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3 hours ago, Clay Clayton said:

Update: You can uncross! 😂

 

....... So please cross again!🤞

 

 

Arrgh! Will you please make up your mind!! My fingers are wilting with all this exercise. Cross. Uncross. Cross....

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35 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

 

Arrgh! Will you please make up your mind!! My fingers are wilting with all this exercise. Cross. Uncross. Cross....

Come now...just trying to strengthen those digits in preparation for you ordering cocktails on your next cruise! 

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9 hours ago, Clay Clayton said:

Come now...just trying to strengthen those digits in preparation for you ordering cocktails on your next cruise! 

 

Are you suggesting we snap our fingers to order LOL?

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25 minutes ago, zitsky said:

 

Are you suggesting we snap our fingers to order LOL?

 

 

WINNER!! 🏆🥇

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3 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

 

WINNER!! 🏆🥇

 

!!!!!

 

WINNER!! 🏆🥇

WINNER!! 🏆🥇

WINNER!! 🏆🥇

WINNER!! 🏆🥇

 

LOL

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So, the public Viking web site lists 16 partner airlines.  Air Upgrades in My Journey list 9.  There are US carriers (American and Delta) on the public web site that do not appear under Air Upgrades in My Journey.  As we are in the US and coming up on one year out, it would be nice to know where we should start looking.  

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Actually, I start looking on the one of the three big travel websites that we aren't allowed to name by name. It gives me an idea of who flies the routes from my home airport to my destination and back. Then I can decide which route is most appealing (in terms of travel time, number of stops) and look at who is offering that route. I compare pricing, too, including looking at the websites of the individual airlines to see if they offer a better price. If Viking's deal is way better (I always book air with Viking knowing that I can drop it if I find a better deal through the airlines), I go ahead and lock it in. I'm not looking to upgrade with points or the like so I'm not particular about what class fare they get; if you are looking to upgrade with points, then you need to talk with Viking Air to make sure that they are booking you an upgradeable seat.

 

Also, you can't start the process until about 300 days before departure because airlines are just starting to open up booking at that point; some airlines are even later than that, so you might not get the full picture until about 270 days out.

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Posted (edited)

I would just like to mention that airline schedules are published starting 330 days prior to the operating date (with exceptions, Southwest for example), and often are in a bit of flux for a few days after that (Alaska Airlines is an example of that). So in theory we should be able to call Viking Air Plus 329 days in advance of our RETURN FLIGHT DATE and make reservations. In practice it seems as if it takes another few days for the information to get set up in Viking's computers. I called Viking Air Plus 327 days in advance of our desired return date and got exactly the flight arrangements I wanted. And we have "confirmed" - but not ticketed - reservations even though we have not paid in full.

Your results may vary...

As a bit of a footnote, Viking (via on-line chat) told me variously that I would have to wait until 300 days in advance (Kia), or 310 days in advance (Britney). I think part of this discrepancy comes from the fact that we usually ask the rong question. We should be asking "How many days in advance of our RETURN flight can we call to make reservations?"

I hope this helps.

 

Edited by What was that?

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Posted (edited)

Here's my Viking Air story, after reading the entire thread.

TL;DR Tips for securing airfare at better prices, and warning for those wanting to achieve United frequent flyer status (or Delta or American).

I've used Viking Air Plus for a Bucharest to Budapest river cruise back in 2017, my first experience with Viking. I paid the extra for a stopover in Paris and to select specific flights. I'm a 1MM (Million Miler) and Lifetime Gold United flyer, and have been booking/selecting my own international and domestic flights for decades. Internet searches have been a huge asset instead of those old OAG directories.

My flights were OK, and at the time, less expensive than what I could have booked on my own that first time, so never paid much attention until this year after noticing I was not getting dollar spend credit with United.

A few family members and friends are on an upcoming Portugal cruise, and I had booked the Viking Air Plus again, because at the time of booking, the Viking fares were still less expensive than what I could book online myself in Economy.

United, Delta, and American now all have dollar spend requirements to qualify for different frequent flyer status levels. After my East European river cruise, I learned that the bulk fares that Viking provides do not count as dollar spend for achieve elite status; one only gets mileage and segment status.

That came to bite me this year, as I'm going to meet the miles flown and segment status for United 1K status this year, but my dollar spend won't be met since my Viking air dollars ($1800) won't count; I have other international flights already completed this year that got me the miles and segments needed. What's the big deal with 1K status? 6 free global upgrade certificates to business class.

Another issue with Viking Air and Air Plus is that though one is paying Viking directly, if there is any deviation from official dates for start or end, you are on you own for airport transfers for the deviated dates. I always try to arrive a few days early for a cruise tour, so the transfer isn't included on the arrival unless you book the extra nights at a Viking hotel offering. It's not always a good value, other than convenience. I've also sometimes extended my stay to visit other interesting places that may be in that part of the world.

Since I have a lot of miles and status with United, I looked to using points/dollars to upgrade to business class; I already had free access to Economy Plus. This is possible with UA, but you must call an agent at United, since the Viking fare bucket does not let you do this online. United's app and website let you do all this online if you purchased the ticket directly with United. I was able to upgrade to business class on my upcoming flight to Portugal using miles and dollars by calling United.

I have two other Viking cruises booked for 2020, and for my spring cruise, I originally had also booked Air Plus, Based on my learning (and searching for potential flights), I had that canceled when final payment was made in June. (Note: weird that Viking was now requiring full payment more that 6 months ahead of time).

While the Viking Air Economy air fare was less expensive than the published Economy fares, I found that purchasing discounted business class fares from United were considerably less expensive than what Viking Air was going to charge. Likely also going to do the same for a July Viking cruise that is planned.

I also learned that sometimes the free airfare offered, is only available using certain gateway cities, and there is a surcharge for other cities. The "free" airfare may also lead to higher cruise/tour prices at times.

I've gotten spoiled with business class and have learned the tricks to get good fares that are half of the typical normal fare, or have the flexibility to arrange flight dates for economy fares that can be upgraded for points or dollars. Booking directly with the airline usually leads to the best prices, as long as you pay attention to the terms and conditions. So even after using the search engines to look at flight options, be sure to book the ticket directly with the airline, rather than thru a third party. Book online with the airline to avoid fees, and pay attention to the terms and conditions. Also, stay away from "Basic Economy". If you have one of the airline credit cards, it may also have benefit of earlier boarding, as well as free checked luggage.

I realize that these tips may not work for the casual/leisure flyer, but anyone who flies a lot and is trying to achieve elite frequent flyer status, this info may be useful. With status, one can get preferred seating in economy at no additional cost,  access to special pricing for air fares, free travel if you have enough miles/points banked, preferential treatment when flights are delayed or canceled, and sometimes even free upgrades.

Edited by m2inor

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We paid for Air Plus and today our TA quickly completed the bookings with Viking Air. We got exactly the direct flights we requested at no extra cost, when cheaper options were available.

 - YVR to LAX on Air Canada, normally don't use them but times were better than AA

 - LHR to YVR on British Airways

 

Between Viking Air & our TA, seats were selected and all passenger & passport info submitted, so nothing for us to complete. Great service. Will definitely use them again for future cruises.🙂

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Heidi13,

 

Glad to hear that you had great service w/ Viking Air.  We have always been pleased to work through our TA w/ Viking Air.  We also just booked our premium economy seats for 2020 Elbe River & Prague to Paris river cruises.  I had done my research on United (we are Mileage Plus members), wanted to avoid Frankfurt as the connection so we are flying IAD to Brussels, Brussels to Berlin; the return flight is nonstop Paris to IAD.  Got the exact flights I wanted.  Price was comparable to United's price(which I had reserved quite a while ago).  I may try to upgrade to business using miles & $$ by talking to United but I think for Europe we might want to try the premium economy.  

 

I have mentioned this on my post about traveling from Bali from our Viking Ocean cruise back in March, but I was really glad that we had booked our flights through Viking Air then.  AA had canceled our flight either from Hong Kong or LAX coming home due to the MAX issue, just two days before we were leaving from Bali and told us in the email to work through our TA.  I sent my TA an email regarding the cancelled flight; she got in touch w/ Viking Air, and then Viking Air allowed me to directly email them to figure out a way home (and this is w/ a 14 hour time difference) - in fact I had a better flight, going nonstop from Hong Kong to IAD on Cathay Pacific instead of connecting through LAX from Hong Kong to IAD.  Worked this all out via email @ 2:30 AM - 4:00 AM Bali time.  W/ AA having no presence in Bali, I would have had to wait until we got to Hong Kong if I didn't get a hold of my TA & Viking Air via email.  The time difference made it difficult as well.  I think having Viking Air deal w/ AA made a difference in taking care of us.  Viking has clout due  all the business they give to the airlines.

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Anyone have any experience with VIking Air and the Delta One Suites on the Airbus A350 or Boeing 777?  Do flights with these aircraft involve additional cost above the standard Viking Air business class?  

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I am just back from a cruise on the Viking Star (Empires of the Mediterranean) and used Viking Air.

 

Just want to post a warning : Do not use American as they are partnered with British Airways. If you end up with the AA/BA combo and have flights  that require you to change in Heathrow to a BA flight to fly the remaining hop to your destination, be aware that the short haul flights, as BA calls them even (when four + hours long), are rock bottom economy.

 

Watch the movie "Con Air" for a preview of what to expect.

 

The seats are hard, very narrow, and at 5'6", my knees touched the seat back of the seat in front of me.  Absolutely no  refreshments or food is available unless you buy them.

 

Absolutely the worst "economy" class I have ever experience (and I regularly use Southwest - which I have found to have superb customer service).

 

The real kick in the pants is that even if one has paid for an upgraded fare (which we did), you are relegated to economy class on BA once you hit Heathrow and, as I mentioned above, is the worst "economy " flight I have ever experience.

 

As far as customer support when BA screws up (as it did when we were scheduled to leave Athens, Greece this last Saturday, August 10), it is non existent.  After standing for four and a half hours at the so called BA sales desk while the sole employee tried to deal with all the passengers whose connections were screwed up for a flight that BA had told us over 16 hours before hand would be delayed, the only way we managed to leave Athens was a call of desperation to Viking Air Emergency number. The young lady managed to book us on different flight while I was on hold for six minutes.

 

Do NOT use British Airways. The so call motto currently in use of "100 years of Impeccable Service" definitely forgot to include the word "Customer" in it.

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We're in the UK and always used to fly BA.  Won't even consider them now and if the only way to get somewhere is BA we would probably not go!

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For long-haul we still use BA, along with Qatar, Qantas & Cathay, but only fly First or Business. However, although they now have domestic Business, we prefer taking the train. After our cruise ends in Greenwich, we will take a limo to Kings Cross & train up to St. Andrews. Much faster & more comfortable than flying.

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On 8/11/2019 at 4:54 PM, dwlmg said:

Anyone have any experience with VIking Air and the Delta One Suites on the Airbus A350 or Boeing 777?  Do flights with these aircraft involve additional cost above the standard Viking Air business class?  

I don’t think so. We are flying Delta to Santiago this Dec. on 777-200. We paid standard Viking Air business class.

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3 hours ago, vnb2003 said:

I don’t think so. We are flying Delta to Santiago this Dec. on 777-200. We paid standard Viking Air business class.

 

Mare you on the dec 21 Santiago to BA ?  Or the Sun?  Either way, may I ask what was the Viking “standard” business class fare from whatever city you fly from?  Didn’t know Viking had s business class.  That would be good!

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, CCWineLover said:

 

Mare you on the dec 21 Santiago to BA ?  Or the Sun?  Either way, may I ask what was the Viking “standard” business class fare from whatever city you fly from?  Didn’t know Viking had s business class.  That would be good!

 

Viking Air business class RDU-Venice is $3990 pp.  When it was booked it was cheaper than the airline (Delta).

Edited by zitsky

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7 hours ago, CCWineLover said:

 

Mare you on the dec 21 Santiago to BA ?  Or the Sun?  Either way, may I ask what was the Viking “standard” business class fare from whatever city you fly from?  Didn’t know Viking had s business class.  That would be good!

We will be on the Sun.  The standard business class upgrade is $1,999 p/p. This will be on the top of economy class cost.  We had a free air deal and bought only one way ticket. It was still $1,899 p/p for us from IAD to SCL through Atlanta. We bought business class on a way back from LAX directly through airline.  Total was much cheaper this way then through Viking.

I was told that this (probably South America Pacific) was a new route for Viking and they didn't have much choice with flights. 

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1 hour ago, zitsky said:

The lesson is buy whatever is cheaper.

 

Unless you are buying through Viking because you want the comfort/convenience of the transfers that are included  with the ticket when you arrive on Day 1 and depart directly to the airport on the last day of the itinerary. 

 

If you are arriving early or departing late, then definitely price shop.

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43 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

Unless you are buying through Viking because you want the comfort/convenience of the transfers that are included  with the ticket when you arrive on Day 1 and depart directly to the airport on the last day of the itinerary. 

 

If you are arriving early or departing late, then definitely price shop.

 

Yes the transfers are nice, but how much are they worth?  I wouldn't pay $500 extra just for that.

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2 hours ago, vnb2003 said:

We will be on the Sun.  The standard business class upgrade is $1,999 p/p. This will be on the top of economy class cost.  We had a free air deal and bought only one way ticket. It was still $1,899 p/p for us from IAD to SCL through Atlanta. We bought business class on a way back from LAX directly through airline.  Total was much cheaper this way then through Viking.

I was told that this (probably South America Pacific) was a new route for Viking and they didn't have much choice with flights. 

 

vnb2003 - so Viking's "standard" upgrade fare for business class is $1999 p/p?   

I am just now learning that you CAN do business class using Viking - depending on costs and desires for transfers/etc and help in case the airlines muck it up (see other posts on this one - the value of Viking Air sometimes when an airline abandons you).

 

I had always thought that Viking Air was just economy and it was up to the individual to figure out how to add to get Business Class.    Still not sure I'd do Viking Air for us though, since we tend to want to DIY tour ahead of a cruise and DIY for many days after.  Seems like Viking Air is best for those who just want to fly in, cruise, and fly out.

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4 minutes ago, CCWineLover said:

 

vnb2003 - so Viking's "standard" upgrade fare for business class is $1999 p/p?   

I am just now learning that you CAN do business class using Viking - depending on costs and desires for transfers/etc and help in case the airlines muck it up (see other posts on this one - the value of Viking Air sometimes when an airline abandons you).

 

I had always thought that Viking Air was just economy and it was up to the individual to figure out how to add to get Business Class.    Still not sure I'd do Viking Air for us though, since we tend to want to DIY tour ahead of a cruise and DIY for many days after.  Seems like Viking Air is best for those who just want to fly in, cruise, and fly out.

 

Apples to apples.  That was one way plus economy price.

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