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3 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

 

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. 

This is the latest from my TA as per Viking Air :

 

Deviation Fee: $100 per person

  • Deviate to an alternate destination city or stay extra time before and/or after your cruise or cruise tour (if dates are deviated, then Viking airport transfers are not included)

Viking Air Plus: Starting at $50 per person

  • Get a quote for nonstop flights or the most direct air service available
  • Reservations with airlines that accept frequent flyer mileage
  • Travel on specific airlines or air routing
  • Confirmation of flight schedules at time of reservation; no waiting once deposit and Guest Information Forms are received
  • Premium economy and business classes of service are available on most itineraries for an additional cost - call for a quote.

Please note: Viking Air Plus is not offered 65 days or less before departure. The Viking Air Plus fee is a non-refundable fee. There may be additional fees for customization based on the difference between the requested air and the air price already paid. Date or city deviations and stopover fees are typically between $100 and $300 additional. Airlines have advised that seat assignments are subject to change therefore are not part of the Air Plus program. Itinerary restrictions may apply. Bookings that qualify for Viking's Free Air promotion are not combinable with Viking Air Plus.

 

Travel Coordination Fee: $25 per person  (arrange for travel with friends, family, etc...

 

Elaine

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Thanks so much. I have copied this for future reference, and also have a call in to my TA to check on some of this as well. I'm just always quite put off when I see the word "fee" associated with various travel expenses   - especially when it's used 4 times in the same paragraph! 

 

If the usual quality and quantities associated with Bus-class air are diluted and downgraded to what I'm thinking they might be, I'll be really unhappy for having paid the typical high cost for it, and yet hate the thought of using the economy air Viking has offered us for a long haul flight. I think in my mind I'm romanticizing the idea of this wonderful business class experience and yet I strongly suspect it won't be like that at all. Then, too, the entire pre-cruise hotel, sight-seeing in Rome for a few days, then the two cruises, will all just likely be fraught with one worry after another - not to mention the airports and flights. 

 

Starting to think this is a no-win situation and with all the unknowns associated with the virus - will probably just wind up canceling the entire thing and give up the free invitational cruise - as much as I'd really hate to do that. Right now I just feel depressed over the whole thought of future travel until some sort of vaccine or treatment comes along. If I can't do it (reasonably) worry-free, what fun will any of it be? 

 

 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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36 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

Thanks so much. I have copied this for future reference, and also have a call in to my TA to check on some of this as well. I'm just always quite put off when I see the word "fee" associated with various travel expenses   - especially when it's used 4 times in the same paragraph! 

 

If the usual quality and quantities associated with Bus-class air are diluted and downgraded to what I'm thinking they might be, I'll be really unhappy for having paid the typical high cost for it, and yet hate the thought of using the economy air Viking has offered us for a long haul flight. I think in my mind I'm romanticizing the idea of this wonderful business class experience and yet I strongly suspect it won't be like that at all. Then, too, the entire pre-cruise hotel, sight-seeing in Rome for a few days, then the two cruises, will all just likely be fraught with one worry after another - not to mention the airports and flights. 

 

Starting to think this is a no-win situation and with all the unknowns associated with the virus - will probably just wind up canceling the entire thing and give up the free invitational cruise - as much as I'd really hate to do that. Right now I just feel depressed over the whole thought of future travel until some sort of vaccine or treatment comes along. If I can't do it (reasonably) worry-free, what fun will any of it be? 

 

 

Glad I could provide some useful information.

My DH thinks our cruise won't take place - May 31! - because of the virus but I am very optimistic that we will cruise again. My favorite place to be is at sea!

Think positive thoughts - if not January, perhaps Viking will offer another wonderful adventure  

elaine

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If the Venus isn't ready - they may well need to push back the inaugural sailing. That would suit me fine, except that then I'll have to push off a few other cruises - domino effect. 

 

(Sorry..meant to quote you first...then couldn't delete what I already posted). 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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52 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

If the Venus isn't ready - they may well need to push back the inaugural sailing. That would suit me fine, except that then I'll have to push off a few other cruises - domino effect. 

Domino effect is right - we had to push off cruises this year (for obvious reasons!) and DH says it's forced savings.

(Sorry..meant to quote you first...then couldn't delete what I already posted).--- LOL

Our cruise is on the Venus so if you board a Venus cruise before us (and I certainly hope you do!), please let me know about the ship

Thanks 

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30 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

 

When is yours scheduled? The 2nd cruise we have booked ends in London on 2/2. 

We are sailing the British Isles, beginning in Bergen, Norway on May 31

We've got a bit of time but who knows????

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14 hours ago, travelnn said:

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  

Thanks Elaine - we are hoping to spend a couple of weeks in Scotland before the start of the river cruise, so it will be almost 2 months between departure and return. Pre-COVID most of the points flights were taken within the first few days, so outbound might not work on points.

 

Can only hope with less demand for flights that the reward flights aren't booked so quickly.

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10 hours ago, travelnn said:

We are sailing the British Isles, beginning in Bergen, Norway on May 31

We've got a bit of time but who knows????

We will be in Bergen a couple of weeks after you, boarding the Star for Bergen to London via the Midnight Sun.

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On 6/1/2020 at 8:01 PM, DrKoob said:

 

The difference is that having a local TA, you have someone you know and can trust who you can find when you want them. They can often explain things in a better way face to face than a Viking agent (or anyone else) can over the phone. And why wouldn’t you deal with them? It doesn’t cost you an extra cent. 

 

Here is one reason I've been relying on a Viking agent moreso than my usual (local AAA) agent - usually takes her awhile to get back to me. Not just because of the CV situation either - typically it can take a week or longer. This Viking agent I've been working with is very prompt - usually the same day. I've sometimes thought about asking for someone else at the AAA office. I don't like to have to email people more than once about a concern. I, personally, try to respond to any email as soon as I can. Funny about email. People sometimes treat it very flippantly and don't respond at all - even a business - as if it's not as "important" a means of communication. Maybe just my perception. 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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48 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

 

Here is one reason I've been relying on a Viking agent moreso than my usual (local AAA) agent - usually takes her awhile to get back to me. 

 

You need a new travel agent. My best recommendation would be to find someone local who does not work for a chain. Those agents are usually working for minimum wage and not commissions. Have coffee with them, talk about your travels. I spend as much money on travel as I do on insurance and I know my insurance broker very well. Both insurance brokers and travel agents work for free. If you walk into a local travel agency, sit and have a talk (maybe more than once) before you book. You should have a relationship with that person.

 

My travel agent was my banker before she started doing travel. I figured if I could trust her with my money, then I could trust her with my travel. She was local to me for the first 10 years she booked for me, then I moved about 200 miles away. We (my wife and I) go back to her town at least two or three times a year and always have lunch with her. If I call her, I get a response within 24 hours. I have her cell number (had to use it once when we had a flight problem at Heathrow). It was the middle of the night for her but we were rebooked on another flight within an hour...with a free upgrade. She is AWESOME!

 

Jim

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Our agent is a nice person, and is basically quite helpful but sometimes I'd like a bit more prompt service. I've already had to email 3-4 times to get a response. We were automatically assigned to her when our longtime agent at AAA retired. Never bothered to explore further to find anyone else. 

 

So here's an air question:  I'm now able to get back on MVJ and was looking at the air options. If I book "air plus" at $50pp, am I correct that I could always cancel and get a refund for that- at least at this point being 7 months out from the trip and no upgraded air yet booked?  All I have at this point is the free economy air that Viking gave us. 

 

What is the advantage - if any - of adding this "air plus" to our account at the present time? If I do this, is there more that can be done on MVJ in the way of requesting specific air itinerary info?  If there's no real benefit to it right now, I'll save the $100 for the time being. 

 

I should add that we are planning to arrive in the embarkation city several days before the cruise begins - so I assume that entails the additional "deviation" fee, right? 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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11 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

Our agent is a nice person, and is basically quite helpful but sometimes I'd like a bit more prompt service. I've already had to email 3-4 times to get a response. We were automatically assigned to her when our longtime agent at AAA retired. Never bothered to explore further to find anyone else. 

 

So here's an air question:  I'm now able to get back on MVJ and was looking at the air options. If I book "air plus" at $50pp, am I correct that I could always cancel and get a refund for that- at least at this point being 7 months out from the trip and no upgraded air yet booked?  All I have at this point is the free economy air that Viking gave us. 

 

What is the advantage - if any - of adding this "air plus" to our account at the present time? If I do this, is there more that can be done on MVJ in the way of requesting specific air itinerary info?  If there's no real benefit to it right now, I'll save the $100 for the time being. 

 

Not sure about getting a refund, if you cancel.

 

At this time, even if you go with the included flights, you would have the option of selecting your preferred airline and routing. For our last cruise we had included business flight, but still purchased "Air Plus" to request the airline and direct flights.

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Andy, I rechecked and it appears the air plus fee is non-refundable. I've been worried about having to book the air (with Viking) prior to June 30 so as to be included in 'risk free', but was told by the viking agent that I don't need to do it by then since risk free is attached to my booking and so anything added to it at any time is covered under risk-free. I was also told I really need both - risk free AND trip mate for complete coverage both before and during the trip. Makes sense. I never go without trip insurance anyway but typically add in the cost of airfare if I'm buying my own policy. 

 

So, getting back to adding air plus on MVJ....is it worth it to do so? If it simply means that the air department won't have to add it to my account when I call them - being that it's already there - doesn't seem like I'd need to add it now unless it provides for adding flight routes, etc. that we may be looking for. Just hope that the next time I talk to that lady at the premier air desk I can understand her a bit better...sheesh. As was suggested here, best is to tell her to send all the pertinent info in an email. 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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On 6/15/2020 at 9:53 AM, Heidi13 said:

We will be in Bergen a couple of weeks after you, boarding the Star for Bergen to London via the Midnight Sun.

One of our travel mates will be on Viking Midnight Sun directly after our cruise, and she will be starting in London - opposite your cruise.

 

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23 hours ago, OnTheJourney said:

Our agent is a nice person, and is basically quite helpful but sometimes I'd like a bit more prompt service. I've already had to email 3-4 times to get a response. We were automatically assigned to her when our longtime agent at AAA retired. Never bothered to explore further to find anyone else. 

 

So here's an air question:  I'm now able to get back on MVJ and was looking at the air options. If I book "air plus" at $50pp, am I correct that I could always cancel and get a refund for that- at least at this point being 7 months out from the trip and no upgraded air yet booked?  All I have at this point is the free economy air that Viking gave us. 

 

What is the advantage - if any - of adding this "air plus" to our account at the present time? If I do this, is there more that can be done on MVJ in the way of requesting specific air itinerary info?  If there's no real benefit to it right now, I'll save the $100 for the time being. 

 

I should add that we are planning to arrive in the embarkation city several days before the cruise begins - so I assume that entails the additional "deviation" fee, right? 

Sorry to be uninformed - can you please tell me what MVJ means???

Thanks

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My Viking Journey - the personal web link that all Viking (booked) customers have to check on and manage the various details of their trips. If you've either traveled with Viking before or currently have a booking - I assume you already are familiar with this (?)  

Edited by OnTheJourney
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On 6/14/2020 at 7:42 PM, travelnn said:

This is the latest from my TA as per Viking Air :

 

Deviation Fee: $100 per person

  • Deviate to an alternate destination city or stay extra time before and/or after your cruise or cruise tour (if dates are deviated, then Viking airport transfers are not included)

Viking Air Plus: Starting at $50 per person

  • Get a quote for nonstop flights or the most direct air service available
  • Reservations with airlines that accept frequent flyer mileage
  • Travel on specific airlines or air routing
  • Confirmation of flight schedules at time of reservation; no waiting once deposit and Guest Information Forms are received
  • Premium economy and business classes of service are available on most itineraries for an additional cost - call for a quote.

Please note: Viking Air Plus is not offered 65 days or less before departure. The Viking Air Plus fee is a non-refundable fee. There may be additional fees for customization based on the difference between the requested air and the air price already paid. Date or city deviations and stopover fees are typically between $100 and $300 additional. Airlines have advised that seat assignments are subject to change therefore are not part of the Air Plus program. Itinerary restrictions may apply. Bookings that qualify for Viking's Free Air promotion are not combinable with Viking Air Plus.

 

Travel Coordination Fee: $25 per person  (arrange for travel with friends, family, etc...

 

Elaine

 

My TA spoke to the air dept. today and said that ticketing is not done prior to 75 days before departure. Somebody please explain to me how this works in terms of Viking being able to guarantee seats? If I go on expedia, choose my flights, book specific seats, I'm done. I realize the airline reserves the right to change seats, but I can't remember it ever happening. But how does it work with Viking? What happens if - by 75 days before the trip - all the seats are sold? I'm looking at business, so there are already a very limited number of those. Does Viking guarantee a seat but not necessarily what you might have had in mind? I can't help but wonder if the cruise and other travel companies pre-contracting with the airlines for seats might in some way contribute to flights being overbooked? Then, of course, the passengers are subject to being hounded at the gate seating area while the airline tries to hawk cash vouchers for rebooking. Very stressful. So, hopefully someone can explain how Viking manages all this? I feel very comfortable with booking my own air, but need to know a bit more about exactly what will happen if I book it through Viking. When will I know the seat assignment? 

Edited by OnTheJourney
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On 6/19/2020 at 8:27 AM, OnTheJourney said:

My Viking Journey - the personal web link that all Viking (booked) customers have to check on and manage the various details of their trips. If you've either traveled with Viking before or currently have a booking - I assume you already are familiar with this (?)  

Thanks - yes. Just didn't think about the initials. This will be Viking cruise #2 with #3 scheduled for October ---- assuming we can travel. 

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43 minutes ago, OnTheJourney said:

 

My TA spoke to the air dept. today and said that ticketing is not done prior to 75 days before departure. Somebody please explain to me how this works in terms of Viking being able to guarantee seats? If I go on expedia, choose my flights, book specific seats, I'm done. I realize the airline reserves the right to change seats, but I can't remember it ever happening. But how does it work with Viking? What happens if - by 75 days before the trip - all the seats are sold? I'm looking at business, so there are already a very limited number of those. Does Viking guarantee a seat but not necessarily what you might have had in mind? I can't help but wonder if the cruise and other travel companies pre-contracting with the airlines for seats might in some way contribute to flights being overbooked? Then, of course, the passengers are subject to being hounded at the gate seating area while the airline tries to hawk cash vouchers for rebooking. Very stressful. So, hopefully someone can explain how Viking manages all this? I feel very comfortable with booking my own air, but need to know a bit more about exactly what will happen if I book it through Viking. When will I know the seat assignment? 

My TA said I can book roundtrip in August which I still think is late 330 days for the outbound flight should be coming up pretty soon. I'll check again.

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1 hour ago, OnTheJourney said:

 

My TA spoke to the air dept. today and said that ticketing is not done prior to 75 days before departure. Somebody please explain to me how this works in terms of Viking being able to guarantee seats? If I go on expedia, choose my flights, book specific seats, I'm done. I realize the airline reserves the right to change seats, but I can't remember it ever happening. But how does it work with Viking? What happens if - by 75 days before the trip - all the seats are sold? I'm looking at business, so there are already a very limited number of those. Does Viking guarantee a seat but not necessarily what you might have had in mind? I can't help but wonder if the cruise and other travel companies pre-contracting with the airlines for seats might in some way contribute to flights being overbooked? Then, of course, the passengers are subject to being hounded at the gate seating area while the airline tries to hawk cash vouchers for rebooking. Very stressful. So, hopefully someone can explain how Viking manages all this? I feel very comfortable with booking my own air, but need to know a bit more about exactly what will happen if I book it through Viking. When will I know the seat assignment? 

 

We didn't contact Viking Air directly, as our TA made all the arrangements.

 

Our flights were 5 months apart, so our TA suggested waiting until the return flights were posted. Shortly after we made the final payment (end June 2019), our TA contacted Viking Air and booked both flights. We received e-tickets and seats, as soon as she completed the call with Viking Air.

 

This was early July 2019, with o'bd flight Jan 2nd 2020 and i'bd flight May 27th 2020.

 

Did you pay for Air Plus, as that could make a difference?

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1 hour ago, Heidi13 said:

 

We didn't contact Viking Air directly, as our TA made all the arrangements.

 

Our flights were 5 months apart, so our TA suggested waiting until the return flights were posted. Shortly after we made the final payment (end June 2019), our TA contacted Viking Air and booked both flights. We received e-tickets and seats, as soon as she completed the call with Viking Air.

 

This was early July 2019, with o'bd flight Jan 2nd 2020 and i'bd flight May 27th 2020.

 

Did you pay for Air Plus, as that could make a difference?

We did not pay for Air Plus just yet. Lots of "busy-ness" right now. I will get in touch with her really soon - before the 30th. I might want to do Air Plus for our Viking River Cruise in October. I need some time.... something that is difficult at the moment. If you like you can contact me directly - elainefarran@yahoo.com  elainefarran at yahoo dot com

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8 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

We didn't contact Viking Air directly, as our TA made all the arrangements.

 

Our flights were 5 months apart, so our TA suggested waiting until the return flights were posted. Shortly after we made the final payment (end June 2019), our TA contacted Viking Air and booked both flights. We received e-tickets and seats, as soon as she completed the call with Viking Air.

 

This was early July 2019, with o'bd flight Jan 2nd 2020 and i'bd flight May 27th 2020.

 

Did you pay for Air Plus, as that could make a difference?

 

Andy, I didn't pay for anything as of yet. I have "Air Plus" in my cart on MVJ but haven't proceeded to pay for it yet. I was going to add it (hence why it's in the cart) but then thought better of it until I find out more. I'd really like to know how this advance ticketing / seating is accomplished. Hopefully my TA will be able to find out more - she already got farther than I did the 2 times I called them. 

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