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Flight Ease: locked fare now or later?

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Hello All! I'm hoping that those of you who have used Flight Ease before will be able to offer some insight. We are booked for a Greek cruise next August. Round trip air from San Antonio to Rome is quite expensive. (Houston is so much cheaper but it's further away). I've looked at many sites and the average airfare from San Antonio to Rome for next August is about $1600 round trip per person. If I book with Flight Ease through HAL, the fare is about $1000 per person. So, I really want to pay for the airfare now so that I can lock in that fare. However, when my TA called HAL, they kind of discouraged us from doing so by saying that the airfare with Flight Ease rarely goes up and that I could just way until final payment is due--in May. Has anyone had any experience with booking through Flight Ease and then having the fare go up (or down) before making final payment? I'm not sure if I should pay now or if waiting would be ok.

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I've done the flexible air through HAL three times now and the price has never gone up. Fingers crossed for next summer to continue the streak!

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If you book a Flexible fare it will not increase except in a rare case where taxes might increase. The fare is actually contractual (between the Flightease folks and the airline). So one can certainly make an argument that there is little reason to "lock in" early and lose the ability to later change your airline flights or even cancel. Some do make the argument that with certain airlines you need to "lock in" and pay for your flights in order to get access to seat options. But that depends on the airline and type of fare.

 

Hank

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If you want certain seats, book now rather than run the risk of being stuck in an undesirable seat. We booked our flights to Copenhagen a year in advance with HA and were pleased with price and seating. I was glad to have the air fare already paid for and out of the way which allowed us to plan for other expenses such as hotels (pre and post cruise on our own) and excursions.

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We have used Flight Ease twice now. Both times we were able to choose our seats before final payment. Our flight prices stayed the same from the time we booked them to the time we paid final payment.

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We are using flight ease in April. Two different airlines. We have not paid the fare yet. One airline allowed me to choose the seats now. The other airline said I could do it once we paid. Each airline has its own rules.

 

 

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We have used Flight Ease twice now. Both times we were able to choose our seats before final payment. Our flight prices stayed the same from the time we booked them to the time we paid final payment.

 

We are using flight ease in April. Two different airlines. We have not paid the fare yet. One airline allowed me to choose the seats now. The other airline said I could do it once we paid. Each airline has its own rules.

 

 

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That's our experience too. We had the flexible one (pay at final payment) and I was able to choose our seats and the price did not change from the time we booked until we paid.

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We're thinking of using Flight Ease for our Alaska cruise next year. So if I understand this, there is no reason not to book a flexible one and pay at final payment giving you the peace of mind that you do have a flight and the price won't increase? You can still change or cancel your flight any time before final payment, right?

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Our PCC told us that Flightease does not ticket until 50 days before departure, and we could not pick our seats until then. Go figure...

 

In the past, we have tried to choose our seats earlier and the airline (Air Canada) wouldn't let us. (But the price was right!:))

 

PS We've never had a fare change, though.

Edited by Vict0riann

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Depends on the airline. Just booked Flightease for late next summer, flights are on United and we could pick our seats. United website says our flights are confirmed and they will email us when ticketed. The chosen seats show up as unavailable when I try a dummy booking for the same flights.

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Our PCC told us that Flightease does not ticket until 50 days before departure, and we could not pick our seats until then. Go figure...

 

In the past, we have tried to choose our seats earlier and the airline (Air Canada) wouldn't let us. (But the price was right!:))

 

PS We've never had a fare change, though.

 

 

 

Ann, if this is for the Nieuw Statendam sailing in December, have your PCC contact Flight Ease Dept and tell them you want it ticketed now.

I had my TA do this last week . The flight is paid for and I wanted to try to change seats, which AA wouldn’t allow as it stilled showed pending.

It was done that day.

 

 

 

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It looks like the ability to pick seats is an airline thing. I used it once for a cruise earlier this year and was able to pick my seats on United without any issue. Price did not change a single penny in 5 months or so until final payment.

 

I'm using it again for a cruise this spring and the original flights I booked (outbound AA, return UA) I was able to pick my UA Seats, but no go for AA. I could see both reservations on their respective sites, but AA would not let me select seats.

 

But I went back last week to check out the flights again and found a set of cheaper flights all on UA, so I rebooked and selected my seats for both legs.

 

It seems like HAL has access to P Inventory (Discount Business) that does not show up for general bookings. That brings the fares into a range that is only 25% or so over Coach, so I'll bite on those for TATLs any day.

 

While the site says fares could increase, I've rarely seen any posts where folks have indicated that they did prior to final payments.

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Ann, if this is for the Nieuw Statendam sailing in December, have your PCC contact Flight Ease Dept and tell them you want it ticketed now.

I had my TA do this last week . The flight is paid for and I wanted to try to change seats, which AA wouldn’t allow as it stilled showed pending.

It was done that day.

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Done!:D I'll let you know what the response is. AC can be a nuisance...

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We have used Flight Ease for many cruises, and the airlines involved were United, British Airways, Swiss, Delta, American. As soon as the flights were booked through Flight Ease, we were given the airline record locator number. We could go onto the airline's website and select seats, add our frequent flier numbers, and when the time was right, usually 24 hours before the flight, we could check-in. In all cases, the reservation was made 6 months or earlier before the flight, and payment for the flight was tied to the final payment for the cruise. Same date, usually 75 days out. Anytime before final payment, we could change our flights, or cancel them with no penalties. We have never had the airfare go up, but if you change a flight before final payment, you do pay the current rate, which may be more or less than originally booked.

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Done!:D I'll let you know what the response is. AC can be a nuisance...

 

 

 

All is now organized. . Our flights to Rome are fine, and back from Fort Lauderdale we did upgrade the longer leg from Detroit to Seattle (Delta). So we’re ready to travel.

 

 

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All is now organized. . Our flights to Rome are fine, and back from Fort Lauderdale we did upgrade the longer leg from Detroit to Seattle (Delta). So we’re ready to travel.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

 

 

Good news. Glad to hear it. We’re getting closer.

 

 

 

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We're thinking of using Flight Ease for our Alaska cruise next year. So if I understand this, there is no reason not to book a flexible one and pay at final payment giving you the peace of mind that you do have a flight and the price won't increase? You can still change or cancel your flight any time before final payment, right?

 

This what we are doing for our Alaska Cruise Tour next July. We booked DFW to Vancouver and Returning from Fairbanks. We are locked into a $777 pp fare with our seats selected and confirmed by both American and Alaska Airlines. Today the same fare booked ourselves is over $1100 PP. We pay at final payment and can cancel anytime without penalty prior to final payment. We can also rebook with HAL Flight Ease if fares drop before final payment.

 

The other thing to consider is if you book through HAL you don't have to worry as much about missing the ship sailing if delayed. This meant we could fly to Vancouver on the day the cruise leaves instead of the day before. Vancouver hotels are very expensive, so we saved that too. We leave DFW at 9:15 am and arrive to Vancouver at 11:20am. This is the first time we used HAL flight ease and since you can control who, when and where fly with it is fantastic.

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This what we are doing for our Alaska Cruise Tour next July. We booked DFW to Vancouver and Returning from Fairbanks. We are locked into a $777 pp fare with our seats selected and confirmed by both American and Alaska Airlines. Today the same fare booked ourselves is over $1100 PP. We pay at final payment and can cancel anytime without penalty prior to final payment. We can also rebook with HAL Flight Ease if fares drop before final payment.

 

The other thing to consider is if you book through HAL you don't have to worry as much about missing the ship sailing if delayed. This meant we could fly to Vancouver on the day the cruise leaves instead of the day before. Vancouver hotels are very expensive, so we saved that too. We leave DFW at 9:15 am and arrive to Vancouver at 11:20am. This is the first time we used HAL flight ease and since you can control who, when and where fly with it is fantastic.

 

A couple of things to consider when using HAL's Flight Ease program and flying in the same day. While they will get you to the ship if you miss it, where and when could depend on several things - how many sea days at the beginning of the cruise and US sailing regulations. You should really (IMO) explore this with HAL to be sure you are comfortable with what exactly will happen if you miss the ship.

 

Second, while downtown Vancouver hotels are expensive, the ones close to the airport are much more affordable, plus easy access in some cases to the Skytrain that takes you close to the pier the next morning.

 

Third, we really enjoy arriving the day before, as it gives us time to unwind after a long flight with several time zone changes. Then we are "ready to go" the first day of our cruise. Otherwise we would be tired out the first afternoon/evening.

 

One more thought - if it is not too late, you might consider reversing your cruise route. The land portion of the AK cruise is tiring and having the cruise afterwards let you recoup. Plus, the flight home from Fairbanks is alot longer, so I would rather do it at the beginning of the cruise tour when I am more excited to get started (rather than at the end when I just when to get home).

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