FAQ on air travel

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South Carolina
721 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
I have a newbie question.

I am going to be cruising on the NCL Epic November 10-17th of this year (woo!) and I have been looking at rates for flights leaving from Charlotte, NC to Miami, FL. I have read that it's risky to fly the day of, so I have been looking for flights in the late afternoon/early evening of November 9th (as of right now, I am planning to work until 5 PM, but I may see if I can get that Friday off or at least leave early).

When I first booked my cruise, I found a flight that worked well (leaving Charlotte at 7:55 pm nonstop to Miami, arriving at 9:55 pm) for around $350. Was advised by various people who have flown before that prices go down closer to the date of the flight and that I should wait until later in the year to book my flight. I have been keeping an eye on the rates, though, and that same flight is now showing a higher price. Eep.

Do I have cause to be concerned? Or were friends correct in saying that prices will go down closer to departure day?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
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- Deanna (Pronounced 'deena')



Past Cruises:
Norwegian Epic - November 10, 2012
Norwegian Epic - January 25, 2014
Norwegian Escape - November 14, 2015
Norwegian Getaway - October 2, 2016
Missouri, USA
2,465 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Originally posted by dreamr
I have a newbie question.

I am going to be cruising on the NCL Epic November 10-17th of this year (woo!) and I have been looking at rates for flights leaving from Charlotte, NC to Miami, FL. I have read that it's risky to fly the day of, so I have been looking for flights in the late afternoon/early evening of November 9th (as of right now, I am planning to work until 5 PM, but I may see if I can get that Friday off or at least leave early).

When I first booked my cruise, I found a flight that worked well (leaving Charlotte at 7:55 pm nonstop to Miami, arriving at 9:55 pm) for around $350. Was advised by various people who have flown before that prices go down closer to the date of the flight and that I should wait until later in the year to book my flight. I have been keeping an eye on the rates, though, and that same flight is now showing a higher price. Eep.

Do I have cause to be concerned? Or were friends correct in saying that prices will go down closer to departure day?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks.
You don't state which airline you prefer to fly on, but I have found that recently the prices go UP not down the closer to the date you want to fly. I recommend that you check the prices daily for the next few days, then purchase as soon as you can. I generally fly SW, for example, and I usually purchase the week the schedule is released. Generally, prices are least expensive on Tuesday, but not always. Flexibility is the key, as Friday evening flights tend to be most expensive.
South Carolina
721 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Thanks for the reply, albeit a month late. lol

I didn't mention "which airline I prefer to fly on" because I've never flown before. So I don't have a preference, I was just asking a general question regarding flying. If I had flown before, I'd likely know the ropes and wouldn't have been asking such questions. :P

My cruise leaves on a Saturday, so unless I go a few days beforehand (which isn't possible, since I only get one week's vacation from work), my flight would have to be on Friday.

I have already purchased my tickets, though, so none of this is an issue for me any longer.

Again, thanks for the reply.
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- Deanna (Pronounced 'deena')



Past Cruises:
Norwegian Epic - November 10, 2012
Norwegian Epic - January 25, 2014
Norwegian Escape - November 14, 2015
Norwegian Getaway - October 2, 2016
1,067 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Just wondered if there is any advantage to booking with the cruise rather than booking on your own. I know booking on your own is cheaper.
At 35,000 feet
9,096 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by CruiseAirSearchGuy
there are advantages of both. Cruise air includes transfers and if flight is later or delayed it is up to cruise lines to forward clients to next port.
BRRRRRUUPPPPP. I'm sorry, but that is an incorrect answer. Cruise lines are NOT responsible.
Generally cruise lines will want to avoid this by either booking early flights or the night before
.
BRRRRRUUPPPPP. I'm sorry, but that too is an incorrect answer. Cruise lines will give you what they have available "on the shelf" from the inventory they have from their bulk contracts.
So cost of air is higher with cruise lines. Own on is lower. Generally the cost of transfers is such that the air cost with cruise lines is still way higher. You just want to make sure you get your own flight that come in early.
BRRRRRUUPPPPP. I'm sorry, but that as well is an incorrect answer. It is completely dependent on the specifics of the cruise, cruiseline, dates, routings and many other factors.
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"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
Olathe, Kansas
3,070 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by Jackwil80
Which is better Rayanair or easyjet considering thair airfares and service quality?
If I had to choose, I would go with Easyjet
London
22,104 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by Jackwil80
Which is better Rayanair or easyjet considering thair airfares and service quality?
That's not a good question to start with. You have to start with what journey you're doing, and where Ryanair or easyJet might fit into the plan. Only then start looking at fares, service quality, and all the extra and hidden costs of flying with them.
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We live on a small lake in rural Nebr.
7,131 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
We are looking at a Carnival cruise that starts in LA and ends in Santiago, Chile. We usually use FF miles (American), but don't have enough miles for this trip.

We can get to LA using FF miles for the beginning of the cruise. Carnival one way back to LA is $699pp; the cheapest I can find on my own is closer to $800 and is on either Aeromexico or Copa; reviews of these two lines are so awful I don't want to book them. Those fares are mostly back to Dallas, which is fine.

We can also get roundtrip air from Dallas from Carnival for $1099pp. (We live nearest Omaha, but cruise air won't work from there.) But, we want to go in early. We prefer to stay in Chile a day or two also; can we ask for a deviation for that? And what would the cost probably be for a deviation?

We've never used cruise air for all the reasons given on these boards, but, without it this time, we probably won't do the cruise. Is there anyone who has had a similar itinerary and the flights weren't, like 5 stops, or on a horrible airline?

I know we have to take what we get, and don't know until 30-60 days out. Scared to try it! Any experiences that would help?
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SciFi
Seattle WA
4,445 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Originally posted by Nebr.cruiser
We are looking at a Carnival cruise that starts in LA and ends in Santiago, Chile. We usually use FF miles (American), but don't have enough miles for this trip.

We can get to LA using FF miles for the beginning of the cruise. Carnival one way back to LA is $699pp; the cheapest I can find on my own is closer to $800 and is on either Aeromexico or Copa; reviews of these two lines are so awful I don't want to book them. Those fares are mostly back to Dallas, which is fine.

We can also get roundtrip air from Dallas from Carnival for $1099pp. (We live nearest Omaha, but cruise air won't work from there.) But, we want to go in early. We prefer to stay in Chile a day or two also; can we ask for a deviation for that? And what would the cost probably be for a deviation?

We've never used cruise air for all the reasons given on these boards, but, without it this time, we probably won't do the cruise. Is there anyone who has had a similar itinerary and the flights weren't, like 5 stops, or on a horrible airline?

I know we have to take what we get, and don't know until 30-60 days out. Scared to try it! Any experiences that would help?
When is the cruise?

You might consider phoning AA and asking about award availability around your return date, using either their planes or Lan Chile, an excellent airline which is based in Santiago. You can't see Lan award availability online through AA's website, but the AA people can tell you if there's space open on or close to your preferred date.

If they see space available and you don't have enough miles, go to AA.com - http://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/pu...Miles/main.jsp - and buy the miles you need. At present AA is offering a 33% bonus, so e.g. to get 30,000 miles (enough for a one-way coach seat in peak season, Dec - Feb) you'd buy 24,000 miles for $660 plus tax, and receive another 8,000 as a bonus. This happens basically instantly, so then you phone AA back and book the seats. That will get you all the way home, not just to DFW. It's really very easy. You could even look for business class seats, requiring 50,000 miles each - $1100 for 40K mi + 12K mi bonus is pretty cheap for a business class flight from deep South America.
We live on a small lake in rural Nebr.
7,131 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
Thanks! I'll try all and any of the above. Especially calling AA. We'd love to be able to head on home to Omaha, that's for sure.

I appreciate the help. I never think about calling them to see if there are awards on other airlines. The ship leaves LA on Feb. 3 and docks on Feb. 20th in Santiago. We'd like to spend a couple of extra days there.

My AA site was showing 20% bonus miles on miles bought. Where did you find the 33% figure?
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SciFi
Seattle WA
4,445 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Originally posted by Nebr.cruiser
Thanks! I'll try all and any of the above. Especially calling AA. We'd love to be able to head on home to Omaha, that's for sure.

I appreciate the help. I never think about calling them to see if there are awards on other airlines. The ship leaves LA on Feb. 3 and docks on Feb. 20th in Santiago. We'd like to spend a couple of extra days there.

My AA site was showing 20% bonus miles on miles bought. Where did you find the 33% figure?
I think it's a sliding scale, but you're right - I think my math was off. 12K on 40K is 30%, not 33%.

Especially on flights to/from South America, because AA has Lan as a partner, the number of potential flights one can use for mileage redemptions is much, much larger than if it was just AA. Lan is a very big airline. Unfortunately, AA is making only slow progress in being able let users access award seat "inventory" online with partners (just a few partners at present) so it's easy to get the impression that these seats are hard to get. They might be, but you can't know for sure without calling.

But for example I can see 7 economy-class seats open on an AA flight departing Santiago to Miami on the 21st. You'd need to kill a day in Chile but Valparaiso, Viña del Mar and/or Concon are pretty cool places, as is Santiago itself, so not a huge loss. Getting from Miami to Omaha might involve changing planes again some place (I haven't gone to all the effort) but probably doable. And that's not even being able to see all the Lan flights that might work for you - to Miami, Los Angeles, New York, etc. - from which you'd connect home to Omaha.
Nashville, TN
1,767 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Someone said I should check out this board regarding getting air through the cruise line. Not sure what I should be looking for.

We are taking a TA from Venice, Italy to Ft. Lauderdale. Arranging airfare on our own has been complicated and expensive. So I decided to call Princess and ask them. Their rates are AWESOME! I was told (on another thread) to beware and to check here.

What should I be aware of? Complaints? Comments? Suggestions?

Thanks!
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Kelley
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Princess Cruises:
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Emerald - Northern Europe East bound TA - April 2012 // Ruby - Caribbean - 2013 // Regal - Europe - Westbound TA - Oct 2014
London
22,104 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by Denali2003
Someone said I should check out this board regarding getting air through the cruise line. Not sure what I should be looking for.

We are taking a TA from Venice, Italy to Ft. Lauderdale. Arranging airfare on our own has been complicated and expensive. So I decided to call Princess and ask them. Their rates are AWESOME! I was told (on another thread) to beware and to check here.

What should I be aware of? Complaints? Comments? Suggestions?
There are pros and cons to air travel arranged by the cruise line. A good place to start is reading the discussion in the sticky thread on this forum: Sticky: Cruise Air and Air Deviation Explanation
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“Cruise” review – ss Rotterdam (V), June 2013.

Dual-purpose HOHO buses available in London: functioning simultaneously as tourist traps and roadblocks.

Fascinating Aida tell us of the perils of Cheap Flights.

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Boise, ID
1,554 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
This is a really odd situation. I booked our airfare from Boise to Miami round trip through Hotwire - booked it in March. Sunday, I decided to check to see what time I had to be to the airport, just to be sure. Keep in mind that Hotwire has not communicated with me regarding any changes, etc. When I happen to use the Delta site to check sky miles, etc., I see that there has been an itinerary change - and I will miss a connecting flight in Minneapolis/St Paul. My flight from Miami now arrives in St. Paul 48 minutes AFTER the flight to Boise has already left. So - I call Delta and ask what to do? She is very helpful and says that since their schedule changed, she can route me through Dallas Ft. Worth, or through Atlanta. She makes the changes on her computer, but tells me that I need to finalize with another agent. When I get transferred, the new agent tells me that they are not allowed to make changes to any Hotwire tickets, and she is sorry - but I need to contact Hotwire. I start calling Hotwire Monday a.m., and get a recording that due to an emergency, they cannot help me. I get that message every time I call, (which I do in between every client!), so finally, in frustration, I choose the option for a new ticket purchase, and magically, someone answers. She says that they can't make changes, but when I point out that on the Delta website, I will miss a connecting flight - she asks for my Delta confirmation number, and she tells me - "I don't see the problem". So - I look on the Delta site while she is on the phone with me, and I see that they DID change my itinerary. I'm scheduled to leave Miami at 11:57 a.m., routed through DTW. So - I tell the Hotwire clerk - "Oh! She DID fix it." (In fact, she had given us the assigned seats that we prefer, etc.) The Hotwire clerk says that she is going to send me a new ticket/purchase confirmation anyway, which she does. The only problem is that when I get the new itinerary from Hotwire, they have me leaving Miami at 7:50 a.m., routed through St. Paul (just an earlier flight than the original one that would have missed the connection). I have emailed Hotwire and explained the difference to them every way I know how - but they keep insisting that they cannot make any changes, and I don't have to confirm my flight with the airline! REALLY?? I'm supposed to trust that Hotwire knows better than the airline?

So - whom do I believe?? Anyone have that kind of experience that could help me? I have continued to check the Delta website, and there have been no changes made to the new itinerary. When I try to check the Hotwire site, it tells me that the email address I put in is not the email address that matches that itinerary. Hmmmm. I think I know my own email address - the one to which they originally sent the itinerary!!!
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2002: Explorer of the Seas
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Edinboro,PA
2,513 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Next April, we have flights to and from Rome for our cruise.
DL 6589 JFK to FCO 8 hours 35 min.
DL 245 FCO to JFK 9 hours 55 min.(return flight)

As far as I know, they are both non-stop flights.
Why would the return flight be 1 hour 20 min. longer ?
Olathe, Kansas
3,070 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by $hip$hape
Next April, we have flights to and from Rome for our cruise.
DL 6589 JFK to FCO 8 hours 35 min.
DL 245 FCO to JFK 9 hours 55 min.(return flight)

As far as I know, they are both non-stop flights.
Why would the return flight be 1 hour 20 min. longer ?
In the northern hemisphere, winds go west to east. Think about it - most times you are watching the weather, it comes from the west...because winds are pushing west to east.

So if you're flying west to east, those same winds are helping to push you. If you are flying east to west (such as Europe to US), those winds are pushing AGAINST you, making you slower. Thus the longer flights.

And keep in mind winds increase as you go higher in the atmosphere. So at 35k feet, it's not 20mph winds like on the ground. It can be 100+ mph of winds pushing with or against your aircraft
Edinboro,PA
2,513 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by Zach1213
In the northern hemisphere, winds go west to east. Think about it - most times you are watching the weather, it comes from the west...because winds are pushing west to east.

So if you're flying west to east, those same winds are helping to push you. If you are flying east to west (such as Europe to US), those winds are pushing AGAINST you, making you slower. Thus the longer flights.

And keep in mind winds increase as you go higher in the atmosphere. So at 35k feet, it's not 20mph winds like on the ground. It can be 100+ mph of winds pushing with or against your aircraft
Thank You !
Ontario, Canada
48 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by Host Mike
This is set up for question and answers.
We are flying British Airways to London Heathrow arriving at 6:25 a.m. and continuing to Rome on British Airways at 7:30 am. Is there enough time for us to make this connection? Thank you.
Chinooks
Olathe, Kansas
3,070 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by chinooks
We are flying British Airways to London Heathrow arriving at 6:25 a.m. and continuing to Rome on British Airways at 7:30 am. Is there enough time for us to make this connection? Thank you.
Chinooks
That's very tight. This is a peak transit time, and security can be very busy. I would want at least 2 hours, honestly