders WERE NOT due to the underlying fare rules.

2. One way tickets look cheap-you are being sold 1/2 of a RT fare, with another person's name attached to the other half.

3. You cannot read the entire fare rules on a lot of the Choice Air tickets. How do you know what you are actually buying??? In addition, some of the Choice Air tickets are in multiple fare classes. Airlines generally use the most restrictive rules if you have a multiple fare class ticket with differing rules. So you buy what you THINK is a pretty good deal and find out the segment on the regional jet skews your entire trip. The devil is in the details.

And last, read through the sticky at the top of this forum-Cruise Air and Air Deviation. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=530322

Just as valid now as it was when written. Except YOU are picking the airline tickets, which saved the cruise line 1000's and 1000's of dollars in labor in their air/sea dept. Same bulk contract/cruise package/vacation package tickets purchased by the cruise line in years gone by. By dumping them into a fancy website, the unknowing cruise passenger THINKS they are buying tickets with the same rules as those purchased directly from the airline. They are generally NOT. When you purchase on price alone, you can find yourself in deep doo doo.

Last edited by greatam; June 10th, 2012 at 11:12 AM.
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  #27  
Old June 12th, 2012, 05:53 PM
CtheW0rld CtheW0rld is offline
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It would be fun if we had secret cruises...
cruise during hurricane season and you may get your wish
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  #28  
Old June 19th, 2012, 03:18 PM
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Default My 2 cents worth

I was reading through all the conversation about Ch O Air and P'line...I assume that's mostly who is being discussed. We're probably at the same decision point as the OP, trying to set up flights to Amsterdam for Aug/Sept. It's outrageous ($ 1347pp), and I don't want to wait too long. On top of that, about 2 weeks ago, there was a $700 round trip fare that appeared for about 5 hours. As I was starting to book it, it disappeared...never to be found again. Rats! If anyone finds something useful in all the searching I'd be interested. By the way, I have purchased from C'O once in the past and everything worked out fine. We always fly in a day or more early, etc, so were willing to take the risk.
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  #29  
Old June 19th, 2012, 11:14 PM
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trying to set up flights to Amsterdam for Aug/Sept. It's outrageous ($ 1347pp)
Actually, that's pretty well within the normal range for transatlantic flights during peak season, particularly for a US legacy airline.
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  #30  
Old July 21st, 2012, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hulamoon View Post
This is my first time on this section of cruise critic, but I have personally never met anyone in two years who had these issues, I have read about them from all cruise lines but I meet more roll call members thrilled with their rate and service than otherwise.

I know plenty of folks booking direct who get terrible service when a plane is cancelled. Back up plans are necessary.

Cancelled cruises seem to be a nightmare if passengers are on the road, but that is going to be a mess no matter what.

If I book direct or from choice air, which I also do for one ways, I fly in early, and when I don't I realize the risk, however small I take.

The op on the thread asked for assistance in booking trans Atlantic, not sure if they are cruising with the possibility of choice air, but not mentioning choice air or cruise line air seems to not serve that OP.

Iancal.. I understand not buying a pig in a poke, actually I really have no idea what that is, but have heard the phrase enough to have a general understanding. We moved on with our choice, would like to meet someone sometime who bought those tickets however. I have been so unhappy with known carriers for comfort and sometimes clean planes, that for a while at least it didn't seem like much risk at all. That is why I ended up here, to reach out to other experienced travelers.

I could be a risk taker, once I used Priceline for a hotel, but I scored,
so do not regret it.


The reason someone must buy those tickets, is probably a lot like my consideration, steerage class on long haul flights has become unbearable.

Thanks for all the advice and humor.
One thing you need to understand about this section of the cc boards is that you have four or five people that spend about 23 hours a day making uncalled for remarks about cc members who are directed here from other boards for answers to their questions. Im just guessing but I would speculate they either still work for or at one time worked for one of the legacy airline companies (or this one board is their full time job). How else could you have in excess of 10,000 posts. Cruise Air is nothing but a small chat room for these four or five people.
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  #31  
Old July 21st, 2012, 02:18 AM
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Just to clear the record in response to bcso203:

1) If speaking the truth about a subject is "uncalled for", then let's all have the rah-rah pep rally that characterizes many of the forums here at CC. I'm proud to be a part of one of the most factual forums here on CC, as well as it being the least emotionally biased and opinionated. You don't get cheerleaders for UA, or AA, or DL, or BA, or SQ, or CX or whatever.

2) I give answers -- often ones that people don't want to hear because it disturbs their nice, preconceived view of air travel. Or because it doesn't fulfill their need for confirmation after the fact.

3) I have never worked for an airline, but have made it a point to become very well informed about the air industry. I wanted to be an informed consumer and work to share that with others. Some other posters have been in the industry or work with it on a regular basis. And for those, I have nothing but the utmost respect for their knowledge, rather than being one to denigrate it.

4) Chat room....hardly. Go to one of the mass-market line forums here on CC and you can truly see chat rooms. I will confess to the occasional jocular posting, but I'll bet that most of my 5000+ have some meat to them.

5) I wonder what it would be like here if many of the regulars "went Galt".
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Last edited by FlyerTalker; July 21st, 2012 at 02:19 AM.
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  #32  
Old July 21st, 2012, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by bcso203 View Post
One thing you need to understand about this section of the cc boards is that you have four or five people that spend about 23 hours a day making uncalled for remarks about cc members who are directed here from other boards for answers to their questions. Im just guessing but I would speculate they either still work for or at one time worked for one of the legacy airline companies (or this one board is their full time job). How else could you have in excess of 10,000 posts. Cruise Air is nothing but a small chat room for these four or five people.
While one or two of the posters might sound a bit harsh or seem like apologists for the airlines, I really believe the desire is to be helpful and provide accurate information to those asking questions. I have had many questions answered here and received valuable information. I do have to remember not to think like a typical consumer of any other product or service. For some reason this is a very emotional topic and gets almost as heated as smoking and chair hog threads. If you ever go to the flyertalk website, you will see what I mean..... I generally only lurk over there for that reason.
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  #33  
Old July 21st, 2012, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyerTalker View Post
Just to clear the record in response to bcso203:

1) If speaking the truth about a subject is "uncalled for", then let's all have the rah-rah pep rally that characterizes many of the forums here at CC. I'm proud to be a part of one of the most factual forums here on CC, as well as it being the least emotionally biased and opinionated. You don't get cheerleaders for UA, or AA, or DL, or BA, or SQ, or CX or whatever.

2) I give answers -- often ones that people don't want to hear because it disturbs their nice, preconceived view of air travel. Or because it doesn't fulfill their need for confirmation after the fact.

3) I have never worked for an airline, but have made it a point to become very well informed about the air industry. I wanted to be an informed consumer and work to share that with others. Some other posters have been in the industry or work with it on a regular basis. And for those, I have nothing but the utmost respect for their knowledge, rather than being one to denigrate it.

4) Chat room....hardly. Go to one of the mass-market line forums here on CC and you can truly see chat rooms. I will confess to the occasional jocular posting, but I'll bet that most of my 5000+ have some meat to them.

5) I wonder what it would be like here if many of the regulars "went Galt".
I agree with the majority of your post, but not that this forum is the least emotionally biased or opinionated.... the same cheerleading or disparaging that you see on other boards for cruise lines certainly happens here regarding airlines. I can think of two posters who would regularly get into an argument whenever someone would post anything about Southwest, and that is just one example.
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  #34  
Old July 21st, 2012, 11:11 AM
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Oops....I almost forgot about the days of "Sarge" and the "Canyon Blue Kool-Aid". I stand corrected.

Mostly I was thinking of the kind of Royal vs Carnival vs NCL that would have counterparts in Delta vs American vs United.

Thanks for pointing it out.
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"You can't handle the truth!" -- Col. Nathan R. Jessup

"Anybody who believes they can out-think the airlines' revenue/yield management computer algorithms is, in my view, delusional." -- Gardyloo

"It doesn't really make a blind bit of difference what other people are paying since they're traveling from different airports, on different days, at different times of the year." -- fbgd

"Daddy he hates airplanes, Baby loves to fly. The Lady wants to know the reason why." -- Michael Franks

My standard response to all the questions of "Can I make that early flight home?" or "Can I take a bag that is oversized without paying?":
"Well, you gotta ask yourself....do you feel lucky? Well do you?" -- Inspector Harry Callahan
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  #35  
Old July 21st, 2012, 11:16 AM
Michidoeme Michidoeme is offline
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Sorry - posted this already (mistakenly) on wrong thread.

My experience is that it doesn't matter so much where/how you buy your ticket, but what the rate code and fare conditions are. But more important it depends a lot of the actual situation and handling agent. At least based on my experience with European and Intercontinental flights, not so much with American airlines. Sometimes it is rather arbitrary how they handle issues :

One of the premium airlines in Europe belonging to a large network, did not want to reroute my daughters after flight was cancelled, although there were possibilities and availabilites, but insisted they had to fly the original routing much much later despite having tickets bought directly with airline. I had a similar situation once, with same ticket, and was put immediately on next available flight with different airline (o.k. my ff status might have helped).

On the other hand, even full fare flexible business class tickets directly from airline don't always guarantee satisfaction : 2 years ago when our flight NY-ZRH, was cancelled due to bad weather conditions, my colleagues and I (same as all other passengers on this flight) did not receive any assistance nor compensation at all, although we had to find a hotel (on our own) and wait for more than 24 hours for a next flight. Since my company spends a huge budget on this airline, weeks later after written complaints, we were credited with some ff miles.

Therefore, although advice from "guru's" is appreciated, I wish they would point out that things can happen as well when buying directly and even with full fare and that tickets bought through Choice Air can be the same as tickets bought elsewhere (at least within same fare coding). I know they will say that you don't know this with Choice Air. However very often the finer details are not clear either when booking with airlines on-line, thru their reps or thru other websites - usually they indicate just the general rate code and the detailed conditions per rate code are not really spelled out in the information available when booking.
PS When we booked last with Choice Air, there was a link to the airline with the conditions.
When we booked first time we contacted airline and were assured we had same conditions as when buying from airline and that there were no additional restrictions buying thru Choice Air on that particular ticket. We realize this can be different with other tickets/airlines, but as said before, we will have to take our chances no matter where we book.

Last edited by Michidoeme; July 21st, 2012 at 11:18 AM.
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  #36  
Old July 21st, 2012, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyerTalker View Post
Oops....I almost forgot about the days of "Sarge" and the "Canyon Blue Kool-Aid". I stand corrected.

Mostly I was thinking of the kind of Royal vs Carnival vs NCL that would have counterparts in Delta vs American vs United.

Thanks for pointing it out.
"Days of".... does that mean it is over?

I don't know why Southwest was such a source of controversy when the other non legacy carriers such as Jet Blue and West Jet don't kick up any drama.
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  #37  
Old July 22nd, 2012, 02:19 AM
vivian02 vivian02 is offline
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Smile Generic Carriers

Here is my experience with unknow carriers. Back in 2002 when I convinced my wife what a nice trip it would be to take a two week vacation to Germany and she finally agreed. The flight was to be in mid May and I found most flights were running around $900 around trip from Phoenix to Frankfurt. In doing my homework I checked out hotwire at the time which was showing an airfare of $675 US dollars but you would not know who the carrier was until the ticket was purchase. My wife was frustrated with the ticket buying process and told me to just do it. I made my purchase and was informed my carrier was US Airways. The flight was Phoenix to Pittsburgh to Frankfurt. The Pittsburgh run was on a AirBuss 330 which at the time had all the bells and whisles you would ever want. There was a limit of two glasses of wine per flight but my wife enjoyed the movies so much that she got no sleep on the flight from Pittsburgh to Frankfurt. This secret Carrier was a winner at the time.
Now for the Air upgrades..... No buddy gets an air upgrade however.... I purchase air fare back in 2005 for a flight from Phoenix to Munic on Air France through Orbitz at a price of $545 a person. It was kind of an ordeal since I was buying three tickets. Once I had everything completed I called my son out of state and gave his the information on which flights we were on and what time we departed and arrived. I made a comment about what a great price we got even though we might have to sit out on the wing. My son called back and said to go into the orbitz site because they show us in Business Class from Atlanta to Paris. To this day I still don't know how this happened but yes we flew Business Class to Paris and back. The point is... never say never.
I believe a person who will take the time to reseach will find out that you can narrow it down just to who that Secret Carrier is. Will I ever do it again.... Maybe. Tim in Phoenix
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  #38  
Old July 22nd, 2012, 10:15 AM
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Well, if you're going from Demon's Alley NJ to Rattlesnake, Florida, it wouldn't be a secret at all. http://www.skyhighairlines.com/main.asp

Last edited by Gardyloo; July 22nd, 2012 at 10:19 AM.
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  #39  
Old July 22nd, 2012, 10:18 AM
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I remember that song..... was that the 70's?
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  #40  
Old July 22nd, 2012, 11:44 AM
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One of the best things about Skyhigh Airlines is that AS has kept the site going for all to appreciate. It was a brilliant ad campaign that much of the country never got to see on broadcast TV.
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"You can't handle the truth!" -- Col. Nathan R. Jessup

"Anybody who believes they can out-think the airlines' revenue/yield management computer algorithms is, in my view, delusional." -- Gardyloo

"It doesn't really make a blind bit of difference what other people are paying since they're traveling from different airports, on different days, at different times of the year." -- fbgd

"Daddy he hates airplanes, Baby loves to fly. The Lady wants to know the reason why." -- Michael Franks

My standard response to all the questions of "Can I make that early flight home?" or "Can I take a bag that is oversized without paying?":
"Well, you gotta ask yourself....do you feel lucky? Well do you?" -- Inspector Harry Callahan
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