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Air through Seabourn, do your research

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So we are booked on an upcoming cruise and our TA offered to find out about airfare through SB. While he did that we did some research ourselves. He came back with a fare of $2800p.p. in business; our cruise fare was $6200. We thought it was silly to spend 50% more on airfare alone and mentioned that we found coach (on a different airline) for $900p.p. btw-both fares included the SB discounts, so we went with the lower fare. My point is: do your research before "signing on the dotted line".

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So we are booked on an upcoming cruise and our TA offered to find out about airfare through SB. While he did that we did some research ourselves. He came back with a fare of $2800p.p. in business; our cruise fare was $6200. We thought it was silly to spend 50% more on airfare alone and mentioned that we found coach (on a different airline) for $900p.p. btw-both fares included the SB discounts, so we went with the lower fare. My point is: do your research before "signing on the dotted line".

Or better yet, have your TA do it for you.

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Or better yet, have your TA do it for you.

 

Our TA is excellent. We weren't sure what "deal" SB would offer with the air discount. I would have loved to travel in business but the cost difference was just too great between coach and business. Sometimes the difference is justifiable, but the outbound flight is an overnight (leaving at 11:30p), so we'll be sleeping most of the time. Will I miss the lie flat bed? Sure. But we're splurging on an amazing hotel our TA found us in Dubai instead. I guess it's just a tradeoff.

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I think you can change the airfare until it's been paid for. Also the airline can change your flights even after payment. Also if the fare changes before you pay, you will be charged the new fare. So yes research is important including reading the terms and conditions of using cruise air. We too reserved a good flight and price but know that it may change.

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Today I learned a valuable lesson with the Seabourn Air Sea department. What I went through was very stressful and frustrating, but had I not followed my instincts I would still be in transit at this very moment for another 6 hours. In reality, was dropped off at my doorstop 4 hours ago.

 

As part of the Signature Sales Event I was offered free airfare. The flights proposed were the same that I would have booked independently so why not.

 

Last night at 9:45 I received an urgent message from guest services that my flight home was rebooked due to the continuing strike with Air France. This made no sense to me as the continuing strikes are declared in advance 2 days at a time and then the traffic resumes. When I checked the Air France website, the flight was still scheduled and I was confirmed. I even spoke with the airline and this same information was reiterated.

 

This all went on until 11h00 pm. This morning just before disembarkation guest services declared that the Air Sea office insisted that our 12h20 flight was indeed cancelled. The flight status page of their website said otherwise.

 

Once at the airport I decided to go directly to the Air France check in expecting total chaos. Fortunately our original reservation was not cancelled and the story has a happy ending for me. However, I did not see on our flight the two other couples who were dealing with the same situation at Guest Services this morning. I can only imagine what happened to them.

 

Now had the original message read differently i.e. "we have decided to book you on a different flight home as a back-up solution in the event that the currently reserved flight is cancelled" I would have walked away from this story thinking "what great service". Instead I spent a sleepless stressful night and am wondering what kind of incompetents are running the flight department.

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I have a different perspective based on my recent experience with Regent. We, too, were effected by the Air France 'rolling' strike. I recognize that this was a different cruise line, but I think both Seabourn and Regent were actually being proactive. Regent indicated that the airline would not know until the actual date of departure which flights would operate. So they protected us on Delta (an Air France partner). I called my TA from the ship who told me that he had been in contact with the Regent Air department as well as AF and they determined it was in our best interest to be rebooked on Delta than to show up at the airport not knowing whether or not the flight would depart and then be left with no confirmed seats if the flight did not operate. Yes, it was a different routing and a longer journey, but I would trade that for having no seats and then scrambling at the airport for a way home. Our experience was this was proactive rather than incompetent. Just our experience......

 

 

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So we are booked on an upcoming cruise and our TA offered to find out about airfare through SB. While he did that we did some research ourselves. He came back with a fare of $2800p.p. in business; our cruise fare was $6200. We thought it was silly to spend 50% more on airfare alone and mentioned that we found coach (on a different airline) for $900p.p. btw-both fares included the SB discounts, so we went with the lower fare. My point is: do your research before "signing on the dotted line".

 

 

 

I’m not sure if I understand your point, so perhaps you can clarify? Naturally economy air will be substantially less than business class air, so it is not an apples to apples comparison. The research that is needed is to compare SB business air to non-SB business air and then also compare economy air with SB and econ air non-SB. That way you can decide if SB air offers good value for both classes of flights. Choosing to fly economy air to save money is a different type of savings.

 

 

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I have a different perspective based on my recent experience with Regent. We, too, were effected by the Air France 'rolling' strike. I recognize that this was a different cruise line, but I think both Seabourn and Regent were actually being proactive. Regent indicated that the airline would not know until the actual date of departure which flights would operate. So they protected us on Delta (an Air France partner). I called my TA from the ship who told me that he had been in contact with the Regent Air department as well as AF and they determined it was in our best interest to be rebooked on Delta than to show up at the airport not knowing whether or not the flight would depart and then be left with no confirmed seats if the flight did not operate. Yes, it was a different routing and a longer journey, but I would trade that for having no seats and then scrambling at the airport for a way home. Our experience was this was proactive rather than incompetent. Just our experience......

 

 

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I couldn't agree more...however the way this was all communicated was unclear. I would have felt reassured had they informed me that this was a plan B insurance in the event that the original flight was cancelled. Instead, it was impossible to get any information from them other than false.

 

Voila - that said, the cruise itself was fabulous, but I will not be using Seabourn Air Sea again on what I hope to be many future cruises with the line.

 

I will also avoid travelling with Air France whenever possible which is difficult for me due to my location. FYI - their new sister company JOON uses different politics than Air France and does not regularly go on strike. They operate direct from CDG to cruise destinations such as Nice and Barcelona. You'll have to pay for a soda, but at least they are reliable.

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I’m not sure if I understand your point, so perhaps you can clarify? Naturally economy air will be substantially less than business class air, so it is not an apples to apples comparison. The research that is needed is to compare SB business air to non-SB business air and then also compare economy air with SB and econ air non-SB. That way you can decide if SB air offers good value for both classes of flights. Choosing to fly economy air to save money is a different type of savings.

 

 

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We were very pleased with the SB Business Class price, we no longer fly economy just to hard. SB also let us fly in earlier and stay longer at the end of the cruise at no additional charge.

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We were very pleased with the SB Business Class price, we no longer fly economy just to hard. SB also let us fly in earlier and stay longer at the end of the cruise at no additional charge.

 

Are you saying that Seabourn has no deviation fee when you book air through them?

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Are you saying that Seabourn has no deviation fee when you book air through them?
Our paper work (booked months ago) shows no air deviation price, I do remember that air was on a special, $500 off at the time. We were wondering if the air price was because of the buying power of Carnival Corp. Anyway we were thrilled with Seabourn's pricing at the time. They even told us the flights and airlines at the time we booked! Outstanding job Seabourn!

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Our paper work (booked months ago) shows no air deviation price, I do remember that air was on a special, $500 off at the time. We were wondering if the air price was because of the buying power of Carnival Corp. Anyway we were thrilled with Seabourn's pricing at the time. They even told us the flights and airlines at the time we booked! Outstanding job Seabourn!

 

Thanks, that's good to know for the future. Doing our first Seabourn this September; don't need air for that one since it's "at home", so to speak, but if we book another Seabourn, we will definitely have a look at their air deals.

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Thanks, that's good to know for the future. Doing our first Seabourn this September; don't need air for that one since it's "at home", so to speak, but if we book another Seabourn, we will definitely have a look at their air deals.
We have never booked air with a cruise line before,

always make our own arrangements, I must admit we were kicking ourselves for never looking before, then again maybe this was just lucky timing I do not know, as this is out first Seabourn cruise. We sail this July, have a wonderful cruise in September.

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I agree to shopping around, and a good energetic TA (who may earn a fee) can help. We are booked on a Quest South America/Antarctica trip this coming fall and were facing the daunting and expensive prospect of flying back to California from BA. Business class fares were crazy-expensive, but the Seabourn Air offer (on American) was quite reasonable. I guess it all depends...

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A somewhat strange original post. Business class is more expensive that economy. Err... yes, it is. Well spotted :)

 

We always fly business class when cruising if it's a long haul flight and I always book independently as it allows me to be specific with times and ensure the in flight service (fully flat bed) is up to scratch.

 

Indeed it is the availability of well priced air fares which often dictates when and where we travel.

 

Henry :)

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I came across this thread and since our experience has been so positive I felt the need to share with everyone. First though I must agree with some of the later posts in this thread. It is not fair at all to be comparing business class to economy. You must compare business class to business class and economy to economy.

In my case I have been AMAZED at the deals that Seabourn offers on air and because of that I book straight with them. I would have never considered it but I inquired once and now have done it the past two times and have saved thousands. No joke. Part of that is the $500 credit per person that they offer somewhat regularly but the other is simply that Carnival Corporation (through everything from Carnival to Holland America to Seabourn) has literally millions of passengers and they buy bulk fares which are not retail fares. So when you see their price it includes their bulk fare and any discount, $500 off for instance, but you don't see it marked as such - you just see the offered price. In my case it has been unbelievable.

As an example - on my upcoming trip they were able to offer business class round-trip from Houston to Europe for something around $2,500 per person however we were booking a little late with just 2 months to go so inventory was shrinking and the routing was just ok but not great. This compares with direct fares at that time of about $6,500-8,000 per person as I recall for the same routes and tickets. This were by far the best deal and a much better value than economy.

Economy was offered at $618 per person and that compared with airline direct fares for the exact same flight of around $2,000 per person. These were great routing and on my preferred airline as well.

So at the end of the day the rates were phenomenal for both business and economy but there are considerations you must be aware of:

- Depending on when you book Seabourn may or may not have availability on the exact flight you want. You have to work with them and challenge them to try alternative routings as their first offer may not be what you want. Often you can get something that works though.

- Even though you pay for the ticket it is technically purchased by Seabourn and it is classified as a bulk fare. You still receive whatever status level benefits you may have with the airline if you have any but there are some drawbacks. Since it is a bulk fare ticket you do not have the same ability to upgrade using miles, etc that you would on a regular fare ticket. This may or may not be important to you.

- My experience in doing this has only been twice and in both instances we were within a couple of months of departure so that might make their bulk fares even more favorable. I am not certain but if you plan a year out you could probably get better retail fares and perhaps the bulk fares are the same; but either way I’ve never seen business class to Europe for anywhere close to $2500 or $3000 or economy for $600 during the summer months.

I hope this is helpful and I would encourage you to try them for airfare – you may be pleasantly surprised.

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Scb71, Thank you for your post. At the time we booked our last flights for our cruise, we found essentially what you are describing. However, we did not know to ask for alternatives--and did not like the route--as it was not direct (we live in Dallas and are used to direct flights). The trip over on Air Canada was fine (our first time to fly Air Canada), but we did not care for Lufthansa on the way back--very uncomfortable seats--even in business class and a less than convenient connecting time out of Stockholm.

 

Next time, I'll do my homework and have some flights in mind.

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It is certainly worth shopping around. Our TA gave us four alternatives for our Sydney to Singapore cruise (departing/returning to Phoenix) all in Business Class.

 

We didn't choose the cheapest but chose the most convenient in terms of connections, times and dates. Even so, the cost is under $6,000 per person which I think is pretty reasonable.

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Out of interest, anyone in Aus used SB air to go to Europe or USA? How do the prices / routes compare. We have never considered it and often book the flight before the cruise as it can sometimes dictate where and when we travel.

 

Usually fly Emirates to Europe, Q to USA and Cathay to Asia. But have since used Qatar (very good) and are flying Singapore to Europe later this year.

 

Any feedback on SB air from Aus?

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Out of interest, anyone in Aus used SB air to go to Europe or USA? How do the prices / routes compare. We have never considered it and often book the flight before the cruise as it can sometimes dictate where and when we travel.

 

Usually fly Emirates to Europe, Q to USA and Cathay to Asia. But have since used Qatar (very good) and are flying Singapore to Europe later this year.

 

Any feedback on SB air from Aus?

 

we had a quote recently as they had a "special deal".... cant remember the forward route, but coming home from Iceland they would take us to Canada, then to the US then home, and at a cost of over $20,000. We booked ourselves with Emirates...….

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