Viking River Cruise Custom Air department?

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#1
Florida
8 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
We’ll be sailing with Viking in November on their 15 day Grand European cruise. Since this is our first river cruise I would like to know has anyone used Vikings custom air program? I know they charge an additional fee but I’m wondering if it’s really worth the extra money. We have to make a decision before our final payment which is February 28th.
When we booked the cruise with 2 other couples I was told with the standard we probably won’t be on the same plane unless we book our flights through the custom air department.
We’ve been going back and forth on what we should do. Either stay with the standard air and take our chances or pay the fee and go with the custom air.
Hope someone can help us make the right decision.
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Dewarsduo
#2
NW Ohio
8,364 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
We used Viking Custom Air for our cruise last April. I had priced the air on my own, per my TA's recommendation, and then we called Viking's Air dept to see what flights I could get for their standard price. I could get the flight I wanted going over, but not the flight home w/o the Custom Air. So, we took the Custom Air, and it was still a bit less than purchasing thru Delta outright. And, with including the transfers, a better deal yet.
#3
Elmwood Park, NJ, USA
365 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
We used Viking's custom air for our November 2012 sailing. We had picked our flights (both non stops) and when our TA called custom air they gave us the same flights we requested.
It was also $300 pp cheaper than if we had booked on our own. Transfers were also included which made it stress free for us. I wouldn't hesitate to use them again.
#4
1,499 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
We are doing the same cruise in Sept. Our TA priced flights and found good flights for us and the couple we are traveling with -but knew we probably wouldn't get those same flights thru Viking. TA called custom air at our request and even with the added $ we still saved about $150 pp off the flights if booked separately. We requested the flights TA found and are relieved that we got them and both couples are on the same flights!
#5
Littleton, CO
987 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Dewarsduo, we are taking the Grand European on Nov 5th. Are you on that one? We bought the custom air for 50.00 pp. We decided to do it so we could get our seats assigned right away.
#6
Nashville, TN
79 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
I've been pleased with custom air. I chose it because I could pick my normal airline where my frequent flyer status lets me choose exit row seats. The extra legroom is significant on a long flight.

Since I don't fly out of a hub city, i was also able to choose my hub (DFW over ORD and JFK). I also was able to ask for an earlier flight from home to DFW since the one that came up on the airline site for the total itinerary left me only an hour for the transfer.

If little details like this matter, then the $50 is pretty reasonable.
#7
Florida
8 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Thanks JiminyC fan for the information. Yes we'll be going on the same cruise traveling with 2 other couples. After doing some research we decided not to go with their custom air. After checking with a few airlines we felt that at this time the standard air was the best price.

Although i was told that if we changed our minds down the road we could simply pay the fee and use the custom air.
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Dewarsduo
#8
Florida
8 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Thanks to everyone that responded to my post.....
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Dewarsduo
#9
Littleton, CO
987 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Originally posted by dewarsduo
Thanks JiminyC fan for the information. Yes we'll be going on the same cruise traveling with 2 other couples. After doing some research we decided not to go with their custom air. After checking with a few airlines we felt that at this time the standard air was the best price.

Although i was told that if we changed our minds down the road we could simply pay the fee and use the custom air.
It's always hard to make those decisions. We made the decision johnny on the spot sitting with our TA. We'll see if it works out for us. See you there!
#10
Boston MA
6,124 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
The other reason that I choose to pay the custom air fee and have some say in the flights is because I don't want to arrive at dinner time or after on day one of the trip and I don't want to have to leave my house, or even worse the ship/hotel, before dawn to catch a flight. That alone is worth the hundred bucks!

I always do my research before talking to my TA and then let her figure out from there.


.
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#11
Littleton, CO
987 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Actually I researched and knew about the custom air. We went to the TA just to discuss river cruising and ended up booking, LOL. (decent room and location) We just hadn't decided whether or not custom air was for us. Normally, I do my own booking for everything but river cruising is new to us so I felt better having a TA on the first one.
#13
Austin, TX
52 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
On our two trips with Viking (both of which were excellent!) we used just their regular air arrangements and both times we had very good itineraries perfectly acceptable to us. We do not live in a hub city and both times we had similar or the same flights we would have chosen on our own. However, in our case we do not have any loyalty to a certain airline nor do we have the option of using "points." We were told by Viking that up 'til 90 days before departure we could either make our own arrangements or opt for their custom air. I continued to check airfares on my own and never found a lower price, so the bottom line we have been very happy with Viking's air arrangements--and with Viking overall!
#15
372 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by SfromATX
We were told by Viking that up 'til 90 days before departure we could either make our own arrangements or opt for their custom air.
Interesting. I was told by Viking if we do not buy their air when we book the cruise we can't add it later. But if we have it from the initial booking we can always cancel it later at any time but can't do a price adjustment. It looks like when their sales reps need to sell something they are ready to tell anything...
#16
Florida
8 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by Peregrina651
The other reason that I choose to pay the custom air fee and have some say in the flights is because I don't want to arrive at dinner time or after on day one of the trip and I don't want to have to leave my house, or even worse the ship/hotel, before dawn to catch a flight. That alone is worth the hundred bucks!

I always do my research before talking to my TA and then let her figure out from there.


.
I agree that we're taking a chance with the scheduling using Vikings standard air. After doing some research I found most of the flights leaving from our local airport get in early in the morning.
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Dewarsduo
#17
Florida
8 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by mathladyca
Interesting that so many people found Viking air cheaper. I had the opposite experience. I saved over $400 by booking my own air.
I've been checking air prices for the last few weeks and so far all the pricing from our airport has been higher. However, our trip isn't untill November and maybe the closer we get to the date of departure we may be able to find a better fare.
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Dewarsduo
#18
Florida
8 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by SfromATX
On our two trips with Viking (both of which were excellent!) we used just their regular air arrangements and both times we had very good itineraries perfectly acceptable to us. We do not live in a hub city and both times we had similar or the same flights we would have chosen on our own. However, in our case we do not have any loyalty to a certain airline nor do we have the option of using "points." We were told by Viking that up 'til 90 days before departure we could either make our own arrangements or opt for their custom air. I continued to check airfares on my own and never found a lower price, so the bottom line we have been very happy with Viking's air arrangements--and with Viking overall!
I feel that if Viking wants to keep you as a long time customer they will do their best to keep you happy. So far everyone I've spoken to about Viking has had a positive experience with them.
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Dewarsduo
#19
Florida
8 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by jiminyC_fan
It's always hard to make those decisions. We made the decision johnny on the spot sitting with our TA. We'll see if it works out for us. See you there!
This our first river cruise and I hope we have a great experience. See you in Amsterdam
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Dewarsduo
#20
Cincinnati. OH-Go Reds
5,620 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
How much is custom air? Is it based on the price of a ticket? Thanks.
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