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Airfare offerings on one way Transatlantic? Advice?


Jacqueline
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Considering booking a 2021 summer or fall transatlantic. What experiences and/or advice can you offer? Usually I don’t book thru the cruiselines,  tú in this situation (I live in NY) there don’t seem to be much that they can mess up. Also one way flights can be costly.

What worked for you all?

note- I did do a RT transatlantic back in 2016

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Did a fly over TA back on QM2 last year and used Cunard to book one way air from NY.  The price they quoted was cheaper than the lowest airfare I could get at the time and that was on United.  We flew United and it was seamless.  Would not hesitate using Cunard again to book the air, provided they were the lowest in price.  Hope this helps.

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We used to use our frequent flyer miles for the one way trip as it tended to be so expensive to buy a one way plane ticket., but lately we have been using Cunard Air, and have been very happy with the choice of flights offered, the rates for premium economy. and you get frequent flyer miles too.

 

Hopefully this will not happen again, but on my husband's flights to attempt to join the QM2 in Hong Kong this year, he had to change his booking to Singapore, and then Perth, and fly home from Perth instead of New York. I think it was easier dealing with Cunard Air than it would have been trying to get this all changed using the various airlines.

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I've done two one-way TAs, and both times booked flights through Cunard Air, and they were seamless. One was an eastbound, with flight to NY to start, and then flight back to Toronto at the end (+ 3 days, because I wanted some extra time in London, which wasn't an issue for Cunard in the slightest.) The second was westbound, with a flight to London, then flight back to Toronto from NY. Both were super-easy, and when I wanted to shift my flight to London on the second one (I wanted to fly in earlier to have more time there before getting on board), it was a matter of a quick phone call. 

 

(Also, both rounds were cheaper than I'd have been able to get on my own.) 

Edited by neeuqdrazil
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We have used airline miles to book one-way fares a couple of times, but that was at a time when the redemption rates were more reasonable than they have been the past couple of years. That worked out about as well as it ever does when booking award flights (sometimes great, sometimes horrid).

 

We have also used Cunard Air to book one-way flights a few times and that has worked out very well. Prices were cheaper than we could get, since US airlines have started charging essentially a full-fare round trip cost for international one-way flights (not always, but often). We were able to get flights at the times we wanted, generally flying US to UK a couple of weeks before the TA, on our preferred airline (or at least the alliance code shares), and with the routing we wanted. Because I taught a short course on that side of the Atlantic a couple of times before the westbound TA, I was able to get flights booked through Cunard Air for US to Manchester and US to Dublin well in advance of QM2 departure date...a month or more earlier, in fact.

 

Only issue I noted was that they actually do not buy tickets until final payment, so if you have requested specific seats well in advance of final payment, the same seats may or may not still be available when the ticket is actually purchased. United and Delta were good about protecting our selected seats, Air France was not. But, then, I have elite frequent flyer status on both United and Delta, so I don't know if that mattered.

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Has anybody experience with Cunard's air program as a solo?  The only time I flew one way before I arranged on my own.  There was a poster here some years ago, Jimsgirl, who always traveled solo.  She complained about a change in Cunard's pricing that assumes two travelers.  I don't know if that is still the case. 

Edited by BlueRiband
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We booked one way air e/b through Cunard in 2018.

They offered Virgin Atlantic from Newark for under $600 pp Premium Economy when the same ticket directly from VS was close to $2000 at the time.

No issues, got seat assignments at time of booking, highly recommend.

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We have done 2 East to West TA's, one in May(2017) and one in Sept/Oct(2018). Had great weather on both. 

While we usually fly United to London, on our two TA's we we flew on Norwegian Airlines. The one-way business fares are very low. Right now Norwegian is only publishing fares out through the end of March 2021 but Business Class is going for under $600. However, a few words about Norwegian. First, their Business Class seats are not full lay-flat seats but they are very comfortable and the flight is only 7 hours. The service on Norwegian is excellent. I also like that they fly the Boeing 787 Dreamliner which is pressurized to a lower atmospheric pressure than other aircraft, putting less stress on the body. I'm not sure if Norwegian still has club-room access at JFK but they did pre C-19. 

We are also looking at a Summer/Fall 2021 E>W crossing as I am doubtful that our January WC segment on QV will actually sail. Will probably book on Norwegian but will also book a backup flight on United using points which can be cancelled and points redeposited. That way if Norwegian were to run into financial issues we could recover the airfare through trip insurance and not have to pay a high price scrambling for a last minute flight. Not something I would normally do but these are strange times. 

 

Jack

 

 

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We used Cunard air twice.  A one-way over when we TA’d back, and round trip when cruising out of Southampton and back.  Both were in business class.  
 

I had some flights in mind before calling them, so I knew what the fares were.  Cunard looked at several airlines and multiple flight options.  All the prices were fantastic.  Much lower than what I could buy the same flights for.  I was able to get the exact flights I wanted. And on the airline we chose, we could pick our seats that day, and we paid for the fights with our final payment.

 

The only caveat I could  see is on a return flight from Southampton, if you fly out the same day you disembark.  Cunard will not let you go out on morning flights, they make you take a mid afternoon flight or later, because they allow several hours for your trip to London, so you dont miss your flight. This is something to consider if you cruise East.

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On 7/16/2020 at 11:51 PM, BlueRiband said:

Has anybody experience with Cunard's air program as a solo?  The only time I flew one way before I arranged on my own.  There was a poster here some years ago, Jimsgirl, who always traveled solo.  She complained about a change in Cunard's pricing that assumes two travelers.  I don't know if that is still the case. 

 

I didn't have any issues when I was travelling as a solo with CunardAir.

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In addition to flying from London may I suggest buying a Eurostar ticket and catching a first class transatlantic flight from either CDG, BRU or AMS? You could save a lot.  I would include Dublin but Aer Lingus only has business class service.

 

Also, if you are flying with a group of friends consider chartering a private jet.  For 10 people flying from London to New York the price per person isn't much more than a one way first class ticket on BA.  Private jets charge by the hours flown, not the number of passengers on board.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

In my transatlantic cruise in Nov 2019, we booked the flight home from JFK-LHR with Cunard. It was around £200 more per person. There was a choice of BA or Virgin. We opted up for the latter and managed to upgrade to Premium on the A350 on the way home using Flying Club miles. We were given cocktails from the Upper Class menu and even allowed to use the onboard lounge for a glass of Prosecco or three. 
 

As it was a late departure, Cunard also gave us a day room at the JFK Crowne Plaza too. 
 

If you are not interested in the Cunard flight I would suggest:

 

- using any airline miles you have 

- Norwegian might be an option

- have Jet Blue started their transatlantic routes yet 

- play around on Google flights 

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We always use United miles to fly back to SFO, and select business class nonstop. We usually sail eastbound, fly back.  We usually just pay one way fare sfo to NYC at the start, since there is no penalty to the first class one way fare on that route.  As you just need to return to NY, you will def8nitely have more options than a west coast person.

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Thank you all for the great suggestions!

Curious as to why you prefer the eastbound voyage? We did a round trip and I found the westbound more relaxing with the extra hour. Loosing the hour at noon everyday made for an early lunchtime!

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