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Of Transfers and Late Night Flights


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We are on Jupiter for the January 7, 2020, South American and Chilean Fjords Cruise.  Apparently, many of the flights out of Santiago after disembarkation depart late in the evening.  Our flight, which was arranged independently (not through Viking Air), departs at 9:50 p.m. on disembarkation day.  We did, however, purchase Viking transfers to the airport.  There have been some messages on CC suggesting that under similar circumstances Viking will often transfer passengers to a hotel hospitality room for the day, and then later take them to the airport nearer in time to their late-night departure.  Yesterday, we received an email from Viking saying that they would indeed provide such a room, including city tours, and later transfers to the airport FOR PASSENGERS WITH FLIGHTS DEPARTING AFTER 11:15 p.m.  Thinking this must be a typo, I called Viking and was told that in fact the 11:15 p.m. reference was correct.  Of course, my reaction was that surely Viking did not intend to transfer us to the airport after disembarking at 9:00 a.m. for a 9:50 p.m. flight.  Basically, I was told to talk to the folks on board the ship, and that it was likely they would agree to transfer us to the hospitality room and then transfer us to the airport from there later in the evening.  Just thought I would pass this along.  I don’t understand for the life of me why Viking would draw the line at 11:15 p.m., unless every other passenger leaving on Viking Air-procured flights that night depart after 11:15 p.m.  (Our flight is a non-stop to Atlanta and I’m pretty confident other cruisers will be on that flight too.)  I would understand treating folks differently if they were traveling on their own, but once a passenger has been allowed to purchase a Viking transfer, they ought to be treated like all the other passengers who are using Viking transfers.  I’m hopeful, and even fairly confident, that Viking will take care of us and include us in the use of the hospitality room and later transfer to the airport, but I don’t understand why they wouldn’t just say so up front and not introduce unnecessary uncertainty into the process. 

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Viking lied to us. In May after completing a lovely Cruise from Hong Kong to Vancouver on the Orion our flight was after 9pm in the evening, I asked on board about this and was informed that a hotel was going to be used in Vancouver where we would be taken after disembarkation ( although we could stay on the ship in the lounge until noon) and then at 3 pm  we would be taken to the airport. We thought that this was better than nothing so accepted, we got on the coach at noon and were immediately taken straight to the airport, spent hours sitting until the BA desk opened so do not believe everything they tell you. We had flights and transfers arranged by Viking.

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2 hours ago, Clay Clayton said:

🤞this won’t be the case next month in Hong Kong. I’ve been assured by Viking directly and through our TA that we will be provided a day room prior to our 11:35 pm after Disembarkation 

 

we had the opposite timing issue when we disembarked Hong Kong,  this past April. Instead of getting off the ship in the morning we booked a red eye out of Hong Kong, 12:20 am through Viking Air.

 

We received written confirmation in our stateroom advising us to show up at the Explorers desk at 8:30pm for our transfer.

When we showed up (one other couple was there with similar plans) we  were met with blank stares. They were not expecting us. It took about 15 minutes for the staff to get things organized and they provided a nice limo for the transfer.

 

This episode taught me to double check with the staff if you have an unusual departure time a day before departure.

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Cocopico.  We also received an email from Viking regarding being transferred to a hotel and then being shuttled to the airport in the evening.  It was for people with flights after 10:30 pm.  However we are on the January 24 itinerary ending in Buenas Aires and the hotel is in the city center which is one hour or less from the airport.  The question for those flying out of Santiago is where the hotel is located - Valparaiso or Santiago.  If the hotel is in Valparaiso, there is at least a 2 hour drive to the airport.  To give you a 3 hour leeway for an international flight, the transfer from Valparaiso would need to begin 5 hours before a given flight or 4:50 pm for you.  Transfers may not begin that early for night flights.  Unless they said otherwise in your email, i suspect the hotel would be in Valparaiso as thr logistics would be simple.  A few minutes to a Valpo hotel, then the 2 hour transfer to the airport vs a 2 hour transfer to a Santiago hotel and another 1 hour transfer to the airport.  When people disembarced in Valparaiso from the Viking Sun World Cruise SA segment last January, Viking put them in a hotel in Valparaiso.

 

If Viking sends us an email saying specifically that we with late night flights are to be transfered to a hotel for the day, then i would expect it to happen.  

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Dear @cocopico,

 

We hear your concerns and did want to take this moment to offer some clarity regarding our recent communication about the hospitality and day rooms in Santiago. 

 

While guests with Viking arranged transfers and flights departing in the evening are most certainly welcome to take advantage of the hospitality room, those guests with flights departing after 11:15 p.m. will have access to a day room. 

 

We hope this helps and kindly invite you to contact us at 1-855-300-3970 should you have any lingering questions ahead of your voyage. We look forward to sailing with you soon!

 

Warmest,
Viking Cruises

16 hours ago, cocopico said:

We are on Jupiter for the January 7, 2020, South American and Chilean Fjords Cruise.  Apparently, many of the flights out of Santiago after disembarkation depart late in the evening.  Our flight, which was arranged independently (not through Viking Air), departs at 9:50 p.m. on disembarkation day.  We did, however, purchase Viking transfers to the airport.  There have been some messages on CC suggesting that under similar circumstances Viking will often transfer passengers to a hotel hospitality room for the day, and then later take them to the airport nearer in time to their late-night departure.  Yesterday, we received an email from Viking saying that they would indeed provide such a room, including city tours, and later transfers to the airport FOR PASSENGERS WITH FLIGHTS DEPARTING AFTER 11:15 p.m.  Thinking this must be a typo, I called Viking and was told that in fact the 11:15 p.m. reference was correct.  Of course, my reaction was that surely Viking did not intend to transfer us to the airport after disembarking at 9:00 a.m. for a 9:50 p.m. flight.  Basically, I was told to talk to the folks on board the ship, and that it was likely they would agree to transfer us to the hospitality room and then transfer us to the airport from there later in the evening.  Just thought I would pass this along.  I don’t understand for the life of me why Viking would draw the line at 11:15 p.m., unless every other passenger leaving on Viking Air-procured flights that night depart after 11:15 p.m.  (Our flight is a non-stop to Atlanta and I’m pretty confident other cruisers will be on that flight too.)  I would understand treating folks differently if they were traveling on their own, but once a passenger has been allowed to purchase a Viking transfer, they ought to be treated like all the other passengers who are using Viking transfers.  I’m hopeful, and even fairly confident, that Viking will take care of us and include us in the use of the hospitality room and later transfer to the airport, but I don’t understand why they wouldn’t just say so up front and not introduce unnecessary uncertainty into the process. 

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7 hours ago, TayanaLorna said:

Cocopico.  We also received an email from Viking regarding being transferred to a hotel and then being shuttled to the airport in the evening.  It was for people with flights after 10:30 pm.  However we are on the January 24 itinerary ending in Buenas Aires and the hotel is in the city center which is one hour or less from the airport.  The question for those flying out of Santiago is where the hotel is located - Valparaiso or Santiago.  If the hotel is in Valparaiso, there is at least a 2 hour drive to the airport.  To give you a 3 hour leeway for an international flight, the transfer from Valparaiso would need to begin 5 hours before a given flight or 4:50 pm for you.  Transfers may not begin that early for night flights.  Unless they said otherwise in your email, i suspect the hotel would be in Valparaiso as thr logistics would be simple.  A few minutes to a Valpo hotel, then the 2 hour transfer to the airport vs a 2 hour transfer to a Santiago hotel and another 1 hour transfer to the airport.  When people disembarced in Valparaiso from the Viking Sun World Cruise SA segment last January, Viking put them in a hotel in Valparaiso.

 

If Viking sends us an email saying specifically that we with late night flights are to be transfered to a hotel for the day, then i would expect it to happen.  

My understanding from the notification from Viking is that the hotel is in Santiago, not Valparaiso, so only an hour away from the airport.  I also note below that Viking has responded in this thread and clarified the situation, making clear that folks with transfers will be accommodated in the hospitality room and given a later transfer from there to the airport at the appropriate time.

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1 hour ago, Viking Cruises said:

Dear @cocopico,

 

We hear your concerns and did want to take this moment to offer some clarity regarding our recent communication about the hospitality and day rooms in Santiago. 

 

While guests with Viking arranged transfers and flights departing in the evening are most certainly welcome to take advantage of the hospitality room, those guests with flights departing after 11:15 p.m. will have access to a day room. 

 

We hope this helps and kindly invite you to contact us at 1-855-300-3970 should you have any lingering questions ahead of your voyage. We look forward to sailing with you soon!

 

Warmest,
Viking Cruises

Thanks for your clarification (and for reading CC posts and responding!).  The notification did not include any reference to day rooms or distinguish in any way between day rooms and a hospitality room, so I think that is where the confusion started.  The information provided here clears that up.  Again, thanks for the additional information!

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3 hours ago, cocopico said:

Thanks for your clarification (and for reading CC posts and responding!).  The notification did not include any reference to day rooms or distinguish in any way between day rooms and a hospitality room, so I think that is where the confusion started.  The information provided here clears that up.  Again, thanks for the additional information!

I don't understand the difference between a day room and a hospitality room.  Glad your hotel is in Santiago.

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19 minutes ago, TayanaLorna said:

I don't understand the difference between a day room and a hospitality room.  Glad your hotel is in Santiago.

I gather a day room is just a private hotel room that you have for the day.  A hospitality room is a large, common room (maybe a big conference room, a ballroom or the like, where you and your fellow passengers can hang out, store your luggage, have some refreshments, etc.  

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21 minutes ago, cocopico said:

I gather a day room is just a private hotel room that you have for the day.  A hospitality room is a large, common room (maybe a big conference room, a ballroom or the like, where you and your fellow passengers can hang out, store your luggage, have some refreshments, etc.  

Well that is interesting.  In a day room one can shower and change before going to airport. Thank you.

 

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Hi

 

We have a specific query about our transfer to JFK for a 20.10 flight from New York JFK to Heathrow.  We are onboard Viking Sea at present and have been told that the authorities do not allow day passes for late departure guests and that we will get further information nearer departure date (8th October) So  it seems we will not be allowed to remain on the ship as Viking has done in other cities.  

 

Has anyone had experience of late flights from New York? Have they provided a central hotel hospitality room for luggage storage and facilities so that the extra time can be used to sightsee?  

 

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On 9/28/2019 at 9:36 PM, TayanaLorna said:

Well that is interesting.  In a day room one can shower and change before going to airport. Thank you.

 

We are Hilton Honers with beaucoup points. Checked to see if we could book a day room in Buenes Aires cause our flight misses the cutoff by 20 min. Yes we can for $326. Won’t take points. Sad.

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We are on the Dec 4th Buenos Aires to Santiago Chile cruise.  We received two emails from Viking, the first one indicated that the hospitality room was available for passengers with flight after 11:15 PM but then they sent another one saying that the hospitality room is available to passengers w/ flights after 3:00 PM and that there will be a shuttle bus to take us to the airport throughout the evening.  They also stated that the hotel is in Santiago and there will be a short city tour that we can sign up for once we are on board.  I think there was some confusion regarding terminology and that those w/ 11:15 PM or later flights will have a day room while the rest of us will be using a hospitality room.  This works for us.  We have a 9:45 PM flight.  I am hoping that maybe a paid excursion may become available  that is more extensive than a short city tour but we shall see.  We had made our flight arrangement through Viking.

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On 10/2/2019 at 9:57 PM, kcpvwill said:

Hi

 

We have a specific query about our transfer to JFK for a 20.10 flight from New York JFK to Heathrow.  We are onboard Viking Sea at present and have been told that the authorities do not allow day passes for late departure guests and that we will get further information nearer departure date (8th October) So  it seems we will not be allowed to remain on the ship as Viking has done in other cities.  

 

Has anyone had experience of late flights from New York? Have they provided a central hotel hospitality room for luggage storage and facilities so that the extra time can be used to sightsee?  

 

I can now answer my own question.  Viking has told us that we will be transferred to NY Midtown Hilton at 8.30 am with use of a hospitality room and luggage storage and then the Viking Representatives will tell us when our transfer to JFK Airport is.  We can then use the day for more sightseeing.  

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Well this is disappointing. Returned to our room on Viking Orion this evening to find the letter regarding our Disembarkation in Hong Kong on Friday. It says we will leave the ship at 9:40 and be taken to an airport hotel where a hospitality room with “juice, water, cookies and WiFi” will be available prior to our “late afternoon” flight. Obviously their definition of late afternoon is different than mine. Our flight (and I think most folks) isn’t until 11:35pm.  

 

Hopefully a visit to guest services tomorrow will result in the day room I was promised twice and my TA once on the phone. 🤞🏻

 

 

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So here is a report on our disembarkation from Orion in Hong Kong today. 😢

 

Per usual, had to be out of our stateroom at 8 am. We left at 7:59:59 and headed for a final lamb chop breakfast  in The Restaurant. We had received purple 4 luggage tags and told to be prepared to leave at 9:40 from the Living Room.

 

Things were running a bit late and it was closer to 10 when they called the first purple group followed minutes later by a call for 2, 3and 4. After the usual confusion of getting luggage and people on the correct buses (not helped my some passengers from earlier groups who “didn’t hear our group called” ) we and our luggage were aboard Bus 4 and headed towards the airport. 

 

It appeared that everyone headed to the pre-flight hotel were in the Purple Group with groups 1-3 not receiving day rooms whereas everyone in group 4 was assigned a room. Apparently I was the only one who looked up the hotel (google can be your friend) and learned the Hotel is the only one connected directly to the hotel.  When the “guide” (cat herder might be a better term) said we were headed to the airport several folks got upset saying “but we are supposed to go to a hotel”. 

 

We arrived at the hotel about 40 minutes after leaving the terminal. At the hotel, those of us with day rooms were directed towards a representative in the hotel lobby, while the others were sent downstairs to the meeting room level of the hotel. We were quickly given room keys and headed upstairs to our nice room. We were in our room 58 minutes after we left the port. 

 

I went to check out the hospitality room. It was a medium sized hotel conference room furnished with round tables of 8 with tablecloths and slipcoveres hotel chairs. In the pre-function area outside there was coffee, tea, and water.  As I arrived so did several small trays of cookies. From what I overheard, it was the first snacks they had seen. I didn’t take any pictures of the hospitality room but if you’ve ever been to a conference at a hotel you should be able to visualize it!

 

So, we are very happy with how Viking has taken care of us.  I suspect those in the hospitality room are a little less so...but having been at international airports which have little seating landslide and where you can't drop luggage more than 2 or 3 hours ahead, the hospitality room here would be a big improvement. 

 

We just got back from the 5 minute (air conditioned) walk to the airport where we had some delicious wonton soup and chow fun at the airport outpost of what started as a Hong Kong street vendor. On the way over and back I saw a number of fellow Vikings enjoying the more comfortable surroundings of the lobby. 

 

Hope everyone who has a late flight gets the same great hospitality we are enjoying!

 

 

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Edited by Clay Clayton
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1 hour ago, broker1217 said:

Excellent post Clay--very helpful.

I am hoping this is the HK Regal Airport hotel?

 

Would be very interested in your HK airport experience as well!

Affirmative, the hotel attached to HK airport is the Regal.

 

In 2015 we had an unplanned overnight at the airport when our delayed Cathay flight from Saigon arrived as the Sydney flight was departing. Rather than hold the flight we were provided a room at the airport hotel. It looked nothing like Clay's photos. We got a tiny room with stained stucco type wallpaper that was peeling of the bulkheads. The bed was uncomfortable and both short & narrow. I'm only 6' and feet were hanging over the end.

 

It is classed as a luxury hotel, but I assume Cathay have a block of ultra-basic rooms, so the quality of room may depend on who books the hotel.

 

The other issue we experienced was no in-room wifi, had to go down to the lobby for 1/2 hr of free access.

 

Breakfast was less than stellar, so we headed back to the airport staying in the Business Class lounge until called to the gate. Breakfast in the lounge was better than the hotel.

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4 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

Affirmative, the hotel attached to HK airport is the Regal.

 

In 2015 we had an unplanned overnight at the airport when our delayed Cathay flight from Saigon arrived as the Sydney flight was departing. Rather than hold the flight we were provided a room at the airport hotel. It looked nothing like Clay's photos. We got a tiny room with stained stucco type wallpaper that was peeling of the bulkheads. The bed was uncomfortable and both short & narrow. I'm only 6' and feet were hanging over the end.

 

It is classed as a luxury hotel, but I assume Cathay have a block of ultra-basic rooms, so the quality of room may depend on who books the hotel.

 

The other issue we experienced was no in-room wifi, had to go down to the lobby for 1/2 hr of free access.

 

Breakfast was less than stellar, so we headed back to the airport staying in the Business Class lounge until called to the gate. Breakfast in the lounge was better than the hotel.

 

Thanks for the info and sorry for the thread jack.

We will be overnighting in HK after 16.5 hour flight from DFW. I know the hotel is not really a luxury hotel, we chose it for the convenience. I will be sure to book a room with appropriate size bed. 

We wanted to build in a jet lag recovery day (plus cushion for any delays/cancellations) before flying Cathay to Australia. We will be sure to utilize the Cathay Business Class lounge!

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Glad we got lucky with our room then! The beds were queen sized and we had no issues with WiFi in the room once we called and asked for the password (which wasn’t whatever was asked for when I tried to log in). We were happy the AC worked well and the housekeeper didn’t mind bringing us ice.  Only complaint was our view was to the parking garage.  When I found out it was attached to the airport, I had been hoping for tarmac views like at the Hilton at the Mexico City airport. 

 

The airport itself is HUGE with all the apparently now required Hermès and Chanel stores (who goes to the airport to buy $20,000 purses?). They have closed most entrances to the airport and only let you in with a same day boarding pass and passport. We walked the 5 minutes from the hotel to the arrivals hall for lunch before retiring to our room for a pre-flight nap. 

 

Check in with Cathay was a breeze and there was no mention of us being too early. Security line wasn’t very long either. From leaving our room to being seated in the PriorityPlus Lounge was right at an hour. If you can use another lounge I would highly recommend.  It was not up to the standard we have seen at other contract lounges. It was crowded, noisy, food was meh to awful and the furniture wasn’t comfortable. We ended up heading to the gate earlier than usual as it was more comfortable than the lounge. 

 

The Cathay flight (A350-900) was uneventful and we ended up being pleased with our included Viking air. We had initially put in a bid to upgrade to Premium Economy but when we saw the cabin was almost full we canceled the bid, figuring our 2 seat side exit row seats would be better than being stuck in the middle seats in PE.  Well we won the lottery as the aisle and middle seat on the same row was empty so hubby moved to it and I had two seats all to myself. I know we had more room than the folks in the completely full PE even if we had to deal with plastic cutlery to eat the same food (which wasn’t awful). Best $189 each we have ever spent!  

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