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I Used "Free" Airfare

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We are going to take the airfare perk...I think. I'm very much a vacation planning control freak so I'm skeert (mid-MO for scared). The airfare isn't a huge savings on what I could probably get myself ($400 for 2 from STL to MCO) but if NCL is in charge then we can fly the day of and save ourselves a night in an Orlando hotel so in the end I think it would save us money. Flying in the same day freaks me out too, but it would be on them to get me to the ship on time. Same for taking their airport transfer which is $30 higher than I can probably get on my own, but it is on them to get me to the ship and back to the airport on time.

 

FYI, the NCL agent last night said you can fly in a day before but there is a $100 "air deviation" fee. She also said we do NOT have to use their airport transfer. Also, I did read on another thread that once you get your airline information (60 or 90 days out?) that you can go to the airline website and choose your seat.

 

I know there are several threads about this but I'd like to hear stories just from those of you that have used the airfare perk. Did you get crappy times, connections, airline? Just as good as if you'd planned it yourself?

 

If you used their transfer too, do the transfer people take your checked luggage from the airport and keep it until it gets to your room?

 

What was your experience? Would you do it again?

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FYI. If your flight is delayed it does not mean NCL will hold the ship until you arrive. They will pay all expenses to get you to the next port but your cruise will still be shorter.

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Have not done it. Like you, I think I'm just a control freak LOL. Please come back and let us know how it worked out. Good luck - I'm sure it will be fine.

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17 minutes ago, yankees111 said:

FYI. If your flight is delayed it does not mean NCL will hold the ship until you arrive. They will pay all expenses to get you to the next port but your cruise will still be shorter.

This.

 

You can also book a hotel with NCL and they will fly you in the night before.  I do not believe there is any fee for this, outside of the cost of the hotel.  This would definitely be my preference.

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3 minutes ago, MikeBTN said:

I do not believe there is any fee for this, outside of the cost of the hotel.  This would definitely be my preference.

 

Some have reported that you pay PER PERSON for the hotel (costing 2x as much)...

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I am using the free airfare perk for my cruise leaving in less than 2 weeks.  I booked less than 60 days out, so I got my air information within 3-4 days of booking.  The flights are both direct with Delta, from Columbus OH to NYC - getting there at 10:35 a.m. on the first day of the cruise, and leaving NYC on the last day of the cruise around 1:45.  Our flights were "free" since Ohio isn't too far from NYC - just paying the transfer fee of $35 per person, per direction. Seems like it'll all work well for us, but we'll see how it goes!

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Hotel is per person but it’s half of the regular room rate each...  we are doing this in Miami and the room if I booked it would be $190 total and to book through NCL it’s $90 pp so you  could actually come out a little cheaper.

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18 minutes ago, iloveislands24 said:

I am using the free airfare perk for my cruise leaving in less than 2 weeks.  I booked less than 60 days out, so I got my air information within 3-4 days of booking.  The flights are both direct with Delta, from Columbus OH to NYC - getting there at 10:35 a.m. on the first day of the cruise, and leaving NYC on the last day of the cruise around 1:45.  Our flights were "free" since Ohio isn't too far from NYC - just paying the transfer fee of $35 per person, per direction. Seems like it'll all work well for us, but we'll see how it goes!

seems like u got great flights!    Have a wonderful cruise!

 

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27 minutes ago, hallux said:

 

Some have reported that you pay PER PERSON for the hotel (costing 2x as much)...

Only a dummy would take NCL's price and not quickly comparison shop to make sure its a fair price.

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If the flight is included with the cruise, i'm not sure why one would not use it?  Like everyone else i like to plan, but when i take the re-positioning cruise on Encore from NYC to MIA, they are flying me home.  I could use my own airline but it would cost, so why wouldn't i just use the included airfare?

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tgloersen, you have no control over the flight times, layovers, etc. It takes us 2 hours or so to get from our house into the airport. Its a big deal to us what time our flights are.

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9 hours ago, yankees111 said:

FYI. If your flight is delayed it does not mean NCL will hold the ship until you arrive. They will pay all expenses to get you to the next port but your cruise will still be shorter.

I like the OP am a control freak and had considered the "FREE AIRFARE" to Vancouver on my Hawaii cruise since we have 6 people going and the price was so so RT LAX - YVR then HNL - LAX. but I was thinking at least we could save a vacation day the hotel expense of 3 rooms in Vancouver. I asked my travel agent to make sure that if the flight was delayed the NCL would get us to the ship somehow (at sea first 5 days of cruise ) but my travel agent called NCL and was told that even if we booked the airfare with NCL and they chose to put us on a flight same day; they WOULD NOT be responsible for us to get to the ship. We would have to use our travel insurance. "Just because the book does not make them responsible". 

Now, of course, everyone's experience may be different but  I would want something in writing sat they would get me to the ship if they book me the same day and want to charge to fly in early.

Good luck OP and please report back with your experience.

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3 hours ago, twoznuff2 said:

I like the OP am a control freak and had considered the "FREE AIRFARE" to Vancouver on my Hawaii cruise since we have 6 people going and the price was so so RT LAX - YVR then HNL - LAX. but I was thinking at least we could save a vacation day the hotel expense of 3 rooms in Vancouver. I asked my travel agent to make sure that if the flight was delayed the NCL would get us to the ship somehow (at sea first 5 days of cruise ) but my travel agent called NCL and was told that even if we booked the airfare with NCL and they chose to put us on a flight same day; they WOULD NOT be responsible for us to get to the ship. We would have to use our travel insurance. "Just because the book does not make them responsible". 

Now, of course, everyone's experience may be different but  I would want something in writing sat they would get me to the ship if they book me the same day and want to charge to fly in early.

Good luck OP and please report back with your experience.

 

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I received an email yesterday from NCL with instructions on how to book guests with an air deviation for 1-2 days before the cruise, and/or 1-2 days after the cruise. It stated that due to demand they were adding this feature to the Free/Reduced Air perk. There is a $50 per person deviation fee, and you do not have to use hotels booked through NCL. 

This email was for travel professionals, so was not sent to the general public.

Your travel agent or NCL should be able to book this new program for you. The transfers are auto added in, but there will be no transfers provided, so the transfers need to be manually taken out by the booking agent (it's a simple un-check box on the computer, but requires the extra step); make sure you check them on this.

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18 hours ago, hallux said:

 

Some have reported that you pay PER PERSON for the hotel (costing 2x as much)...

We were told to fly into Barcelona would have us arriving the day of the sailing (leaving the night before... i.e. fly Saturday night for a Sunday cruise departure.) Flying out the Friday was a $50/pp deviation, booking our own hotel. Leaving Thursday, would be $345/pp in addition to the reduced air fare and still not able to have any airline time control and using their hotel. When I looked at the hotel price for the time frame, the hotel cost was $140/per night, so that led me to believe that that difference between the $690 and the hotel price of $280 was for air differences. The reduced air was already $800/pp. Some of the destination cost may work out for some, but our specific cost to fly and use their air was more than booking independently. YMMV

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We are also using the airfare perk to Barcelona. Fly from Newark the day before cruise and arrive day of sailing and departing the day cruise ends, $399pp and $50pp transfers. We like the ease, no hotel and price works well too. We won't have flight details until late June. We did buy the insurance so if we have a significant hiccup we will be  covered. However, most flights from US overnight arrive early AM and sail time is 6pm so risk is low. United flies nonstop on the route and I am guessing that will be our assignment,  fill the flight. However, NCL's policy is no more than one connection, so we can also be placed on Delta through Atlanta. That would be a longer trip, but better for my FF miles and perks. Nothing I control now, so just hoping for a safe, comfortable trip.

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2 hours ago, Nola26 said:

We are also using the airfare perk to Barcelona. Fly from Newark the day before cruise and arrive day of sailing and departing the day cruise ends, $399pp and $50pp transfers. We like the ease, no hotel and price works well too. We won't have flight details until late June. We did buy the insurance so if we have a significant hiccup we will be  covered. However, most flights from US overnight arrive early AM and sail time is 6pm so risk is low. United flies nonstop on the route and I am guessing that will be our assignment,  fill the flight. However, NCL's policy is no more than one connection, so we can also be placed on Delta through Atlanta. That would be a longer trip, but better for my FF miles and perks. Nothing I control now, so just hoping for a safe, comfortable trip.

 

Hi, do you still get the Frequent Flyer miles if NCL paid for the ticket?

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23 hours ago, tokidoki said:

seems like u got great flights!    Have a wonderful cruise!

 

Thanks so much! I'll try to remember to report back on how everything went for us.

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There are people today (on another thread) freaking out about possibly missing their embarkation today because of delays flying! I wouldn’t risk it! Fly in a day early, drop the NCL air, and have one extra day of vacation and peace of mind!

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On 2/19/2019 at 10:49 AM, CozGurl said:

We are going to take the airfare perk...I think. I'm very much a vacation planning control freak so I'm skeert (mid-MO for scared). The airfare isn't a huge savings on what I could probably get myself ($400 for 2 from STL to MCO) but if NCL is in charge then we can fly the day of and save ourselves a night in an Orlando hotel so in the end I think it would save us money. Flying in the same day freaks me out too, but it would be on them to get me to the ship on time. Same for taking their airport transfer which is $30 higher than I can probably get on my own, but it is on them to get me to the ship and back to the airport on time.

 

FYI, the NCL agent last night said you can fly in a day before but there is a $100 "air deviation" fee. She also said we do NOT have to use their airport transfer. Also, I did read on another thread that once you get your airline information (60 or 90 days out?) that you can go to the airline website and choose your seat.

 

I know there are several threads about this but I'd like to hear stories just from those of you that have used the airfare perk. Did you get crappy times, connections, airline? Just as good as if you'd planned it yourself?

 

If you used their transfer too, do the transfer people take your checked luggage from the airport and keep it until it gets to your room?

 

What was your experience? Would you do it again?

 

Hotels in Orlando are VERY cheap. We just stayed at the JW Marriott for $115 per night plus tax and there were several airport hotels in the $70-80 range. Why not just fly in the night before on your own? There's plenty of options from Kansas City or St Louis.

 

Also, if the flight is late...where does it say that NCL is responsible to get you to the ship? Are you sure they'll pay to fly you out to St- Thomas or Belize or wherever the first port is? I haven't seen it in writing anywhere...maybe someone can post that. Don't trust what an agent over the phone tells you.

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31 minutes ago, cruisequeen4ever said:

There are people today (on another thread) freaking out about possibly missing their embarkation today because of delays flying! I wouldn’t risk it! Fly in a day early, drop the NCL air, and have one extra day of vacation and peace of mind!

 

Agreed. The only way I would do the “free” airfare is if it was flying in the night before. 

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