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Any Positive Free Air Experiences

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Debating about taking the free air perk. Just 2 of us traveling together. Looks like more negative experiences vs positive. Would like to hear about the positive experiences.

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It is normal that people just post the negative. I was waiting for the actual air booking on my account. The routing changed 3 times before I was finally booked. I am happy with the arrangements and it saved me probably $400 versus what I would have had to pay. If I booked my own I might have had better flights, but what I received was fine. I think you just have to be prepared for the worse, and hopefully get pleasantly surprised.

 

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What do you consider "negative"?  I took the airfare - I kind of wish my flight to the embarkation port wasn't a 6 AM flight (I paid for a 1 day deviation so I didn't need to be on the West coast at 11:30 AM, leaving from the East coast), my return is a red-eye so I have 12 hours to kill before boarding my return flight but once you get past the early morning flights there aren't many headed East so if I booked myself I would have paid through the nose for afternoon flights or gotten the same red-eye.

 

My flights were booked 47 days out.  I've already been able to go on the airline websites and select my seats for all 4 flights.

 

Of course - I'm a morning person during the week so getting up for a 6 AM flight doesn't concern me.  After looking at flight schedules the flights were actually almost exactly what I expected.

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I think those negatives or most of them are from people who are not being realistic. Of course the seats and times may not be ideal, but we have to consider the price. We paid $99 a person plus $20 for transfers. if we were paying for our choice of times and transfers, we would be paying about $600 for our flights and $30 or more per person for transfers. I do not like leaving at 6am but my brain is telling me: Nita, you are going to be just fine. 

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Unfortunately for my, my wife will not take anything but non stop flights after we had a couple of less that perfect experiences with stops. They were not 'world ending' experiences; but, anything less that smooth  is not acceptable to here. So, no flight perk for us.

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We could do a RT from PHL-LHR for $399 for our next cruise (each of course) excluding transfers which I think is a phenomenal price, but just like SouthLyonCruiser, my hubby is a terrible traveler and I couldn’t take the risk that he’d be stuck in a middle seat far away from me, or he’d be unhappy if we got red eyes, plus I call him Mr. Business Class because for long flights it’s business or better or he doesn’t go.  Trust me, we flew First PHL to Seattle and even that was hard for him because he has restless leg syndrome.  

 

If it was just me I’d do it in a heartbeat and just deal, but he can’t.  Bummer.  The price makes it worthwhile for me.

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2 minutes ago, SouthLyonCruiser said:

non stop flights

In some cases this just isn't possible.  Unless I'm going to a hub (DTW, BWI, ATL, etc) I generally can't get a direct flight unless it's to FLL on JetBlue.  If your home airport is one where you can easily get direct flights - be my guest.

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We were on the Sun cruise that left from PC (in Fla) on Aug 29 for a 4 night cruise to the Bahamas... due to Dorian we went to Cozumel for 2 days (overnight) and then headed to New Orleans. We got there on Tuesday after lunch and NCL got us flights to Charleston SC Wednesday morning. We didn't have to do anything about rescheduling our flights or transfers to the airport.

Don't get me wrong there were some hiccups but we made it home just in time to batten down the hatches for Dorian as she roared by Charleston!

 

Would I do it again for $99 each, heck yeah!

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We just got back last weekend and had a good experience with our NCL-booked free flights (Boston to Miami).  

 

We opted to fly in the day before which cost us $25 upcharge each.  Flights weren't bad - 8 am American Airlines Boston to Philly, 45 minute layover, then Philly to Miami.

 

They booked us home on Delta - 11:45 am which was plenty of time to get from the ship to the airport on the (included) NCL bus.  Miami to NY JFK, then Boston after 40 minute layover.

 

Would direct flights have been better?  Yup but this was free and it all worked out fine for us.

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Had one early this year. Chose to leave from Chicago instead of Indianapolis for cost and to have a better chance at direct flight (and I have family there I could stay with the night before/leave my car at). It worked out well, no problems with the flights.  I would have preferred to fly in the night before instead of the morning of, and I had a long wait between disembarking and the return flight, but otherwise everything went smooth. I did get my flight info well ahead of time, was able to select my seats. I would do it again, but I will always crunch the numbers to make sure it is worth it, since domestic flights are usually pretty cheap and I usually only get 1 perk with inside bookings.

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It will be my first time next year. I'm on a trans Atlantic and one way air from Europe is insanely expensive, like $1880 pp from London, so I am taking NCL's free air, shall see how it goes

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Have one coming up next week. 

 

Paid $25 to go in a day early, (fee can be waived if we stayed at their hotel, but it was at airport and we wanted to be downtown.) Notified of flights at 31 days out. 

 

Colorado Springs to Salt Lake (1 hour layover) to Calgary (2 hour layover) to Vancouver on Delta and WestJet.  Not thrilled with 2 stops, but since COS is a smaller airport it's not unexpected, and we'd prefer the layovers to having to fly from Denver.  Home is a direct flight from LAX to COS on United leaving at 6:30pm, so we opted to do an excursion in LA that day. 

 

We're not sitting together on the plane, but we don't really care since we'll be watching a movie or reading.  I was able to go into some of the flights to pick seats, but some of them required us to pay to choose seats (we're cheap - as long as we have a seat, we don't care!) 

 

We're happy and feel like the flights were just as good as any we could have booked ourselves, and using the reduced airfare saved us around $700.  More than that, we're tickled pink that we don't have to go to Denver, and we're on VACATION!!  🍹🍹

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Have one coming up next month - but our flights were better than we could have hoped for. Flying EWR-BCN nonstop on United!

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4 hours ago, orimeep said:

Have one coming up next month - but our flights were better than we could have hoped for. Flying EWR-BCN nonstop on United!

We had the same flight and added the one day deviation. We were in Economy Plus due to a frequent flyer status perk, but our friends paid for their upgrade. Plus is at front of Economy section and seats have more legroom so you decide if it's worth paying extra. 

 

 For my mother  and I the NCL flight perk made this trip of a lifetime possible (Epic Mediterranean cruise).

 

Our flight home left at 11am and landed in Newark before 3pm.

 

If I qualified I would not hesitate to use the perk again. I usually book insides so I can not use the perk.

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We simply prefer to do our own airfare booking and choose what we enjoy.  Right now, I would be hard pressed to do anything but direct flights in most cases, so the free air-fare is not for us.  We also like to fly down a day earlier to create a buffer in case of bad weather or other problems.

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On 9/28/2019 at 9:19 AM, davy jones said:

Ours was good. Newark to Miami

 

 

Now that I have time, I will expand.

 

First of all, the EWR to MIA routing was actually "free", other than the baggage fees imposed by the airlines.  

 

We were assigned nonstop flights in both directions.  Going down, we had a 6:45 AM flight on United.  The return flight was a 1:30 PM on American.  Neither are my among my preferred airlines, but they did the job.  We were able to get assigned seats in advance, but both seemed to only offer seats toward the rear of the plane (no biggie).  Overall, the flights went as well as can be expected on those airlines.

 

The NCL transfer to the ship was not good.  We were in MIA by 9:30 and the representative was in the baggage area.   Our checked bags were put on a truck to be sent to the ship. The transfer waiting area was already packed, so we would be on the transfer bus.  However, the first bus was not leaving for the ship until 11:00 AM.  Rather than stand for at least two hours, the four of us took an Uber to the ship ($16 plus tip).  The return bus transfer was very efficient.  The busses were at the pier and left for the airport when full.

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Nothing but good things to say about my experience.  My wife went out of MIA in May from EWR, direct, non-stop flights, we had the same when my family of 4 went in August.  Booked cruise out of Venice in 2021, expecting the same.

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We were traveling with my stepson who was staying in a studio and he did not have that perk.  You can add a 3rd/4th person staying in the same stateroom and it will cost $200 more but not someone staying in a separate stateroom.  It was just better for us to book our own flights instead of waiting until 45 days out to book a matching flight for my stepson, we found a really cheap flight that was straight from Detroit to Orlando. 

 

Has anyone ever requested to have the same flights as people from a separate stateroom?

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I'm pretty happy with our flights. We leave in about a month.

 

We opted for the day before and booked with Amex and so they waived the day before fee. We canceled the transfers in both directions as well. No strings attached with that airfare.

 

Day before we leave at about 130pm. On the return we depart at noon. Nonstop both ways.

 

Since we're on American and I have status, I selected our seats in the preferred seats for free.

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4 hours ago, RedwingHockeyFan said:

Has anyone ever requested to have the same flights as people from a separate stateroom?

I don't know that it was specifically requested but my TA told me that she made sure that my reservation was linked with my sister's, even for the air travel.  Our placeholders were initially different but the day before the flights were booked my placeholders changed to match hers and we ended up on the same flights.

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We got lucky. Coming from Toronto and going to NYC. We are flying in the day before the cruise by choice and the times are good. Returning, our flight out is a direct flight and leaves around mid afternoon so not too long of a wait. I did find waiting for the flight times stressful and we could have easily ended up with poorly time flights so not sure I would do it again. 

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On 9/28/2019 at 9:19 AM, davy jones said:

Ours was good. Newark to Miami

 

 

Did you fly out on embarkation day?   Wondering if that makes a direct flight more likely 

We're around 110 days out and flying out 2 days before the cruise; the placeholders look like Newark to Charlotte to Miami - so I'm assuming American Airlines.  Looks like direct flight home.   I asked if they would give us the option of either Newark or Philadelphia but was told one or the other - the computer can't handle anything else.   I've been watching the flights and because it's January and close to the Super Bowl, direct flights are already sold out  or "on sale" for $500 each

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4 minutes ago, 17cruisesnsl said:

Did you fly out on embarkation day?   Wondering if that makes a direct flight more likely 

We're around 110 days out and flying out 2 days before the cruise; the placeholders look like Newark to Charlotte to Miami - so I'm assuming American Airlines.  Looks like direct flight home.   I asked if they would give us the option of either Newark or Philadelphia but was told one or the other - the computer can't handle anything else.   I've been watching the flights and because it's January and close to the Super Bowl, direct flights are already sold out  or "on sale" for $500 each

Just saw your expanded response and wasn't able to delete my question

thanks  

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11 hours ago, 17cruisesnsl said:

Did you fly out on embarkation day?   Wondering if that makes a direct flight more likely 

We're around 110 days out and flying out 2 days before the cruise; the placeholders look like Newark to Charlotte to Miami - so I'm assuming American Airlines.  Looks like direct flight home.   I asked if they would give us the option of either Newark or Philadelphia but was told one or the other - the computer can't handle anything else.   I've been watching the flights and because it's January and close to the Super Bowl, direct flights are already sold out  or "on sale" for $500 each

We did fly out on embarkation day.  It was a Sunday and there were many on the flight headed to the ship.

 

We can also choose between Newark and Philly.  They are about the same distance, but Philly is our preference, but it was not "free", it was "reduced fare".  It would have cost $200 pp to fly from Philly, so we opted for Newark.  When we got our flight assignments (about 40 days in advance), RT fares were going for around $500 per person.

 

 

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