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12 minutes ago, clo said:

Why?

I care about the reputation of the airline I am flying and the comfort and overall flying experience (esp. long haul) whether I am paying for the ticket or using miles.

By necessity I have been on airlines that I felt lucky we made it (like Fawcet airline to Cuzco many years ago or internal flights in Papua New Guinea) but there was no choice then.

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45 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

I care about the reputation of the airline I am flying and the comfort and overall flying experience (esp. long haul) whether I am paying for the ticket or using miles.

By necessity I have been on airlines that I felt lucky we made it (like Fawcet airline to Cuzco many years ago or internal flights in Papua New Guinea) but there was no choice then.

Yes - when it's a choice of "one or none," you take your best shot. When I was working, there were some interesting flights on regional Chinese airlines and a Ukrainian one that defied description.

Then there's the other part of the equation. In late January, we did some regional domestic flights on South African Airlines. The planes, crew and service were quite decent. The airports outside of Jburg and Cape Town, however, were quite interesting.

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According to The Points Guy...

Here’s a look at refund timelines for major lines catering to North Americans:

Azamara: 45 days

Carnival Cruise Line: Carnival has not issued an estimate for customers as to how long refunds will take to process.

Celebrity Cruises: 30 business days

Crystal Cruises: Up to 90 days

Holland America: Approximately 60 days

MSC Cruises: Did not respond to a request for information.

Norwegian Cruise Line: 90 days

Oceania Cruises: Up to 90 days

Princess Cruises: Up to 60 days

Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Up to 90 days

Royal Caribbean: 30 business days

Seabourn: Up to 60 days

Silversea: Up to 90 days

Windstar Cruises: Six to eight weeks

 

We were booked on three segments of the canceled Insignia May-July cruise from Singapore to San Francisco and received our refund within a few weeks last month before the cruise world got turned upside down.  Our 25 percent FCC came with a requirement to be used on a cruise embarking by December 31, 2020.  We applied all our FCC to a mid-August cruise because it seemed far enough away timewise from the virus outbreak but now it’s not seeming to be a wise decision.  Things are changing constantly.  Singapore Airlines said our refund for my business class air ticket (the other ticket was using miles) will take 14-16 weeks (July/August) and they recently updated that to be refunded in June.  With thousands and thousands of cancellations occurring and people working from home, it is no wonder that refunds are taking so long now.  I would think that supervisors have to review the work of those who are doing their calculations from home and that adds to the delay.

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Senior Citizen - thank you for that informative post.

My question is - when X says 30 days - is it an estimate or a guarantee. In other words, are people actually receiving their money in 30 days or is it just a good propaganda?

You listed Seabourn at 60 days which for me will be Monday. I am not that certain that it will magically appear on Monday, but here is hoping.

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1 hour ago, Senior Citizen said:

According to The Points Guy...

Here’s a look at refund timelines for major lines catering to North Americans:

Azamara: 45 days

Carnival Cruise Line: Carnival has not issued an estimate for customers as to how long refunds will take to process.

Celebrity Cruises: 30 business days

Crystal Cruises: Up to 90 days

Holland America: Approximately 60 days

MSC Cruises: Did not respond to a request for information.

Norwegian Cruise Line: 90 days

Oceania Cruises: Up to 90 days

Princess Cruises: Up to 60 days

Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Up to 90 days

Royal Caribbean: 30 business days

Seabourn: Up to 60 days

Silversea: Up to 90 days

Windstar Cruises: Six to eight weeks

 

 

When was the list compiled ?

 

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

When was the list compiled ?

 

I’m not sure.  It was dated as yesterday and was published on The Points Guy’s website today.  I’d post a link but I don’t know how to—so just go to the website and you’ll find it.

 

I’d think these timelines are estimates the cruise lines gave the person who did the research.  

 

For example, i was originally given 14-16 weeks as the wait time for my Singapore Airlines refund.  Then, I got an update that shortened that time.

Edited by Senior Citizen
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We were on the RTW Insignia departing Rio on 3-15, arriving home 3-16.  Filed our claim with our TA who filed with Oceania on 3-23.  Sometime ago we received a statement from Oceania thru our TA that our refunds were made on 3-31.  Never were posted to our CC.  Received another statement from Oceania that our refunds were done on 4-2.  After a few days we received another e-mail from Oceania that our refunds were posted on 4-22.  Well today they were finally posted to our CC account dated 3-31 the original date that Oceania had given us as to when the refunds were processed..  I believe the person that posted earlier saying that the banks were holding the payments/credits for whatever reason may be correct.  Now we will wait and see it we get checks from the banks.  Good Luck to everyone.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, tvlbum said:

We were on the RTW Insignia departing Rio on 3-15, arriving home 3-16.  Filed our claim with our TA who filed with Oceania on 3-23.  Sometime ago we received a statement from Oceania thru our TA that our refunds were made on 3-31.  Never were posted to our CC.  Received another statement from Oceania that our refunds were done on 4-2.  After a few days we received another e-mail from Oceania that our refunds were posted on 4-22.  Well today they were finally posted to our CC account dated 3-31 the original date that Oceania had given us as to when the refunds were processed..  I believe the person that posted earlier saying that the banks were holding the payments/credits for whatever reason may be correct.  Now we will wait and see it we get checks from the banks.  Good Luck to everyone.

That means that you were issued refunds 8 days after the claim (3/23 - 3/31) - although it didn't post till later.

I wonder why it was so fast for you and so tediously long for some others.

What was the difference?

Edited by Paulchili
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FWIW - Viking river refunded my TWO deposits in 3 days!!!!!! (they promised in 60 days)

I suspect they have a lot more bookings than O between their river & ocean cruises.

So - IT CAN BE DONE IF WILLING.

Kudos to Viking

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6 hours ago, Paulchili said:

That means that you were issued refunds 8 days after the claim (3/23 - 3/31) - although it didn't post till later.

I wonder why it was so fast for you and so tediously long for some others.

What was the difference?

One factor folks may be forgetting is which banks and  CC companies are handling the transactions.

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1 hour ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

One factor folks may be forgetting is which banks and  CC companies are handling the transactions.

Should our claims be against the travel agent as we have a contract with them , in the U.K. they issue our contracts !! is it the same in the U.S.A ??

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Morning, here in the U.K. if you due a refund it must be paid to you within 14 days, don’t think that’s going to happen at the moment. My husband and I had to get off early from the 11 March Riveria sailing, was going to take the 150% FCC, but decided against it , as had very little faith in cruising restarting anytime soon , so opted for the cash refund , still waiting!

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6 hours ago, roger b said:

Should our claims be against the travel agent as we have a contract with them , in the U.K. they issue our contracts !! is it the same in the U.S.A ??

In the USA (and I assume anywhere else, CC disputes arewith whoever made the charge against your CC. Thus, look at your CC statement and, if it says the TAs company name, that's your dispute.

 

That said, here in the USA, a TA is expected to take your CC number and transmit it to the cruise line who then makes the charge. Your CC statement will then say "Oceania."

Of course, it is possible that a packaged vacation including air(s), hotel(s), attraction(s) AND cruise might all be charged by the TA.

 

FWIW, we're still waiting for a partial air tix refund from a Safari company in Canada. We paid them for pre-cruise land and both domestic Africa and intercontinental cruise flights. Cathay  Pacific made the refund to them and we're waiting for a wire transfer reportedly "delayed" because Safari company is working from home.

I trust this TA (who did "birddog" the reimbursement) but will dispute CC if transfer doesn't happen by mid-May. 

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8 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

One factor folks may be forgetting is which banks and  CC companies are handling the transactions.

That is partially the case but NO CC or bank will hold your refund for 3 months.

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Just now, Paulchili said:

That is partially the case but NO CC or bank will hold your refund for 3 months.

I agree with you except that, in the current situation, the "three months" delay in some cases may be spread out among multiple "hands" that touch(ed) the refund: passenger; TA; cruise line (incl at home personnel/supervisors/different revenue depts/etc); perhaps foreign bank; CC company; TA (if they made the charge/get refund); possible extra delay if $ returned as check/wire transfer/etc..

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

I agree with you except that, in the current situation, the "three months" delay in some cases may be spread out among multiple "hands" that touch(ed) the refund: passenger; TA; cruise line (incl at home personnel/supervisors/different revenue depts/etc); perhaps foreign bank; CC company; TA (if they made the charge/get refund); possible extra delay if $ returned as check/wire transfer/etc..

Let's just say that I am skeptical of those explanations.

I received my UA miles/voucher and money almost instantly, Iberia Avios and money within 1 week, KLM miles and Money (over $1000 in fees) in 10 days and - drum roll - 2 Viking deposits in 3 days.

They all involved companies and banks.

Seabourn is now at 2 months and we'll see how long it takes Oceania - and before people claim that those 2 companies are "overwhelmed", I venture to guess that Viking has more bookings (river & ocean) than SB & O combined.

If there is a will, there is a way....

Edited by Paulchili
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5 hours ago, roger b said:

Should our claims be against the travel agent as we have a contract with them , in the U.K. they issue our contracts !! is it the same in the U.S.A ??

Roger - I apologize in advance for the length of this.  I'm just sitting here at my computer (early morning in Arizona) with my cup of coffee, and with my cat on my lap!

 

 Over here (USA), our "contract" is with the Cruise Line.  Our Travel Agents are merely "go between's" and "facilitators".  The TA's don't actually "hold" any of our funds.  They serve merely as a "pass through" for money and booking documents.  The TA's compensation is paid by the cruise lines.  The TA's offer amenities and services, such as recommendations and advice, and they also facilitate communications (usually "quicker" and more accurately) between the customer/passenger and the cruise line itself, but they're not in any sense a "corporate arm" or a "part of" Oceania, NCL, Regent, etc.  They receive all of their compensation for their services from the Cruise line, but they are NOT cruise line employees.  No money or "fee" is directly paid by the individual customer to an individual Travel Agent, as compensation.  Perhaps there's a rare and unique circumstance that I don't know about but generally, TA's are not paid by the customer.  The Agents'/Agency's compensation for their services come from the Cruise lines, in the form of commissions.

 

Naturally, the agents want to have "happy cruisers/customer" as their clients.  The more happy clients they have, the more revenue/compensation they receive from the cruise lines.  As a means of keeping that revenue stream coming into the agencies from the cruise lines, and in order to keep "happy/returning" customers, they have to work very hard.  The larger and more successful agencies "share" some of their compensation (received from the cruise lines), with their individual customers (in the form of a "courtesies", "rebates", OBC's, prepaid gratuities, special dinners, free excursions, bottles of wine, etc.).

 

In the U.S., nothing prevents the prospective/actual cruise customer from ringing up the cruise line directly, talking with a marketing member on the cruise line's staff, and booking/paying for the cruise directly to/with Oceania (in this case).  In some respects, Oceania might actually "like that", since they don't have to dole out a commission (to a TA) for that particular booking.  But in most cases, there is a good relationship between travel agencies and the cruise lines. TA's offer valuable services to the cruise lines.  They bring the cruise industry a ton of business!  Most of their business, actually.  Having looked at it from all ways, I find there is no "Up Side" for any would-be passenger to go directly to the cruise line to make their booking.  From my limited understanding of the many different "business laws" in other countries,  some countries require customers to go through a designated agent.  That's not the case in the U.S.  Under our laws, that would be considered "Anti-competitive" and an artificial "Restraint of Trade" that would work counter to the "best interests" of the consumer.

 

In the U.S. you're not going to wind up paying any less for the cruise by going directly to the cruise line, you're not going to get any percentage of your fare back (in the form of a rebate), and you're not going to get any related advice or assistance from an agent who ideally, is a "trained travel professional", and who (in this country) has many valuable points of contact within the cruise line itself that they can "reach out to" if a problem "pops -up".  So in effect, you're going to wind up actually paying MORE if you deal directly with the cruise line.

 

If you're booking your flights and hotels separately from the cruise line, and are wanting to tie in your cruise with any additional land travel, the agent becomes very valuable for those additional services.  Once upon a time (perhaps 20-30 years ago) - before the internet "pushed" booking capabilities out to customers, individuals paid an additional "service fee" or commission to travel agents for their services.  This was also true for booking airline travel.  No one does that today! Or they would be "crazy", if the did!  Back then, you didn't get a "discount" from the agent for those services.  You actually wound up paying more (than today) for any travel you booked - that "extra money" that was paid, was the TA's income.  Now in the U.S., their income is paid by the cruise companies.

 

Today, all the pricing/profit models have changed (at least in the U.S.).  The free competition between agents, customers, and cruise companies has brought costs down dramatically (competition is a "wonderful thing").  Since we consumers have lots of choices, the TA's really have to "work their butts off" (and they do) to excel and meet customer expectations.  If you're not happy with the service you're getting from a particular TA, you're free to find another one.  As a side note, but related to theme of "open competition" - In the U.S., our "free market laws" are such, that  I don't even need a "car salesman" (or the need to spend interminable hours in a dealership) in order to buy a new car.  I can do my "search" on line for the make/model/color/accessories I want, I can find out what the "average market price" is for that car, and I can then post a purchase offer to any dealerships in my area (or anywhere in the U.S., for that matter) on-line.  I will get tons of "yes/no" responses (or counter-bid to my offer) back from many dealerships within the hour.  Once/if we agree on the final price on line, I can then drive over to that dealership with a check in hand, sign the sales contract with an "Internet Sales Manager" , drive my car off the lot, and be back home in 20 minutes.  I never have to talk to a "car salesman". Commerce today is that simple (at least here).

 

When I first started cruising, about a decade ago, I "stupidly" called the cruise line directly.  They told me what the cruise would cost.....and I sent them the deposit/final payment by CC.  And I received a booking document directly from them - on line.  I received no rebates, no pre-paid gratuities, no OBC's, and not even a Christmas Card!   😢   I was throwing a lot of money away needlessly, and paying more for the cruise than I had to.

 

When I want to book a cruise now, I look through the various cruise brochures and do a fair amount of research in advance on my own (which I enjoy). I then call up "my trusted travel agent" (and it can be anyone I choose).  I tell him/her what cruise I'm interested in and in what level/location of suite I want.  I usually even tell her the exact suite I want.  She/he contacts the cruise line to make sure the suite I want is available.  She (in my case) gets back to me (usually within 24 hours) with an exact/final cost for that cruise (the final price also depends upon whether I want "add-on things" like air, pre-cruise hotel, trip insurance (I rarely get that). I'm free to purchase my air, hotels, and any desired insurance separately, and on my own.  She also is able to put a temporary "hold" on that suite for me.  She gives me the final "numbers", including how much of deposit (most/all refundable in the U.S.) she needs to "lock in" the booking.  With a final "OK" from me, she immediately passes my deposit payment directly to the cruise line (using the Credit Card number I have entrusted to her).  She does NOT "hold or keep" any of my deposit.  It's a 100% "pass through" to the cruise line.   Additionally in our discussion, she tells me what her "Rebate/Courtesy" to me will be (it is a "magical percentage" of my total fare - which I really shouldn't say here).  And at the same time she's going let me know about any additional incentives (rebates, OBC's, pre-paid gratuities, special excursions or dinners, etc. that her agency will be giving me, depending upon the cruise line and the final cruise price that we're dealing with).  Generally the higher the cost of the cruise and which cruise line it is - increases the value of the "Freebies" that I receive from her and her agency.

 

Good TA's provide lots of valuable recommendations, expertise, and can serve as a good "problem solver" and assistant between the individual and the "Big" Cruise Line.  If I need any further information (rarely happens) or if some "problem" has to be worked out (also rare), my TA takes care of it immediately.  In the U.S., the TA works for you and your best interest, but is compensated by the cruise line.  In general practice, that is what is what most often successfully happens.  If things aren't "clicking" harmoniously between the customer and their TA, then the customer is free to choose another TA from hundreds of other's across the country.  Most of us have never actually "met" our TA in person.  All business is done by phone or online.  Hope this answers your questions.

 

And to (finally) tie this into the original topic - TA's across the country are now working many, many long hours, in trying to mediate, "sort out", and verify the status of all their customers' cruise cancellations, deposit/final payment refunds, Future Cruise Credits, and future bookings.  Whew!  I don't envy them at the moment!  Best Regards.

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16 minutes ago, pingpong1 said:

Having looked at it from all ways, I find there is no "Up Side" for any would-be passenger to go directly to the cruise line to make their booking.

While I tend to agree with you there are literally 100s of posters on the mass market board sections of CC that would argue all day with you. The most common reason given is "control", although I've seen other posters swear they get discounts and other things not offered when booking online. 

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3 hours ago, ORV said:

While I tend to agree with you there are literally 100s of posters on the mass market board sections of CC that would argue all day with you. The most common reason given is "control", although I've seen other posters swear they get discounts and other things not offered when booking online. 

ORV - I've also seen some of those comments, as well.  I'm not sure exactly "what" it is, that they actually think they're "controlling" any better, any more accurately, or any quicker, by not using the services of a trained and competent TA working on their behalf?  I'm also not quite sure why they think that everything is so "time-critical" (Hence, why they want to "do it themselves")?  For a cruise that might not even commence until 8 months or a year from when it's initially booked,  I'm not sure why a day or two, for the TA to "get back to you" should make any significant difference? 

 

Perhaps they think that engaging the services of a TA might in some way "cost them more", or add a level of "complexity" to the process?  My experience has been that, "It doesn't".

 

But for a lot of those consumers in the mass-market sector, it's possible that the full/total cost of their cruise could well be less than just the amount of one of my "Rebate checks" on one of our Oceania or Regent cruises? i.e.,  Less "risk" (cost) - less "reward" (rebate).  And as we both know, they're not going to be getting the same "perks" by booking directly with the company, as what we'll be receiving through a Travel Agent.  As I remarked earlier, it took me a couple of years of doing it myself to "figure that out".  Hope to meet you some day on a cruise! Regards.

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31 minutes ago, pingpong1 said:

ORV - I've also seen some of those comments, as well.  I'm not sure exactly "what" it is, that they actually think they're "controlling" any better, any more accurately, or any quicker, by not using the services of a trained and competent TA working on their behalf? 

 Many  use  an online agency  that do not have trained travel agents  just  sales reps.

They are looking for the lowest bottom line  & do not care about  service

Then they find out  that  you cannot get the expert help when you need it  so go back to DIY  through the cruise line

Good Travel agents are hard to come by ...sales reps  are not

JMO

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2 hours ago, LHT28 said:

 Many  use  an online agency  that do not have trained travel agents  just  sales reps.

They are looking for the lowest bottom line  & do not care about  service

Then they find out  that  you cannot get the expert help when you need it  so go back to DIY  through the cruise line

Good Travel agents are hard to come by ...sales reps  are not

JMO

+1

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8 hours ago, ORV said:

While I tend to agree with you there are literally 100s of posters on the mass market board sections of CC that would argue all day with you. The most common reason given is "control", although I've seen other posters swear they get discounts and other things not offered when booking online. 

"Control" is what many say. But, IMO, it's an unwillingness to do the research to find a great TA that has many folks passing up those TA perks that are worthwhile (like commission sharing) and booking direct.

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Posted (edited)

Here’s some positive news to report.  Singapore Airlines told me on March 26 that it would take 14-16 weeks for my business class ticket refund to be processed.  Then, I got an email last week saying it would be refunded in June.  Last night, the refund showed up in our credit card account.  So, keep the faith!!!

 

Also, if your flight was canceled by the airlines, then you are entitled to a full refund even if you purchased a non-refundable ticket.  You also don’t have to accept a voucher nor an alternate flight.  These are DOT rules for international flights from the US.  That’s what I quoted to Singapore Airlines because they were only offering vouchers in March.

Edited by Senior Citizen
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That’s interesting lovetravel63-65

We have booked a cruise with “O” via a TA in September with final balance due next month.  The TA has told us if we cancel before final payment we will lose our deposit.

Appears your decision to book direct has proved beneficial.  So much for a 5 star +1 TA.

 

Regards

 

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