Crazy business class upgrade price

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Viking Ocean
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#1
Oakdale, MN
6 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
We booked a Caribbean cruise next January out of San Juan that included airfare. We just got our flight itinerary from MSP to SJU on American. When I called to get the price to upgrade to business class, I was quoted $2031 per person. If I go to book a business class ticket on American for the exact same flights, it's only $1,139.20. I can't believe they'd charge almost twice the price for an upgrade vs booking the flight directly from the airline.

Lesson: If you want to go business class, decline the option to have the airfare included in the ticket price.
#2
2,760 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Welcome to the wonderful world of airline revenue management.

First thing, one the flight you looked at yourself, what fare class did it put you in ?

Second, ask them to book you a first class ticket, sounds stupid right, but a discounted Z first class fare will be less than a J full fare seat...And as this is a domestic flight the chances are they are selling the business fare as an instant upgrade to first....

Interestingly, just throwing some dates into google matrix, United comes up at $963 all in in first.........
#3
Oakdale, MN
6 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by jetwet1
Welcome to the wonderful world of airline revenue management.

First thing, one the flight you looked at yourself, what fare class did it put you in ?

Second, ask them to book you a first class ticket, sounds stupid right, but a discounted Z first class fare will be less than a J full fare seat...And as this is a domestic flight the chances are they are selling the business fare as an instant upgrade to first....

Interestingly, just throwing some dates into google matrix, United comes up at $963 all in in first.........
The price I looked up was for business class. Oddly enough, many flights to the Caribbean don't offer 1st class, just business class. On AA's web site if you book a changeable business class, the price is really crazy, $3,613 for a round trip. AA did have the best times for total duration while still having sufficient time for the layover.
#4
2,760 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Any time you go to full fare the price is going to be silly, I was surprised at UA coming in that much under DL, but as you well know MSP is a DL hub so they do have a little pricing power there.

I totally understand the layovers, DL loves to get close to the minimums when we fly down to the Caribbean through ATL, my first time through I was shocked that we actually made it with plenty of time.

Were you able to get VO to give you an air credit ?
#5
Boston MA
5,993 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by jetwet1
Any time you go to full fare the price is going to be silly, I was surprised at UA coming in that much under DL, but as you well know MSP is a DL hub so they do have a little pricing power there.

I totally understand the layovers, DL loves to get close to the minimums when we fly down to the Caribbean through ATL, my first time through I was shocked that we actually made it with plenty of time.

Were you able to get VO to give you an air credit ?
There is no air credit. Viking packages its cruise fares and its air fares separately and is very careful to never say that the airfare is included in the cruise fare. It is always cruise fare plus air fare.
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"Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." Antonio Machado
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The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy Herman Hesse





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AT SEA: 1983/NCL Caribbean ~ 1985/Premier DisneyWorld+Cruise ~ 1997/NCL Alaska ~ 2000/Renaissance Istanbul to Athens ~ 2001/Celebrity Horizon Southern Caribbean ~ 200?/NCL Boston to Bermuda ~ 2005/Celebrity Zenith Central America/Western Caribbean ~ 2006/RCCL L.A. to Ensenada ~2007/Celebrity Century Scandinavia & Baltic Capitals ~2009/Celebrity Infinity South America around the Horn ~ 2016/Viking Sea Midnight Sun ~ 2016/Viking Sea NYE on the Med

RIVER DAYS: 2010/Viking River Cruises "China's Cultural Delights" ~ 2013/Viking "Footsteps of the Cossacks" ~ 2015/Viking "Passage to Eastern Europe"

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#6
Oakdale, MN
6 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
We decided to go coach. :-( I did get Viking to waive the $25 early ticketing charge so we could book Main Cabin Extra seats to get the extra leg room. It only took them a couple of hours to do the tickets and we got the seats we wanted.
#7
St. Paul MN
3,176 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Delta has nonstop flights from MSP to SJU during the winter. I got this flight from Viking for Mar 25
Sun Country also has nonstop flight fromMSP to SJU during the winter season


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#8
2 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Wow---that is hitting pretty hard for the Business class upgrade.
I looked at google flights and MSP-SJU for all of January ranged from $382-684 per person for Business class.
We fly AA whenever possible as we are hoarding miles.
We booked one-way ORD-SJU for $416 each in business (two class plane) for March 2018. Coach was around $309 I believe.
We have to connect through CLT which is fine with me.

Anyway---you will be comfortable in MCE seating as there is quite a bit more leg room (plus you get off the plane faster).

We researched the flights prior to booking with VO so we had already made our minds up to purchase business class for both flights (with money one way and miles for the return).
We prefer booking our own air and also booked our own hotels for pre and post cruise. Just personal preference.
#9
South Carolina
105 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
We are booked on Spirit Bali to Auckland in December 2018. There were some special airfares offered, so I asked my TA to ask VO for a quote to do the whole trip in BC. They quoted $5,500. I can't find anything less than $7,500 using Matrix.

Now I suppose they could route me through 5 countries and take 4 days to get me there and back, but the flights and routes that look most reasonable, with mainline airlines, gets me there in about 24 hours and back in about 28 hours. I like a long connection time for customs and immigration on my return, so the 28 hours is not too much as far as I'm concerned.

I'm thinking I'll pay the 'deviation' fee to see if I can actually bag the flights that I think work the best, while considering that VO would likely balk at me asking for Emirates, or Singapore. Turns out Delta delivers the goods for a multi-city (open jaw) ticket. I like using a single carrier for the domestic and international flights, because I think VO allows BC on domestic if it is the same carrier for the international legs. I know it's that way on Oceania, so hoping it's true with Viking.
#11
Georgia
134 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
On our Midnight Sun cruise 7/8, we used Viking Air business class and it cost us $4100 pp.
This was at the height of tourist season and right in the middle of Wimbledon.
Buying my own bc air would have been $7800 pp.

Currently booked on Bangkok to Hong Kong, Viking Air with business class is just over $4k pp.
#12
South Carolina
105 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
Stretchcruz,

Per person. Along with your $1395 coach offer, there was also a "starting at $2,995" business class offer. Don't know where that fare would have been from -- likely LAX or SFO. We're traveling from Savannah, and we knew it would be more than the "starting at" price. But, like I said, I couldn't find anything close to what Viking offered, so I scooped it up.
#13
Tucson AZ
1,926 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
Thanks golfguy. I think I'll call my TA and check. We are from Tucson so maybe not as high as yours. We've never flown business class but it sure would be nice. I've been working tons of OT just to pay for this cruise, though, so it's probably not in the cards. The trip is pricey but we are so looking forward to it!
#14
183 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
Originally posted by Peregrina651
There is no air credit. Viking packages its cruise fares and its air fares separately and is very careful to never say that the airfare is included in the cruise fare. It is always cruise fare plus air fare.
We had air included in our Homelands.
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Viking Star - Viking Homelands July 2017
#15
Boston MA
5,993 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by vnb2003
We had air included in our Homelands.
No, unless you are in the UK where things are done differently, you had "PLUS free airfare." Viking (in the US and Canada) does not advertise "airfare included." The subtle difference means they don't have to give you anything off the cruise fare if you don't take them up on airfare offer.
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"Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." Antonio Machado
Expand for links to links to photos and more.
The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy Herman Hesse





Click on the links below for photos

AT SEA: 1983/NCL Caribbean ~ 1985/Premier DisneyWorld+Cruise ~ 1997/NCL Alaska ~ 2000/Renaissance Istanbul to Athens ~ 2001/Celebrity Horizon Southern Caribbean ~ 200?/NCL Boston to Bermuda ~ 2005/Celebrity Zenith Central America/Western Caribbean ~ 2006/RCCL L.A. to Ensenada ~2007/Celebrity Century Scandinavia & Baltic Capitals ~2009/Celebrity Infinity South America around the Horn ~ 2016/Viking Sea Midnight Sun ~ 2016/Viking Sea NYE on the Med

RIVER DAYS: 2010/Viking River Cruises "China's Cultural Delights" ~ 2013/Viking "Footsteps of the Cossacks" ~ 2015/Viking "Passage to Eastern Europe"

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#16
183 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
Originally posted by Peregrina651
No, unless you are in the UK where things are done differently, you had "PLUS free airfare." Viking (in the US and Canada) does not advertise "airfare included." The subtle difference means they don't have to give you anything off the cruise fare if you don't take them up on airfare offer.
It's possible, I need to check our deal. It was either PH veranda for the price of DV plus free air plus choice of Silver package or prepaid gratuity or something else Or Air included plus PH......
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Viking Vili, Viking Skirnir-Grand European September 2016
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#17
2,760 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by stretchcruz
Thanks golfguy. I think I'll call my TA and check. We are from Tucson so maybe not as high as yours. We've never flown business class but it sure would be nice. I've been working tons of OT just to pay for this cruise, though, so it's probably not in the cards. The trip is pricey but we are so looking forward to it!
If I may offer up a suggestion here, we have started using Norwegian for our air to Europe. Having flown most of the majors over the years, Norwegians business class is like a good premium economy (about the same as Virgin's, better than BA) for half the cost. Round trip is normally around $1200 all in.

Here is a review (please excuse the guy mentioning his name every couple of minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDGkwMwLtwQ&t=470s


Edit: I just noticed he gives the old schedule, it's now daily to London and Paris, both of which are easy for connections to anywhere in Europe.