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Dolebludger

I wish Regent offered upgradable flights in N. America.

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Posted (edited)

Dolebludger - all FAA questions have answers on the internet - you just need to search.  This is appears to be the most comprehensive :

https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/

 

Unless a poster is (or was) a commercial airline pilot, it is unlikely that you will find the answers you seek on CC.  

 

All I know is that foreign airlines (which we prefer) turn off the "Fasten Seabelt" sign much sooner after take-off than U.S. based airlines.  I also know that if you really need to use the restroom, you can go (at least you can in Business Class - I see it all of the time when the seat belt sign is illuminated).

 

In terms of what U.S. based airlines are doing by reducing space, etc., I highly doubt if this affects the number of people that fly.  If someone needs to fly coach for financial reasons, they just put up with it.  If you look at Regent passengers, adding a couple of thousand dollars to a cruise that is as expensive as Regent is a nuisance but not something that cannot be handled.   

Edited by Travelcat2

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On 4/3/2019 at 1:56 PM, LynnRuns said:

It was a couple of years ago, but we were able to upgrade our flights to Alaska on United.

Last August, we were able to upgrade our  seats on  Delta from Atlanta to Vancouver (we didn't bother upgrading our FLL to ATL), and from Anchorage to Dallas and onto FLL on the way back on American. Once we did our deviation, well in advance since we were staying an extra week in Anchorage after the cruise, we were able to choose seats and do upgrades  on our booked flights (at an additional cost of course}. They still weren't  first class or business class seats, but they were had the leg room for my 6' 4" husband and my 5' 9" self, both in our mid 60's, and were close to the front of the plane. 

On our next 2 Regent cruises, we have great business class seats, booked early by paying for a deviation. We can fly out of most Florida airports with a 2 to 3 hour drive, and go intercontinental from there. Regent's airfare is a tremendous bargain for us compared to taking their air credit. Maybe that doesn't work for everyone if there are no direct flights from their hometown airports. If you could fly first class to another domestic city, and take your deviation to fly from that city to your embarkation city (and the same on the way back), that might work the same way as our 2 to 3 hour drive to a more Internationally connected airport.

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Posted (edited)

Dolebludger, I'm a Retired Captain from a Major Airlines with 29 years of Airline experience.  

The FAA mandates everything.  The "catch all" regarding the Seatbelt Sign is "At any other time when considered necessary by the PIC."

Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) published by the FAA is the absolute law regarding commercial aviation.  Hope this clears up the question. Here is the gist of the FSIMS Volume 3 section 3-3561:

 

"3-3561    PASSENGER SEATBELT DISCIPLINE. Passengers unfastening their seatbelts when the seatbelt sign is illuminated concern the FAA. The regulations require air carriers to illuminate the seatbelt sign:

    Before movement on the surface;

    During takeoff and landing; and

    At any other time when considered necessary by the PIC.

A.    “Fasten Seatbelt” Sign Regulations. Regulations also require all passengers to occupy their seat, with their seatbelt fastened, when the seatbelt sign is illuminated and to comply with crewmember instructions regarding the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign."

Edited by papaflamingo

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On 4/3/2019 at 9:12 AM, Dolebludger said:

Airlines have various classes of "economy" these days, including some that have more space. Some of these would be acceptable to us for short domestic flight legs. But our experience has been that with the basic economy Regent provides on these flights, we can't even upgrade to these. 

 

Airlines have "dug their own grave" by making some classes of economy seating cramped and unbearable. This has increased the demand for more space, So like many travelers to Regent, I need my "basic economy " to be upgradable to something (anything) better. It is true that airlines don't have sufficient first/business seating and need to add more to respond to the market. But even now, if I am booking my own flights far enough in advance, I have little problem getting business/first.

 

On 4/3/2019 at 12:35 PM, LynnRuns said:

Once Regent booked the flight, it showed up in my United account and I was able to select an upgrade for each leg. Perhaps it is because I have high elite status on United, but I thought anyone could upgrade.

 

I'm not sure if you meant "Basic Economy," the no frills, no advance seat assignments cabin level, or basic economy meant the typically lowest main cabin category that used to be the standard "no-refund, pay for your seats and checked baggage" cabin level.  A Regent agent in the Air Dept says it does  not book "Basic Economy."  They do book using contracted rates which typically can't be ungraded or accrue miles, as part of their contract.  There could be exceptions, of course. 

 

 I don't know if you have to pay for seat assignments or checked baggage if it is a flight connecting to a business class flight, perhaps someone has experience with this and can comment.

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I am surprised to read some of these posts.  Airlines must know what they are doing as they are making tons of money by charging for luggage, food, etc.  In my opinion, they have definitely not "dug their own grave" but instead, have learned to rip off passengers and become financially successful.

 

Also, having sailed on Regent many, many times, we know that coach fares within the U.S. can be upgraded for a cost (a cost that is higher than if you paid for it yourself).

 

The simple answer to this alleged "problem" is to deviate and make sure that your flights do not have a stop in the U.S. 

 

  

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15 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

 

The simple answer to this alleged "problem" is to deviate and make sure that your flights do not have a stop in the U.S. 

 

  

Not aways easy to do when one lives inland and direct international connections are few and far between.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

Also, having sailed on Regent many, many times, we know that coach fares within the U.S. can be upgraded for a cost (a cost that is higher than if you paid for it yourself).

 

 

 

  

I should have clarified "upgraded using miles."

Edited by 1985rz1

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Another thing, if you book your cruise early --like most of us do.  You can book your air early most airlines have highly discounted business and first air, just keep in mind these fares are not refundable, no changes just like discounted coach.  Sometimes I don't use my miles because paying for a first class fare is so cheap.  But you have to book early to get most of the time. 

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1 hour ago, 1985rz1 said:

I should have clarified "upgraded using miles."

 

Whether or not you can upgrade using miles has to do with the airline - not Regent.  Apparently some airlines permit it and some do not (and it may be different for people in North America)

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TC2,

 

You suggestion about ensuring that the flights don't have a stop in the US is a good one. I have two Regent gateway airports I can use without long domestic flights-- Denver and Dallas. There are many international flights from there with no US stop. Can one "deviate" and use Regent's "free air" and use those? 

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Dolebludger - I'm a little confused by your last statement.  I'm assuming that you mean changing the airport that you fly out of.  We switch airports with no difficulty as we live between YVR and SEA.  This is not considered a deviation but is simply an airport change.

 

You would be responsible for getting to Denver (or Dallas) and then could certainly take advantage of Regent's included air.  

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15 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

 

Whether or not you can upgrade using miles has to do with the airline - not Regent.  Apparently some airlines permit it and some do not (and it may be different for people in North America)

Whether or not you can upgrade depends on the rules of the fare that is booked, not specifically dependent on the specific airline.  All airlines have many different fares with different rules so whether one can upgrade using miles is dependent on the rules of the fare that one is booked under.

 

Generally the lower the fares the more restrictive the rules are so obviously the cruise line is going to book the lowest fare they can as all companies do.  To be sure of the ability to upgrade with miles one has to specify that when deviating or have their TA request upgradeable seats with miles for the included air.

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4 minutes ago, Travelcat2 said:

Dolebludger - I'm a little confused by your last statement.  I'm assuming that you mean changing the airport that you fly out of.  We switch airports with no difficulty as we live between YVR and SEA.  This is not considered a deviation but is simply an airport change.

 

You would be responsible for getting to Denver (or Dallas) and then could certainly take advantage of Regent's included air.

 

 

You see, there are routings to overseas from Denver and Dallas that DO include a change in the US, and some that don't. My question is whether there is a way to designate with air through Regent a flight that does not include such a stop when such exists, and thus is business class all the way from the gateway to the port. Yes, I'm aware that the costs of flights from our home to Denver or Dallas are on us. What I wish to avoid are those routings that include an intermediate stop in the US, and would include a rather long flight in economy. For example a few years back we used Regent air to Tahiti. From Denver, we were routed to LAX where we changed planes. So the flight from Denver to LAX was economy and rather long.We don't' want that. (I realize it couldn't be avoided going to Tahiti for lack of direct flights out of Denver, so this is just an example.) However, the cruise ended in Lima Peru and the flight was direct non stop to Denver and was very nice business/first all the way. 

 

Another example of what I am talking about comes from a poster living in Miami going to Europe. While there were plenty of direct flights out of Miami, Regent routed him with a stop and change at JFK. That is what we wish to avoid. 

 

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1 minute ago, Dolebludger said:

 

Believe you can specify when you deviate the specific routing you want and the specific flights as well in order to get what you are asking for.  Sincerely doubt you can do that with included flights without a lot of luck and that would be at the 75 day mark without a lot of options.

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Posted (edited)

If you want to pick your flights - you do have to deviate.  As you know, deviating is a heck of a lot less money than paying to upgrade Business or First class on a domestic flight.

 

There is also the possibility of taking the same airline domestically and internationally and get First Class domestic air included.  We did this on our last cruise - First Class on American Airlines from YVR to DFW and then Business Class from DFW to Santiago, Chile (airlines consider Canadian flights to be "domestic").  These were deviated flights and were done exactly 270 days prior to embarkation.  

 

Dolebludger - you have a lot of good questions that could be answered much easier by a TA that regularly books Regent.  These TA's have people that they regularly book air with at Regent and can let you know exactly what your options are.

 

Those of us on CC are giving you our experiences and some of those experiences are years old (which is why you sometimes see conflicting information on this thread).  Regent contracts change - routing changes and it is pretty much impossible to know the best advice to give.  One of us could find what we think is a great flight for you but Regent may not have contracted on that particular route*.  It gets very complex.

 

*Examples of this is that one year we could fly British Airways from Canada but not from the U.S. (extra cost from the U.S.). The following year we could not fly from Canada but could fly from the U.S.  A big change (or one that affects us) is that Emirates has a hefty charge if you want to book them from the West Coast (not sure which cities) but is included in some cities on the East Coast - go figure!

 

 

Edited by Travelcat2

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26 minutes ago, rallydave said:

Believe you can specify when you deviate the specific routing you want and the specific flights as well in order to get what you are asking for.  Sincerely doubt you can do that with included flights without a lot of luck and that would be at the 75 day mark without a lot of options.

We fly out of Dallas. When you deviate you can get nonstop international flights. We flew nonstop to Sydney, Australia. 

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rcandkc,

 

Hope that remains true. From here in SW Colorado, we can fly to Dallas or Denver on regional jets that don't take too long with their "business/first" seating that is just like coach was in the good old days, which I know we must pay for. It isn't lux, but at least it isn't painful! From such a flight, we want to get REAL business first to the embarkation port. If we can't do that, we just stay home. And we don't want the arrival airport to be too far from the port either. We recently booked, then cancelled a cruise out of the UK because it was an expensive hassle to get from the arrival airport to the ship's port. And then there is the matter of cruises with both beginning and ending ports in North America (for example, a Panama Canal cruise). To do such a cruise, we'd be stuck with a rather long domestic flight in that dreaded economy class, or would have to accept a skimpy credit for booking our own air. That is why our last Regent cruise was over two years ago. We liked the cruise, but we can't get "there from here" under reasonable conditions and pricing. One solution might be for Regent to give a decent credit for not using their "free air".

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3 hours ago, Dolebludger said:

rcandkc,

 

Hope that remains true. From here in SW Colorado, we can fly to Dallas or Denver on regional jets that don't take too long with their "business/first" seating that is just like coach was in the good old days, which I know we must pay for. It isn't lux, but at least it isn't painful! From such a flight, we want to get REAL business first to the embarkation port. If we can't do that, we just stay home. And we don't want the arrival airport to be too far from the port either. We recently booked, then cancelled a cruise out of the UK because it was an expensive hassle to get from the arrival airport to the ship's port. And then there is the matter of cruises with both beginning and ending ports in North America (for example, a Panama Canal cruise). To do such a cruise, we'd be stuck with a rather long domestic flight in that dreaded economy class, or would have to accept a skimpy credit for booking our own air. That is why our last Regent cruise was over two years ago. We liked the cruise, but we can't get "there from here" under reasonable conditions and pricing. One solution might be for Regent to give a decent credit for not using their "free air".

We are flying to NYC and back from Amsterdam in May.  We are doing our own NYC flight ( got Regent small credit)  but deviated for flight back to Dfw with Regent.  We got good flight.  Deviation is the key. 

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On 4/3/2019 at 8:34 PM, ronrick1943 said:

Most people book their cruise early, like a year or more out.  I find that if you also book your domestic flights as soon as they come out (within a week or two) you'll find large discounted first class flights.  Same when you book international.  AA offers nice discounted mileage awards early on also.  That's why we book our own flights both when we pay and when we use miles and take the $$$ credit from Regent.

Found cheaper to do my own since not one of their cities so end up paying with custom air $875 for 2 of us , and teh credit is $100 more per ticket plus get first class for domestic connections.. My TA saying I have such risk if flights cancelled and getting other insurance.. I book my own flights on personal travel so think the risk while there ,is not worth the extra money to fly with them. Do you do flight insurance separate form cruise insurance?

 

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24 minutes ago, sctraveler04 said:

Found cheaper to do my own since not one of their cities so end up paying with custom air $875 for 2 of us , and teh credit is $100 more per ticket plus get first class for domestic connections.. My TA saying I have such risk if flights cancelled and getting other insurance.. I book my own flights on personal travel so think the risk while there ,is not worth the extra money to fly with them. Do you do flight insurance separate form cruise insurance?

 

A little confused by your post.  Isn't Littleton a suburb of Denver which is a Regent flight location?  As far as flight insurance separate from cruise insurance, unless you are buying the cruise line insurance which many including me strongly recommend against, you buy insurance based on the total dollars covered and air is included plus any pre or post hotels.

 

Not sure about your $875 custom air costs.  Deviation is $175 per person and pretty much a fixed cost.  Any other costs for different flights are variable and otten zero.  You may be including a non-flight charge and thought that was about $199 pp.  The credit for not taking Regent air is most of the time nowhere near enough to purchase you own flights.

 

Thanks for the clarifications.

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1 hour ago, rallydave said:

A little confused by your post.  Isn't Littleton a suburb of Denver which is a Regent flight location?  As far as flight insurance separate from cruise insurance, unless you are buying the cruise line insurance which many including me strongly recommend against, you buy insurance based on the total dollars covered and air is included plus any pre or post hotels.

 

Not sure about your $875 custom air costs.  Deviation is $175 per person and pretty much a fixed cost.  Any other costs for different flights are variable and otten zero.  You may be including a non-flight charge and thought that was about $199 pp.  The credit for not taking Regent air is most of the time nowhere near enough to purchase you own flights.

 

Thanks for the clarifications.

 

1 hour ago, rallydave said:

A little confused by your post.  Isn't Littleton a suburb of Denver which is a Regent flight location?  As far as flight insurance separate from cruise insurance, unless you are buying the cruise line insurance which many including me strongly recommend against, you buy insurance based on the total dollars covered and air is included plus any pre or post hotels.

 

Not sure about your $875 custom air costs.  Deviation is $175 per person and pretty much a fixed cost.  Any other costs for different flights are variable and otten zero.  You may be including a non-flight charge and thought that was about $199 pp.  The credit for not taking Regent air is most of the time nowhere near enough to purchase you own flights.

 

Thanks for the clarifications.

Unfortunately do not live in CO anymore.. but  SC,  so flight from Greenville is $250 pp since not one of their cities..then add on the custom air of $175 pp. Have driven before to Charlotte with cruises with Regent but is 2 hours and hate leaving car for over 21 days..( is really $850 not $875--typo) . Today the rates for flight booked personally was $3099 and we get credit of 3000$ for cruise and get first class on connections domestically..risk of delays/cancellations/missing cruise is factor to consider.. 

 

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sctraveler04, we live in Greenville, usually travel from CLT for long trips, such as cruises. We often lease a car at GSP the day before leaving, drop it in CLT and do the same in reverse when returning. Costs vary by season and demand but have done this for as little as $30 each way. We prefer this to leaving a car at CLT for long periods of time.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, sctraveler04 said:

 

Unfortunately do not live in CO anymore.. but  SC,  so flight from Greenville is $250 pp since not one of their cities..then add on the custom air of $175 pp. Have driven before to Charlotte with cruises with Regent but is 2 hours and hate leaving car for over 21 days..( is really $850 not $875--typo) . Today the rates for flight booked personally was $3099 and we get credit of 3000$ for cruise and get first class on connections domestically..risk of delays/cancellations/missing cruise is factor to consider.. 

 

Thanks for the update.   Don't really believe the risk of delays/cancellations/missing cruise is any different using cruise line air vs purchasing your own flights.  Many people believe no matter what Regent will come to your aid, get you to the ship on time or on to the next possible boarding spot.  While Regent does at times take that approach, per the written T's and C's they absolve themselves contractually from any responsibilities for third parties of which airlines are third parties.  The airline has the ultimate responsibility and is available 24/7 while Regent may at times be difficult to contact during non-business hours and still has to make contact with the airlines.

 

We have found that directly contacting the airlines greatly speeds the process and if any of the problems exist while you are at the airport, they are available in person.  Plus, with Business Air, you have access to the airline club where the staff consists of many more senior people who will go the extra 9 yards to get you to your destination.  As far as missing the ship and having to pay for transportation and lodgings, believe it to be a wash and you will most likely need to pay in any case.  Just more reasons to leave at least a day if not two before your cruise to avoid these issues.

 

Another risk to booking your own flights is that most fights that are anywhere near your credit are highly restrictive and non-refundable.

Edited by rallydave

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If Regent in Miami is open, I would call them first - then the airline.  We made the mistake of calling the airline a couple of months ago and it cost us more than if we had called Regent and possibly could have taken advantage of another "contracted" fight.  

 

I wanted to add this since our experience is so recent.  And, as I have said many times, things change (contracts, flights, etc.) which is why I started the "sticky" thread about deviating flights.  We all need the most current information possible.  

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On 4/17/2019 at 11:25 AM, sctraveler04 said:

 

Unfortunately do not live in CO anymore.. but  SC,  so flight from Greenville is $250 pp since not one of their cities..then add on the custom air of $175 pp. Have driven before to Charlotte with cruises with Regent but is 2 hours and hate leaving car for over 21 days..( is really $850 not $875--typo) . Today the rates for flight booked personally was $3099 and we get credit of 3000$ for cruise and get first class on connections domestically..risk of delays/cancellations/missing cruise is factor to consider.. 

 

 

On 4/17/2019 at 11:45 AM, briar14 said:

sctraveler04, we live in Greenville, usually travel from CLT for long trips, such as cruises. We often lease a car at GSP the day before leaving, drop it in CLT and do the same in reverse when returning. Costs vary by season and demand but have done this for as little as $30 each way. We prefer this to leaving a car at CLT for long periods of time.

Hi, neighbors!  Also in Greenville (what's up with that?!?) and we'll park at CLT for up to about 14 days; beyond that it's usually cheaper to rent a car, take car service, or find a friend who wants dinner and gas money (haven't gone that route yet but it's always an option!)

 

I'd offer to take you to CLT but since I've downgraded to a little X1 I'm not sure I could fit people and cruise luggage in there!  :classic_biggrin:

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