Airfare

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Ask a Cruise Question
Post your general cruise questions here.
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 06:40 AM.
#1
Ohio
15 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
I've seen that I have the option to book airfare and the cruise together thru the cruise line website. Has anyone booked air thru the cruise line and willing to share their experience, price, pros/ cons etc .?Or does anyone have suggestions for booking airfare?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
#3
4,632 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Do post on the Cruise Air forum BUT it would be very helpful if you would include departure and arrival airport options and dates.
There is a STICKY amongst those at the top of the page that explain CRUISE AIR in detail. There are some very knowledgeable posters who will be glad to help.
#4
104,706 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Cruise Lines tend to buy the cheapest airline tickets that they can find. But it could mean that your flights could be terrible.

Just one example:
We used to cruise with friends who let HAL book their flights. They were going from Ft Lauderdale to Seattle. At that time there were direct flights. But HAL booked them with 2 connections. They barely made one of the connections. They spent an entire day getting there. They were so exhausted by the time they got on the ship (after only a few hours sleep) that the husband got shingles.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
#5
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
3,338 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Originally posted by Krazy Kruizers
Cruise Lines tend to buy the cheapest airline tickets that they can find. But it could mean that your flights could be terrible.
]
Not always true. It depends on which cruise line you are booking with and what options you choose. I've booked air with Choice Air (Celebrity) and have purchased regular tickets that were identical to what I would have purchased from the airline. I wasn't looking for the cheapest tickets, I was looking for good flights with good connnections. I was able to choose the specific dates, airline and flights that worked best for me. Some cruiselines however do not let you choose your flights/airlines and subject you to what they can find.

As mentioned you'll find more information on the Cruise Air section.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Star Princess July 2011
Westerdam March 2011
Caribbean Princess August 2010
Millennium March 2010
Crown Princess July 2009
Emerald Princess August 2008
Grand Princess July 2007
Radiance March 2007
Constellation July 2006
Brilliance March 2006
Summit March 2005
Vision March 2004
Vision July 2003
Splendour March 2003
Galaxy March 2002
Millennium August 2001
NCL Sky March 2001
Rhapsody May 1997
#6
Fredericksburg, va. USA
80,396 Posts
Joined May 2001
We will sometimes go ahead and book air with the cruiseline, find our own flights/seats/pricing, and cancel the airfare portion of our booking, to have our own arrangements.

It's usually cheaper to book your own flights, as you can choose times/seats......with cruiseair, you generally have to take what they give you.
#7
Tampa, Florida area
11,747 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by cb at sea
We will sometimes go ahead and book air with the cruiseline, find our own flights/seats/pricing, and cancel the airfare portion of our booking, to have our own arrangements.

It's usually cheaper to book your own flights, as you can choose times/seats......with cruiseair, you generally have to take what they give you.
That's generally NOT true with Princess, since they went to a different system a few years ago. Their EZAir offers numerous flight options with a variety of airlines, usually in both refundable and nonrefundable categories, and the cruisers are able to select the flights that best suit their needs and preferences. Best of all, often the fares are significantly cheaper than anything one can find themselves. For example, I needed a one way flight to London for a transatlantic cruise last Fall, and with Princess Air, my refundable ticket on American Airlines was only $400. After much searching online the best fare I could find on my own was nearly $1000 and nonrefundable on an airline I was unfamiliar with.
#8
Connecticut
10,697 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
We have used HAL's and Celebrity's air services - but did not have to let them do the actual booking. We picked our airlines, flights and specific seats. Particularly when booking a one way trans-Atlantic flight to pair with a re-positioning, it is by far the least expensive way to fly.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Six US Navy ships,
20+ cruises: Orient (1), Holland America (10), Norwegian (6), Carnival (1), Princess (1), Celebrity (3), Cunard (2), Royal Caribbean (1) - (1996-2016).
Upcoming: Holland America to Hawaii - February 2017
#9
New York
4,762 Posts
Joined Jan 2000
I guess it depends on the line, but we've used Celebrity air several times for T/A's and never had a bad experience. They've always offered us an option of flights/airlines and prices. As we live close to and leave from JFK there's always several non-stops offered. We are going in Oct. Flying to Rome, returning by ship. The price was little more than 1/2 of what I could get on my own. We are going to London in June, coming home on the QM. Cunard is flying us to London from JFK for $310. I couldn't get anything on my own that wasn't near double that. But I think "their" air is not such a great deal on domestic travel.
#10
texas
982 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
I have had the same experience. Pretty good for international travel, not so good for domestic. One time I used cruise air (it was either Princess or more likely RCCI) was for a transatlantic and involved both domestic to Ft. Lauderdale and international return form Europe. I booked both with the line because the Europe portion couldn't be beat; it came as a package and I had to accept both the domestic and Europe portions. I booked separate domestic on my own even though I paid for their package including the whole trip. I still came out ahead.
#11
10,909 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
We have cruised on many lines. We usually check their cruise air offerings. So far, we have only used cruise air once. This includes numerous European cruises, including a one way TA.

The one time that we did use cruise air was after a TA cruise...we were going one way from FLL to Costa Rica. Even then, the saving was only about 5 percent.

Others have had much better luck than us. We were are very aware that cruise air tickets are quite often consolidator tickets that are in the lowest fare category. This can cause major challenges when it comes to flight reschedules-bad weather, etc.

We travel frequently and we typically check the fare category on the ticket. We always want a ticket that can be changed even with a change fee and we avoid completely non refundable, non changeable fare codes.
#12
Arizona/Missouri
14,848 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by RickT
Not always true. It depends on which cruise line you are booking with and what options you choose. I've booked air with Choice Air (Celebrity) and have purchased regular tickets that were identical to what I would have purchased from the airline.
You keep posting the same thing about being IDENTICAL tickets.

Very, very often those Choice Air tickets are NOT identical from what you would have purchased from an airline direct. Maybe be the same flight, same time, same plane, same price. You MAY even be able to choose your seats.

BUT the underlying FARE RULES may be FAR different with a lot of the Choice Air tickets from what you would purchase direct from the airline. And since you can't read the ENTIRE fare rules, how in the heck do you know what you are purchasing????

IF you can produce the ENTIRE fare code (NOT just, H, Q, L, M or some other such variation-the ENTIRE 6 digit code-which will be available in SABRE and sometimes in ITA). OR the ENTIRE FARE RULES-sometimes a page or more long with lots of confusing language vs what little bit is on the Choice Air website and gives about 1/3 of the rules of your ticket (the super shiny rules without the downsides) and which have the BARE MINIMUM fare rules posted, then you can keep stating that you are getting the SAME IDENTICAL tickets. If you cannot produce this, I will bet a lot of my paycheck, your tickets are NOT the same as what you would have booked direct from the airline, even in the lowest discount fare class booked directly with an airline.
#13
USA
4,395 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
Originally posted by RickT
Not always true. It depends on which cruise line you are booking with and what options you choose. I've booked air with Choice Air (Celebrity) and have purchased regular tickets that were identical to what I would have purchased from the airline. I wasn't looking for the cheapest tickets, I was looking for good flights with good connnections. I was able to choose the specific dates, airline and flights that worked best for me. Some cruiselines however do not let you choose your flights/airlines and subject you to what they can find.

As mentioned you'll find more information on the Cruise Air section.
My experience also. I just booked Choice Air last weekend and got the same flight, business class, chose seats, and at a very substantial savings.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
http://www.jeannietx22.com/

Plus
X Elite

2013-2016, 207 nights at sea
and counting
{Freedom Of The Seas TA April 2017
{DIY middle and Eastern Europe Spring/Summer 2017
{Celebrity Constellation June & July 2017
{DIY Turkey (hopefully) & Greece July 2017

{Queen Mary 2 TA July 2017
Explorer Of The Seas TP Sydney-Seattle April 22, 2018
"The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see." -G.K. Chesterton
#14
4,632 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
I do wish some of you would "listen" to Greatam!!!!!!!
She has asked and asked, for years, for anyone to prove to her that cruise air tickets are exactly the same as airline booked tickets. NO ONE has done so and she deals with travel issues for her business every single day. She is really trying to help and deserves your respect.
#15
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
3,338 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Originally posted by alcpa1
I do wish some of you would "listen" to Greatam!!!!!!!
She has asked and asked, for years, for anyone to prove to her that cruise air tickets are exactly the same as airline booked tickets. NO ONE has done so and she deals with travel issues for her business every single day. She is really trying to help and deserves your respect.
I don't need to prove to greatam or anyone else that my tickets purchased through Choice Air were identical to what I could have purchased directly from Air Canada for my cruise last summer. I have a friend who works at Air Canada who verified that.

I have "blocked" greatam's posts as I no longer have a desire to read her "the sky is falling posts". She is often rude and condescending to people who are legitimately looking for advice and there is no need of that.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Star Princess July 2011
Westerdam March 2011
Caribbean Princess August 2010
Millennium March 2010
Crown Princess July 2009
Emerald Princess August 2008
Grand Princess July 2007
Radiance March 2007
Constellation July 2006
Brilliance March 2006
Summit March 2005
Vision March 2004
Vision July 2003
Splendour March 2003
Galaxy March 2002
Millennium August 2001
NCL Sky March 2001
Rhapsody May 1997
#16
texas
982 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by alcpa1
I do wish some of you would "listen" to Greatam!!!!!!!
She has asked and asked, for years, for anyone to prove to her that cruise air tickets are exactly the same as airline booked tickets. NO ONE has done so and she deals with travel issues for her business every single day. She is really trying to help and deserves your respect.
I did read the post on this thread and didn't learn anything, such as how the tickets are different. That was a pretty long post to not say much.
#17
Minnesota
1,388 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by pdreams
I've seen that I have the option to book airfare and the cruise together thru the cruise line website. Has anyone booked air thru the cruise line and willing to share their experience, price, pros/ cons etc .?Or does anyone have suggestions for booking airfare?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I usually check to see what the cruise air fare is, but I usually end up booking my own flights, especially on domestic flights. I have used the cruise air on two TA's I did, because they were much cheaper than what I could find on my own. If you are flying overseas, the cruise air can be a very good deal, if you are flying domestic, the cruise air is usually at least $200 more expensive in my experience.

But as others have said, sometimes you have to really watch the flights you end up with. On one of the TA's I had a flight from Dulles with a stop in Munich on the way to Rome, that only had a 30 minute layover. I had my travel agent call the cruise company and they switched it to a non stop flight from Dulles to Rome with no additional charges, as even they could see that was not a doable flight that they had given me.
#18
GTA, Ontario, Canada
32,515 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Oceania includes air with their cruises or you can opt out & get a small discount for not using their air program

I have found it a lot better than I can do in some cases
We usually fly in a day or more so pay their deviation fee & get to choose the flights I want
Before I commit I do check what the airlines are charging & see which is a better deal for me

Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't ...pleased so far with the cruise air package
#19
10,909 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
We went to Thailand in Jan/Feb. We narrowed it down to United and Delta.

United fare code was no change, no refund. Delta fare code was change-for a $300. fee.

We selected Delta for that reason. As luck would have it we had to return a few weeks early. Glad we paid attention to the fare code rules.

We booked on the airline sites. Sometimes on third party sites you do not seem to be able to get the fare code until AFTER you have made the purchase.
Don't like this aspect at all even though we have booked this way once or twice.
#20
Arizona/Missouri
14,848 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
For all of you who THINK you know what you are purchasing when you can't read the ENTIRE fare rules with Choice Air tickets, please read through this thread and see the differences of how people were treated with their Choice Air tickets. It is all in the details and those pesky RULES very few read, most discount because they "got the same flight, were able to pick their seats, etc. etc." and are generally NOT available on the Choice Air website. You TRULY have no idea what you are purchasing. And if things go pear shaped in your trip, you may be at the mercy of the cruise line, the airline or have NO TRIP at all without a VERY heavy layout of additional cash.


http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2036880