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Business class air booked through Silverseas


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We’re planning to fly from SFO to Lisbon and then home from LHR.  We are waiting to see the choices from SS for business which would only be $1050 PP...Less than a third of the best price we could do on our own but we want to fly no more than one stop on the outbound and nonstop in the return.  Based on experiences here is that unreasonable or unlikely when using SS?

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Yes. Not unreasonable at all. In June we flew SFO to Amsterdam, non-stop on KLM. The return was from Dublin. Silversea doesn't contract with any of the non-stops out of Dublin, so they routed us on BA Dublin to LHR, then LHR to SFO. All business class.

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Hopefully we will be lucky to get nonstop both ways from PHL using American, since each destination has a nonstop option to/from PHL  , but like Gourmetgal said , the price SS added on for business class was about 1/2 of the price of these flights  , so am concerned will get something less desirable. BTW,  how far in advance are you all making these air arrangements with Silverseas? Our  agent had told us about 270 days in advance we could start planning, but looks like the rates are available now on American’s website. 

 

Thanks again for all your comments/ guidance.

 

 

 

 

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I thought it was 280 days out for SS.  Yes, the airlines release 331 days out.  I was told that if you want to select seats right away the fee is $300PP extra.  Has anyone had a problem with seat selection in business class without paying extra to select early?

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6 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

I thought it was 280 days out for SS.  Yes, the airlines release 331 days out.  I was told that if you want to select seats right away the fee is $300PP extra.  Has anyone had a problem with seat selection in business class without paying extra to select early?

Hi, I didn't pay 300.00 extra and had a good seat on all of my flights:classic_biggrin:...….I can't remember when my flight actually got booked but I remember the first time I was in Business Class (2017) OMG...…...it is just fabulous!:classic_biggrin:

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  • 2 weeks later...

So far the flight choices offered by SS are very unsatisfactory for our 2020 Europe itinerary.  An additional upcharge of over $650 for a one-stop on the return LHR to SFO.  There should be no reason not to fly non-stop on that route as we did through Crystal a few years ago. Trying now to negotiate a non-stop but for even more of an upcharge.

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12 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

So far the flight choices offered by SS are very unsatisfactory for our 2020 Europe itinerary.  An additional upcharge of over $650 for a one-stop on the return LHR to SFO.  There should be no reason not to fly non-stop on that route as we did through Crystal a few years ago. Trying now to negotiate a non-stop but for even more of an upcharge.

That happened to us as well in our recent attempt to fly to Asia. The routing  offered by SS was a huge up charge and the connections very inconvenient.

 

We asked SS to credit us for the economy air and booked our own flights on Cathay Pacific. Ironically our business class tickets were almost the same $$ as  the round trip tickets being offered by SS, and they are  more convenient flights. We were told that SS must work with a contracted wholesaler and it is not uncommon that the flights offered are actually more expensive than those you can book yourself.

 

Our $1999 each way “ upgrade “ had add-ons of $650 pp plus additional fees if we wanted to arrive earlier than the cruise and stay a few extra days afterward.

 

We were fortunate to find a good fare and booked our own hotels at a good rate as well. It was a few hundred dollars more but we have an excellent itinerary and it was well worth the effort to do the bookings ourselves.

 

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2 hours ago, Gourmet Gal said:

Surprised you could find business class to Asia for less than $3K.  Worth booking yourself.

 

No- we are into about $5000 pp.  However the SS upgrade would have cost $1999 each way pp, plus deviation fee of $150 pp  AND an additional $1500 pp for terrible connections. We inquired about the flight we wanted, and eventually booked ourselves, and SS quoted that fare as being $7500 pp.

 

We decided that it was better to lose the offered one night hotel and airport transfers in order to book a better flight on a desirable airline. A frustrating experience but we went through the same process for our previous SS cruise in June and our January Seabourn cruise.

 

I guess the flight itinerary works out for some guests but it certainly has not for us.

 

 

 

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Due to health reasons I was unable to book cruise no. 5929, Sept 29, Rome to Monte Carlo until a few weeks ago. Silversea advertised free business class flights if booked before 31 July - so as I paid in full at time of booking and it was before the advertised date I thought I would qualify., however despite looking forward to this special Venetian cruise the whole booking experience has left a bad taste in my mouth and I am now questioning whether I wish to remain loyal to Silversea (since 2008 I have cruised  with them over 20 times).

I received a call to say that Silversea had “run out” or the cheap business class flights so I could only have economy seats, no discount was offered.

The next call offered a £400pp refund if we didn’t take the economy flights, and instead made our own arrangements, - but this meant we no longer qualified for the transfers between airport and ship. 

Then another call offered us business class seats if WE PAID Silversea an extra £500pp - so by this time the cruise was now going to cost an extra £1K for something I thought was included. (So business class seats were available, just not at a price Silversea were willing to pay.). 

 

No other offer was forthcoming (an offer of an OBC credit would have been nice) , but the travel agent did eventually gain agreement to deduct the cost of an extra suitcase each.

 

I just can’t get over the fact that Silversea misled me into thinking I would get business flights included included with the cruise. The offer on the website states “free business class flights if booked by 31 July” and that is what I was expecting. I feel conned by the company.

Loyal customers should be celebrated and not misled. If I hadn’t felt so pressured into making a decision I think I would have looked elsewhere. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last year we had no problem getting thru SS--BC PHL to Athens direct flight and same back plus the flights to and from Raleigh. This year thru SS we are flying to BCN and back from  FCO and received the requested Non stop flights in BC from and to Charlotte so nothing but great things to say about SS upgrade to BC --but that may have as much to do with a terrific TA than SS!

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52 minutes ago, Gema said:

Due to health reasons I was unable to book cruise no. 5929, Sept 29, Rome to Monte Carlo until a few weeks ago. Silversea advertised free business class flights if booked before 31 July - so as I paid in full at time of booking and it was before the advertised date I thought I would qualify., however despite looking forward to this special Venetian cruise the whole booking experience has left a bad taste in my mouth and I am now questioning whether I wish to remain loyal to Silversea (since 2008 I have cruised  with them over 20 times).

I received a call to say that Silversea had “run out” or the cheap business class flights so I could only have economy seats, no discount was offered.

The next call offered a £400pp refund if we didn’t take the economy flights, and instead made our own arrangements, - but this meant we no longer qualified for the transfers between airport and ship. 

Then another call offered us business class seats if WE PAID Silversea an extra £500pp - so by this time the cruise was now going to cost an extra £1K for something I thought was included. (So business class seats were available, just not at a price Silversea were willing to pay.). 

 

No other offer was forthcoming (an offer of an OBC credit would have been nice) , but the travel agent did eventually gain agreement to deduct the cost of an extra suitcase each.

 

I just can’t get over the fact that Silversea misled me into thinking I would get business flights included included with the cruise. The offer on the website states “free business class flights if booked by 31 July” and that is what I was expecting. I feel conned by the company.

Loyal customers should be celebrated and not misled. If I hadn’t felt so pressured into making a decision I think I would have looked elsewhere. 

 

 

Similar experience to mine.  Seems like a classic bait and switch unless there was some fine print that we just didn’t see.  We are also paying far more than the advertised fare for business class but I must say, the final price is far less than booking on our own or through a business class consolidator like Regal Wings.  I appreciate the SS offer but the execution seems very unprofessional.  They need to be more upfront about possible additional charges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gourmet Gal
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In reply to Gemma, whilst free Business Air is offered there is a paragraph under the offer that outlines the offer in full, and starts with, in case promotional air is not available.  

 

Having worked in the airline business any cruise line, tour operator, group organiser will hold a number of seats on flights at a reduced fare negotiated with the airline. At a date outlined in their agreement, passenger names have to be given and any seats not utilised by date this will be released back to the airline.  If the number of seats needed exceeds those held then the airline may not sell additional seats at the original fare if the flights are filling and so fares increase,  sometimes to full fare if they know from  historical data flights will fill in a specific class.

 

In this instance it looks like Silversea had used up their allocation of Business Class seats, and according to their offer that is why they offered economy seats.

 

Edited by seaquay
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I do understand this - my husband works in the airline industry  - I just think that when the business seat allocation has been used up Silversea should remove the offer from their website - don’t offer what you can’t deliver.

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This is my concern that SS may not be able to honor this business class promotion. I see that business class prices are much higher than what I believe SS  has allocated in the fare They charged. I just hope that they don’t default to their “ offer is subject to availability “ statement referenced above. I can only hope that they have covered the cost  in the  price for all those that have paid and did not exceed their business class allocation with their partnered  airlines. 

 

Gema - did you just recently book this cruise for this year or is this for next year? 

 

Thanks everyone for your continued comments

 

 

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On 7/16/2019 at 3:31 PM, alithecat said:

I don't recall when SS booked our flights. But when they did, they sent us the airline booking reference numbers. We were able to login to both KLM and BA's websites and select our seats.

In the interest of sharing my experience to hopefully help others...So just booked our cruise and flights are booked by SS but not ticketed.  We will be flying on different airlines on the round trip and I was able to log on to Virgin Atlantic and reserve our seats but was not able to reserve on TAP.  On TAP seats must be ticketed before they allow seat selection.  So seat reservation policies vary by airline.  $$ charges $300 pp to ticket early (before 60 days out) thus more than doubling the advertised “special” of $1050 business class upgrade because we also had to pay $700 more for non-stop flights not to mention the $150 air deviation.  Still, even if we pay the extra to select seats the ticket price is far less than booking the same flights on our own.  It just seems to be a rather convoluted process.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Even though Silversea knew they could not offer anymore free business class seats for the cruise I am booked on (as they informed me in writing a few weeks when I queried availability - I see that for my cruise the offer has now been extended to September. So offering something they know they cannot honour - shame on  you Silversea

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1 hour ago, Gema said:

 

Even though Silversea knew they could not offer anymore free business class seats for the cruise I am booked on (as they informed me in writing a few weeks when I queried availability - I see that for my cruise the offer has now been extended to September. So offering something they know they cannot honour - shame on  you Silversea

Well, perhaps for your itinerary and routing there are no more seats.  But for others, especially from major hubs there could still be seats.  Are they still offering business class but with extra fees?  Our flights were an extra $700 but all-in less than half the best price I could get on my own.  

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I’ve just received a quote for a voyage from SS. I asked for the costings regarding a business class airfare upgrade.

Taking into account the ‘free / included” economy airfare ....

Taking into account the fact that airline schedules have not yet been released, and tickets cannot be purchased ..

SS quoted me a price of £2450 per person to upgrade to BC. This is of course on top of the ‘included’ economy airfare which gives a ballpark figure of £3000 per person.

Should I choose to arrange my own airfares, the cost is £3200 for two passengers ... less any ‘refund’ for not taking the included airfare.

Basically the fares are marked up by 100% !!

For our upcoming cruise we booked our own airfares ... it proved far more economical !

 

 

 

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I think every case is different especially if you want non-stop flights.   Sometimes you may have a preference for a certain airline but SS os not contracted with them for bulk fares so you could pay a big premium over the basic offer.  You really have to compare the cost by looking at the same airlines that SS is quoting you.  In my case, because I wanted 2 un-affiliated airlines I saved about $4000 pp on business class booking with SS and even more if I compared to the airline I would normally book.  Consider their basic offer a starting point because they will add other charges if you want a deviation, early ticketing and seat selection, sometimes non-stop, certain airlines, etc.

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We do not have much of a choice when it comes to flying. Our regional airport only offers international flights using BA (via LHR), KLM (via AMS) or AF (via CDG), so unless SS are going to fly us around the houses and / or mix and match then their options are also limited. In the case that I mentioned BA do not even fly to the airport that SS use ... it would be a code share with AA. (Thinks frying pan and fire)

 

I take your point about cheaper contracted fares ... we used the same principle when I was at sea but we had the ‘perk’ that the company passed the discounts onto wives airfares 😀... so what bugs me is that despite the massive discount they can negotiate, they still apply a mark up on the ‘regular’ price?

 

Also I cannot understand how they can quote a price on something that is not for sale ... which is what they are doing in this case.

 

I find the marketing / sales somewhat misleading, and then maybe having to pay extra to obtain decent flights... the whole process is off putting and  it stops me from using that particular aspect of a potential booking.

 

 

 

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I don’t see how we would know if SS is marking up airfares.  In every case where I’ve used a cruiseline’s air dept. I’ve usually paid only 1/3 to 1/2 the fare I could book on my own so I don’t really care if SS makes money in my ticket or not.  But if the routing is too convoluted it may not be worth it.

 

An advantage of booking through SS is that of there is a problem with your flight they will do their best to reroute or rebook to get you to the ship.  I’ve never had to use this service but I would suppose it would be without additional cost.  Perhaps others can comment.

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SS quoted me a price of £2450 per person to upgrade to BC.

This is on top of the economy fare that is included in the price ... for simplicity say £550.

By my maths that is £3000 per person whereas booking them  independenty is £3500 for two people ..... £1750 each .... not £3000 ...

If that isn’t a mark up then what Is?

 

Similarly they quoted me for a hotel. The quote price  - per person - was identical to the hotels price per room!  A 100% increase.

 

I appreciate the peace of mind aspect but at what cost?

 

 

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