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txstephie

Flight ease?

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I am looking at a 10 day Mediterranean cruise next year and my concern is air fare. my TA said to plan on at least $1000.00 per person for airfare and for my dates I have priced out $1400.00 per person. Is there anyway to look at flight ease without having a booking number? I will be on the NA next month, will they have access to flight info? I’ve never flown over seas so just trying to figure this all out. Thanks in advance!

Steph

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We have used Flight ease twice. Both times I called HAL and spoke to a customer service person. Both times I got very good prices through Flight ease - much cheaper than anything I could find on-line myself. I was able to pick the airline and flight I wanted.

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It has been my experience using Flight Ease in order to obtain a firm air price, one needs a booking number. Sometimes, an approximation of the price can be obtained without a firm reservation.

 

Requesting specific flights on specific dates without a booking number, again, my experience: one of my two requested flights was available. With a booking number, both of my flights suddenly became available.

.

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We just booked flights to Amsterdam for next summer. The price was over $1000 less pp than what I found on my own. Great deal!!!

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Once you book with flight ease, are you able to upgrade with miles?

Typically no, as mileage upgrades are only usually permitted from specific "fare buckets" that the flight ease system does not support. These are usually fully refundable "full fare" type (Y, B, M are the letter codes most often seen). The HAL "Flex Fares" are NOT in those fare buckets typically. Even the discounted fares booked direct with the airlines are often not able to upgrade with miles.

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We have used Flight ease twice. Both times I called HAL and spoke to a customer service person. Both times I got very good prices through Flight ease - much cheaper than anything I could find on-line myself. I was able to pick the airline and flight I wanted.

Same here....three times!

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Flight Ease is great for 2 specific reasons.

First, if you need a one-way or open-jaw international, you get much better pricing than you would on your own.

Second, domestic or international, when you book with Flight Ease, your fare is paid at the same time as your cruise final payment. If you have a regular, refundable fare with the cruise, you can cancel the cruise and air together, if something comes up, and you lose no money. If you book your air on your own, and you need to change or cancel, you get hit with change fees, and lost money on the air cancellation.

Also, when you or your PCC or TA books your flights with Flight Ease, you get an airline record locator. You then log into the airline and you can choose or change your seat assignments and add your airline FF number. You check-in and print your airline boarding passes from the airline's website, not HAL's.

No, you cannot use miles to upgrade to a higher class or purchase the initial flights.

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I have made my first air booking on Flight Ease, but I have used the flight programs for Celebrity and RCCL previously. My experience is that I can save a lot of money for one way international flights, but not so much, if any, for round trip domestic or international flights. Also, the most savings, for me, came when I booked the air as soon as they became available.

 

But, with Celebrity and RCCL, you have to pay for the flight when you book it.

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I've always booked my own airfare independent of the cruiseline, but for our upcoming April Lisbon-to-Rome HAL cruise I haven't been finding good 1-stop fares yet (still around $1500).  I decided to check out HAL Flight Ease and wow, some good flights for around $800. 

 

Having never tried Fight Ease before, I've got a few questions...

 

1. I'm wondering what the chances are of the fare jumping up a lot before it needs to be paid for?  I don't want to book it only to find that $800 fare jumps to $1500 in January when the bill comes due.  How likely is it to change, and by a little or a lot?

 

2. If I like the fare now, can I just go ahead and pay for it now to lock it in?  Would HAL actually purchase the tickets then?

 

3. Can I do (economy) seat assignments (probably on Delta) when I book?  And do they usually stay intact (i.e. not at high risk of mysteriously getting changed somehow)?

 

4. When I book with Flight Ease without paying until it's due in January, can I just cancel that booking at no cost if I find a great independent airfare between now and then?

 

Thanks.

 

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2 minutes ago, dbsb3233 said:

I've always booked my own airfare independent of the cruiseline, but for our upcoming April Lisbon-to-Rome HAL cruise I haven't been finding good 1-stop fares yet (still around $1500).  I decided to check out HAL Flight Ease and wow, some good flights for around $800. 

 

Having never tried Fight Ease before, I've got a few questions...

 

1. I'm wondering what the chances are of the fare jumping up a lot before it needs to be paid for?  I don't want to book it only to find that $800 fare jumps to $1500 in January when the bill comes due.  How likely is it to change, and by a little or a lot?

 

I haven't heard of anyone reporting getting caught in fares going up.  My PCC said the same thing when I used flight ease and it was booked far out and the rate didn't change.

2 minutes ago, dbsb3233 said:

2. If I like the fare now, can I just go ahead and pay for it now to lock it in?  Would HAL actually purchase the tickets then?

 

My understanding (I asked the question) was that if you paid for the flight you had to also pay for the cruise and it wasn't recommended to me.  I am sure others can be of more help on this question.

 

2 minutes ago, dbsb3233 said:

 

3. Can I do (economy) seat assignments (probably on Delta) when I book?  And do they usually stay intact (i.e. not at high risk of mysteriously getting changed somehow)?

 

4. When I book with Flight Ease without paying until it's due in January, can I just cancel that booking at no cost if I find a great independent airfare between now and then?

 

Thanks.

 

 

Can't help with 3.

 

As to question 4 - yes you can cancel it at no cost.  I also asked this question before I booked 😉 

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I’ve booked my flight through Flight Ease because of the incredible price and route. When I talked to someone at HAL he explained that they received great rates due to the reciprocal relationship they have with the airlines. The rates could change as well as the flights (which could change if you booked on your own) but typically they don’t. If the prices changed for people they wouldn’t use Flight Ease. I was able to link my airline mileage account to my reservations and picked my seats upon booking. If I need to cancel before I make payment I don’t lose anything.

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Thanks everyone.  Almost sounds too good to be true, so I'm trying to figure out what I may be giving up vs booking independently like I normally do.  I hate not having control over flight choices, but it sounds like we can pick the exact flights we want and make seat assignments just like normal.  Almost no downside but a lot of upside.

 

The FE fares I'm seeing do appear to be the same range as the independent sale fares that pop up from time to time.  I have found the same $800-ish RT fares independently, but usually on 2-stop routes, or bad times, so I've been holding off waiting for better.  But FE has good ones for ~$800 (the same flights are still around $1500 independently).  Sound like they give us the "normal sale fare" at any time without having to play the game of checking daily for months until it finally appears.  Cool. 

 

Our cruise is booked through a TA (membership warehouse).  If I book the airfare on FE, does anyone know if that's a separate payment or does it simply add to your cruise price total (that would then automatically reflect in the TA total)?  That would be easier since we have 6 people (3 cabins) that need to be paid on 4 different credit cards.  The TA makes it easy for me to make multi-card final payment (unlike the airlines). 

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7 minutes ago, dbsb3233 said:

Thanks everyone.  Almost sounds too good to be true, so I'm trying to figure out what I may be giving up vs booking independently like I normally do.  I hate not having control over flight choices, but it sounds like we can pick the exact flights we want and make seat assignments just like normal.  Almost no downside but a lot of upside.

 

The FE fares I'm seeing do appear to be the same range as the independent sale fares that pop up from time to time.  I have found the same $800-ish RT fares independently, but usually on 2-stop routes, or bad times, so I've been holding off waiting for better.  But FE has good ones for ~$800 (the same flights are still around $1500 independently).  Sound like they give us the "normal sale fare" at any time without having to play the game of checking daily for months until it finally appears.  Cool. 

 

Our cruise is booked through a TA (membership warehouse).  If I book the airfare on FE, does anyone know if that's a separate payment or does it simply add to your cruise price total (that would then automatically reflect in the TA total)?  That would be easier since we have 6 people (3 cabins) that need to be paid on 4 different credit cards.  The TA makes it easy for me to make multi-card final payment (unlike the airlines). 

 

My flight ease was included in my cruise fare.  There's a break down on the confirmation showing it but the payment was all one (port taxes, cruise fare & flight ease).

 

Hope this helps.

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Thanks Kazu.  All sounds good, so I'll probably give it a try.

 

On a related note, I just noticed Delta is charging $60 checked bag fee for international flights now (basic economy fares).  Grrr.  Sounds like nearly all the major carriers are doing that now.  We just got back this week from European river cruise, and flew American with out bag fees, but that was booked before they changed their policy too.  Oh well.

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I just booked flights to Amsterdam for next summer with Flight Ease.   I had looked at what was available in Business/First and it appeared somewhat better than what I was seeing on the airline's site and other booking sites.   I asked my PCC to check for me and she came back with a price on the flight I wanted that was terrific.  That price never came up for me.   I'm fine letting her do it if the price will be better.

 

I did find that Delta will not let you upgrade what you have through Flight Ease, even if you're paying cash.   Delta considers HAL as the owner of the tickets and upgrades have to be done through them.   Last year, I was able to upgrade my seats from Economy to Economy Plus (or whatever they call it) on American and United.   American, however, would not let me choose seats until the ticket had been paid, which is 45 days out.  United did and Delta has allowed me to choose seats on my flight next summer.  

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Unless things have changed and I am corrected, you need a cruise booking number to use Flight Ease on the HAL web site.  A work-around is to check a similar cruise on the Princess or RCL web sites where you can check the flights and prices without a cruise booking number.

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3 hours ago, kazu said:

My understanding (I asked the question) was that if you paid for the flight you had to also pay for the cruise and it wasn't recommended to me.  I am sure others can be of more help on this question.

When I used Flight Ease for m last cruise, I wanted to pay for the flight immediately, although final payment fo the cruise wasn't due yet. I was able to.

Another advantage of Flight Ease, which hasn't been mentioned, is those who pay for their cruise/Flight Ease with the HAL Barclay card get the double points for the value of the flight. If you use the same card but book on your own, you only get single points (on a higher payment).
It's a really good trade-off, IMO.

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We booked business class (my first time so I’m excited) and the tickets were half of what I found through United directly. We can’t choose our seats on the Belgium-Copenhagen flight since that’s through a different airline.

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22 minutes ago, RuthC said:

When I used Flight Ease for m last cruise, I wanted to pay for the flight immediately, although final payment fo the cruise wasn't due yet. I was able to.

Another advantage of Flight Ease, which hasn't been mentioned, is those who pay for their cruise/Flight Ease with the HAL Barclay card get the double points for the value of the flight. If you use the same card but book on your own, you only get single points (on a higher payment).
It's a really good trade-off, IMO.

 

Thanks Ruth.  I booked mine last year so I don't know if that made a difference or not or, perhaps my PCC wasn't aware that it could be done?

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Flight Ease saved us a lot of money on our 2nd trip to Europe.  We paid no extra fees for baggage, as we booked with the airline's credit card.  The cruise was paid for with HA credit card at final payment. 

 

First time we went to Europe we didn't know about Flight Ease, and no one mentioned it to us.  Second time, we knew from all of you here at CC that Flight Ease existed, and we asked for it!  

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Now I'm a little confused on the various fare types.  When I select "Economy" on FlightEase, how does that translate to each airlines newer fare classes?  For instance, on United, does FlightEase Economy translate to Basic Economy or Standard Economy?

 

And on Delta does it translate to Basic Economy or Main Cabin?

 

Basic Economy tickets are the newer no-frills tickets both started about a year ago to compete with ultra low-cost carriers, and don't include advanced seat assignments, free 1st checked bag ion international flights, etc. 

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I just booked an international on Delta today and it was Economy Main Cabin, not Basic Economy.  It just keeps getting more and more layered and confusing, doesn't it?  

 

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