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rachelmle1

Flights by Celebrity? Have you booked flights this way?

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I am going on the Edge Xmas cruise with my family and flights to FLL are outrageously expensive!!!  We are frequent travelers to Florida during Winter Break, but this year is bonkers with flight prices.   I noticed that "Flights by Celebrity" has the best price I've found so far.  As I understand, we can lock this fare in - but we don't have to pay for the flights until final payment is due in September.  They also guarantee that we will make it to the ship one way or another (on their dime) if there's a delay or cancellation - along with a guarantee that we will make it to the airport in time for our departing flight after the cruise.  Has anyone used this "Flights by Celebrity" booking service?  If so, what has been your experience?

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Posted (edited)

i use flights by Celebrity for nearly every cruise. But be aware of that nowhere do they guarantee that they will get you to the ship nor get you from the ship to your homeward flight. They guarantee that they will help you if there are delays. But they make no guarantee that you will make it to the ship.  When there are delays they will assist you in getting to the next port to pick up the ship. Or if the ship is delayed coming back into port they will assist you with booking a later flight should you miss your flight. Read the fine print carefully

Edited by cruisestitch

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I have used Flights by Celebrity for our upcoming cruise to Asia.

 

The main reason: The guarantee to make it to the ship, if something goes unplanned with our original flight. I hope, I will not have to test this guarantee, but I find it reassuring. 

 

I would recommend checking prices first, prior to call Flights by Celebrity. In our case, the price offered by Flights by Celebrity was the same as booking directly with the airline.

 

In the process, I have learned that not all airlines are on-board with the process book first, pay later. For example, with Air Canada, we had to pay the fare at booking time. Cost of changes to the booked flights will depend of the type of fare originally booked. 

 

The other interesting element, is that Flighs by Celebrity did not have access to all the flights offered by the airline. For example, the airline had a 05h30 AM, a 06h00 AM departure, a 06h30 AM and a 07h00 AM departure for the first of two connecting flights. Taking into account our Canadian winters, de-icing procedures etc, I was hoping to book one of the earliest flights to maximize time available to catch the second flight and minimize the risk that a delay on the first would impact our connecting flight to Asia. Unfortunately, Flight by Celebrity only had the 06h30 and the 07h00 AM flights available. So we took the 06h30 AM, and were subsequently notified that our connecting flight departure time was moved forward by about 20 min. further shrinking our connecting time. I am really glad we did not take the 07h00 AM flight, initially proposed by Flights by Celebrity.

 

The other elements we learned, is that Flights by Celebrity was not involved in seat assignments. So once the booking was made, we also had to call the airline for more information on seat assignment, luggage and meal on-board.

 

 

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So far so good with booking Flights by Celebrity. Not all flights are refundable, you have to check each flight. Prior to final payment we have been able to re-book several times at a lower price. We have also been able to make our seat assignments.

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We have always booked our flights and cruise, as booking air also includes transportation and a day hotel at the end of the cruise. This is via Celebrity UK and then becomes a package booking.

There was a dis- advantage however, when we cancelled a cruise. We were asked to pay for the flight as it was a charter carrier. I objected, but was told that I had been informed at booking. I maintained I wasn’t. They said that they had played the conversation back and that I was told at the booking stage, but I wasn’t able to listen to the tape. I was so cross that I put a complaint on Social Media, adding that I should have had the T& C in writing. I was phoned by Miami later that evening and told that we wouldn’t be charged for the flights and that our deposit would be carried over to another booking ( in the UK we have always lost our deposit if we cancel).

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I have been able to change to a lower fare before paying, change flights and have always been able to book my seats on Delta. Also, Celebrity Air is open 24/7 so any changes can be done at any time.  I had a notification of a lay over change for my return flight just before leaving my hotel to embark a cruise and the lay over was way too short. So I was calling on a Sunday at 8:30 AM. No problem with getting it all taken care of. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, cachouonacruise said:

 

 

In the process, I have learned that not all airlines are on-board with the process book first, pay later. For example, with Air Canada, we had to pay the fare at booking time. Cost of changes to the booked flights will depend of the type of fare originally booked. 

 

 

The other elements we learned, is that Flights by Celebrity was not involved in seat assignments. So once the booking was made, we also had to call the airline for more information on seat assignment, luggage and meal on-board.

 

 

For our recent cruise we used Flights by Celebrity for our Air Canada flights and we did not have to pay until our final cruise payment. Seat selection was also done through them free of charge but only once we made final payment.

Edited by bkbarrym

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2 minutes ago, bkbarrym said:

For our recent cruise we used Flights by Celebrity for our Air Canada flights and we did not have to pay until our final cruise payment. Seat selection was also done through them but only once we made final payment.

 

Wow! How recently was this? I am curious, since this was definitely not the case in June 2019 when we booked our flights to Asia for March 2020.

 

I had to pay then ( no choice) and to contact the airline to get the seat assigned? 

 

Were you travelling Business or First Class? 

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11 minutes ago, cachouonacruise said:

 

Wow! How recently was this? I am curious, since this was definitely not the case in June 2019 when we booked our flights to Asia for March 2020.

 

I had to pay then ( no choice) and to contact the airline to get the seat assigned? 

 

Were you travelling Business or First Class? 

We booked our flights beginning of February for departure end of June. We booked it through our Celebrity cruise planner who must have had access to the system. We booked basic economy for fights between YYZ and Newark, NJ. Maybe it's different for overseas flights.

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3 minutes ago, bkbarrym said:

We booked our flights beginning of February for departure end of June. We booked it through our Celebrity cruise planner who must have had access to the system. We booked basic economy for fights between YYZ and Newark, NJ. Maybe it's different for overseas flights.

 

Thank-you for the feed back! Interesting and curious at the same time. I wonder what is the actual Air Canada policy when booking via Celebrity now. I hope others will chime in to share their experience.

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8 minutes ago, cachouonacruise said:

 

Thank-you for the feed back! Interesting and curious at the same time. I wonder what is the actual Air Canada policy when booking via Celebrity now. I hope others will chime in to share their experience.

For what it's worth we booked a Celebrity December 2018 Caribbean cruise last summer through Air Canada Vacations and did not have to make payment until final cruise payment date. However, in that case we did pay for seat selection.

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I think the variables are most likely related to the specific airline and rate type.

 

We chose Flights by Celebrity because our trip is not until January 2020. It let us book a flight without fretting, knowing we could change our minds later (in this case no money up front, fully refundable until October).

 

Initially we first went with EVA air which seemed like a good rate but no seat selection was offered. I found a flight variation with United that gave us an extra 2-days pre-cruise in HK and 1-day in Singapore. We were given adjoining seats (3 people). A month later, the rate went down again and they rebooked and got us the same seats. No hassle. I can even see my reservation on United but will wait to make any potential upgrades until after we have committed with final payment.

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Thank you for all of the replies!! I double checked all info and went ahead and booked flights with Celebrity.  I am booked through United, and I do not owe payment until cruise final payment is due 🙂 I’ll now have to stalk the flight prices to see if they go down so I can hopefully get a price adjustment!!  

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OP,

If you are flying down to FLL the day of the cruise I strongly urge you to have passports for your entire family in case you don't make your embarkation and the cruise air department sends you on to one of the foreign islands on your itinerary. On a closed loop cruise like you are taking you don't NEED a passport but for flights you do.

Also continue to monitor your reservation for both schedule and/or equipment changes. 

Make sure the cruise air phone number is available with your docs too.

 

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15 hours ago, 39august said:

I have been able to change to a lower fare before paying, change flights and have always been able to book my seats on Delta. Also, Celebrity Air is open 24/7 so any changes can be done at any time.  I had a notification of a lay over change for my return flight just before leaving my hotel to embark a cruise and the lay over was way too short. So I was calling on a Sunday at 8:30 AM. No problem with getting it all taken care of. 

I booked a flight on Celebrity Air yesterday. Today the price is lower. Is there an additional service charge to have them reprice the tickets? Also, do you know if they will reprice more than once?  Thanks. 

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9 hours ago, alcpa1 said:

OP,

If you are flying down to FLL the day of the cruise I strongly urge you to have passports for your entire family in case you don't make your embarkation and the cruise air department sends you on to one of the foreign islands on your itinerary. On a closed loop cruise like you are taking you don't NEED a passport but for flights you do.

Also continue to monitor your reservation for both schedule and/or equipment changes. 

Make sure the cruise air phone number is available with your docs too.

 

 

We always keep our passports on our person - also, we are flying down a day early just to be on the safe side 🙂

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We are looking into flights for a transatlantic cruise. If we book flights through Celebrity and do not pay until payment is due for our cruise are we able to make seat selections right away?

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I have booked with Choice air many times.  I then go to airline site and select my seat.  The fare was for standard economy and not basic economy with Delta.   However, the great discounts are not what they once were - especially from my hometown.  If you are from a major city with a lot of competition, your cost may be a lot lower.   

 

Regarding the statement about getting you to ship.   You will get to the ship but it may be at first port of call but I believe it must be a foreign port.  As to getting to plane after cruise - they will not book a flight that is not within their criteria of a safe departure time.  

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We used Flights by Celebrity for the first time to book two first class tickets from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale for our Equinox trip 7/26/19-8/3/19. The rates we found though Flights by Celebrity were better than anything we could find online by a noticeable amount.

 

There were a couple of plusses and minuses about booking this way which haven't been mentioned. On the plus side, the amount of the tickets added to the total cost of my cruise with Celebrity, and my travel agent gives on board credit based on the total amount booked cruise+airfare. Booking with Choice Air bumped us up into a higher OBC bracket which amounted to an additional $300. This, of course, is travel agent dependent. I also loved that I could book my flight much earlier and lock in a decent price which wasn't due for payment until 90 days before cruising.

 

On the minus side, we booked a direct flight, but American cancelled all of its direct flights on the route and only offered connections. We were automatically rebooked, but it was just a bit of an inconvenience even with short layovers of less than 50 minutes. My point is that you are at the mercy of the airline if their itinerary changes. 

 

All in all, I would use this method again because of the consolidator pricing and other perks that can add up to savings.

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23 hours ago, rachelmle1 said:

Thank you for all of the replies!! I double checked all info and went ahead and booked flights with Celebrity.  I am booked through United, and I do not owe payment until cruise final payment is due 🙂 I’ll now have to stalk the flight prices to see if they go down so I can hopefully get a price adjustment!!  

 

OP  -- Are you able to book your seats now?

Thanks.

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Hi - yes, I was able to book seats, but I wasn’t able to take our United status into account when choosing the seats. (My husband is Global Services and we get automatic Economy Plus seating, along with free checked bags.) I was told that once we pay for the tickets we will be able to change our seats through the United app.  As of now, my confirmation and regular economy seats are showing up through the United app, but I am not able to change the seats since the fight isn’t paid for yet. 

 

I hope that that makes sense! 

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We use Choice Air/Flights By Celebrity on international flights only. We have found that domestic is often the same as the airline sites, also multi-destination flights never seem a value. We just booked LAX-FCO one way in Delta One for our October transatlantic, $!267 each and refundable. $$9600 on the Delta site. We were able to select seats and put our Sky Miles number in. About the same price differential on other airlines.

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15 hours ago, rachelmle1 said:

Hi - yes, I was able to book seats, but I wasn’t able to take our United status into account when choosing the seats. (My husband is Global Services and we get automatic Economy Plus seating, along with free checked bags.) I was told that once we pay for the tickets we will be able to change our seats through the United app.  As of now, my confirmation and regular economy seats are showing up through the United app, but I am not able to change the seats since the fight isn’t paid for yet. 

 

I hope that that makes sense! 

 

It does, thank you. 

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