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Travelcat2

Regent Flights - with and without deviation

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On 3/1/2019 at 3:36 AM, Flgreg said:

Thanks SWFLAOK. We were told by Regent we won't get flight details until 75 days prior to departure.  I think we'll just keep checking or consider a deviation.

If you are thinking about deviating, i recommend you do it sooner rather than later. As TC mentioned, there will be a limited number of seats on a flight and if it is one that you might want you may be out of luck. If you wait until too close to the day they release your flights there may not be any options available for deviating as there may not be much left. 

Though we haven't sailed a lot with Regent we have deviated every time mostly because we almost always add time at the beginning and/or end of the cruise. This time we deviated not because we are adding extra time but because we want some control over who we fly with and where we have to change planes. After our november flight experience i will not willingly transit through Frankfurt unless there is absolutely no choice. 

When thinking about deviating it is important to remember you do not pay the fee unless you accept the deviation choices. If you( with your TA's approval)or your TA contact Regent and the flights they offer work for you without deviating you can just turn down the deviation and take the chance that what they offered you is what you will get when they send the flight info to you at 75 days. 

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I agree, deviate early. A “trust but verify” philosophy also comes in handy. I think it’s a good idea to monitor your reservation from time to time on the airline’s web site. 

 

We deviated at 270 days for our upcoming Barcelona to Venice cruise and got the flights we wanted. As soon as the reservations were confirmed I went to the web and selected our seats. Every few weeks thereafter I would go back to the airlines’ web sites and check the status of the reservations. One day about three months before embarkation I did that and found that Air France had cancelled our CDG-SFO flight, and replaced it with a pretty terrible alternative. I did not receive any notification of the change. 

 

Once I knew about the problem I was able to contact my TA who worked with Regent to get me a better flight home. Of the available options my preferred flights did not have any contracted seats left but Regent did offer something better than the original rescheduled itinerary. 

 

I don’t know if the airline or Regent would have eventually gotten around to notifying me of the change but I feel like my paranoia paid off this time. 

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7 minutes ago, jeb_bud said:

I agree, deviate early. A “trust but verify” philosophy also comes in handy. I think it’s a good idea to monitor your reservation from time to time on the airline’s web site. 

 

We deviated at 270 days for our upcoming Barcelona to Venice cruise and got the flights we wanted. As soon as the reservations were confirmed I went to the web and selected our seats. Every few weeks thereafter I would go back to the airlines’ web sites and check the status of the reservations. One day about three months before embarkation I did that and found that Air France had cancelled our CDG-SFO flight, and replaced it with a pretty terrible alternative. I did not receive any notification of the change. 

 

Once I knew about the problem I was able to contact my TA who worked with Regent to get me a better flight home. Of the available options my preferred flights did not have any contracted seats left but Regent did offer something better than the original rescheduled itinerary. 

 

I don’t know if the airline or Regent would have eventually gotten around to notifying me of the change but I feel like my paranoia paid off this time. 

Couldn't agree more about periodically checking your flight schedule for changes.  Most airlines are bad about notifications especially insignificant changes.  The good thing is that most airlines will allow you to change at no charge an airline flight change, even a 5 minute change.  

 

Had a connection in Denver and saw that my fight to Denver had changed by about 10 minutes without affecting the connection and then I saw what was then a Dreamliner on the schedule that would connect with my on going flight.  Contacted the airline and asked to be changed to the Dreamliner without additional charge.  Agent said the change was only 10 minutes  and I responded yes but, it is a change and I am entitled to change my flights at no charge because of any schedule change.  No problem got changed to the Dreamliner and enjoyed the flight.

 

Probably could have contacted Air France directly to fix things.  Just something else to consider.

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I doubt if contacting Air France would have helped in my case. We wound up changing airlines and now we are flying on Lufthansa. Hopefully 2:25 is enough time to make the connection in Frankfurt. I haven’t flown on an A380 before so I’m looking forward to that. 

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Thanks for all the information. Will definitely discuss with our TA. I'm assuming with deviation all ground transfers are still included?

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23 minutes ago, Flgreg said:

Thanks for all the information. Will definitely discuss with our TA. I'm assuming with deviation all ground transfers are still included?

Pretty sure you lose ground transfers except possibly if you don't deviate on one of the two directions or possibly if you arrive and/or depart on the regular arrival departure day .  Others may have had different experiences however, there have been reports that you are on your own for transfers when you don't arrive if not deviating.

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if you just deviate to choose your own flight times or location of departure or airline you get ground transfers as long as it is the same days. If you come in a previous day or leave a later day you don't get transfers. Can confirm this as we did the airport and airline preference deviations but were on the same day going and got transfer. but left a day later and did not get transfer.

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Agree with Sharle on this one.

 

In terms of airline notifications and contacting them, we have no issues at all.  On some airlines that Regent is contracted with, for instance, you need to contact the airline rather than Regent to get the seats that you prefer.  Other contracted airlines (British Airways  as an example) allow you to change seats as much as you want. 

 

Once you have you Reference/Booking I.D. number, we find it easier to deal with directly with the airline.

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Thanks for all the info. We had our TA contact Regent's air desk. They gave us some options. Since we have the pre cruise hotel night due to cabin category we arrive the day before embarkation.  We decided to stay one night after the cruse. Regent is stating very clearly that this is not a deviation, it is custom air.

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5 minutes ago, Flgreg said:

Thanks for all the info. We had our TA contact Regent's air desk. They gave us some options. Since we have the pre cruise hotel night due to cabin category we arrive the day before embarkation.  We decided to stay one night after the cruse. Regent is stating very clearly that this is not a deviation, it is custom air.

Interesting termanology.  Haven't heard of custom air before and wondering if you picked your preferred flights for the day early and day late plus was there a custom air charge or flight upcharge or any other extra charge.

 

Sure many others would like further information to this seemingly new type of choosing your flights.

 

Thanks,

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We are waiting for TA to provide confirmation and will update then.

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TA is telling us the only additional charge is $175 each and we will not have a ground transfer back to the airport "due to the deviation". I'm asking for an update on balance due so I can be certain.  Regent won't provide that info to me since a TA made the booking.

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12 minutes ago, Flgreg said:

TA is telling us the only additional charge is $175 each and we will not have a ground transfer back to the airport "due to the deviation". I'm asking for an update on balance due so I can be certain.  Regent won't provide that info to me since a TA made the booking.

Thanks for the info Flgreg.  Sounds like someone is playing games with deviation vs. Custom Air.  The $175 pp is the usual deviation charge whether you deviate one way or both ways and while you keep your transfer for the pre-cruise nite, you do lose the transfer for the post cruise extra nite on your own.

 

Regent will provide the information as part of your updated invoice but, as you stated only thru your TA.  Just wondering why the use of Custom Air when it is a straight forward deviation on the disembarkation???

 

Thanks for the info, nothing new really.

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As mentioned on an earlier thread (on this or the previous page), “Custom Air” / Deviation and airplane contracts change more than just about anything else on Regent (by necessity).  Sorry that I (or FlyerTalk) have not responded.  In my case, we are Explorer which keeps us quite busy.  Unless you sail Regent frequently, the rules can be confusing (even when you sail as much as we do it can be confusing but we have a top. Regent TA which helps a lot.)

 

Flgreg - Hope that you have a good TA (one that has booked and sailed on Regent).  Your TA can give you your invoice immediately — no waiting necessary.  Or, if your TA call Regent, they can give permission for you to speak with them directly.

 

Your TA is correct that you will not have a transfer after the cruise due to your decision to stay an extra night.  Depending upon the city, it should be easy to take a taxi or  local transportation (we get included transfers all the time but typically take a taxi to othe ship in order to arrive before bus loads of passengers.

 

 

 

 

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Our TA obtained the updated invoice. It states the $175 fee is a "Custom Air" fee. No additional charge over that and we consider ourselves fortunate. We're on Delta/Air France all the way, all flights leaving and returning. We're also in business class on the domestic legs as well as international. 

 

We've triple checked with both Regent and American Express and feel the $175 per person fee is definitely worth it.

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22 hours ago, rallydave said:

Interesting termanology.  Haven't heard of custom air before and wondering if you picked your preferred flights for the day early and day late plus was there a custom air charge or flight upcharge or any other extra charge.

 

Sure many others would like further information to this seemingly new type of choosing your flights.

 

Thanks,

 

I think maybe someone at Regent decided it would be better to call us customizers than deviants. 

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4 hours ago, jeb_bud said:

 

I think maybe someone at Regent decided it would be better to call us customizers than deviants. 

I don't really care what they call me as long as I get the flights I want!

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Has anyone been able to book with Turkish Air with Regent?  I'm researching options for flights from LA to Tel Aviv, and Athens back to LA for next spring.  I always try to get an international carrier with direct flights between Europe and LA.  We've done Air France to CDG and Lufthansa to FRA.  I'm looking for more convenient departure and arrival times, and Turkish Air looks promising.

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9 hours ago, Me&Red said:

Has anyone been able to book with Turkish Air with Regent?  I'm researching options for flights from LA to Tel Aviv, and Athens back to LA for next spring.  I always try to get an international carrier with direct flights between Europe and LA.  We've done Air France to CDG and Lufthansa to FRA.  I'm looking for more convenient departure and arrival times, and Turkish Air looks promising.

 

I know that Regent has used Turkish Air on some routes in the past as there have been positive reviews from passengers.  Assume that you will be deviating. I always  recommend having at least two choices to present to Regent through your TA and you can make this your first choice.  

 

 

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Turkish Airlines is very good.  Go to YouTube and google Turkish Airlines busines Class for videos.

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5 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

I know that Regent has used Turkish Air on some routes in the past as there have been positive reviews from passengers.  Assume that you will be deviating. I always  recommend having at least two choices to present to Regent through your TA and you can make this your first choice.  

 

 

We will definitely be deviating  (or, as I prefer- customizing); we’ve done so with our previous Regent cruise, and with great results. 

 

I’m hoping to fly nonstop SFO-TLV on United’s Polaris, and return on Turkish Air. I’ll find out if this works come August. 

 

And thanks, Travelcat2, for the link to the date calculator. It’s now marked on my calendar. 

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9 minutes ago, Me&Red said:

We will definitely be deviating  (or, as I prefer- customizing); we’ve done so with our previous Regent cruise, and with great results. 

 

I’m hoping to fly nonstop SFO-TLV on United’s Polaris, and return on Turkish Air. I’ll find out if this works come August. 

 

And thanks, Travelcat2, for the link to the date calculator. It’s now marked on my calendar. 

Just a small suggestion.  If you have United miles, Turkish is a Star Alliance partner of United and even when there seem to not be any low miles free business seats, seems Turkish is often available and if so you can take a credit for your flight home and use miles on Turkish.  Just have to check on the United site at the 330 day mark and book the return and then at the 270 day mark have your TA deviate for the flight to TLV and get the credit for the return.

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4 hours ago, rallydave said:

Just a small suggestion.  If you have United miles, Turkish is a Star Alliance partner of United and even when there seem to not be any low miles free business seats, seems Turkish is often available and if so you can take a credit for your flight home and use miles on Turkish.  Just have to check on the United site at the 330 day mark and book the return and then at the 270 day mark have your TA deviate for the flight to TLV and get the credit for the return.

Great idea - thanks!

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On 3/6/2019 at 10:33 AM, Flgreg said:

Thanks for all the info. We had our TA contact Regent's air desk. They gave us some options. Since we have the pre cruise hotel night due to cabin category we arrive the day before embarkation.  We decided to stay one night after the cruse. Regent is stating very clearly that this is not a deviation, it is custom air.

Can someone clarify what "air deviation" means?  Deviation from what?  While we're at it, how is "custom air" defined?

 

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Posted (edited)

"Custom Air" and Air Deviation are basically the same thing.  As you know, Regent includes International Business Class Air and, within the U.S., Coach flights.  Regent does not book your air until approximately 90 days prior to your cruise.  You end up having to take whatever Regent assigns you.

 

When you "deviate" your air, you can ask Regent to book specific flights (as long as they are contracted with Regent) 270 days prior to the cruise.  The cost is $175/person.  This obviously gives you more choices and you can select the flights that will get you to your destination in the easiest way possible.  When you are spending thousands of dollars on a cruise, deviating makes sense.

 

Regent has contracts with most airlines (American, United, Delta, Lufthansa, British Airways, Lufthansa, Cathay Pacific, etc.) but their contact is only for certain flights and for a limited number of seats.  Therefore, if you deviate, you are more likely to get the flights that you want.

 

Then there is U.S. based airlines vs. international airlines.  I'm not sure where you live but assume that it is in the U.S.  If you deviate or are assigned American Airlines, for example, you will likely be routed to have a stop somewhere in the U.S. (Dallas) before you go overseas.  The domestic flight will likely be coach (unless you are lucky and are flying American Airlines domestically and internationally and then they may allow you to be in First Class....... but I wouldn't count on it).

 

We live in Washington state and fly out of Vancouver.  We almost always deviate and avoid any stops in the U.S. since we want Business Class Air all the way to our destination.  When we approach the 270 day mark, we send our TA (travel agent) our first and second choices of air.  They work with Regent and 90% of the time we get our first choice.  The flights that we select likely will not be available 90 days prior to the cruise so, again, it is worth the money

 

Then there is another thing to think about.  For passengers that are not in Concierge or above suites, your "included" air is for the day of embarkation.  For most ports, this is risky.  What happens if your plane is late and you miss the ship.  So, passengers decide to deviate so that they can spend the night at a hotel and insure that they will be there in time to embark.

 

This is a rather complicated subject and contracts do change but we have been fortunate when we deviate.  

 

You are new to Cruise Critic (welcome!) and may not have read that it is important to book a Regent cruise with a TA that regularly books Regent.  People may have a favorite TA or even a friend or relative that is a TA.  No matter how good they are, if they do not book Regent cruises (or have not taken a Regent cruise), they not not be able to give you the assistance that you need.  Many luxury cruise TA's give a rebate on your cruise and who does not want to save money?  More importantly, they can give you information that other TA's are clueless about.

 

Hope that this helps!

 

 

Edited by Travelcat2

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