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Latest Celebrity Cancellations - Nonrefundable Airfare

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I just received notice that my April 19 - Edge Transatlantic cruise has been canceled. I spoke with Celebrity Reservations and Flights By Celebrity regarding my nonrefundable airfare. Their answer to my question was clearly stated in their Q&A on the Celebrity Web Site. It states that if Celebrity cancels the cruise, they'll refund airfare even if it's non-refundable (see below). Here's the gotta, this was only for cancellations between March 14 and April 10. The second wave of cancellations April 11 - May 10, the rules have changed. No refund on non-refundable tickets, airline credit only and that expires 1 Year from original date of purchase. Every changing rules!!!

 

 Q: If my cruise was canceled due to the 30-day suspension, and our flights were booked with Flights by Celebrity - are they refunded also?

A: If your sailing was suspended between March 14 - April 10, and you booked refundable flights through Flights by Celebrity, the fare will be refunded automatically, and the $200 penalty will be waived. If you booked a non-refundable ticket through Flights by Celebrity, you will receive a refund. If you purchased air travel on your own, you will need to contact their airline directly.

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It could be that since these cancellations were just announced a few hours ago the FAQs and direction to Flights By Celebrity and others hasn’t been fully updated and  disseminated yet.  

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I’m in the same situation. I noticed right off that the language in the cancellation email conflicted with the FAQ on the website (which I screen shotted). I’m gong to call Flights dept. tomorrow and will report back. 

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If you have travel insurance, have you checked to see if it will cover your airfare costs?

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One possibility:  the cruise line's contract with the airline's was that the airline wouldn't refund the non-refundable fares to the cruiseline, but the cruise line was still refunding them to passengers if they canceled the cruise, and eating the cost of those fares.  And maybe at this point they realize they can't afford to keep doing that.   Just hypothesizing, I could be totally wrong.

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The rules regarding airfare have changed.  Our April 12 cruise has just been cancelled and we booked our nonrefundable air thru X.  Here is what the letter says:

 

"Guests with refundable air travel and hotel booked through Flights by Celebrity will be refunded automatically. Guests with nonrefundable flights booked through Flights by Celebrity or independent air arrangements need to contact their air carriers directly to make all required cancellations."

 

I checked on the Air Canada site and it appears the flights we were booked on have been cancelled.  I plan to sit tight for a bit in the hopes that we will be refunded automatically.  

 

By contrast, our April 10 Japan cruise which was cancelled a few months ago, the letter said as follows:

"Guests with air travel and hotel booked through Flights by Celebrity will be refunded automatically. "

 

For our Japan cruise, we have received a refund of all but $600 so definitely have been refunded for at least some of the nonrefundable airfare, as cost of air alone was $2000.  I reached out a few weeks back to our TA re the remaining $600...he checked with X and apparently it is being processed.

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, bebe08 said:

I checked on the Air Canada site and it appears the flights we were booked on have been cancelled.  I plan to sit tight for a bit in the hopes that we will be refunded automatically.  

 

 

You didn't ask, but IMO if you paid directly to Flights by Celebrity - Air Canada has been paid by X already so the advice is to contact the airline. If it were me, I'd go on Air Canada's site Customer Service and fill in the request for refund form....right away, don't wait.  Early bird and worm theory in play here.  Right now they may honour it, but as more and more requests come in they may change to a less desired refund policy.  I've used this form in the past with good results, but with this virus they'll be overwhelmed so I'd get in early. 

Edited by oceangoer2

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Yes, the rules have indeed changed. Just got off phone and no refund of non-refundable air. We would get a credit for future use on Norwegian (and only have until 2/2021 to use it) which, given their rocky economic condition may not be usable. I’m going to wait and see if Norwegian cancels that flight before doing anything else. 

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I always assumed that the whole purpose of Flights by Celebrity was to give peace of mind specifically regarding your cruise. Celebrity coordinates the flights, so they take responsibility to get you to the cruise. If they can't, then refunds are painless. The whole purpose of the program is to make it so you aren't hit by the fine print the airlines push on you. You deal with a friendly cruiseline, not a rude and ruthless airline. This type of thing makes me question the value of that program.

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Does anyone know since our cruise was canceled if you bought a package that included air and hotel from a major travel agency, that was included in your cruise fare, can you get it refunded?



Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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4 minutes ago, MightyMike said:

I always assumed that the whole purpose of Flights by Celebrity was to give peace of mind specifically regarding your cruise. Celebrity coordinates the flights, so they take responsibility to get you to the cruise. If they can't, then refunds are painless. The whole purpose of the program is to make it so you aren't hit by the fine print the airlines push on you. You deal with a friendly cruiseline, not a rude and ruthless airline. This type of thing makes me question the value of that program.

I do not blame you for questioning it, especially if one does not understand when they are purchasing a 'refundable' vs 'non-refundable' fare and only shopping on price.

 

This is not to say that X does not offer more in terms of assisting one to get to the ship as far as possible without the passenger struggling to deal with it on their own, is that not a value in itself for using X?

 

Now, if several fares are offered for similar flights on the same airline, each of us need to insure that we are purchasing the flight and terms we intend to were we to book direct with the airline.

 

Confusing? Many times it can be, for sure. Yet I see no difference between non-refundable with X or direct to airline or have I missed something in your post?

 

Not directly targeting you, there are quite a few passengers here on CC who are looking to X to indemnify them against all losses when it is not a good business decision.

 

I suggest they, X, try to help as much as they can but limit their losses, as we need to have travel insurance to cover our losses, right?

 

bon voyage

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2 minutes ago, Harborgirl246 said:

Does anyone know since our cruise was canceled if you bought a package that included air and hotel from a major travel agency, that was included in your cruise fare, can you get it refunded?
Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Was it an inclusive "vacation package" that you purchased or did you simply use the TA to purchase the three different items? Put another way, did you order from the prix fixe menu or à la carte? If it was a proper package and they can't provide it in full, it should be refundable. If you bought the component parts, it may not be the same. Talk to your TA.

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, Harborgirl246 said:

Does anyone know since our cruise was canceled if you bought a package that included air and hotel from a major travel agency, that was included in your cruise fare, can you get it refunded?



Sent from my iPhone using Forums

No idea. You would need to contact your TA.  It all depends on if a package was assembled by the TA or they offered pieces and where the TA is located. Different rules in different countries.

Under normal circumstances in the US the answer would likely be yes, but there are always exclusions in the fine print. A pandemic could be one.

Good luck and stay safe.

Edited by az_tchr

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Posted (edited)

Refundable vs Non Refundable..sounds pretty simple to me.  Non refundable flights are usually cheaper for a reason.  

Edited by PTC DAWG

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1 hour ago, Harborgirl246 said:

Does anyone know since our cruise was canceled if you bought a package that included air and hotel from a major travel agency, that was included in your cruise fare, can you get it refunded?



Sent from my iPhone using Forums

We included all airfare and pre and post stay hotels in the travel insurance we purchased through our TA. My understanding is we are covered if VO cancels our cruise in September.

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Posted (edited)

This is am email reply on this subject received from Celebrity:

Celebrity Solstice / 21-May-2020 / 3417673 / 1-45013387248 / Donaldson  
Mon, Mar 23, 2020 8:45 pm
CelebrityEngagementCenter (CelebrityEngagementCenter@celebrity.com)To:you Details
Dear Fred,
 
Thank you for contacting Celebrity Cruises. Please accept our apologies that we were unable to respond to you as quickly as we had hoped. I am happy to have this opportunity to reply to you in writing.
 
Worst case scenario if Celebrity made the corporate decision to cancel your cruise entirely then yes, we will most definitely still refund you for your non refundable flights. At this time I cannot speculate on if this sailing will be canceled or not however, due to agency confidentiality, Celebrity Cruises cannot release or amend any information on a reservation, extend an option date, or cancel a reservation with anyone other than the travel agent of record. Please contact your travel agent for specific information about your booking. If you cannot reach your travel agency, or they do not provide you with your requested information, feel free to reach out to me at US & CAN: 844-418-6824 / INTL: 1-316-554-5961, and I will be happy to attempt to contact the travel agent on your behalf.
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Tia White
Celebrity Cruises
Edited by fwdpost
spelling

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If the flights are actually cancelled (as many now are) and the airline doesn't offer passengers alternative arrangements,  they should be refundable from the airlines. 

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3 hours ago, oceangoer2 said:

You didn't ask, but IMO if you paid directly to Flights by Celebrity - Air Canada has been paid by X already so the advice is to contact the airline. If it were me, I'd go on Air Canada's site Customer Service and fill in the request for refund form....right away, don't wait.  Early bird and worm theory in play here.  Right now they may honour it, but as more and more requests come in they may change to a less desired refund policy.  I've used this form in the past with good results, but with this virus they'll be overwhelmed so I'd get in early. 

Thanks for the info.  I didn't know about the Air Canada form, I will definitely check it out!  This is new territory for me as with our Japan cruise X took care of the air refund even though it was non-refundable.  

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I’d be surprised if the airline would want to get involved with the individual in non refundable flights booked by Flights by Celebrity.

Aren’t Flights by Celebrity acting as an agent in this matter, and such they are the ones that need to be dealing with the airlines???

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20 minutes ago, zanderblue said:

Aren’t Flights by Celebrity acting as an agent in this matter, and such they are the ones that need to be dealing with the airlines???

That was certainly my impression.

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1 hour ago, Fouremco said:

That was certainly my impression.

Absolutely!

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I was booked on an a non-refundable Norwegian Airlines flight for May 6, 2020. I checked the Norwegian Site a couple of days ago and my flight was canceled. I never received any information from Norwegian. I then received the notice that my Edge - Transatlantic Cruise had been canceled. I reviewed the Q & A and contacted Celebrity. At first they told me it was my responsibility to contact Norwegian. I went to the Norwegian site, and it clearly stated "If your tickets were booked through a 3rd party or travel agent, you need contact them". I then contacted Celebrity again and let them know of the situation and next thing I know Celebrity cancels the flight and tells me I have a credit with Norwegian. I escalate the call and I'm then told by Celebrity to go to the Norwegian WEB Site and submit a claim for a refund. I attempt to do this, but it comes back with an error message that due to it being purchased by a travel agency (Flights By Celebrity), I'm not allowed to request the refund. At this point I have a credit with Norwegian that has to be used one year from the original purchase date. Therefore I have until January 2021 to use it. What's frustrating is that Norwegian is willing to give refunds for non-refundable tickets, but it's a catch-22 with Flights By Celebrity. At this point, I'm sorry I didn't book with them directly, I thought I would have better service / protection using Flights By Celebrity. 

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