Jump to content

Viking air question


Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

In these uncertain times, from a risk perspective, I would be using a single provider for all arrangements, as if it all, or even part of it goes sideways, you will only deal with 1 company.

 

Downside is by shedding risk you will pay more. However, in these times I would definitely forgo my heritage and would accept the premium from a single provider. Have read way too many stories over the past few months of travellers with separate hotel, flights and insurance providers and trying to get money back.

 

The Chairman's invite should be an amazing re-union for all of you that experienced the horrific incident, so I suggest the lower stress option of letting Viking arrange everything, will let you enjoy the pre-cruise and cruise experience. After what you experienced, you certainly are due a stress free experience. Enjoy😀

 

Andy, 

Thanks for your encouraging thoughts. I'm beginning to agree that the most stress-free path is to place all (or most) of the arrangements on Viking.

 

The invitational cruise truly is something I've been eagerly looking forward to being such a unique opportunity, but of course the uncertainties associated with the virus may wind up dictating the schedule moreso than any other factor. I appreciate the kind words about it. There is surely to be a type of unspoken bond among those Sky passengers - even those who actually never met while on the ship, and it is suspected that Mr. Hagen may well have a few surprises in store (hopefully one of them isn't a decision that they're not going to do the sailing) 😟  I'll gladly do it on other than the Venus rather than not do it at all.

 

The ultimate question is whether or not we'll feel comfortable enough to go. First, of course, Italy has to reopen travel to the US. I'm thinking that might come during the summer but it's anyone's guess. I don't foresee making the decision until fall. See what the virus has in store for a possible resurgence. 

Edited by OnTheJourney
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, OnTheJourney said:

 

Andy, 

Thanks for your encouraging thoughts. I'm beginning to agree that the most stress-free path is to place all (or most) of the arrangements on Viking.

 

The invitational cruise truly is something I've been eagerly looking forward to being such a unique opportunity, but of course the uncertainties associated with the virus may wind up dictating the schedule moreso than any other factor. I appreciate the kind words about it. There is surely to be a type of unspoken bond among those Sky passengers - even those who actually never met while on the ship, and it is suspected that Mr. Hagen may well have a few surprises in store (hopefully one of them isn't a decision that they're not going to do the sailing) 😟  I'll gladly do it on other than the Venus rather than not do it at all.

 

The ultimate question is whether or not we'll feel comfortable enough to go. First, of course, Italy has to reopen travel to the US. I'm thinking that might come during the summer but it's anyone's guess. I don't foresee making the decision until fall. See what the virus has in store for a possible resurgence. 

We will gladly put our best wishes forward that you get to do this Cruise!

You have been so patient and like me, so analytical.  I appreciate your position as we have cruises planned where I try to analyze all the options and the risks and it comes down often to, just waiting a little longer to see more cards in the poker hand, so to speak!  we have to see how this plays out for sure.

Best of luck and we will be following you.  If this cruise of yours (inaugural) goes ahead, we'll want to have some amazing reports on it.  We are scheduled for the Venus in July (Into the Midnight Sun) so anxious to hear how this new ship is !!

Link to post
Share on other sites

CC....thanks for such kind thoughts!  You're right...I know I'm being too anxious. It's very likely Viking, like probably every other line, has not yet formulated all the plans and new procedures for when cruising restarts. All that has to come first before they can worry about one particular cruise on a yet-to-be-completed new ship. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK...this is like a huge ball of knotted twine that is gradually being untangled. Just talked to an agent again tonight (I'm nothing if not persistent for information) and didn't realize that the Risk Free Guarantee booking deadline has been extended to 6/30. It's right on the website, but I have not come across it till the agent sent me the link to it. So, the way I interpret all this is that any air booked until 6/30 also falls under the guarantee. The agent told me it pertains to "all monies paid to Viking". Thus, any air I buy now (if not returned in cash as the air department lady told me - have to call her again on this) becomes part of the voucher amount. While I am having a tough time with the cost of the B-class upgrade compared to what I find on expedia, I keep thinking about probably not being able to use air within a year (airline policy) nor am I crazy about only getting 75% of it back through the insurance policy I'm considering. So, the Viking offer - while more expensive - almost sounds like the safest way to proceed. Just thought I'd update. I promise not to keep on with this since it really mostly of interest to those that are part of the invitational cruise and/or also going on the Iberian Explorer. 

Edited by OnTheJourney
Link to post
Share on other sites

Please keep us posted about what you learn, either here or on the chairman's cruise roll call. We remain on the fence as to whether we'll feel comfortable cruising in January 2021, and any information you receive will help us to keep our options open. Thanks. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi JD....I'm trying to do that without feeling like I'm sort of monopolizing the Viking Ocean forum of late! I'm right with you and am on that same fence (starts to hurt after a bit, ya know?) as to yea or nay. I can't recall ever doing such extensive research into a booked trip with a primary focus of looking into every aspect associated with NOT going rather than going. Seems so weird. Takes the usual pre-trip planning joy out of it along with doing little to decrease the already present sense of anxiety. I think I've about learned - and hopefully shared - as much as there is to learn with the facts at hand other than one final call to this premier air desk (probably should put in my hearing aids for that conversation) and request an email outlining the approximate costs again including all deviation fees, etc. and whether or not the air costs - if WE cancel - are returned to us in cash (and if so how much of it?) or become part of the risk-free voucher. If the latter, then the air really needs to be booked by the end of this month or else it won't be covered under the guarantee. In that case, I''ll need to buy my own air and could do that anytime. I'm still sort of torn on that part. Any voucher still has to be used, whereas cash back (like from an insurance policy) is cash in hand with no timeline hanging over my head. It'd be great to hear further word from Viking on the Venus but probably way too soon for any sort of update. 

Edited by OnTheJourney
Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me throw out this question yet to anyone who has booked air - especially in the event that I can't understand half of what the air desk agent tells me - when you do upgraded air with Viking, or even just purchase any air with them, do you get to choose a seat right away?  Or if not, how and when does that happen?  

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, JDincalif said:

Please keep us posted about what you learn, either here or on the chairman's cruise roll call. We remain on the fence as to whether we'll feel comfortable cruising in January 2021, and any information you receive will help us to keep our options open. Thanks. 

 

Might as well post this here as well...  https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/23079-viking-venus-floated-out-at-fincantieri.html   

 

(Andy...or Cheng perhaps...can you speak to how long it might take to do the interior work on the Venus?)

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

 

Might as well post this here as well...  https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/23079-viking-venus-floated-out-at-fincantieri.html   

 

(Andy...or Cheng perhaps...can you speak to how long it might take to do the interior work on the Venus?)

Thanks OTJ.

Next comes the carpets and drapes!

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

Let me throw out this question yet to anyone who has booked air - especially in the event that I can't understand half of what the air desk agent tells me - when you do upgraded air with Viking, or even just purchase any air with them, do you get to choose a seat right away?  Or if not, how and when does that happen?  

 

Others experiences may vary, from our experience.

 

I provided our preferred YVR-LAX and LHR-YVR flights to our TA. She contacted Viking Air, who booked both those flights, including seat selection. Our TA then added the pax info that she had available, before handing over the confirmed bookings and confirmation codes.

Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Others experiences may vary, from our experience.

 

I provided our preferred YVR-LAX and LHR-YVR flights to our TA. She contacted Viking Air, who booked both those flights, including seat selection. Our TA then added the pax info that she had available, before handing over the confirmed bookings and confirmation codes.

 

Andy...so when you say the Viking agent booked the flights including seats, does that imply that you had prior input into the specific seat(s) that you may have chosen beforehand and gave her that info (or at least a few choices that you preferred)? Or was the choice of seats solely at the agent's discretion (within the class of seats you were booking of course)?  I always look at what seats are available as I'm working through an expedia search.  

Edited by OnTheJourney
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

 

Andy...so when you say the Viking agent booked the flights including seats, does that imply that you had prior input into the specific seat(s) that you may have chosen beforehand and gave her that info (or at least a few choices that you preferred)? Or was the choice of seats solely at the agent's discretion (within the class of seats you were booking of course)?  I always look at what seats are available as I'm working through an expedia search.  

 

Although I had previously checked seat availability, we never in our wildest dreams expected to have the seats reserved for us, but we had submitted preferences for aisle/window. Our TA and Viking selected the best available at that time.

 

When I logged in, I had no concerns with their options.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/11/2020 at 12:15 PM, OnTheJourney said:

Let me throw out this question yet to anyone who has booked air - especially in the event that I can't understand half of what the air desk agent tells me - when you do upgraded air with Viking, or even just purchase any air with them, do you get to choose a seat right away?  Or if not, how and when does that happen?  

Hi OTJ,

 

If you pay for Viking Air, you should be able to book the seats that you want if they are available as soon as the flights are made final.  We have had wonderful experiences working w/ Viking Air in handling our flights.  In fact, due to AA issues w/ their 737 MAX planes, AA had canceled our flights back to the US from Bali(didn't offer any assistance in re-booking) and while in Bali(with a time difference of 14 hours) I was able to email Viking Air directly after emailing my TA and arrange for new flights, in fact we got a non-stop from Hong Kong to IAD on Cathy Pacific, a much nicer flight experience.  And let me add my two cents about booking everything w/ Viking.  It just makes it easier.  We canceled an Oceania cruise for November & we are stuck w/ United tickets since I chose to buy the flights from the airline directly since it was cheaper & we were planning to come in earlier & leave later.  Not sure if we will get to use those tickets, I'm hoping that the flights may be canceled or changed so I can request a refund from United otherwise a few thousand gone.  We just canceled a 2021 April Southeast Asia Viking cruise.  Since it is before final payment(which is September), we are only losing $200 but not really since we will get it as a FCV (to be used within two years) - since everything is bundled (business air, extensions, Viking air fee, etc) we didn't lose anything(especially since it was before final payment) - we even lucked out with our travel insurance(purchased separately) - I requested a refund of the TI premiums, received approval, and got the refund check in a week.  Sometimes it's worth spending the extra for less anxiety.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/7/2020 at 11:58 PM, Heidi13 said:

 

On our first Viking cruise we had included Bus flights, but next year it is only included economy. The upgrade with Air Plus and BA miles is considerably less than paying cash for the upgrade. When within the 330 day booking window for flights, I will provide our TA with our BA membership numbers and let her work her magic with Viking Air.

Hi Andy,

 

I thought Viking Air was no longer handling business class upgrades using miles?  Initially when we started cruising w/ Viking, we were able to upgrade from economy using Viking Air & our United miles(and United fee for upgrading)  but they stopped offering that service a couple of years ago.  Is it only done if you ask Viking Air now through your TA?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't help but wonder how 'business-like' is business-class air going to be? I've been reading about the entire (pre-packaged) meal being served all at once on a tray. If the quality / service, etc. is downgraded and simplified, which makes sense, then the price should be less too. Would hate to pay thousands of $$$ and then they come around with a snack basket. Can probably say goodbye to the hot towels, possibly even pillows, blankets. Then what about the airport lounges? I would imagine it'll no longer be the open salad-bar food and beverages concept. Darn...I only ever got to do it a handful of times!!  Car trips are starting to look better and better moving into a COVID-19 world (which is actually our favorite mode of travel anyway 🤔)

Edited by OnTheJourney
Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, SM77 said:

Hi Andy,

 

I thought Viking Air was no longer handling business class upgrades using miles?  Initially when we started cruising w/ Viking, we were able to upgrade from economy using Viking Air & our United miles(and United fee for upgrading)  but they stopped offering that service a couple of years ago.  Is it only done if you ask Viking Air now through your TA?

 

Haven't actually booked the flights yet, as the window isn't open, just going from what the Cruise Consultant advised when we booked onboard. Will be interesting to find out if we can use points.

 

Appreciate the heads up.

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, OnTheJourney said:

Can't help but wonder how 'business-like' is business-class air going to be? I've been reading about the entire (pre-packaged) meal being served all at once on a tray. If the quality / service, etc. is downgraded and simplified, which makes sense, then the price should be less too. Would hate to pay thousands of $$$ and then they come around with a snack basket. Can probably say goodbye to the hot towels, possibly even pillows, blankets. Then what about the airport lounges? I would imagine it'll no longer be the open salad-bar food and beverages concept. Darn...I only ever got to do it a handful of times!!  Car trips are starting to look better and better moving into a COVID-19 world (which is actually our favorite mode of travel anyway 🤔)

 

In our experience in April, the in-flight catering certainly wasn't worth the money. From Gib to LHR we received bottles of water and bags of pretzels.

 

From LHR to YVR it was a little better, but again the only beverages was bottles of water. As you indicated both meals came on a single tray and everything was cold and pre-packaged.

 

No hot towels, but they did have a sealed blanket at each seat. No lounges were open at any of the airports 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Haven't actually booked the flights yet, as the window isn't open, just going from what the Cruise Consultant advised when we booked onboard. Will be interesting to find out if we can use points.

 

Appreciate the heads up.

Andy,

 

Thanks for the response.  Will be interested if you are able to do the upgrade w/ points through Viking Air.  I was thinking of trying to do the upgrade directly w/ United once we have booked the economy seats through Viking Air.  We have a 2021 Viking river cruise for the Ukraine and the economy air was really inexpensive so we thought we would try to fly economy.  And I thought I would try to upgrade directly w/ United.   I really miss that Viking Air upgrade to business service using points.  It probably was too time-consuming for their Viking Air department.  We did it for three cruises from 2016 - 2018.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SM77 said:

Andy,

 

Thanks for the response.  Will be interested if you are able to do the upgrade w/ points through Viking Air.  I was thinking of trying to do the upgrade directly w/ United once we have booked the economy seats through Viking Air.  We have a 2021 Viking river cruise for the Ukraine and the economy air was really inexpensive so we thought we would try to fly economy.  And I thought I would try to upgrade directly w/ United.   I really miss that Viking Air upgrade to business service using points.  It probably was too time-consuming for their Viking Air department.  We did it for three cruises from 2016 - 2018.

 

Here's hoping it works, but if not we will use the rest of the FCV. Since we have so many BA miles, it just seemed win/win when the cruise consultant mentioned the possibility. We had already signed up for Air Plus, but with back of the bus flights this time, I mentioned I will upgrade with points. That's when she mentioned Viking Air can make that happen.

 

Will keep you posted.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

In our experience in April, the in-flight catering certainly wasn't worth the money. From Gib to LHR we received bottles of water and bags of pretzels.

 

From LHR to YVR it was a little better, but again the only beverages was bottles of water. As you indicated both meals came on a single tray and everything was cold and pre-packaged.

 

No hot towels, but they did have a sealed blanket at each seat. No lounges were open at any of the airports 

 

Maybe I should just use the free economy air that Viking gave us!!  It'd royally tick me off to pay $8k for a cold pre-packaged meal in business class. Then again, the trip is still a half-year away. 

Edited by OnTheJourney
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Here's hoping it works, but if not we will use the rest of the FCV. Since we have so many BA miles, it just seemed win/win when the cruise consultant mentioned the possibility. We had already signed up for Air Plus, but with back of the bus flights this time, I mentioned I will upgrade with points. That's when she mentioned Viking Air can make that happen.

 

Will keep you posted.

Hi Heidi

My TA called Viking and said we can upgrade to business with points. That's the good news; the not-so-good news is that they can provide only round-trip upgrades and they book it 330 days from the date coming home. So- --- it is possible that there will be no availability when we book going to the cruise.

Wondering if anyone else has called or had TA call Viking Air and gotten the same response as we did.

We are also booked on a Viking River Cruise for October and plan to do the same, if they are still offering it.

Elaine  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with Barbara Muckermann, CMO Silversea Cruises
      • ICYM Our Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Explore the Remote World with Hurtigruten!
      • Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team: New Ship Ultramarine
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...