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Using Celebrity Air to arrive day of the cruise...


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During my working life we nearly always flew early morning of cruise day (made me nervous) but we never did miss a cruise and it saved on our vacation time.  With a non-stop arriving at 0900 in Vancouver, I would do it but most folks would disagree with me.

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12 hours ago, Stockjock said:

I appreciate all of the comments.  I concede that there are definitely risks that come from flying the day of the cruise.  As I mentioned previously, my GF once forgot her full passport and had we not gone up early, pretty sure we would have missed the cruise.

Still not sure what we'll do, but leaning towards getting there one day early.  Unfortunately, I can't find any evening/night flights, but I certainly wouldn't want to arrive late.  That said, I do feel the Air Canada non-stop that arrives day of at 9 am is probably a "pretty safe" bet as long as we didn't screw things up.

Flights are being cancelled all the time. But if thats what you have to do, dont worry about it. 

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6 hours ago, Stockjock said:

If anyone knows a way to check fares after booking let me know.  I did book a flight (pay later), one way only, but when I try to check prices for either leg, it states that I'm already booked and won't allow me to view prices.  This includes the return flight, which is not through Flights by Celebrity.

Try going to Google Flights and set up a tracker on your flight.   They show daily ups and downs and send alerts.

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18 hours ago, Stockjock said:

I appreciate all of the comments.  I concede that there are definitely risks that come from flying the day of the cruise.  As I mentioned previously, my GF once forgot her full passport and had we not gone up early, pretty sure we would have missed the cruise.

Still not sure what we'll do, but leaning towards getting there one day early.  Unfortunately, I can't find any evening/night flights, but I certainly wouldn't want to arrive late.  That said, I do feel the Air Canada non-stop that arrives day of at 9 am is probably a "pretty safe" bet as long as we didn't screw things up.

 

I hope it works for you.  But please remember,     

 

Hope is not a plan.

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I did see that some airlines are rescheduling pax flights to less attractive times.  Main reason appears to be those earlier sold flights could be repriced at higher fares.  The rescheduled flights are connections, early/late flights  etc 

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We’ve flown in morning of the cruise many times (including Nassau this summer), just because it was easier.  Generally, in the summer, morning flights are less likely to have issues due to convective weather.  If we are flying same day we look to take the earliest flights and make sure there are other flights that might still get us there if we run into issues.  No guarantees.  But there are no guarantees flying in the day before either.  You could get in a situation where your flight the day before gets jacked up and there’s no seats available on the flights the next morning.  You have to weigh the risks/benefits.  For some, saving a night of hotel in an expensive city and being able to work an extra day is worth the risk. 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, radarcruiser said:

We’ve flown in morning of the cruise many times (including Nassau this summer), just because it was easier.  Generally, in the summer, morning flights are less likely to have issues due to convective weather.  If we are flying same day we look to take the earliest flights and make sure there are other flights that might still get us there if we run into issues.  No guarantees.  But there are no guarantees flying in the day before either.  You could get in a situation where your flight the day before gets jacked up and there’s no seats available on the flights the next morning.  You have to weigh the risks/benefits.  For some, saving a night of hotel in an expensive city and being able to work an extra day is worth the risk. 

I know that it's against most of the advice here, and generally I do agree with and appreciate that advice, but I did book the non-stop Air Canada that arrives in Vancouver at 9 am the day of the cruise.

My logic was:

1. It gets there very early.

2. Only a 3 hour flight.

3. Because it's a non-stop flight, no chance having a problem with connecting flights.

 

4. Same time zone, so we shouldn’t have any jet lag to recover from.

5. It's an early morning flight (6 am), which means that, due to the San Diego curfew, the plane will have already arrived the night before.  I'd know if it's not there.

6. Celebrity will make other arrangements if there's a problem with that flight, probably at their expense, if we don't blow it.

7. There are other flights that would still get us to Vancouver in time if this one can't go for some reason.  This flight arrives at 9 am or so.  Most of the others arrive 11 am to 11:30 am and some arrive around 1 pm, but I suspect that any of those would get us there on time.

8. As mentioned, we have a much longer cruise out of Denmark planned 3.5 months from the Celebrity cruise, and the fewer days the GF can take off for this trip, the better.  The number of days she can request off is limited.

9. I can skip the hotel.

10. The Celebrity flights are a bit cheaper than if I booked directly through the airline.

11. Celebrity flights have better change/cancellation provisions before final payment.  After that, they get worse due to the $200 per ticket penalty.

12. No payment due until final payment.

13. I also like those little regional jets, which have no more than 2 seats in an aisle.  We don't have to worry about being too close to a 3rd unknown passenger.

 

14. The cruise terminal is relatively close to the airport, only about 8 miles away.

Edited by Stockjock
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On 7/26/2021 at 8:01 PM, wrk2cruise said:

 

Ok I'll still try to help.

 

Yes there is a big advantage to the no risk until final payment.  I'm not sure you were given the absolute correct information.  There is no risk because they do hold a reservation but don't ticket it until you make payment.  Beyond payment the $200 per ticket penalty is a Celebrity Air fee.  Any applicable airline fees for cancel/change will be charged in addition.

 

As you say the flights you are looking at are non-refundable and I believe most if not all airlines are not charging cancel/change fees I believe most of what you were told in reality is mostly correct with the exception of being "refundable".   I'm 99% sure that if you were to cancel you would only be issued airline credit, not a cash refund.   

 

Oh and I wasn't trying to talk you out of using Celebrity Air, just encouraging you to leave a bit more wiggle room for things to go wrong by just entering the prior days date when doing the flight search!

Not entirely true

up until final payment , airfare is fully refundable, loaded back on your method of payment.

Afterwards, the $200/person penalty kicks in...that's it.

Many times they have very attractive pricing. We just booked first class airfare for a New Years Eve cruise, after checking the airline....price was DOUBLE.

 

We always fly in the day we sail......never an issue.

Enjoy!!

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11 minutes ago, highway180 said:

Not entirely true

up until final payment , airfare is fully refundable, loaded back on your method of payment.

Afterwards, the $200/person penalty kicks in...that's it.

Many times they have very attractive pricing. We just booked first class airfare for a New Years Eve cruise, after checking the airline....price was DOUBLE.

 

We always fly in the day we sail......never an issue.

Enjoy!!

I wonder if we'll be on the same NYE cruise?  (Miami 2021).

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13 minutes ago, highway180 said:

Not entirely true

up until final payment , airfare is fully refundable, loaded back on your method of payment.

Afterwards, the $200/person penalty kicks in...that's it.

Many times they have very attractive pricing. We just booked first class airfare for a New Years Eve cruise, after checking the airline....price was DOUBLE.

 

We always fly in the day we sail......never an issue.

Enjoy!!

 

I was challenging that the CA person told them that "it turns a non refundable ticket to refundable".  

 

I will certainly accept what you are saying prior to final payment as it has not been ticketed so they should give you your money back.   However after ticketing a non-refundable ticket is going to be just that, lots of airlines will still let you change or cancel without penalty but won't refund.  If you cancel you will get airline credit not cash back.

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5 minutes ago, wrk2cruise said:

 

I was challenging that the CA person told them that "it turns a non refundable ticket to refundable".  

 

I will certainly accept what you are saying prior to final payment as it has not been ticketed so they should give you your money back.   However after ticketing a non-refundable ticket is going to be just that, lots of airlines will still let you change or cancel without penalty but won't refund.  If you cancel you will get airline credit not cash back.

If I book directly through Air Canada, the ticket is non-refundable.  I might be able to get a credit for a future flight (not even sure about that), but I cannot receive a refund.

Per multiple agents at Flights by Celebrity, if I book through them, flights are fully refundable up until final payment, regardless of what the ticket states otherwise.  So if that's true, it's a great deal, especially since it's often cheaper than going straight to the airline.  If it's false, then they are giving out bad information.

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I went back and re-read your post #12 and you do clearly say they told you "up to final payment".

 

I was only trying to be clear that if it shows as "non refundable" on their site your going to get a voucher (or whatever the airline ticket rules specify) after it's ticketed plus the $200 CA fee.   They generally do offer refundable fares as well, the buyer has to be informed on which they are getting.

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16 hours ago, Stockjock said:


5. It's an early morning flight (6 am), which means that, due to the San Diego curfew, the plane will have already arrived the night before.  I'd know if it's not there.

Unless Air Canada have a crew base in San Diego, then the crew on the flight the previous evening will be overnighting in San Diego and will be the crew on the morning flight. They probably have to take a minimum number of rest hours. It may be worth monitoring the arrival time of the southbound flight and see how much it can be delayed before there is a knock on impact on the morning flight departure time. 

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As others have noted, Cruise Air guarantee is for assistance.  Most of the real assistance (including expense) is from an airline providing rerouting for free for things like mechanical issues which they would do for any ticket holder.  Very few times has the cruise line air department paid for any rerouting, that's why they sell travel insurance for trip delays etc.

 

Cruise Air may be a good choice for price and ability to pay at final payment.  Also if a line has a large number of cruisers delayed that have cruise air; they may very rarely delay sailing; so low a probability that it probably is not worth factoring in.

 

Need to read the fine print not the marketing.

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On 7/26/2021 at 7:30 PM, bEwAbG said:

The only "guarantee" they make is to assist you if there is a flight disruption, which doesn't mean much (usually much faster and easier to deal directly with the airline at that point).  They cannot create flights and they cannot create seats on flights.  Supposing they can get you to the first port of call, that's often on the third day of the cruise.  Assuming this is a one-way from Vancouver to Seward, that means catching the ship in Ketchikan because the first sailing day is usually a sea day.

BUT…by next year the PVSA will be back in effect, so joining in Ketchikan would not be legal.  EM

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On 7/29/2021 at 1:34 PM, Stockjock said:

I know that it's against most of the advice here, ... but I did book the non-stop Air Canada that arrives in Vancouver at 9 am the day of the cruise.
My logic was:  [14 good reasons that followed] ...

 

 

On 7/29/2021 at 3:51 PM, Stockjock said:

... Per multiple agents at Flights by Celebrity, if I book through them, flights are fully refundable up until final payment, regardless of what the ticket states otherwise. ...

.

We don't know if you recall us, "Stockjock," but we were among the few people that advised you to do what you have now wisely chosen to do.  We are puzzled, however, about something that you stated in the second passage that we quoted above: "[With] Flights By Celebrity, ... flights are fully refundable up until final payment".

 

Why would you need a "refund" before final payment?  One of the "selling points" of Flights By Celebrity [FBC], in recent years, is that they offer what they call, "Book now, pay later" service.  In other words, if you have made a cruise reservation (for example, 6 or 9 or 11 months before Embarkation Day), you can call FBC and ask them to reserve the related air transporation ["Book now"] without paying even $0.01 in advance.  The proposed air fare will appear on your Celebrity invoice -- the first invoice, if you've booked back-to-back cruises.  You need not pay that air fare at the time of booking, if it is several to many months before Embarkation Day.

 

When final-payment day rolls around, you can either ...

(1) cancel the whole trip completely [both cruise and air], receiving your cruise deposit, if it was set up as "refundable" ... or ...

(2) pay the balance due on the cruise ... and pay the air fare ["Pay later"] that was established on booking day.

 

In the former case (#1), you will not be getting a "refund" of the air fare, because (if you were smart at the time of booking), you didn't pay any air fare [not even a deposit] in advance.

 

Here's an afterthought that just came to mind while we were writing the above paragraphs:

 

~~~ Suppose you book a cruise, six months in advance, and you use FBC to set up the required air booking (which is predicted, for the sake of illustration, to cost $700 for two people).

 

~~~ Now suppose that, periodically (even as often as daily), you check online for a lowering of the air fare -- via the FBC page or the airline's own site -- as time progresses toward final-payment day.

 

~~~ Suppose that you find [as we have done, a few times] that a special fare is being offered -- lower than what FBC has already booked for you.  You should quickly call FBC, tell the agent what you have discovered, and ask him/her to see if the lower fare can be obtained.  If FBC can get it for you (and they usually can), they will re-book your reservation at the lower rate. 

 

~~ If you had already chosen preferred seats, you would have to choose them again.  Sometimes the FBC agent can set up the seats for you immediately, but sometimes you must do it yourself, after making final payment.

 

Have fun, and travel safely!

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46 minutes ago, jg51 said:

 

.

We don't know if you recall us, "Stockjock," but we were among the few people that advised you to do what you have now wisely chosen to do.  We are puzzled, however, about something that you stated in the second passage that we quoted above: "[With] Flights By Celebrity, ... flights are fully refundable up until final payment".

 

Why would you need a "refund" before final payment?  One of the "selling points" of Flights By Celebrity [FBC], in recent years, is that they offer what they call, "Book now, pay later" service.  In other words, if you have made a cruise reservation (for example, 6 or 9 or 11 months before Embarkation Day), you can call FBC and ask them to reserve the related air transporation ["Book now"] without paying even $0.01 in advance.  The proposed air fare will appear on your Celebrity invoice -- the first invoice, if you've booked back-to-back cruises.  You need not pay that air fare at the time of booking, if it is several to many months before Embarkation Day.

 

When final-payment day rolls around, you can either ...

(1) cancel the whole trip completely [both cruise and air], receiving your cruise deposit, if it was set up as "refundable" ... or ...

(2) pay the balance due on the cruise ... and pay the air fare ["Pay later"] that was established on booking day.

 

In the former case (#1), you will not be getting a "refund" of the air fare, because (if you were smart at the time of booking), you didn't pay any air fare [not even a deposit] in advance.

 

Here's an afterthought that just came to mind while we were writing the above paragraphs:

 

~~~ Suppose you book a cruise, six months in advance, and you use FBC to set up the required air booking (which is predicted, for the sake of illustration, to cost $700 for two people).

 

~~~ Now suppose that, periodically (even as often as daily), you check online for a lowering of the air fare -- via the FBC page or the airline's own site -- as time progresses toward final-payment day.

 

~~~ Suppose that you find [as we have done, a few times] that a special fare is being offered -- lower than what FBC has already booked for you.  You should quickly call FBC, tell the agent what you have discovered, and ask him/her to see if the lower fare can be obtained.  If FBC can get it for you (and they usually can), they will re-book your reservation at the lower rate. 

 

~~ If you had already chosen preferred seats, you would have to choose them again.  Sometimes the FBC agent can set up the seats for you immediately, but sometimes you must do it yourself, after making final payment.

 

Have fun, and travel safely!

I probably could have phrased this differently.  The flights are reserved, but can be cancelled without penalty.

I feel pretty good about the decision.  As mentioned, my GF forgot her passport once, and considering how many times I've rubbed it in, pretty certain it will not happen again.

FWIW, I don't think we have a seat assignment, but on a 3 hour flight, we can live through whatever they give us and hopefully we'll get 2 seats together.
 

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I see it this way: Irrespective of what their advertisement says there are things an agent (ANY agent) just can't do. They won't charter a private plane for you to "get you there" and if your city pair has limited connections then that's what it'd take to still make your ship.

 

Example: 2 years ago I had a flight from Hanoi via HKG to Vancouver arriving at ~9pm the night before my cruise. I had no choice other than booking this and I was sweating like a pig since the HAN-HKG was already delayed. In the end I made the flight, the next one would have gotten me in at 1pm for a 3pm check-in - in Business instead of First. Doable at YVR but too close for comfort.

 

There is nothing this program could have done for me as there was no faster flight option.

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On 7/29/2021 at 1:34 PM, Stockjock said:

I know that it's against most of the advice here, and generally I do agree with and appreciate that advice, but I did book the non-stop Air Canada that arrives in Vancouver at 9 am the day of the cruise.

My logic was:

1. It gets there very early.

2. Only a 3 hour flight.

3. Because it's a non-stop flight, no chance having a problem with connecting flights.

 

4. Same time zone, so we shouldn’t have any jet lag to recover from.

5. It's an early morning flight (6 am), which means that, due to the San Diego curfew, the plane will have already arrived the night before.  I'd know if it's not there.

6. Celebrity will make other arrangements if there's a problem with that flight, probably at their expense, if we don't blow it.

7. There are other flights that would still get us to Vancouver in time if this one can't go for some reason.  This flight arrives at 9 am or so.  Most of the others arrive 11 am to 11:30 am and some arrive around 1 pm, but I suspect that any of those would get us there on time.

8. As mentioned, we have a much longer cruise out of Denmark planned 3.5 months from the Celebrity cruise, and the fewer days the GF can take off for this trip, the better.  The number of days she can request off is limited.

9. I can skip the hotel.

10. The Celebrity flights are a bit cheaper than if I booked directly through the airline.

11. Celebrity flights have better change/cancellation provisions before final payment.  After that, they get worse due to the $200 per ticket penalty.

12. No payment due until final payment.

13. I also like those little regional jets, which have no more than 2 seats in an aisle.  We don't have to worry about being too close to a 3rd unknown passenger.

 

14. The cruise terminal is relatively close to the airport, only about 8 miles away.

 

After reading through you list, I sense you left off #15 which is probably the most important reason.  

 

15.  My GF insisted we fly in the day of the cruise.

 

Now I understand and support your logic.

 

Enjoy your cruise.

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Posted (edited)

Your girlfriend needs special permission to have extra vacation days. If she were the owner or retired, she could do whatever she wanted.

Edited by gerelmx
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The ship will depart with or without you, that is 100% for sure.

 

Your plan will work 99% to 99.99% of the time, but Sh*t Happens. San Diego airport has a Single Runway so an incident on the runway can close the airport for hours and many flights are cancelled. 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I don't think I had read or paid attention to this bullet point, but based on today's rules it doesn't matter. If you miss the cruise, you're toast. They will not allow you to board the ship downline or outside of the initial port of embarkation. 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2021-07-31 at 10.59.07 AM.png

Edited by Jeremiah1212
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Jeremiah1212 said:

I don't think I had read or paid attention to this bullet point, but based on today's rules it doesn't matter. If you miss the cruise, you're toast. They will not allow you to board the ship downline or outside of the initial port of embarkation. 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2021-07-31 at 10.59.07 AM.png

As I mentioned, there's the non-stop Air Canada flight we picked that arrives 9ish.  At least 2 more United Airlines flights that arrive between 11 am and 11:30 am.  1-2 others that arrive around noon (I think Alaska is one of them) and then 1-2 that arrive 1:30 pm (American Airlines?) or so.  Thus, if there's a problem w/Air Canada, which I view as unlikely, pretty sure that we'll be able to jump on one of the other options and make the cruise.

Edited by Stockjock
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