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Not yet willing to call and wait on the phone for what may or may not be correct answers, so here are a few that maybe someone has actual experience with. We are flying internationally into one city and out of another. Cheapest option is to break the flight into two 1-way segments.

  • Prices on the way home are really good right now. If we book just the return flights online with ChoiceAir, can we come back later and buy the flights down, or will they prevent us from booking if we've already purchased?
  • Some flights say "refundable with fees". Anyone know for sure if these flights indicate the booking is not actually made with the airline, meaning no advance seat assignments are possible? (And if I call and ask, will they even know enough to be able to confirm one way or another?)
  • Anyone have any experience booking an extra seat for 1 person, or rather, booking 3 seats for 2 people and sharing a 3-seat row? You'd have to call to do this, but anyone done it with ChoiceAir before?

thanks.

don

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See Answers below:

 

Not yet willing to call and wait on the phone for what may or may not be correct answers, so here are a few that maybe someone has actual experience with. We are flying internationally into one city and out of another. Cheapest option is to break the flight into two 1-way segments.

  • Prices on the way home are really good right now. If we book just the return flights online with ChoiceAir, can we come back later and buy the flights down, or will they prevent us from booking if we've already purchased?

Yes you can book the flights at different times. Keep in mind that if you are purchasing the insurance from Celebrity, you will want to purchase that just before purchasing your flights if you haven't already done so. That way, the cost of the air will also be covered under the reservation without incurring any additional fees for the insurance (provided you cancel due to a medical reason or death).

  • Some flights say "refundable with fees". Anyone know for sure if these flights indicate the booking is not actually made with the airline, meaning no advance seat assignments are possible? (And if I call and ask, will they even know enough to be able to confirm one way or another?)

Not sure about the fees but I have reserved refundable flights before through one of the cruiseline air programs and was able to also book my seats. The seats will have to be reserved through the airline itself, though. Choice Air will not book the seats for you or allow you to do it on their website.

  • Anyone have any experience booking an extra seat for 1 person, or rather, booking 3 seats for 2 people and sharing a 3-seat row? You'd have to call to do this, but anyone done it with ChoiceAir before?

I have booked an extra seat before through Choice Air ... just as you are describing. It was really a hassle for them to get it done but they finally were able to do it. And yes, you have to call in to do this. Keep asking to talk to the next level up if the first person(s) can't figure out how to do it. It did take some patience but like I said, they finally got it done.

 

 

thanks.

don

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Choice Air is now a renewed interest for me. We have an upcoming cruise in May 2019. Planning to fly from Canada to Rome and return to Canada via Venice. Our cruise has been booked for a while now.

 

I was planning to book the airfare via a traveller reward program; however, the airline is putting an end with its frequent traveller program in 2020. Meanwhile, for a trip that is normally, 8 to 12 hours, the only offered flight connections via the program, would be a trek of 35 to 40 hours....

 

I am planning to keep watching the offer on the program for a while ( no info is available, regarding future or upcoming seat availability).

 

This said, what is the best time frame to book flights via Choice air in relation to the departure date?

 

Thank you for sharing your experiences!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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This said, what is the best time frame to book flights via Choice air in relation to the departure date?

 

Thank you for sharing your experiences!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

International air might be a little different ... but for domestic flights, if it is cheaper on the airline's website, that should be the price reflected on Choice Air as well. Some sites recommend to book 54-62 days prior to the flight. We sometimes find the airfare cheaper when it's first released but other times, have booked early and it goes down later. You know, unless you purchased the refundable airfare, there's not a lot they will do for you if you book early and it goes down later on down the road. You can use one of those sites that tells you to wait or book now depending on past records. But, to put a date to it, it's just a guessing game for the most part.

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I was planning to book the airfare via a traveller reward program; however, the airline is putting an end with its frequent traveller program in 2020. Meanwhile, for a trip that is normally, 8 to 12 hours, the only offered flight connections via the program, would be a trek of 35 to 40 hours....

 

I am planning to keep watching the offer on the program for a while ( no info is available, regarding future or upcoming seat availability).

 

If I'm reading between the lines correctly in guessing your frequent flyer program, I too have noticed that it's harder to find availability since the termination of the partnership was announced.

 

However, from past experience, I have found that booking 1 year out doesn't always mean better availability, since not all partner airline itineraries have been released.... (plus the main airline AC can always make more seats available to the frequent flyer program.)

 

You may have luck with better routing in the coming weeks.

 

Apologies - I realize this doesn't answer any of your questions about Choice Air, but I wanted to share my experience with the frequent flyer program.

 

Best of luck finding good air itineraries!

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We have an upcoming cruise in May 2019.

 

I was planning to book the airfare via a traveller reward program.... the only offered flight connections via the program, would be a trek of 35 to 40 hours....

 

 

I don't know what reward site you are using to check possible itineraries, but airlines generally only offer reservations 11 months in advance, so whatever you are seeing for May 2019 likely isn't accurate. April 22, 2019, give or take a day or two, is the earliest date for which an airline would actually have a ticket/pricing available.

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Went ahead and called ChoiceAir. No waiting, and the person I talked to seemed to know all the answers (she understood my questions and had an answer).

 

  • You can book one way flights online, but as soon as you book only half the itinerary, then when you're ready to book the other half you have to call them to do that.
  • I was told that for every flight booked, they immediately give you the record locator number and you can then go to the airline website to book seats (if the airline lets you do that). Some have suggested they have consolidator tickets that can't be reserved, but that didn't sound to be the case. Their refundable with fees tickets can be refunded up to 2 days before you travel.
  • They can book 3 seats together but have to call to do it (no way to do online), which I expected. Again, the person I had talked to wasn't surprised at all about the request and knew it could be done.

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We're booked for September, 2019, starting in Amsterdam and ending in Barcelona. Obviously we can't book airfare for that cruise yet. But last night I found the same cruise for 2018 in August. Just to get a feel for things I first checked Expedia and found the average price for the two of us to be around $3,200 - not terrible since we were guesstimating $4,000.

 

Then I used the August dates to search on Choice Air (Flights by Celebrity). This resulted in a couple of dozen options and averaged about 1/2 the Expedia prices. Sounds great on the surface. But I don't think the CA price includes taxes and fees. Also, they were all non-refundable. On the upside, the CA flights all had only one stop on the way to Amsterdam. Returning from Barcelona even had several non-stop flights - a little more, of course, but still well below Expedia.

 

Again, it's way too early for our real flights but it's not a bad exercise for budgeting purposes. In the meantime I'll have time to do a little more research and maybe lose a little weight to fit into those 17 inch wide airline seats.

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I called Choice Air in March for my June cruise. The lady i talked to was great to work with. I had done a bit of research before i called and knew what flight I wanted. I was going to suggest you call. The only problem I had was with what showed up on the Celebrity website but a call and email later it was fixed. I think the website was in the middle of some repairs. I am flying Delta and Choice Air got me a better price. I am flying into Dublin and flying out of Amsterdam. On Delta's website they did not show any premium economy seats. I am glad i called. I should have asked about the first class seats but i'm sure they were still too high. They are all full now.

 

thanks for asking the questions. good luck with your second flight.

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This is not answering your question but may make you aware of possible problems. We booked the Silhouette TA last month. We booked ChoiceAir from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale and the agent convinced us it would be OK to fly in on the day of the cruise. We typically go a day early, but he assured us that if we didn't make FLL they would fly us to Bermuda and accommodate us until the ship arrived. Our flight was scheduled to get in at 10:30am on the Sunday so we figured that with April weather it should be fine.

 

On Wednesday evening forecasters started predicting an ice storm for Saturday evening. On Friday they were talking about airport closures and cancelled flights. We phoned ChoiceAir and eventually got through to them about noon. They said they could get us on a flight at 4:30 that day. We couldn't make that - finish packing, over an hour to reach the airport, park the car etc.

 

Next offer was 7 am next morning. We said that was fine. They would phone us back with confirmation and details. 3pm, no phone call. We called them and were told someone would call us right back. Another hour, no call. We called twice more and were eventually told that they couldn't do anything for us because our flight hadn't actually been cancelled.

 

We called Air Canada and they immediately put us on the 7am flight on Saturday at no extra charge because a weather alert had been issued. We had to pay for our own hotel for the night, but we were happy to do that to be sure of getting to the cruise.

 

Choice Air gave us nothing but frustration. If they had told us they could do nothing for us when we first called we would have been unhappy, but wasting all day waiting for phone calls and getting different answers was ridiculous.

 

We learned three lessons:

1. never fly in on the day of the cruise

2. never trust Canadian weather.

3. never use ChoiceAir.

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Then I used the August dates to search on Choice Air (Flights by Celebrity). This resulted in a couple of dozen options and averaged about 1/2 the Expedia prices. Sounds great on the surface. But I don't think the CA price includes taxes and fees. Also, they were all non-refundable. On the upside, the CA flights all had only one stop on the way to Amsterdam. Returning from Barcelona even had several non-stop flights - a little more, of course, but still well below Expedia.

 

Choice Air quoted prices DO include taxes and fees. Click on the price link in the results "table" and it will show you the breakdown. Only extra fees (paid via airline's website) are if there is a fee to book a seat in advance and for luggage beyond any included.

 

I've used CA particularly for one way from Europe home and couldn't find a comparable price anywhere. As another noted, domestic flights in the US can be found cheaper on some airline sites directly. But not always - so check it out!

 

Joe

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Choice Air quoted prices DO include taxes and fees. Click on the price link in the results "table" and it will show you the breakdown. Only extra fees (paid via airline's website) are if there is a fee to book a seat in advance and for luggage beyond any included.

 

I've used CA particularly for one way from Europe home and couldn't find a comparable price anywhere. As another noted, domestic flights in the US can be found cheaper on some airline sites directly. But not always - so check it out!

 

Joe

 

Now that brings up a question I had only just begun considering. Just when/how are seat selections made in the CA scenario? I recall seeing something a while back that you booked the flight through CA but had to go to the airline site for seating - that seems a little awkward.

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Now that brings up a question I had only just begun considering. Just when/how are seat selections made in the CA scenario? I recall seeing something a while back that you booked the flight through CA but had to go to the airline site for seating - that seems a little awkward.

 

it's awkward, but it's exactly what you would do if you booked the ticket with any other internet travel agency. If you want full service, that's why local TA's exist who will get you seats, book a taxi, book a hotel, etc.

 

Or book on the airline sites directly...but be prepared to pay more for the same seats....for example....We booked a flight from Tampa to amsterdam on American...but we saved $200 by buying the ticket from finnair which has a code share on exactly the same flights. You won't find that on the American site....it's actually pretty hard to find the code share savings but it can be done using the air fare search engines. Note: Finnair was less expensive than choice air on the same flights.

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Now that brings up a question I had only just begun considering. Just when/how are seat selections made in the CA scenario? I recall seeing something a while back that you booked the flight through CA but had to go to the airline site for seating - that seems a little awkward.

 

Depends on the airline. But in most cases, nearly instantaneous. As soon as you have your tracking ID, you can go to the airline site and pick your seats.

 

As for me...this isn't awkward at all. I WANT to pick my own seats. I also check them regularly to ensure they are still assigned to me. Bad seats can make a long flight unbearable! www.seatguru.com is a great site to help in seat selection.

 

Joe

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Depends on the airline. But in most cases, nearly instantaneous. As soon as you have your tracking ID, you can go to the airline site and pick your seats.

 

As for me...this isn't awkward at all. I WANT to pick my own seats. I also check them regularly to ensure they are still assigned to me. Bad seats can make a long flight unbearable! www.seatguru.com is a great site to help in seat selection.

 

Joe

 

We're almost as picky with airline seats as with cabin locations. In the case of CA I just wasn't clear on the logistics. Now I am - thanks. :)

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We're almost as picky with airline seats as with cabin locations. In the case of CA I just wasn't clear on the logistics.

 

Besides price, seats are the second big consideration for us. I'm not yet willing to pay business class prices, but starting to be uncomfortable enough in economy unless I can control my seats. With the two of us traveling, one of us (me) has to sit in the middle seat with many aircraft configurations. Depending on the airline and the plane, there are sometimes rows of two seats on the side where I can get a window and my wife can be next to me in the aisle. Even in a 3-3-3 or 3-4-3 configuration there may be a few seats near the back of just 2 in a row.

 

A few cases where choosing seats may not be possible:

  • The airline doesn't do reserved seating, or you can't reserve seats until closer to flying
  • The flight is booked through two different airlines on a code share, and the main booking airline doesn't have the ability to reserve seats on the other airline
  • You are booked into a group fare where the flight isn't actually ticketed with your name. You can't reserve seats until tickets are purchased.

I was told by ChoiceAir that they will always give you the record locator number right after booking and this will let you choose seats as long as the airline allows it. In other words, it doesn't appear that they do the third type of ticketing anymore (although I suppose it may be possible).

 

 

With ChoiceAir, I research the flights, go to the airline website to make sure they have seats I want, book through ChoiceAir for the lowest cost, then after booking go immediately to the airline website with the record locator number and choose my seats. On our recent booking back to the US from Aukland, flights were half the cost of the airline website and we got the seats we wanted.

 

 

On price, I'm looking at flights to Sydney now that are $700-900 cheaper through ChoiceAir. With the lower pricing, I'm even considering Premium Economy which are lower on ChoiceAir than the regular economy pricing direct with the airline.

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I called Choice Air in March for my June cruise..... I am flying Delta and Choice Air got me a better price. I am flying into Dublin and flying out of Amsterdam. On Delta's website they did not show any premium economy seats. I am glad i called.

 

Are you sure you booked in premium economy? Because Delta doesn't currently offer premium economy on flights to Dublin, and they only offer it on AMS flights that go in/out of Detroit, not Atlanta or JFK. Sounds likely that what you actually got was Delta's Comfort Plus seating, which is NOT premium economy; it is just regular economy with a few extra inches of legroom. True premium economy, which Delta titles "premium select," is a completely different cabin class, with an an entirely different seat (wider, more recline, leg rest) than economy, as well as better in-flight amenities.

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Now that brings up a question I had only just begun considering. Just when/how are seat selections made in the CA scenario? I recall seeing something a while back that you booked the flight through CA but had to go to the airline site for seating - that seems a little awkward.

 

 

I learned my lesson with this. We booked our flight with CA and they said we had to get our seat selection thru American Airlines. I call AA but because the airline we are taking to Rome from the states is only affiliated with them we could only do it online. Our seats they had automatically reserved had my husband and myself sitting away from each other. I went online and it was an additional 375$ just to have our seatx next to each other. I called CA because we were not aware this was considered an "upgrade" and they did nothing. Lesson learned lol. I was mad because there was no compassion or assistance in getting our seats changed. I told them I will never book with them again. Yes the flights are cheaper......but in someways it comes back to bite you.

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We used Choice Air to go from Chicago to Aukland, It was an unusually long flight with a stop in Hong Kong. We were flying over Canada and the North Pole. To say that we arrived in Hong Kong with time to spare is a real understatement, We had to practically run through an unfamiliar airport with very few English signs. We took only a few minutes to go to the washroom. When we arrived at our gate they were already boarding. So I just want you to know the flight plans and how long you will be in the air. Our flights back to Chicago was non stop and only about 10 hours. I'd never do this trip again unless I stopped for a few days in Hawaii.

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I learned my lesson with this. We booked our flight with CA and they said we had to get our seat selection thru American Airlines. I call AA but because the airline we are taking to Rome from the states is only affiliated with them we could only do it online. Our seats they had automatically reserved had my husband and myself sitting away from each other. I went online and it was an additional 375$ just to have our seatx next to each other. I called CA because we were not aware this was considered an "upgrade" and they did nothing. Lesson learned lol. I was mad because there was no compassion or assistance in getting our seats changed. I told them I will never book with them again. Yes the flights are cheaper......but in someways it comes back to bite you.

 

Wow, thank you for this information. I would not have realized that simply changing automatically reserved seats in the same section would be considered such an expensive upgrade.

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I learned my lesson with this. We booked our flight with CA and they said we had to get our seat selection thru American Airlines. I call AA but because the airline we are taking to Rome from the states is only affiliated with them we could only do it online. Our seats they had automatically reserved had my husband and myself sitting away from each other. I went online and it was an additional 375$ just to have our seatx next to each other. I called CA because we were not aware this was considered an "upgrade" and they did nothing. Lesson learned lol. I was mad because there was no compassion or assistance in getting our seats changed. I told them I will never book with them again. Yes the flights are cheaper......but in someways it comes back to bite you.

 

If you have not already taken your flight, you might want to call the actual airline that is operating your flight. You have stated that it is not AA. If it is BA you are out of luck and it has nothing to do with CA.

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I learned my lesson with this. We booked our flight with CA and they said we had to get our seat selection thru American Airlines. I call AA but because the airline we are taking to Rome from the states is only affiliated with them we could only do it online. Our seats they had automatically reserved had my husband and myself sitting away from each other. I went online and it was an additional 375$ just to have our seatx next to each other. I called CA because we were not aware this was considered an "upgrade" and they did nothing. Lesson learned lol. I was mad because there was no compassion or assistance in getting our seats changed. I told them I will never book with them again. Yes the flights are cheaper......but in someways it comes back to bite you.

 

What was the $ savings of booking with CA vs airline direct or other source?

 

It is not clear, to me, if the auto selected seats were done by CA, AA or another airline? If not by CA, how are they culpable for the seat selection or lack thereof?

 

bon voyage

Edited by Bo1953
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I learned my lesson with this. We booked our flight with CA and they said we had to get our seat selection thru American Airlines. I call AA but because the airline we are taking to Rome from the states is only affiliated with them we could only do it online. Our seats they had automatically reserved had my husband and myself sitting away from each other. I went online and it was an additional 375$ just to have our seatx next to each other. I called CA because we were not aware this was considered an "upgrade" and they did nothing. Lesson learned lol. I was mad because there was no compassion or assistance in getting our seats changed. I told them I will never book with them again. Yes the flights are cheaper......but in someways it comes back to bite you.

 

To be honest, I snore - loudly. My wife would be happy to have me 10 rows back on the other side of the plane. She may not want me next to her on a transatlantic flight. :)

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I called CA yesterday to find out what class of seating was involved in a particular flight. The airline offers basic economy (no early seat assignments) and a main cabin class. They did not know which one they were selling and for me to call the airline directly. I could not believe that. There is nothing in the description that would give me a hint as to which class is being offered.

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