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Free Air Question


PGI GUY
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I think I know the answer to this question but here it goes. What has been your experience if you decline the free air on a special promotion. We are looking at a cruise that leaves from Florida and we can drive to the port. The ship leaves and returns to FLL. Any rebate or other consideration for not using the free air?

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I booked a transatlantic ending in San Juan, PR.  I live in PR.  San Juan is not normally a Viking allowed hub for air travel.  Being that my free airfare will not be round trip, Viking agreed to allowing my outbound be from San Juan to Barcelona rather then making me fly at our cost to a US hub.  Hmmm...maybe i will ask for Business Class too when i talk to Viking Air.

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41 minutes ago, PGI GUY said:

I think I know the answer to this question but here it goes. What has been your experience if you decline the free air on a special promotion. We are looking at a cruise that leaves from Florida and we can drive to the port. The ship leaves and returns to FLL. Any rebate or other consideration for not using the free air?

 

In general, the answer is no. Viking packages cruise and airfare separately and we purchase them separately. If we don't take the offer, there is no alternative offer.

 

However, people say that it doesn't hurt to ask.

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Hope you have better luck than we have!  We have tried everything we could to get any consideration when we have only wanted or needed one leg or when we would prefer to use award points to fly business. All with nothing to show for it. 
 

We were most surprised when Viking was offering “free” roundtrip air for the Far East Discovery cruise. We could have had “free” air from the US to Bejing and back from Hong Kong.  But as we were already in Japan, we asked if they would pay for our very inexpensive ($125) flight from Osaka to Bejing-the answer was no. So we bought it ourselves but did use their air for the long haul flight back to the US.  
 

Good Luck!

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We booked a VR/VO combo (B2B) on board with the cruise consultant. The VR had free airfare, but we could only use the outbound portion. The cruise consultant applied an air discount for the unused return flight. She then added the return flight to the VO portion of the combo cruise.

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27 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

Maybe I am just a little strange but I consider "Free Airfare" to be right up there with " Free Drinks" for WC passengers.  Haha, yeah free.....🍺

 

Jim - that's why we switched from the B2B to the WC😁

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It's possible that Viking's purchase of group air arrangements from its gateway cities is dependent on meeting certain minimum numbers of bodies in seats. So, allowing two or four people a "credit" might raise the fares for the remaining passengers if a minimum number of flyers isn't achieved.

 

On our Trade Routes "free air" deal, my wife and I were routed out of Miami to Vienna to Oslo on Austrian Air. About two weeks before departure, the routing switched to Lufthansa and Frankfurt.  Lufthansa controls Austrian, both aircraft were at their gates, I suspect LU decided the economics made more sense to put the 20-25 people on a different combination.

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Our situation is that we would fly from Ft Myers to Ft Lauderdale round trip probably via New York or Charlotte or some other hub city and spend 8 to 10 hours in the process. We would of course not choose to do that. So I was interested in anyone who may have encountered a similar situation.

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5 minutes ago, PGI GUY said:

Our situation is that we would fly from Ft Myers to Ft Lauderdale round trip probably via New York or Charlotte or some other hub city and spend 8 to 10 hours in the process. We would of course not choose to do that. So I was interested in anyone who may have encountered a similar situation.

Have you considered paying the custom air fee? It was worth it to us as we provided Viking Air with our preferred air routing and two alternatives and ended up with our first choice. That allowed us to just upgrade certificates for the domestic portions and points+$ for the long haul to move to business class. 

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3 hours ago, Clay Clayton said:

That’s why I try to always remember to put free in quotes or call it included or prepaid. 😂

 

The problem with using the term "included" is that it leads to the misconception that you are entitled to something if you don't take the free airfare. Viking always prices and packages them separately (which a lot of people don't understand) and if you don't take the airfare deal, there is no rebate or alternate offer.

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45 minutes ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

The problem with using the term "included" is that it leads to the misconception that you are entitled to something if you don't take the free airfare. Viking always prices and packages them separately (which a lot of people don't understand) and if you don't take the airfare deal, there is no rebate or alternate offer.

Good point.   So “free” or prepaid.  LOL

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Thanks for everyone's input. My situation is that I can drive to the port in about 2.5 hours. So I was interested in anyone's experience for not taking the free air.

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I do wish Viking would offer alternatives, such as "Free Air or $XXX off room cost."  I'm not suggesting a one to one ratio, but they could at least throw a bone to those who can't take advantage of the free air incentive.

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16 minutes ago, austinetc said:

I do wish Viking would offer alternatives, such as "Free Air or $XXX off room cost."  I'm not suggesting a one to one ratio, but they could at least throw a bone to those who can't take advantage of the free air incentive.

 

If you haven't already, share this thought with Viking.  Send it to tellus@vikingcruises.com 

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28 minutes ago, austinetc said:

I do wish Viking would offer alternatives, such as "Free Air or $XXX off room cost."  I'm not suggesting a one to one ratio, but they could at least throw a bone to those who can't take advantage of the free air incentive.

I wish this too.  Regent does this, and we have used it to our advantage.  In our “old age,” we only fly business/first, so the free air is of absolutely no use to us.

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Our " free air" from the west coast (sfo) to Paris had us sitting  in a middle seat in the last row bulkhead  seat.  Eleven hours of sitting 6 inches from the back of the head of the person sitting in front of us. We substituted business class on Air France from Lax to Cdg.  Of course  Viking also removed our transfers to and from the boat.  "free air" is a very hit or miss proposition.

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, rln44 said:

Our " free air" from the west coast (sfo) to Paris had us sitting  in a middle seat in the last row bulkhead  seat.  Eleven hours of sitting 6 inches from the back of the head of the person sitting in front of us. We substituted business class on Air France from Lax to Cdg.  Of course  Viking also removed our transfers to and from the boat.  "free air" is a very hit or miss proposition.

Viking put us in those same seats on a domestic flight.  Just went on airline's web site and moved to elsewhere within coach.  If you upgraded to business class through Viking Air your transfers should have remained in place provided you were still flying in on date of sailing.  We found the cost of upgrading through VA very reasonable.

Edited by Baron Barracuda
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As we live near Newark airport, we have always used Viking air as offered as all of our cruises have been to Europe.

Be sure to complete your air preferences in MVJ to communicate how you want your seas arranged.

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1 hour ago, rln44 said:

Our " free air" from the west coast (sfo) to Paris had us sitting  in a middle seat in the last row bulkhead  seat.  Eleven hours of sitting 6 inches from the back of the head of the person sitting in front of us. We substituted business class on Air France from Lax to Cdg.  Of course  Viking also removed our transfers to and from the boat.  "free air" is a very hit or miss proposition.

 

Free air is eligible for AirPlus. For $50pp, the standard AirPlus fee, you don't have to wait for Viking to choose your flights. Within reason, starting about 300 days before departures, you can choose your flights (not every possible flight plan is available) and in some cases, choose your seats (depends on the airline policy).

 

Yes, you will be limited in your choices, but at least you will be among the first to book and choose your seats. At the same time, you can also ask about the cost of upgrading to business or first (which starting with free air as your base may be a savings of what you could purchase on your own)..

 

If you wait for Viking to do the choosing, you get what's left after all the AirPlus passengers have made their choices.

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