Booking with Viking Air

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#1
914 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
I have booked a Viking river cruise with a TA, but I thought I had read somewhere here that I could still call Viking to book my flights directly. I just called and was told the TA had to do this. My TA is someone I have decided I will not use again for various reasons, and I am a little leary letting her handle this process. Also, my TA seems unclear how long I have before Viking actually tickets a flight for me and whether before the ticketing happens I am able to make any flight changes. Any advice from experienced Viking cruisers would be appreciated.
#2
san jose ca
369 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
What I do is search out the flights I want and give the information to my TA. She then gives the information to Viking to book. In most cases, you can get the confirmation number and then get seat assignments. I got my flights on United and was able to do that. You will need your TA to do this though. A good TA can be very helpful but a bad one can hinder things. You will see all the information on Viking's website once it's booked.
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#3
Seattle,WA
395 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
What you were told by the Viking rep is correct, if you did not book directly with Viking, they want you to go through your TA.
#5
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
647 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by cruisewiththekids
Once I book air, are any changes allowed up to a certain date?
Once you request your air routing and pay the fee for Custom Air, you will then need to have your TA request that the route actually be ticketed. This will allow you to upgrade your seats to Economy Comfort.
If you want to make changes in your flights after the route is ticketed, you will be at the mercy of the airlines change fees.
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Cunard QM2 Eastbound Transatlantic, May, 2018; Pullmantur Zenith Coastal Norway, May, 2018; Ponant LeSoleal, Beyond The Polar Circle, Antarctica, Falklands, S Georgia,Jan., 2018; Viking Tialfi, Rhine Getaway, Nov., 2017; Norwegian Spirit Mediterranean, Nov., 2017; Royal Caribbean Vision ofthe Seas, 11 day Baltic, Aug., 2017; Norwegian Epic, Spain, Morocco, CanaryIslands, March, 2016; Viking Pride, Paris & Heart of Normandy, Sept., 2015;Semiramis II, Nile River Egypt, May, 2015; Oceania Riviera, Turkey & GreekIsles, Oct., 2014; Celebrity Summit, S. Caribbean, Jan., 2014; CarnivalElation, W. Caribbean, Jan., 2012; Carnival Pride, E. Caribbean, Aug., 2010; GoldenPrincess, Alaska Inside Passage, May, 2010; Carnival Fantasy, W. Caribbean,July, 2009; Uniworld River Countess, Germany & Austria Christmas Markets,Dec., 2007; Holland America Statendam, Australia & New Zealand, Oct., 2006;Norwegian Dream, W. Caribbean, Dec., 2005; RCCL Rhapsody of the Seas, W.Caribbean, Oct., 2003; Imagine French Barge, Burgundy Region, May, 2003; DeTijdgeest Dutch Barge, Netherlands & Belgium, May, 2002; Renaissance R3,Tahitian Islands, March, 2001; Dawn Princess, S. Caribbean, Nov., 1999; StarPrincess, S. Caribbean, Nov., 1994; And lots of land based adventures to morethan 60 countries on 6 continents! Happy to answer any questions or share photos,home(at)terryandmike(dot)com.
#6
914 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by terry&mike
Once you request your air routing and pay the fee for Custom Air, you will then need to have your TA request that the route actually be ticketed. This will allow you to upgrade your seats to Economy Comfort.
If you want to make changes in your flights after the route is ticketed, you will be at the mercy of the airlines change fees.
When you request your air routing from Custom Air, if you do not specifically request them to ticket it right then, do they wait until sometime closer to sailing to actually do the ticketing? If so, between the time you request the route and the time it's ticketed, can you make changes without charge?
#7
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
647 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by cruisewiththekids
When you request your air routing from Custom Air, if you do not specifically request them to ticket it right then, do they wait until sometime closer to sailing to actually do the ticketing? If so, between the time you request the route and the time it's ticketed, can you make changes without charge?
When you request Custom Air and agree upon the routing, they generally wait to actually ticket until closer to the sailing (about 50-75 days out), unless you insist on ticketing right away. When this is the case, and they have not actually ticketed, you may get some pushback, but they will generally agree to change the flights without charges. I always have it ticketed right away as I then upgrade my seats while this is still an option.

Keep in mind that they do not have to allow for changes without fees.

Also, worth considering, is that once you work with Custom Air and request the routing and all are agreed, they can ticket this routing at any time from that moment on. So, if you were hoping they would do it closer to 60 days out and they do it the day after you speak with them, this is their prerogative.

I recently worked with Custom Air to have my Mom's routing from Richmond, Virginia worked out, but did not request to have it ticketed yet. Almost 2 months after this my brother decided to join us on this sailing, and is flying direct from Washington DC, where he lives. I was able to call and get my Mom moved to fly over and back, nonstop, with my brother from DC, without incurring any extra fees, and also getting back the $100 extra fee my Mom had paid to fly out of a smaller gateway (Richmond) rather than the major gateway (DC). It is possible that I have a tiny bit of extra pull with Viking though.
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Cunard QM2 Eastbound Transatlantic, May, 2018; Pullmantur Zenith Coastal Norway, May, 2018; Ponant LeSoleal, Beyond The Polar Circle, Antarctica, Falklands, S Georgia,Jan., 2018; Viking Tialfi, Rhine Getaway, Nov., 2017; Norwegian Spirit Mediterranean, Nov., 2017; Royal Caribbean Vision ofthe Seas, 11 day Baltic, Aug., 2017; Norwegian Epic, Spain, Morocco, CanaryIslands, March, 2016; Viking Pride, Paris & Heart of Normandy, Sept., 2015;Semiramis II, Nile River Egypt, May, 2015; Oceania Riviera, Turkey & GreekIsles, Oct., 2014; Celebrity Summit, S. Caribbean, Jan., 2014; CarnivalElation, W. Caribbean, Jan., 2012; Carnival Pride, E. Caribbean, Aug., 2010; GoldenPrincess, Alaska Inside Passage, May, 2010; Carnival Fantasy, W. Caribbean,July, 2009; Uniworld River Countess, Germany & Austria Christmas Markets,Dec., 2007; Holland America Statendam, Australia & New Zealand, Oct., 2006;Norwegian Dream, W. Caribbean, Dec., 2005; RCCL Rhapsody of the Seas, W.Caribbean, Oct., 2003; Imagine French Barge, Burgundy Region, May, 2003; DeTijdgeest Dutch Barge, Netherlands & Belgium, May, 2002; Renaissance R3,Tahitian Islands, March, 2001; Dawn Princess, S. Caribbean, Nov., 1999; StarPrincess, S. Caribbean, Nov., 1994; And lots of land based adventures to morethan 60 countries on 6 continents! Happy to answer any questions or share photos,home(at)terryandmike(dot)com.
#8
New York
8,407 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
In contrast to other posters' experience that having booked the cruise through a TA you must work with Viking Air through your TA, I have been able to work directly with Viking Air [for a Viking Oceans cruise] despite having booked through a TA. They never mentioned this rule. Unfortunately their prices were higher than booking directly with British Air, even with the 'discount' built into my cruise promotion!
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I am not an employee of Cruise Critic and I don't speak for Cruise Critic. All opinions are mine alone. Also, I'm only a Host on the various River forums -- everywhere else I'm "just plain Jazz."

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#9
Illinois
395 Posts
Joined May 2001
My experience booking Viking air (cruise booked with a TA) was that the TA set up a conference call with the Viking air department. Her only involvement was making the call, introducing the Viking rep and me, and at the end of the call, she stated what she believed to be the agreed on flights. Both the Viking rep and I stated that matched our understanding. The next day she emailed the paperwork from Viking and I had to reply that I accepted.

For anyone afraid that their TA will screw up their flights, ask them to do a conference call. That puts you in control and the TA officially in the loop.

Lynn
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#10
Jekyll Island, Georgia
143 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by arima22
What you were told by the Viking rep is correct, if you did not book directly with Viking, they want you to go through your TA.
I have never had Viking tell me to go through a TA if not getting their air and I have done my own air arrangements on at least one trip. You can always purchase airport-hotel transfers from Viking if you do not want to do this on your own. Granted, this was on trips several years ago, so maybe this is a new policy change?
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#11
1,904 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by twototravel
I have never had Viking tell me to go through a TA if not getting their air and I have done my own air arrangements on at least one trip. You can always purchase airport-hotel transfers from Viking if you do not want to do this on your own. Granted, this was on trips several years ago, so maybe this is a new policy change?
I think you may have misunderstood the comment.

This is nothing specifically to do with how you fly, it is simply that if you book the cruise through a TA then Viking normally expect you to deal with your TA and for the TA to deal with Viking.

There are always exceptions, but at the root of the concern is that when you use a TA, you are the TA's client and the TA is Vikings client, so Viking shouldn't really be taking instructions directly from you when you are not actually the one who booked the cruise with them...
#12
914 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by Host Jazzbeau
In contrast to other posters' experience that having booked the cruise through a TA you must work with Viking Air through your TA, I have been able to work directly with Viking Air [for a Viking Oceans cruise] despite having booked through a TA. They never mentioned this rule. Unfortunately their prices were higher than booking directly with British Air, even with the 'discount' built into my cruise promotion!
Do you happen to have the direct phone number for Viking Custom Air? It may be worth a try to call them directly. If they will not work with me, the conference call with TA sounds like a good option B.
#13
New York
8,407 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by cruisewiththekids
Do you happen to have the direct phone number for Viking Custom Air? It may be worth a try to call them directly. If they will not work with me, the conference call with TA sounds like a good option B.
877-523-0580
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Email me: [email protected]
Blogs: Jazzbeaux Blogs

I am not an employee of Cruise Critic and I don't speak for Cruise Critic. All opinions are mine alone. Also, I'm only a Host on the various River forums -- everywhere else I'm "just plain Jazz."

Booked:
Azamara Quest Costa Rica 1-2018
AMA Discover Africa 5-2018
Viking Sun British Isles Explorer 8-2018
Celebrity Edge Caribbean B2B / Celebrity Equinox Caribbean B2B 1-2019 [will choose one!]

Completed:
Crown Princess Classic Canada & New England 10-2017
Norwegian Pride of America Hawaii 10-2016; Azamara Quest Norwegian Fjords 8-2016; Celebrity Constellation Greek Isles 5-2016; AmaDagio Provence 9-2015; Celebrity Xpedition Galapagos 5-2015; Celebrity Eclipse Southern Carib 3-2015; Fresco Tours A Kinder Camino walking tour 9-2014; Crystal Serenity Mediterranean 5-2014; Coral Princess Panama Canal 1-2014; AmaCello Rhine 8-2013; Coral Princess Alaska 6-2013; Ireland Fly-Drive 9-2012; Norwegian Dawn Caribbean 3-2013 / Celebrity Summit Caribbean 1-2012 / Oceania Insignia Mediterranean 5-2011 / Fair Dinkum (Erie Canal bareboat) 7-2003 / Costa Italia Caribbean 5-1974
#14
279 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Although we enjoyed the cruise portion of our Mekong River Cruise on Viking two years ago, we would NEVER book our airfare thru Viking. The agent (we booked a package directly thru Viking) counted backwards instead of forwards when figuring the International Dateline into our air travel and had us arriving after the ship sailed instead of enjoying two days in Saigon.

When we complained about this when our travel information was first available online, about a month before our departure date, Viking treated us as if it was OUR FAULT and that we were overly demanding passengers....imagine that...us wanting to enjoy two days, hotel and meals we had paid for.

For that reason we would never again use Viking, but would advise others to book their own air travel!
#15
Woodland Hills, CA
775 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Dear Begete,

While we’re delighted to hear that you enjoyed cruising with us, we sincerely regret to learn of your flight experience and the missed days in Saigon.

Although the sailing you reference is from a few years back, if you’re interested in discussing this matter further, we’d appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns at [email protected].

We look forward to hearing from you through that outlet, Begete, and wish you a wonderful week ahead.

Kind regards,
Viking Cruises

Originally posted by Begete
Although we enjoyed the cruise portion of our Mekong River Cruise on Viking two years ago, we would NEVER book our airfare thru Viking. The agent (we booked a package directly thru Viking) counted backwards instead of forwards when figuring the International Dateline into our air travel and had us arriving after the ship sailed instead of enjoying two days in Saigon.

When we complained about this when our travel information was first available online, about a month before our departure date, Viking treated us as if it was OUR FAULT and that we were overly demanding passengers....imagine that...us wanting to enjoy two days, hotel and meals we had paid for.

For that reason we would never again use Viking, but would advise others to book their own air travel!
#16
Fresno CA & Milolii BI Hawaii
923 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by terry&mike
When you request Custom Air and agree upon the routing, they generally wait to actually ticket until closer to the sailing (about 50-75 days out), unless you insist on ticketing right away. When this is the case, and they have not actually ticketed, you may get some pushback, but they will generally agree to change the flights without charges. I always have it ticketed right away as I then upgrade my seats while this is still an option.

Keep in mind that they do not have to allow for changes without fees.

Also, worth considering, is that once you work with Custom Air and request the routing and all are agreed, they can ticket this routing at any time from that moment on. So, if you were hoping they would do it closer to 60 days out and they do it the day after you speak with them, this is their prerogative.

I recently worked with Custom Air to have my Mom's routing from Richmond, Virginia worked out, but did not request to have it ticketed yet. Almost 2 months after this my brother decided to join us on this sailing, and is flying direct from Washington DC, where he lives. I was able to call and get my Mom moved to fly over and back, nonstop, with my brother from DC, without incurring any extra fees, and also getting back the $100 extra fee my Mom had paid to fly out of a smaller gateway (Richmond) rather than the major gateway (DC). It is possible that I have a tiny bit of extra pull with Viking though.
Hi, Thanks for your information. To clarify, I have a question. With custom air can the ticket be issued sooner such as 10 months out?
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#17
Stockton CA
3,087 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
How far in advance/end of a sailing can I make my travel dates? We are doing Octoberfest pre-cruise so will want to fly at least a week prior to sailing and not sure how long we might want to stay after or what we might want to do? .
#18
279 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Viking - It's a little late for an apology. We did NOT end up missing the first two days of our package, as when I figured out Viking's error, I called and called until Viking "fixed" the error, just before our departure, so we could actually get there in time for the cruise. However, you sure did take your "revenge." While other passengers had two connections, we had 4 connections in each direction, some layovers over 8 hours! in the middle of the night in airports where nothing was open and one could not even buy a cup of coffee. Indeed, you put us on the most difficult set of flights we have ever taken in more than 45 years of world travel. The other passengers on our cruise were aghast at what you people did to us. They did not actually believe us until we brought our tickets to dinner one evening and passed them around for everyone to see. You lost a LOT of business from people on that cruise who were shocked at how we had been treated.
And as we are residents of an affluent retirement community, you will continue to lose business as we relate to everyone who is contemplating a cruise what you did to us. We are retired former Peace Corps volunteers who served both in Africa and the Middle East. We are nice people, active and well thought of in our community and not generally complainers, but the treatment we received from Viking was completely unconscionable and neither we, nor anyone who knows us will ever travel with you.
We wrote to Viking when we returned and got an e-mail reply apologizing. That was it. Nothing further.

and rest assured, we will continue to relate the facts to anyone who inquires in the future.



Originally posted by Viking Cruises
Dear Begete,

While we’re delighted to hear that you enjoyed cruising with us, we sincerely regret to learn of your flight experience and the missed days in Saigon.

Although the sailing you reference is from a few years back, if you’re interested in discussing this matter further, we’d appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns at [email protected].

We look forward to hearing from you through that outlet, Begete, and wish you a wonderful week ahead.

Kind regards,
Viking Cruises
#19
133 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Please do not listen to this poster who is complaining years later. I have had nothing but wonderful customer service from Viking. Do not hesitate to book through them and if you have a question call them!!! They are extremely responsive and go out of their way to help.
#20
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
647 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by shadowlover
Please do not listen to this poster who is complaining years later. I have had nothing but wonderful customer service from Viking. Do not hesitate to book through them and if you have a question call them!!! They are extremely responsive and go out of their way to help.
100% agree. I have the occasion to speak with Viking quite regularly, and they are one of the most efficient and helpful suppliers in the industry.
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Cunard QM2 Eastbound Transatlantic, May, 2018; Pullmantur Zenith Coastal Norway, May, 2018; Ponant LeSoleal, Beyond The Polar Circle, Antarctica, Falklands, S Georgia,Jan., 2018; Viking Tialfi, Rhine Getaway, Nov., 2017; Norwegian Spirit Mediterranean, Nov., 2017; Royal Caribbean Vision ofthe Seas, 11 day Baltic, Aug., 2017; Norwegian Epic, Spain, Morocco, CanaryIslands, March, 2016; Viking Pride, Paris & Heart of Normandy, Sept., 2015;Semiramis II, Nile River Egypt, May, 2015; Oceania Riviera, Turkey & GreekIsles, Oct., 2014; Celebrity Summit, S. Caribbean, Jan., 2014; CarnivalElation, W. Caribbean, Jan., 2012; Carnival Pride, E. Caribbean, Aug., 2010; GoldenPrincess, Alaska Inside Passage, May, 2010; Carnival Fantasy, W. Caribbean,July, 2009; Uniworld River Countess, Germany & Austria Christmas Markets,Dec., 2007; Holland America Statendam, Australia & New Zealand, Oct., 2006;Norwegian Dream, W. Caribbean, Dec., 2005; RCCL Rhapsody of the Seas, W.Caribbean, Oct., 2003; Imagine French Barge, Burgundy Region, May, 2003; DeTijdgeest Dutch Barge, Netherlands & Belgium, May, 2002; Renaissance R3,Tahitian Islands, March, 2001; Dawn Princess, S. Caribbean, Nov., 1999; StarPrincess, S. Caribbean, Nov., 1994; And lots of land based adventures to morethan 60 countries on 6 continents! Happy to answer any questions or share photos,home(at)terryandmike(dot)com.