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terrydtx

Viking Air Questions

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First time cruise with Viking. We leave on Sept 21 2020. The airlines are just now opening for our departure and return air and I have some questions. We paid the extra fee to get Viking Air Plus to pick our flights and airlines.

 

1) How long to do we have to wait until Viking Air can book our flights. My TA says Viking will not book until Nov 27, but the Airlines are now within the booking window, 330 days, and why is Viking having to wait.

 

2) Can Viking book the departure on Business Class and the return on Premium Economy?

 

3) Does Viking book air at the current fares online or can they actually save us on the cost? When we have used HAL and Celebrity Air for business class they are usually  way under published airlines pricing. When we booked the cruise last year Viking had a guaranteed Business class fare of $4250pp. Now that the airlines are open we are seeing RT Business at $3500 or so. Doing Business over and PE on the return we see pricing around $2800pp 

 

4) Are American and United included in the Viking preferred air partners?

 

Thank you for any help and answers.

 

Edited by terrydtx

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3 hours ago, terrydtx said:

1) How long to do we have to wait until Viking Air can book our flights. My TA says Viking will not book until Nov 27, but the Airlines are now within the booking window, 330 days, and why is Viking having to wait.

 

 Perhaps they are waiting because the airlines will not take reservations from them until that time. Perhaps they are waiting because not all of the airlines necessarily have their full schedules available exactly at 330 days.  

 

3 hours ago, terrydtx said:

2) Can Viking book the departure on Business Class and the return on Premium Economy?

 

 Have never tried so can't answer.

 

 

3 hours ago, terrydtx said:

3) Does Viking book air at the current fares online or can they actually save us on the cost?

 

I depends on what the air fare offer was when you booked--and that will not change. Sometimes it is a savings and sometimes it isn't.

 

3 hours ago, terrydtx said:

When we have used HAL and Celebrity Air for business class they are usually  way under published airlines pricing.

 

Sometimes Viking is and sometimes it isn't. Depends on so many different factors that it is not possible to give a definitive answer here. Sometimes you can save using Viking and sometimes you do better off on your own even if you have to pay for your own transfers.

 

3 hours ago, terrydtx said:

When we booked the cruise last year Viking had a guaranteed Business class fare of $4250pp. Now that the airlines are open we are seeing RT Business at $3500 or so. Doing Business over and PE on the return we see pricing around $2800pp 

 

Looks like you will do better off booking your own flights, based on the numbers you have just give. Just because you included air in your original booking does not mean that you are locked into it.  You can cancel the air portion of your booking (up until x many days prior to the cruise --and I never remember what x is other than it is a double digit number). Viking will refund the cost of the flights and the custom air fee.

 

I always take the Viking air deal and then when it comes time to book, I do my homework. When the air fare was free, we booked though Viking. For our next two cruises, I did better booking on my own, especially considering that we were planning on arriving a few days early and tacking on a few days after and thus would not have Viking transfers ayway. My TA called Viking and took the air portion off the invoice and that was that.

 

3 hours ago, terrydtx said:

4) Are American and United included in the Viking preferred air partners?

 

See https://www.vikingcruises.com/oceans/my-trip/air-services/index.html   Lots of helpful information here including a list of partners at the bottom.

 

 

 

 

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2) Can Viking book the departure on Business Class and the return on Premium Economy?

 

Yes
I have done so. 

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Viking may also buy blocks of seats from US gateway cities to their European counterparts. Our recent Lufthansa flight from Miami to Frankfurt had a lot of Ocean and River cruise passengers. And the continuation to Oslo was a majority of Viking Ocean folks.

 

up until about six weeks to departure, the itinerary was Austrian Air to Vienna, change there for Oslo. The flights changed, although the aircraft were side by side in Miami. Since Lufthansa controls Austrian Air, I am guessing a deal was cut to move the travel groups.

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Is Viking Air always a round trip or 2 way on an open-jaw?  Inotherwords, can you book a one-way yourselves because is it cheaper there and then a one way back (or vice versa) on your own, for the same reasons?     Has anyone done this?  For example, USA to one European City on your own and the finishing European city return to USA with Viking Air.

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Is November 27th the 330 day mark for your return?  If it is only for your departure, they will wait until your return hits that timeframe. 

We booked American AL using Viking. Not sure about UA. 

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1 hour ago, CCWineLover said:

Is Viking Air always a round trip or 2 way on an open-jaw?  Inotherwords, can you book a one-way yourselves because is it cheaper there and then a one way back (or vice versa) on your own, for the same reasons?     Has anyone done this?  For example, USA to one European City on your own and the finishing European city return to USA with Viking Air.

Yes. We’ve done it twice. We bought our own air to Miami this passed January and flew back from Buenos Aires on Viking Air. This time is opposite- we bought our own air to fly back home.

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I am also trying to book our first Viking Air tickets. Our cruise leaves on September 15th, 2020 and returns on September 29th. All of the airline schedules were up when I called on Nov. 5th but they told me that I couldn't book until Nov.10th. I called back on the 10th (yesterday) and was told that I couldn't book until 310 days from the RETURN date. That works out to around Nov. 25th. 

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Just spoke with Viking Air. These people are a waste of time and money. Had the rudest person on the phone who was not helpful,  had extremely poor enunciation and gave me the "Bum Shuffle". We love Viking and  have had one previous (ocean) cruise and are now planning a river cruise next year.  Bought the Viking Air for the advertised benefits of choosing or working with the air travel coordinator. hahahahahaha. The cruise advertises "free economy airfare". I called to inquire about any credit for economy to upgrade to Premium economy, as the published prices for Premium Economy are good. I wanted to know if Viking would give credit for the price of their economy flights against the published price for Premium Economy. I was told that their budget for "Free Airfare" was $2400.00 per person, but they "weren't just handing out money" to people, and I could not use it to book an upgrade. Looking at the difference between a published economy fare and a premium economy fare, it was $1494.00 Cdn per person. Viking wants $1798.00 per person. I wanted to know if it were possible to pay the difference on the published prices, as the economy fare published was still well within their budget. The fellow at the end of the phone said no, it was "set in stone". No explanation, and as I questioned him, he became increasingly agitated with me. I asked to speak to a supervisor or manager, as I just didn't understand. I was told no one was available. I offered to leave my home phone number and have someone call me back, but was told that no one would call me back because they are an inbound call centre. He said I would have to call back, but couldn't say when or whether anyone would be available. While I can see that the Premium Economy airfare is still a better deal than if I paid for it as advertised, the very lovely people at Viking (Sales) , who can call me back, and were knowledgeable about their product could have sold it to me without me paying an additional $50.00 and a very frustrating, useless and insulting conversation with Viking Air. If anyone at Viking monitors this, maybe they would like to replay my " All calls are recorded" experience and see if this is how they want to be represented. Save your money folks, drive in rush hour if your blood pressure needs exercising.

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Well that was a truly lousy experience and hopefully now you have gotten it off your chest, you are ready to take a cleansing breath and move forward.

 

 

You have a number of options at this point.

 

  • Some people will just take a deep breath and call back with the hope that they will find someone on the other end of the phone who knows that they are doing. There is no doubt that dealing with call centers can be hit or miss
  •  
  • You can find a travel agent to act as a go between you and Viking. The TAs work with a dedicated pool of agents. (Just remember that on Cruise Critic we are not allowed to name or recommend specifc TAs).
  •  
  • You can contact Viking using TellUs@vikingcruises.com. Give your booking number and your telephone number. Tell them what you just told us and ask them to call you because there are many things that you don't understand about the Viking process and would like some help working with it. AND, regardless of what you decide, please do contact TellUs and let them know about your experience.

 

Before you contact them, read the following two things on the Viking website. It will give you some insight into the way Viking handles things, which can be very different from other cruise lines you may have dealt with:

 

  1. Booking Terms & Conditions >    The details of the terms and conditions will change from from month to month and depend on the deals that are on offer that money but they may help you understand how things work. Pay particular attention to the section about airfare upgrades, where you will note that it is a flat addition over the
  2. https://www.vikingcruises.com/oceans/my-trip/air-services/index.html

Also, please understand that, unlike other cruise lines, Viking prices the cruise and the air separately; there is no airfare amount factored into the cost of your cruise and they appear on your invoice as separate line items. If you have free airfare as part of your deal, then the flat upgrade fee is added to your economy airfare, which in this case is $0. If your air fare deal is $700, then Economy Plus will cost you $700 plus whatever the upgrade fee is under  the Booking Terms and Conditions that were in effect when you booked.

 

If you decide not to use Viking Air, because maybe you can beat the Viking price, the airfare price as stated on your original invoice will be removed from your bill. If you agreed to $700 air fare, then $700 will be removed and if you agreed to $0 air fare, then $0 will be removed.

 

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Dear retiredrunners,

 

We are concerned by the experience you’ve described, and would appreciate the opportunity to learn more and further review your flight options.

 

As Peregrina651 helpfully suggested, we invite you to email tellus@vikingcruises.com with your booking information so we can follow-up to review your flights and address your booking experience thus far. We hope to hear from you, and thank you for bringing this to our attention.

 

Best,

Viking Cruises

 

3 hours ago, retiredrunners said:

Just spoke with Viking Air. These people are a waste of time and money. Had the rudest person on the phone who was not helpful,  had extremely poor enunciation and gave me the "Bum Shuffle". We love Viking and  have had one previous (ocean) cruise and are now planning a river cruise next year.  Bought the Viking Air for the advertised benefits of choosing or working with the air travel coordinator. hahahahahaha. The cruise advertises "free economy airfare". I called to inquire about any credit for economy to upgrade to Premium economy, as the published prices for Premium Economy are good. I wanted to know if Viking would give credit for the price of their economy flights against the published price for Premium Economy. I was told that their budget for "Free Airfare" was $2400.00 per person, but they "weren't just handing out money" to people, and I could not use it to book an upgrade. Looking at the difference between a published economy fare and a premium economy fare, it was $1494.00 Cdn per person. Viking wants $1798.00 per person. I wanted to know if it were possible to pay the difference on the published prices, as the economy fare published was still well within their budget. The fellow at the end of the phone said no, it was "set in stone". No explanation, and as I questioned him, he became increasingly agitated with me. I asked to speak to a supervisor or manager, as I just didn't understand. I was told no one was available. I offered to leave my home phone number and have someone call me back, but was told that no one would call me back because they are an inbound call centre. He said I would have to call back, but couldn't say when or whether anyone would be available. While I can see that the Premium Economy airfare is still a better deal than if I paid for it as advertised, the very lovely people at Viking (Sales) , who can call me back, and were knowledgeable about their product could have sold it to me without me paying an additional $50.00 and a very frustrating, useless and insulting conversation with Viking Air. If anyone at Viking monitors this, maybe they would like to replay my " All calls are recorded" experience and see if this is how they want to be represented. Save your money folks, drive in rush hour if your blood pressure needs exercising.

 

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My TA and I called Viking Air yesterday to select flights.  I had researched which business class flights that I wanted.  The polite rep said business class upgrades were not available for our itinerary, but came up with a quote for the flights that I wanted at around the same price as I had found online.  However, we would have to pay the full fare on top of the economy air we had already paid ($1299 per person).  The rep had checked with a supervisor.  After reading this thread, I wrote to Tellus asking if that was indeed correct.  This morning Viking Air called me, explained that what we had been told was not correct, and made the reservations,  charging me the delta between what we had already paid and the selected flights. 

 

Kudos to Tellus for following  through and making this right.

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20 minutes ago, dd57 said:

My TA and I called Viking Air yesterday to select flights.  I had researched which business class flights that I wanted.  The polite rep said business class upgrades were not available for our itinerary, but came up with a quote for the flights that I wanted at around the same price as I had found online.  However, we would have to pay the full fare on top of the economy air we had already paid ($1299 per person).  The rep had checked with a supervisor.  After reading this thread, I wrote to Tellus asking if that was indeed correct.  This morning Viking Air called me, explained that what we had been told was not correct, and made the reservations,  charging me the delta between what we had already paid and the selected flights. 

 

Kudos to Tellus for following  through and making this right.

Agree 100%! They just helped us to rebook our flight with 3 weeks to go 😱

We previously deviated but do to current situation in the country we are going to we decided to go together with Viking. It wasn’t easy but TellUs guys helped as always!

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On 11/11/2019 at 4:22 PM, retiredrunners said:

Just spoke with Viking Air. These people are a waste of time and money. Had the rudest person on the phone who was not helpful,  had extremely poor enunciation and gave me the "Bum Shuffle". We love Viking and  have had one previous (ocean) cruise and are now planning a river cruise next year.  Bought the Viking Air for the advertised benefits of choosing or working with the air travel coordinator. hahahahahaha. The cruise advertises "free economy airfare". I called to inquire about any credit for economy to upgrade to Premium economy, as the published prices for Premium Economy are good. I wanted to know if Viking would give credit for the price of their economy flights against the published price for Premium Economy. I was told that their budget for "Free Airfare" was $2400.00 per person, but they "weren't just handing out money" to people, and I could not use it to book an upgrade. Looking at the difference between a published economy fare and a premium economy fare, it was $1494.00 Cdn per person. Viking wants $1798.00 per person. I wanted to know if it were possible to pay the difference on the published prices, as the economy fare published was still well within their budget. The fellow at the end of the phone said no, it was "set in stone". No explanation, and as I questioned him, he became increasingly agitated with me. I asked to speak to a supervisor or manager, as I just didn't understand. I was told no one was available. I offered to leave my home phone number and have someone call me back, but was told that no one would call me back because they are an inbound call centre. He said I would have to call back, but couldn't say when or whether anyone would be available. While I can see that the Premium Economy airfare is still a better deal than if I paid for it as advertised, the very lovely people at Viking (Sales) , who can call me back, and were knowledgeable about their product could have sold it to me without me paying an additional $50.00 and a very frustrating, useless and insulting conversation with Viking Air. If anyone at Viking monitors this, maybe they would like to replay my " All calls are recorded" experience and see if this is how they want to be represented. Save your money folks, drive in rush hour if your blood pressure needs exercising.

 

I'd be interested in hear how Viking followed up with this.

 

How a company handles problems says a lot about earning future, repeat business.

Edited by benjaminnicholas

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