Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
traveline

NCL Free Airfare

Recommended Posts

I was wondering about how it all works, as well. We took advantage of the free flight offer for our next cruise (October 2020) this past week. It's free for my husband and I, and around $260 for each of the kids. In addition, there is a fee of around $350 for the transportation to and from the port (mandatory). We were offered the option of a deviation of up to 2 days prior to the cruise, and declined. My understanding is that by booking a flight through the cruise line, the ship must wait for us if our flight is delayed. Can anyone confirm? I have been on a cruise where we were delayed departure, and the rumor mill buzzing around the ship was that our delay was due to a flight that hadn't come in, yet, booked through NLC.

 

My other concern is that we are travelling with our two young children, and I keep reading horror stories of families being separated onto different flights. Is there any truth to this? Would they honestly put an 8 year old on a flight alone?? My kids have never flown, so this is especially concerning. We are hoping to have seats together (at least 2 and 2, so each of us can sit with a kid. My husband and I don't care if we are at opposite ends of the plane), but was booking this a major mistake that will end with crying kids by themselves on planes? 😉 I hope not! The price just seemed too good to pass up. Flying in will be cheaper than any other method of travel, and eliminates the need to book a hotel. Considering we were robbed at the New Jersey hotel we stayed at for our last cruise (by a staff member, goodbye all of our travel cash) we want to avoid that mess, entirely. =P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried reading the terms and conditions last night to see if I saw anything about holding ships for delayed flights and on the contrary, all I saw were statements about not being responsible for anything outside of NCL's control. I even looked for something about getting to the next port if the flight was delayed, and again saw nothing that says they would do that. Soooo yeah. Travel insurance for sure.

 

I priced flights from Philly to Copenhagen in October, the month of my cruise although mine is in 2021, and couldn't find any itineraries that I would want to book that were cheaper than the $699 being charged by NCL or even within a couple hundred $ more. I saw plenty of wonderful itineraries for several thousands of dollars though. Like seriously, return flights that leave after 10AM on disembarkation day jumped up to over $3000. Maybe it was in krone instead of dollars? :classic_huh: I'll keep researching though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 8/22/2019 at 10:12 AM, RedwingHockeyFan said:

One other thing to note, when you get the airfare perk it also includes transportation from the airport to the port and then back after the cruise.  If you pay the $25 to fly in early, there is no transportation to the port included and you will have to do that on your own.  I don't know about the return to the airport after the cruise though.

The transportation to and from the airport is an additional fee....not included in the airfare perk  .  You can tell NCL to take it off your reservation and make your own transportation, one way or both ways.  Yes, if you deviate either way, the transportation is not included in that direction. 

And GO AVS !!!!!!

Edited by snow1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, snow1 said:

The transportation to and from the airport is an additional fee....not included in the airfare perk  .  You can tell NCL to take it off your reservation and make your own transportation, one way or both ways.  Yes, if you deviate either way, the transportation is not included in that direction. 

 

I was told by the customer service rep that transportation from the airport to the port, and vice versa, was included.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, RedwingHockeyFan said:

 

I was told by the customer service rep that transportation from the airport to the port, and vice versa, was included.

 

When you book online there is a charge for your flight and a charge for your transfer.

Your fee might have been the total of the two but you are in fact paying for the transfer and it is expensive (compared to doing it on your own).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, RedwingHockeyFan said:

 

I was told by the customer service rep that transportation from the airport to the port, and vice versa, was included.

Interesting.....our invoice showed an additional charge for the transportation returning to the airport, until I called my PCC and had them remove it.  Wonder if its included now? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, K_e_short said:

 

When you book online there is a charge for your flight and a charge for your transfer.

Your fee might have been the total of the two but you are in fact paying for the transfer and it is expensive (compared to doing it on your own).

 

 

I don't honestly know, I didn't book online.  I booked on the ship and they told me to call NCL directly to book the flights.  I called just to get information because I was traveling with 4 people but only two of us had the airfare perk.  We had a third in the room that still gets a discounted fare but not as much.  The 4th person was staying in a studio so they couldn't do anything for them.  She gave me the price for us two and the third person, told us that it included the transportation.  She told us if we flew in a day early that the price is $25 per person extra charge and no longer included transportation.

 

We ultimately decided not to book thru NCL because I found a flight for all 4 of us that was around the same price.  Plus I got all 4 of us on the same flight which I was not able to do with NCL, until I knew what the flight was going to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, snow1 said:

Yes, if you deviate either way, the transportation is not included in that direction

I have two cruise confirmations contradicting that.  Both show line-items for an air deviation AND a transfer, with the air deviation at the start of the trip.  I have not gotten details about the airport to port transfer yet but I have time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, RedwingHockeyFan said:

 

I don't honestly know, I didn't book online.  I booked on the ship and they told me to call NCL directly to book the flights.  I called just to get information because I was traveling with 4 people but only two of us had the airfare perk.  We had a third in the room that still gets a discounted fare but not as much.  The 4th person was staying in a studio so they couldn't do anything for them.  She gave me the price for us two and the third person, told us that it included the transportation.  She told us if we flew in a day early that the price is $25 per person extra charge and no longer included transportation.

 

We ultimately decided not to book thru NCL because I found a flight for all 4 of us that was around the same price.  Plus I got all 4 of us on the same flight which I was not able to do with NCL, until I knew what the flight was going to be.

Could be that the rep simply gave a quote that "included" transfers but they are a separate line item charge clearly shown both online and on documents.  

 

For our Epic TA there is an airfare charge and the next line indicates the transfers.  Will be our first experience using the reduced airfare.  I learned through these boards (and confirmed with NCL on the phone) that transfers can be removed if desired.  

 

Regarding transfers, they can be a good deal.  Paid for NCL transfer to airport in Ft. Lauderdale & LA and it was less expensive even with two of us than taking a taxi.  But in other ports, cheaper to take a taxi, Uber, etc.  I'm talking about the regular transfers one can sign up for on the ship, not anything as part of an airfare package.  

 

With a little homework & comparison, you can find out what works best for you.  Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another question, and I may have seen it in another thread, do we need to complete check-in for the cruise before the final flight info is provided?  I see the cities for the flights in my summary but no flight numbers so I can only guess what flights they are, I have not yet completed check-in though.

 

Unfortunately, it looks like I'll be flying outbound separate from the two I'm traveling with, they're in another cabin on a separate booking but flying from the same city (guess one of the flights didn't have 3 empty seats?).  Good thing we're all adults....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, hallux said:

Another question, and I may have seen it in another thread, do we need to complete check-in for the cruise before the final flight info is provided?  I see the cities for the flights in my summary but no flight numbers so I can only guess what flights they are, I have not yet completed check-in though.

 

Unfortunately, it looks like I'll be flying outbound separate from the two I'm traveling with, they're in another cabin on a separate booking but flying from the same city (guess one of the flights didn't have 3 empty seats?).  Good thing we're all adults....

You won't get your Edocs until you complete your check in.  Edocs are usually available at 120 days out.  Except your airline info won't be on your first Edocs till NCL pays for your tickets.  After reading a ton of posts on this topic, it seems that the airline info will appear on your Edocs anywhere from 60 days to 30 days out.  We are at 85 days right now, and I still check every day.  It's pretty frustrating, but free airfare from SFO to HNL makes me not as crazy as I thought I would be! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @snow1  I'm 65 days out.  I assume once we complete check-in we'll get an email when the updated e-docs are available?

 

I'm in a similar situation, having to fly cross-country, those kinds of flights should automatically be the day before without the deviation fee, there aren't many flights that arrive with enough of a buffer to be able to book people the same day..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hallux...could you let us know how many days out you get your air info?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Snow1,

It isn't just how many days in advance you get the airfare, it's that you may not have time to change anything before ticketing is finalized.  As in our case and checking for edoc air listing several times a day, they were updated and our flights ticketed within 7 hours from when i last checked.  And they were ticketed immediately and NCL said we could change anything..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Alatraveler1 said:

Snow1,

It isn't just how many days in advance you get the airfare, it's that you may not have time to change anything before ticketing is finalized.  As in our case and checking for edoc air listing several times a day, they were updated and our flights ticketed within 7 hours from when i last checked.  And they were ticketed immediately and NCL said we could change anything..

ThanksAlatraveler1

It was my understanding from the Premium Air department, and alot of posts, that once you get you air info, you can call the airlines and try to change seats, or upgrade to Economy Plus, dealing now directly with the airline.   Once NCL sends you the info, then it (I think) means that the tickets were paid for and ticketed, and finalized. 

How many days out did you get your info?

Edited by snow1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, snow1 said:

hallux...could you let us know how many days out you get your air info?

Thanks

Sure.  I can't complete the check-in just yet, one of my usual emergency contacts will actually be on the ship with me, my others come home tomorrow but I'm not sure if they're traveling while I will be, want to make sure I have someone that can be reachable...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, snow1 said:

ThanksAlatraveler1

It was my understanding from the Premium Air department, and alot of posts, that once you get you air info, you can call the airlines and try to change seats, or upgrade to Economy Plus, dealing now directly with the airline.   Once NCL sends you the info, then it (I think) means that the tickets were paid for and ticketed, and finalized. 

How many days out did you get your info?

It was around 50 days.  And, you're spot on.  I was able to get seats assigned (after calling both airlines and finding out which one had the actual confirmation number that would allow seat assignments) and could have upgraded at our own expense.  Our issue was just that the flight doesn't even depart until MANY hours after debarkation and will actually get us home past midnight.  NCL nor the airlines would budge on ANY earlier flight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Alatraveler1 said:

doesn't even depart until MANY hours after debarkation

This is actually a concern I have for my trip, not so much the late flight (I think we're all taking Monday off also) but the slack time.  We have the transfers to the airport but the flights I'm seeing with the connecting airport that's listed are relatively late.  I'm not spending the day at LAX, we might have to either rent a car for the day or take one of the post-cruise tours to kill some of that time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting thread. We are 47 days out and no tickets purchased yet. From the cities listed on the E-Docs it looks as if the flights will be on Delta. I check multiple times a day. Plan to upgrade to comfort + if it is in fact Delta. I am someone that likes to have all the plans finalized far in advance. This makes me nervous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/22/2019 at 1:12 PM, RedwingHockeyFan said:

One other thing to note, when you get the airfare perk it also includes transportation from the airport to the port and then back after the cruise.  If you pay the $25 to fly in early, there is no transportation to the port included and you will have to do that on your own.  I don't know about the return to the airport after the cruise though.

We opted to deviate a day early and the cruise line automatically added the transportation for an additional charge. I had to specifically tell them I didn’t want their transfers and they removed the transfers and the corresponding charge. We’re flying into Miami and the deviation is $25 each and the transfers were going to be another $50 each. I felt like we could uber for less. I think they try to just automatically add the transfers and hope you don’t notice and just pay whether or not you actually use them. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, K_e_short said:

 

When you book online there is a charge for your flight and a charge for your transfer.

Your fee might have been the total of the two but you are in fact paying for the transfer and it is expensive (compared to doing it on your own).

 

NCL transfers are not always expensive.  It's up to the traveler to weigh convenience and price. I have used them often. We are deviating so I booked my own for a little less and friends paid a bit more in Barcelona, on average the same as NCL charges. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, hallux said:

This is actually a concern I have for my trip, not so much the late flight (I think we're all taking Monday off also) but the slack time.  We have the transfers to the airport but the flights I'm seeing with the connecting airport that's listed are relatively late.  I'm not spending the day at LAX, we might have to either rent a car for the day or take one of the post-cruise tours to kill some of that time.

 

We unfortunately have to work and the kid has to go to school that day.  It's doing those things on a few hours sleep after a vacation that is  disappointing.  Getting back and being exhausted rather than rested.  I refuse to give the cruiseline that booked me this flight more money for a debarkation excursion.  And although we could just do something away from the airport while we wait, what do we do with luggage?  Renting a car wipes out the "savings" from the "free or reduced air"  that we have to wait so many hours to take.

 

Hopefully it will work out for you.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 8/23/2019 at 11:29 AM, Alatraveler1 said:

Called this morning to inquire about a change to return flight as one listed wouldn't get us home until after 1 a.m..  NCL said they had already ticketed and they would not make any changes and that it was under the control of the two airlines. 

 

Most likely we'll be stuck with the return flight for which NCL paid $66 each for and that departs 11 hours after debarkation and gets us home around 1 a.m.

It appears we will have the same experience which may make this my last NCL cruise. I called the service line and they tell me not to worry about the flight times until they are booked. And then of course once they are booked, you are stuck. Not a very good system. For people with limited vacation, how can they justify getting you back home a day after you disembark? (From flight schedules it looks like I am getting home at about 9:30 am the next day - LAX returning to the midwest).

 

 

Edited by M4RK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're choosing the cheap option by selecting this airfare (as I've yet to see someone say I could get airfare cheaper but choose to go through NCL), I'm not sure why it's surprising that NCL is likely choosing the cheapest flights they can get vs more convenient ones 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, M4RK said:

It appears we will have the same experience which may make this my last NCL cruise. I called the service line and they tell me not to worry about the flight times until they are booked. And then of course once they are booked, you are stuck. Not a very good system. For people with limited vacation, how can they justify getting you back home a day after you disembark? (From flight schedules it looks like I am getting home at about 9:30 am the next day - LAX returning to the midwest).

 

 

 

1 hour ago, smplybcause said:

You're choosing the cheap option by selecting this airfare (as I've yet to see someone say I could get airfare cheaper but choose to go through NCL), I'm not sure why it's surprising that NCL is likely choosing the cheapest flights they can get vs more convenient ones 

 Because you don't expect the best, but also don't expect they'll give their customers the worst. And M4RK s right, they tell you not to worry about flight times but to contact them after they are booked if there's an issue (and yes, getting home the day after debarkation IS an ISSUE).  Then when you call them they say too bad it's too late and refuse to do anything. 

 

It's as if the free beverage package is promised as a perk and that it promises beer, wine and liquor but they tell you not to worry about the brands and they can't say for sure what will be on board.  Then once you've set sail they say they can't do anything about the fact that what's available to you is Boone's Farm wine, PBR and 1000 pipers scotch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...