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Are you booking flights for your next cruise?


islandwoman
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For those of you who are already planning to cruise again, are you booking flights?  How? 

Have you booked cruises that require a flight to embarkation or from disembarkation, or are you sticking to drive to ports?

If you're going to need a flight, how and when will you book it in case the cruise is cancelled or in case you decide it's not safe to travel even though the cruise will sail?

My problem is that except for EZ Air (that some cruise lines don't offer), refundable flights are very much more expensive than non-refundable ones. But waiting until the last minute to book also has been very expensive.

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My next cruise is in November so I'm waiting.  It's in Europe so there will have to be flights.

 

Unless I come across a spectacularly low price, I'll wait until a few months out to book. I may book it with miles which are refundable. I may wait even longer like just a month out depending how the virus situation is going.

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33 minutes ago, new_cruiser said:

It's in Europe so there will have to be flights

 

According to yesterday's NPR news, the European Union is likely to bar US Travelers this summer. https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/06/24/882801218/eu-could-bar-u-s-travelers-due-to-ongoing-rise-in-covid-19-cases

Maybe they'll open up for us by November,  but right now, it doesn't look good. 

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  • 1 month later...
14 minutes ago, cruznjan said:

We're cruising with a tour group, so they're booking our flights.

 

Will your flights be refundable if you decide to cancel or if the cruise is cancelled?   Are you having to pay extra for "flexible" fares?

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On 8/4/2020 at 5:30 PM, islandwoman said:

 

Will your flights be refundable if you decide to cancel or if the cruise is cancelled?   Are you having to pay extra for "flexible" fares?

They work with the airlines. When we canceled our September cruise all our money was refunded.

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  • 3 months later...

We are using Fly2fun through carnival for our cruise next July. We booked using flexible fares and the cost was the same as if we booked directly through United. We don't have to pay for the tickets until April and if the cruise gets cancelled we will get our cash back. I was worried about booking with the airlines and getting vouchers. I am not sure if we would use them.

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If you look almost all airline let you change your flights at no cost.  They are not refundable but you can move them.  I know I am going to cruise or vacation so I am not worried about booking now.  If I need to I can change the flights.  I have my flights booked for April cruise flights from California to New York and Barcelona to California.  If that cruise is canceled then I will just move them to my October Cruise and fly California to Rome and Florida to California.

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5 hours ago, Traveling Mike said:

If you look almost all airline let you change your flights at no cost. 

Be careful of the fine print.  I've found the airline's policies sometimes difficult to decipher. For example,  AA's applies to flights booked by December 31, 2020 and the travel credits seem to expire one year from when the original ticket was purchased.  (or not - There might be other fine print I haven't found yet or AA might change their policy).  Southwest's policy allowed Travel Funds from cancelled tickets to be converted into Rapid Rewards Points, but only for flights booked by September, 2020.  That part of the policy was not obvious on their website and I never saw it.  Now I have Travel Funds that will likely expire before I can use them.  Who knows how long this pandemic will last? 

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We are fortunate to live in Florida so it is easier for us to book and re-book without the drama of working with airlines also. I would probably resist booking a cruise if I had to book a flight as well. It is really very sad that we are all in this situation of not knowing when we can cruise again. We did have flights to Hawaii booked on United earliner this year, in May, and initially United gave vouchers for future use but I was able to persuade an agent after frequent phone calls to give me refund of the fare so was thankful for that. That was before all the airlines has updated their refund policies.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

We booked a flight to London through Princess EZ Air for our Northern Lights Cruise in October 2021.  The "flexible" fare was the same price as the "restricted" one, so we can cancel without penalty for any reason.  The cost was actually less than we would have had to pay if we'd booked directly, and it's a good flight.  But the flight schedule will probably change.

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@islandwoman, I know a lot of people here on CC say never to use the cruise line's air program, but I've had a great experience with cruise air when I've flown to Europe.  The fares I can find booking independently don't come close to what the cruise lines can offer. 

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Roz,  Maybe the advice "never to use the cruise line's air program" comes from years ago when the cruise lines would sometimes put you on the worst possible flights at the most inconvenient times, at the last minute when it was impossible to reserve a good seat.  Within the past couple of years, I've had very good experiences with Princess EZ Air. I should add that the most recent time I used Princess EZ Air, there was a bit of a snafu.  Long story, but it worked out OK. 

Which cruise lines' air programs have you had good experiences with?

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I've only used it recently for European river cruises on Uniworld.  I've not taken an ocean cruise that required me to sail from a foreign port other than Vancouver.  Even then, both times I used HAL's air program (2001 and 2003) and still came out ahead, plus I got transfers included.

Edited by Roz
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/25/2020 at 7:18 AM, islandwoman said:

For those of you who are already planning to cruise again, are you booking flights?  How? 

Have you booked cruises that require a flight to embarkation or from disembarkation, or are you sticking to drive to ports?

If you're going to need a flight, how and when will you book it in case the cruise is cancelled or in case you decide it's not safe to travel even though the cruise will sail?

My problem is that except for EZ Air (that some cruise lines don't offer), refundable flights are very much more expensive than non-refundable ones. But waiting until the last minute to book also has been very expensive.

Next cruise is Nov 20th La to Hawaii.

Yes we always book through Princess. Great service and prices are equal to or less than airline agents

 

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We have always considered 1000 miles our max drive and it just so happens Port Canaveral and Tampa are almost exactly 1000 miles from us.   We had our first trip from Bayonne NJ canceled, that would have been a driving trip.  We are now booked on a cruise from Tampa, so we will likely drive that.  We like the drive and have the vacation time.  Now if I see a cruise out of Port Everglades or Miami, we will fly.

\

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I have cruise booked out of NY for Oct 2021.  We will be flying into LGA; so there is no hurry to book this flight.  All major carriers fly daily from CVG-LGA

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8 minutes ago, AF-1 said:

I have cruise booked out of NY for Oct 2021.  We will be flying into LGA; so there is no hurry to book this flight.  All major carriers fly daily from CVG-LGA

We have begun booking flights for future travel.  Our reasoning is that when there are signs that the pandemic will soon be over, demand will increase but capacity will not.  So prices will rise.  Also, if you read the airlines' COVID cancellation policies, often they include cancellation or change without penalty, if you book by certain dates.  But be careful with that one - the rebooking certificates sometimes have expiration dates.

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Posted (edited)

islandwoman,  I understand what you're saying.  We can put a reservation on hold with Princess EZ air and don't pay until  90 days prior to travel;  but like I mentioned above,  Delta, American, each have three daily nonstops a day, and lots of connecting flights.   Our travel plans are flexible; since we plan on arriving in NY three or four days prior;  so will  monitor the flights as we get closer;  most likely will book sometime in May;  once we know all the ports will be open and the vaccination program is under control.  Cheers

Edited by AF-1
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  • 6 months later...

My December and January cruises both sail from a port I can easily drive to. Until the airlines stop cancelling so many flights due to staff shortages the related maintenance issues, I'm avoiding cruises where I'd have to fly. I'm not comfortable depending on the airlines to get me to a port at the moment.

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On 1/5/2021 at 9:30 AM, AF-1 said:

I have cruise booked out of NY for Oct 2021.  We will be flying into LGA; so there is no hurry to book this flight.  All major carriers fly daily from CVG-LGA

Glad there are no issues.......I would be looking at flights for anything that is 3 months out😃

I have a new cruise booked for next month......flights all booked for Alaska. Have another cruise booked sailing out of Lisbon for October......flights booked. And a December Caribbean cruise......flights booked for that one too😃 I am making up for lost time LOL

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