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Clay Clayton

Fair Warning-rant ahead-Viking Air $

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I know that whoever makes the rules gets to decide how crazy they can be, but I don’t understand why Viking seems to cut off its nose (viking Air costs) to spite its face (bottom line). I also know that many follower cruisers have gotten really good deals but we can’t seem to snag one. 😢

 

DH and I are in the midst of planning a transpacific for this fall from Vancouver to Tokyo B2B (sorta) with a Honolulu to Vancouver return all on X.  But today we get a promotional email from Viking for their Beijing to Hong Kong cruise at a good price and with free Econ air. Hmmmm, maybe that would be a better trip we think but at 6’-7” I just hate long haul in economy especially an overnight flight. 

 

Since we won’t be needing the outbound US to Hong Kong leg maybe Viking would cut us a deal to upgrade the one way we thought. Nope.  The price they quoted us was over a thousand dollars more than we can buy the biz flight for ourselves....so not only no credit given for not having to purchase the outbound leg, but no credit for the economy price leg either.  

 

To add add insult to injury, the flight promo won’t cover us for an outbound flight from Japan to Beijing even though I have to hope that 4 hour flight would be cheaper than the 10+ long one from the US. 

 

So, now it looks like we stick with our original plan and not pay Viking $8000 for the cruise. 

 

I just don’t understand as I know they get great rates (we could calculate exactly how much they paid for our recent “free” air on our AA app by how many miles we received) so why not credit us at least that little bit and against a reasonable airfare? Instead no credits and an exorbitant biz fare was quoted. 😢😝

 

Rant over-you can return to your regular programming now. 😀

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Clay, having the same problem with Viking Air. Trying to do another transatlantic and cannot get a "round trip open jaw" due to the distance between the departure city in Europe and the return city in South America. One way business is "stupid" expensive. 

 

Viking should in my opinion, focus on their "core" which are ships and sailing. Use air as an inducement to book their ships. With the wholesale pricing available to them just like all the other "deluxe" lines, it is possible to offer a business class round trip for less than $3000 and preferably in the $2500 range by still selling air at a profit albeit a smaller one. I'm not advocating them giving away anything-just to offer options for the variety of travelers they serve. 

 

When they don't offer any credit for not using their air and offer no reasonable options for purchasing upgraded air, it becomes a huge inducement NOT to book a Viking Cruise. 

 

Thanks for letting me join your rant. 

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It sounds like you must be doing the Barcelona to Buenos Aires cruise or vice  versa.  Mike and I have considered it as we wouldn’t mind spending some time in Uruguay, but will have to look at the air issue.  You might want to look at TAP, they offer good one way fares in Biz and I would think you could get a good fare from Buenos Aires to or from San Paulo.  I would hope there is a low fare alternative between San Paulo and Buenos Aires.  As a bonus, TAP offers a free stop over in Lisbon Or Porto for up to 5 days!  

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42 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

It sounds like you must be doing the Barcelona to Buenos Aires cruise or vice  versa.  Mike and I have considered it as we wouldn’t mind spending some time in Uruguay, but will have to look at the air issue.  You might want to look at TAP, they offer good one way fares in Biz and I would think you could get a good fare from Buenos Aires to or from San Paulo.  I would hope there is a low fare alternative between San Paulo and Buenos Aires.  As a bonus, TAP offers a free stop over in Lisbon Or Porto for up to 5 days!  

Yes, That's the cruise we're looking at. Saw the TAP fares to Europe-fairly good. It's the return from Buenos Aires. I think I can convert some Chase UR points for Star Alliance. Have been lucky-for example, my return from Barcelona last year cost less than $1100 on America using existing/purchased miles. Using $3000 as absolute maximum for flights as I don't really need to do the cruise-just want to. The one way thing really frustrates me. 

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I'm with you on this rant. I find it irritating that there is no credit for not using their economy air, and their Business Class is variable on pricing.

We prefer to travel Business, but there is no way that I am paying extra to add the layer of dealing with Viking Air to get our preferred carrier and routing. We always add time pre and post cruise so it is much easier to book our own air.

The only way I would utilize Viking Air would be if their Business Class price saved me more than $150/pp. I have seen some instances where that is the case, but obviously in your examples there is no savings.

It is unfortunate they do not do a better job with Viking Air, especially since their itineraries rely so heavily on two separate one way tickets.

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We agree too.  DH would be happy to add reasonably priced Business Class to our cruise.  

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11 hours ago, molemaui said:

Yes, That's the cruise we're looking at. Saw the TAP fares to Europe-fairly good. It's the return from Buenos Aires. I think I can convert some Chase UR points for Star Alliance. Have been lucky-for example, my return from Barcelona last year cost less than $1100 on America using existing/purchased miles. Using $3000 as absolute maximum for flights as I don't really need to do the cruise-just want to. The one way thing really frustrates me. 

On the TA last year we got free air and decided that since it was a daytime flight we would just suck it up and be in economy.  But we got lucky and were able to use points + cash (20,000 + $350) to upgrade to biz. I just don’t expect to get that lucky twice.  

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1 hour ago, broker1217 said:

I'm with you on this rant. I find it irritating that there is no credit for not using their economy air, and their Business Class is variable on pricing.

We prefer to travel Business, but there is no way that I am paying extra to add the layer of dealing with Viking Air to get our preferred carrier and routing. We always add time pre and post cruise so it is much easier to book our own air.

The only way I would utilize Viking Air would be if their Business Class price saved me more than $150/pp. I have seen some instances where that is the case, but obviously in your examples there is no savings.

It is unfortunate they do not do a better job with Viking Air, especially since their itineraries rely so heavily on two separate one way tickets.

Paying the extra for custom air doesn’t bother me as much when I’m getting “free” air, but if I’m already paying them for air I agree with you. 

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Posted (edited)

Well, I didn't cut off my nose to spit my face!  We booked earlier today and accepted the "free" air from Hong Kong to Seattle.  We were surprised to learn that Viking booked us on the only non-stop, Cathay Pacific.  It appears that we may be able to purchase an exit row seat, which may be the only saving grace....so fingers crossed until the payment is fully processed and we can make that happen!

Edited by Clay Clayton

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Good news...we were able to purchase exit row seats today for $189 each and submit a bid for an upgrade to premium economy...don't expect to win as our total bid for both was about the maximum bid for one!   But 🤞

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