Secret carrier

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!

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 09:20 AM.
#1
Bay Area California-Hawaii
3,505 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
So I haven't organized the review or pictures from last cruise yet, but I am pricing airfare to Europe again. For me cruise fare is down air is down, why not.

So does anyone think the secret carrier is a good choice? If so why?

If you do not know what I am talking about,, it is a special low fare, the same price as delta and American. But on a secret carrier.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Sharie
Eclipse 12/15 Mexico
Eclipse 11/15 14 day Southern Caribbean
Infinity 9/15 California Coastal
Summit 12/14 b2b Southern Caribbean
Equinox 4/14 Ultimate Eastern Caribbean
Equinox 12/13 Western Caribbean
Silhouette 4/13 Rome to Venice
Solstice 4/12 FLL-Barcelona
Eclipse 4/11 Miami-Southampton
Eurodam 4/09 Fll to Copenhagen
Zuiderdam 5/20/08 Med. Tapestry
Diamond Princess 5/04 Inside Passage
Regal Princess 11/00 Sydney to Auckland
#2
Southern California by way of Kentucky
19,509 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
I know what you mean...and even when I delete a variety of the options the secret carrier is still offered....and won't let you know until you book....Has anyone booked this and if so the outcome please
#3
The OC
5,799 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
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.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
====================
Chandris Ellenis, Mediterranean- July 1978
X Infinity, Baja- October 2005
Carnival Paradise, Baja- January 2007
HAL Zaandam, Alaska- July 2008
HAL Oosterdam, Sea of Cortez- April 2010
X Summit, Southern Caribbean Part 1- November 2012
X Summit, Southern Caribbean Part 2- November 2013
#4
Bay Area California-Hawaii
3,505 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
I am flying from Honolulu to Rome. That is 19 to 36 hours. Average 24 per leg.

My understanding is the secret carrier is usually an upgrade, this price is the same as I paid on Swiss air two months ago. That was one sardine packed cabin.

A couple of years ago I read of people ending up in business class, and well, I know how awful the others will be, so thinking of spinning the wheel.

I suppose my flights could be worse, but not sure how.

I can buy insurance, but wondered, does anyone know anything from experience?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Sharie
Eclipse 12/15 Mexico
Eclipse 11/15 14 day Southern Caribbean
Infinity 9/15 California Coastal
Summit 12/14 b2b Southern Caribbean
Equinox 4/14 Ultimate Eastern Caribbean
Equinox 12/13 Western Caribbean
Silhouette 4/13 Rome to Venice
Solstice 4/12 FLL-Barcelona
Eclipse 4/11 Miami-Southampton
Eurodam 4/09 Fll to Copenhagen
Zuiderdam 5/20/08 Med. Tapestry
Diamond Princess 5/04 Inside Passage
Regal Princess 11/00 Sydney to Auckland
#5
Fortaleza, Brazil
1,560 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Originally posted by hulamoon

My understanding is the secret carrier is usually an upgrade . ..

A couple of years ago I read of people ending up in business class . . .
Unverified? Anecdotal? Anything in writing? If you know the # of stops and flight time you could guess the airline. If you proceed, obviously assume it'll be economy class with, perhaps, a chance for an upgrade (though upgrades have been harder to get even over the past couple of years).
#6
Seattle WA
4,510 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
I don't know what the basis for the "secret carrier" is - cruise air, Priceline, Hotwire, some consolidator?

Just because you heard that someone a "couple of years ago" got upgraded on a "secret airline" is, in my view, no reason at all to think you might be similarly lucky. On the contrary, the majority of "secret" air travel tickets I've ever seen have involved really awful itineraries, and usually involved numerous Air Canada flights with horrendous flight times or really lengthy layovers. (For example, HNL - Vancouver - Toronto (wait) - Europe..)

Without more information, however (when, where to, etc.) our guesses will be quite worthless.
#7
At 35,000 feet
9,320 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by hulamoon
My understanding is the secret carrier is usually an upgrade,
And the source of this "understanding"? I'd venture that none of the regulars here would have that same view.
A couple of years ago I read of people ending up in business class, and well, I know how awful the others will be, so thinking of spinning the wheel.
This just about defies all logic. Airlines sell business class seats for big margins, and are stingy about upgrades even for their best customers. Why would they give it to a random person for the same price as coach?
I can buy insurance, but wondered, does anyone know anything from experience?
And just what is this "insurance" supposed to do for you? Travel insurance is designed to compensate the traveler for monetary losses. It does not ensure that you get somewhere, or that you get there on time. Just monetary costs. And even then, it is often far from all-encompassing.

Big myth in the travel world....that "insurance" solves all problems and makes up for poor decisions up front.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
"Government Certified Expert"

"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
#8
14,640 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
OP - On what website are you looking? I assume it's Kayak. What do you mean by "an upgrade"? If you choose the "secret carrier" option on Kayak (if it's even offered on the routing/dates you want), it will clearly say the class of service you are paying for.

For the dummy booking I did, when I chose "secret carrier" it took me to airfare.com to purchase the ticket. For another dummy booking, it took me to Vayama. All these sites sell consolidator tickets. You might be able to figure out the carrier, as it shows you the approximate flight times.

Highly doubt you're going to get business class when you are only paying for coach. I have no idea how insurance would help you.

Personally, I would pass on this.
#9
7,179 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by hulamoon
the same price as delta and American. But on a secret carrier.
Why bargain on an unknown when the price is the same as known carriers?

Originally posted by FlyerTalker
And the source of this "understanding"? I'd venture that none of the regulars here would have that same view.
This just about defies all logic. Airlines sell business class seats for big margins, and are stingy about upgrades even for their best customers.

Big myth in the travel world....that "insurance" solves all problems and makes up for poor decisions up front.
Ditto everything Flyertalker said. Airlines simply to not give away business class seats for coach prices on international flights. Not even to their top level elites, who get domestic upgrades all the time. There are plenty of people who will PAY for biz seat on long haul flights.
As for insurance, it won't help if you decide to cancel your flight simply because you didn't get the upgrade that you "had an understanding" you would get.

Originally posted by 6rugrats
Personally, I would pass on this.
As would I. Too many unknowns.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Meg

Remembering 34 past cruises:
25 Royal Caribbean, 5 Celebrity, 2 Carnival, 1 Princess, 2 Oceania

Anticipating 1 future cruise:
Oasis of the Seas, 7 night Eastern Caribbean, Feb 2019
#10
Virginia Beach, VA.
11,193 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Maybe the secret airline is the one that flies to Area 51, oh wait that's really not a secret anymore is it? And it only flies from LAS to Area 51 so that won't help the OP.
Personally I would stick to the established carrier's especially if they are the same price as the "secret airline".
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Grandeur of the Seas Dec. 2009
Freedom of the Seas Sept. 2010
Majesty of the Seas Dec. 2010
Freedom of the Seas Oct. 2011
Majesty of the Seas Nov. 2011
Monarch of the Seas May 2012
Allure of the Seas Sept. 2012
Carnival Glory May 2013
Allure of the Seas Sept. 2013
Majesty of the Seas Sept. 2013
Carnival Pride March 2014
Allure of the Seas Sept. 2014
Carnival Breeze Sept. 2014
Carnival Splendor May 2015
Carnival Splendor October 2015
Majesty of the Seas Dec. 2015
Enchantment of the Seas Feb. 2016
Majesty of the Seas April 2016
Carnival Splendor October 2016
Empress of the Seas November 2016
Oasis of the Seas Jan. 2017
Carnival Vista March 2017
Carnival Sunshine June 2017


Link to my Allure of the Seas review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...ighlight=eng23













#11
Florida
20,313 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
It would be fun if we had secret cruises...
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
We've been on
Carnival: 27 voyages 184 days
Celebrity: 3 voyages 24 days
Holland: 29 voyages 661 days
Norwegian: 2 voyages 16 days
Princess: 16 voyages 154 days
Royal Carib: 5 voyages 35 days
Vantage:River 2 voyages 39 days
GRAND TOTAL: 84 Cruises 1118 days

NOT YET SAILED
Veendam Atlantic Crossing 10/17 - 49 days
Amsterdam World Cruise 1/18 - 113 days
Rotterdam Boston to Rotter 7/18 - 19 days
Prinsendam Amster to FTL 8/18 96 days
Zaandam Antarctic 12/18 - 22 days
Nieuw Statadam Carb. 1/19 - 7 days
Amsterdam World Cruise 1/19 113 days
#13
Long Island,NY
1,460 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by schmoopie17
on the secret airline, the plane is shaped like a giant container of women's deodorant.
lol!!!!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Diane (and Michael)
#14
Bay Area California-Hawaii
3,505 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
The flight was probably virgin America, and it arrived in less time than most. I can only be mostly sure because of the air range of times given.

I do not believe it stopped in area 51. I think this because it was faster in arrival than almost all carriers.

If my flights were fabulous on the known carriers, I wouldn't have considered an unknown one.

We buy insurance for cancellation for any reason, including we need to reschedule.

Years ago I found a lot of articles on secret carriers, and hardly a one now. Maybe it is just a scam.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Sharie
Eclipse 12/15 Mexico
Eclipse 11/15 14 day Southern Caribbean
Infinity 9/15 California Coastal
Summit 12/14 b2b Southern Caribbean
Equinox 4/14 Ultimate Eastern Caribbean
Equinox 12/13 Western Caribbean
Silhouette 4/13 Rome to Venice
Solstice 4/12 FLL-Barcelona
Eclipse 4/11 Miami-Southampton
Eurodam 4/09 Fll to Copenhagen
Zuiderdam 5/20/08 Med. Tapestry
Diamond Princess 5/04 Inside Passage
Regal Princess 11/00 Sydney to Auckland
#15
At 35,000 feet
9,320 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by hulamoon
Years ago I found a lot of articles on secret carriers, and hardly a one now. Maybe it is just a scam.
Ding Ding Ding!!!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
"Government Certified Expert"

"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
#16
At 35,000 feet
9,320 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by Eng23
Maybe the secret airline is the one that flies to Area 51, oh wait that's really not a secret anymore is it? And it only flies from LAS to Area 51 so that won't help the OP.
Do you mean THIS AIRLINE?? You can get the T-shirt.....HERE.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
"Government Certified Expert"

"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
#17
Bay Area California-Hawaii
3,505 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Someone somewhere must have flown on a secret carrier ticket and can report. I have moved to a new idea for flights, but still, so many are sold. Where are those passengers?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Sharie
Eclipse 12/15 Mexico
Eclipse 11/15 14 day Southern Caribbean
Infinity 9/15 California Coastal
Summit 12/14 b2b Southern Caribbean
Equinox 4/14 Ultimate Eastern Caribbean
Equinox 12/13 Western Caribbean
Silhouette 4/13 Rome to Venice
Solstice 4/12 FLL-Barcelona
Eclipse 4/11 Miami-Southampton
Eurodam 4/09 Fll to Copenhagen
Zuiderdam 5/20/08 Med. Tapestry
Diamond Princess 5/04 Inside Passage
Regal Princess 11/00 Sydney to Auckland
#18
Virginia Beach, VA.
11,193 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by FlyerTalker
Do you mean THIS AIRLINE?? You can get the T-shirt.....HERE.
Yup! That's the one. That's the only airline that flies from an airport terminal with real security and not TSA.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Grandeur of the Seas Dec. 2009
Freedom of the Seas Sept. 2010
Majesty of the Seas Dec. 2010
Freedom of the Seas Oct. 2011
Majesty of the Seas Nov. 2011
Monarch of the Seas May 2012
Allure of the Seas Sept. 2012
Carnival Glory May 2013
Allure of the Seas Sept. 2013
Majesty of the Seas Sept. 2013
Carnival Pride March 2014
Allure of the Seas Sept. 2014
Carnival Breeze Sept. 2014
Carnival Splendor May 2015
Carnival Splendor October 2015
Majesty of the Seas Dec. 2015
Enchantment of the Seas Feb. 2016
Majesty of the Seas April 2016
Carnival Splendor October 2016
Empress of the Seas November 2016
Oasis of the Seas Jan. 2017
Carnival Vista March 2017
Carnival Sunshine June 2017


Link to my Allure of the Seas review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...ighlight=eng23













#19
14,640 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by hulamoon
We buy insurance for cancellation for any reason, including we need to reschedule.
But even a policy with "cancel for any reason" coverage will not reimburse you 100%. Most of the ones I've read lately will only cover 50-75% of your costs, so this is not financially a good strategy if you don't like the flight times you get.

Better to just book directly with the airline and choose the flights you want.
#20
Arizona/Missouri
14,848 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by hulamoon
Someone somewhere must have flown on a secret carrier ticket and can report. I have moved to a new idea for flights, but still, so many are sold. Where are those passengers?
Why would anyone take a chance on a "secret carrier" when the KNOWN commodity is the same price?? Beyond my comprehension.

As for getting a "free" upgrade, forget it. I am fighting tooth and nail for a miles + co-pay upgrade from JFK to LHR this summer (continuing on to Kuwait on BA, NOT going to the Olympics as the AA EXP desk keeps reminding me) and I am top tier on AA.

It is the same price as other airlines. WHAT are you gaining??? As 6rugrats pointed out, the secret carrier on the search directed to consolidator tickets. From a business standpoint, it would be a good way for a consolidator to "dump" some of their bulk purchase tickets with the heavy restrictions on unsuspecting customers for the same price as other airlines. The consolidators make a few more dollars on their heavily restricted tickets than they would normally and "people" think they are getting something special. No benefit whatsoever that I can even conjure up.

Secret carrier-a joke and a scam.