Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
traveline

NCL Free Airfare

Recommended Posts

The problem is I'm betting NCL is affording this by buying cheaper bulk fares or other discounted fares. It explains why there's no changes allowed, seat assignment can't always be done, upgrades often aren't allowed, etc. If that's the case airlines don't allow the discounted fare on all of their flights - they tend to be on the less popular flights, so no picking of flights.

 

From reading everyone's posts on this, it's clear that the promo is definitely different than the normal cruise airfare cruise lines offer - that you pay in full for.

 

It's similar to some of those really cheap websites that have some flights that beat booking with the airlines. They can do that by selling discount fares, but they come with a lot of restrictions. That you often don't know until something goes wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think I'd use the Free/reduced airfare offer if I were still working. With no idea of what time the flights are being booked it makes it impossible to schedule work days, pre or post cruise. JMO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's definitely a chance you'll get flight times you don't love, but frankly I haven't read too many substantiated reports of difficult flight times. Keep in mind today NCL is a bit challenged due to the Boeing 737 Max issue: airlines are offering less flights. So if you are flying to or from a city with fewer options NCL may not have enough seats to place you at a more preferred time. The issue will eventually be resolved and carriers like Southwest, Air Canada and American will have their fleets available again. 

 

We have ideal flights and times through this promotion: Nonstop on a major US carrier that will give us our full deviation day in Barcelona and a good half day prior to boarding. 

 

I would consider the perk in the future. 

 

I was initially thinking of not deviating,  what a stupid idea that was. So glad my mother had the good sense to deviate and I went along with that idea. We have some amazing plans for Barcelona. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished my check-in, we'll see what my flight times are.  Based on the projected cities it looks like I fly out at 6 AM and arrive in LAX around 10:30 (the day before, I requested a deviation) with a red-eye flight home through Philly.  I have enough time off from work that I can take the day after off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We also booked the perk and awaiting exact flights. We deviated two days before flying from the east coast to LA for a cruise on the Joy and deviated early so we would have some time to explore LA. We are 98 days out from cruise, I really hope we get different flights, we depart the ship early and flight out of LAX is a red eye 9:30pm to New York and arrive at 5:50am, then a 7am flight to Charlotte. For whatever reason my edocs we’re available and now I can even log in. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, chriscec2012 said:

We also booked the perk and awaiting exact flights. We deviated two days before flying from the east coast to LA for a cruise on the Joy and deviated early so we would have some time to explore LA. We are 98 days out from cruise, I really hope we get different flights, we depart the ship early and flight out of LAX is a red eye 9:30pm to New York and arrive at 5:50am, then a 7am flight to Charlotte. For whatever reason my edocs we’re available and now I can even log in. 

Edocs will be unavailable until flights are booked, but you should be able to access your myncl.com account.

 

Not sure how you have flight times, but OK. We had city pairs, but no airline, flights or times before ticketing. I could guess at those things but I didn't know. 

 

Our ticketed flights didn't match either of the two city pairs we were originally shown. We ended up with much better option: nonstop international flights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am 48 days out for a Norwegian Bliss cruise out of LAX.  NCL has not issued the tickets; therefore, no final times, but I spoke with a NCL representative that said it could be final 30 days out.   I deviated the day before and the estimated flight is 12:30-3:28 pm on American from Denver - PHX - LAX.  Return flight is not good.  We arrive on a Sunday at 8:00 am, but our return flight isn't until 7:37-11:56 PM at night!  I'm in the same boat wishing I hadn't done this.  Has anyone inquired about their flight times and had them changed before final booking?  (I can hope, LOL!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/24/2019 at 5:04 PM, M4RK said:

It appears we will have the same experience which may make this my last NCL cruise. I called the service line and they tell me not to worry about the flight times until they are booked. And then of course once they are booked, you are stuck. Not a very good system. For people with limited vacation, how can they justify getting you back home a day after you disembark? (From flight schedules it looks like I am getting home at about 9:30 am the next day - LAX returning to the midwest).

 

 

 

My flights are booked, and it is not terrible. Yes, there are probably better flights, but I have no complaints with this Reduced Air promotion for my cruise. I am leaving LAX about 2 pm, and arriving late (but same day) at my home airport with only 1 layover.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/26/2019 at 2:01 PM, Sportmom55 said:

I am 48 days out for a Norwegian Bliss cruise out of LAX.  NCL has not issued the tickets; therefore, no final times, but I spoke with a NCL representative that said it could be final 30 days out.   I deviated the day before and the estimated flight is 12:30-3:28 pm on American from Denver - PHX - LAX.  Return flight is not good.  We arrive on a Sunday at 8:00 am, but our return flight isn't until 7:37-11:56 PM at night!  I'm in the same boat wishing I hadn't done this.  Has anyone inquired about their flight times and had them changed before final booking?  (I can hope, LOL!)

Ours will get us home after midnight as well, flight departing a full 11 hours after debarkation.  From reading posts it seems international you have a shot at decent flights but domestic you'll most likely be stuck with late night/redeye flights that no one in their right mind would book if given a choice.  Called NCL and the airline and was told the flight was so cheap and restrictive nothing could be changed.  We have work and kid has school the next day, we can't afford an extra day off after getting home so late.  Will perhaps pay for our own flights home.  Regardless, will not bite on the free/reduced airfare offer ever again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never booked cruise line air fare before in over 30 years of cruising. We recently booked the promotional free air, cuz, well it was free! We sail from LA and debark in Miami. We are 33 days from sailing. I have my cruise docs with flight plan but not flight times or numbers. 

 

Because my cruise docs indicate we will be flying Chicago => Salt Lake City => LAX I have figured out that we will be flying Delta leaving Chicago at 6:00 am and arriving LAX at 10:00 am or noon depending on what connecting flight we are given.  

 

My question is, how will NCL inform us of our actual flight number and times along with a record locator? We are 33 days out. I am not concerned but would like a definitive answer to how NCL communicates the details and when they should be expected.

 

Thanks!!

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They will send you an email with air confirmation information. It will include flight details and the record locator number for the airline. Until then the flight information is just a placeholder until booked and can very likely change.

 

Edited by M4RK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all.  Getting ready to book the Bliss for a late October cruise.  Considering the free air option.  Does anyone know what airlines are usually assigned from ORD to LAX, and how inconvenient are the flight times?  Do they assign any flights out of Midway airport (looking to avoid that as I am 10 minutes from O’Hare. Also   Looking at a deviation to arrive 2 days earlier. 

 

Do they assign:

 BASIC economy or regular Economy if assigned to United?  Any info on your experience would be helpful.  Thanks in advance!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could be on any of the majors that fly there.  Since Midway is primarily Southwest, the chances are low you'd be flying from there as I don't think NCL uses Southwest.

 

I believe it's standard economy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You selected your airport of choice when you booked the free air.  I'm not sure Midway was even an option, but you should be safe if you selected O'Hare.  I booked free airfare on a cruise out of LAX last March, coming from ORD.  We flew American and were able to log in with our record locator to change seats, so I'm assuming it was not Basic service.  We did not arrive in LA until about 1pm which made me very nervous but worked out fine.  First time ever boarding a cruise without standing in line!

 

The flight home was not optimal.  It left around 8pm.  We chose to go to the airport early and do standby, but because of a cancelled flight there were zero options left on the earlier flights.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are on the Encore out of Miami in Feb and will be using the free airfare.  We have basically decided that the disembarkation day will be one more day of vacation, anticipating the  later flight home.  Using hotel points, we will sit poolside somewhere for the day and relax.  We selectively booked with a stat holiday the day after our cruise so that we will still have a day at home.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm 49 days out at this point and noticed this evening that my summary now shows a different airport on the way to LA, which matches the one my travel companions on a different reservation have on their summary.  Either they're seriously looking at the flights or the system finally realized we might be interested in traveling together.  I suppose it's also possible the flights priced out of NCl's range or sold out and the system shifted the airport

Edited by hallux

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We booked reduced airfare Chicago to Venice for Sept 2020 ($599) for a Greek Islands cruise. I'm nervous but was willing to gamble since when I priced it out, it seems like a decent savings. Does anyone know if I can cancel the Reduced Airfare add- on and get it refunded in the event that a good cheap flight I could book directly pops up?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

46 days, I have flights assigned.  Now I can book activities in LA the day before and after the cruise...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/7/2019 at 3:43 PM, Alatraveler1 said:

Ours will get us home after midnight as well, flight departing a full 11 hours after debarkation.  From reading posts it seems international you have a shot at decent flights but domestic you'll most likely be stuck with late night/redeye flights that no one in their right mind would book if given a choice.  Called NCL and the airline and was told the flight was so cheap and restrictive nothing could be changed.  We have work and kid has school the next day, we can't afford an extra day off after getting home so late.  Will perhaps pay for our own flights home.  Regardless, will not bite on the free/reduced airfare offer ever again.

We were lucky we were able or our TA was, to get our return flight moved up. We do not have to worry about school or work, but as seniors I certainly didn't want to be driving home from a flight arriving at 12:30am In fact we were about to just stay at a hotel near the airport the night of our return. Luckily we did get our flight times months before our cruise so our TA got them changed. I feel for you. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, newmexicoNita said:

We were lucky we were able or our TA was, to get our return flight moved up. We do not have to worry about school or work, but as seniors I certainly didn't want to be driving home from a flight arriving at 12:30am In fact we were about to just stay at a hotel near the airport the night of our return. Luckily we did get our flight times months before our cruise so our TA got them changed. I feel for you. 

 

Congratulations on being able to get done what I've seldom read others have been able to do.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Booked the free (for the first two passengers/reduced for the third passenger) air promo for our Epic cruise out of Barcelona - every time I searched I couldn't find airfare that was even remotely close.

 

The "placeholder" flights changed significantly over time - first they were connecting flights on United (EWR-FRA-BCN and then the same back), then they were direct flights on Norwegian (though the times were HORRIBLE) and then 58 days out I got the notification that they flights were ticketed: direct flights on United from EWR-BCN! We deviated one day before the cruise so that we could have some time to explore Barcelona.

 

We were a bit worried when we had the terrible Norwegian flight times (the flight there would have landed around noon so we'd miss alot of our exploring time and the flight back landed in EWR at 9pm so we wouldn't be able to get home that night) but we still would have saved a ton of money and it would have been worth it - but we're ecstatic about the flights we got! And I had priced those flights out multiple times and we saved a TON of money over booking it on our own!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just returned Sept. 2 from Alaska on the Jewel and were extremely pleased with NCL's free airfare offer.  I admit our original assigned return flight from Anchorage was going to be an overnight, 14 hr., 2 connection nightmare.  However, a phone call to NCL's air travel department and we ended up with perfect flights and great seat assignments both ways.  What made the experience so easy was when we arrived at Vancouver airport we turned the majority of our luggage over to the bus transfer company arranged by NLC and never had to deal with it until it showed up outside our cabin that evening.  It was the same when we docked in Seward.  We left our luggage outside our cabin the night before and collected it at the Anchorage airport. Because NCL is aware of your flight times you are given the appropriate colored bag tags so you can depart the ship, board your transfer bus and make it to the airport on time.  We would not hesitate using this offer again. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, farjar said:

We just returned Sept. 2 from Alaska on the Jewel and were extremely pleased with NCL's free airfare offer.  I admit our original assigned return flight from Anchorage was going to be an overnight, 14 hr., 2 connection nightmare.  However, a phone call to NCL's air travel department and we ended up with perfect flights and great seat assignments both ways.  What made the experience so easy was when we arrived at Vancouver airport we turned the majority of our luggage over to the bus transfer company arranged by NLC and never had to deal with it until it showed up outside our cabin that evening.  It was the same when we docked in Seward.  We left our luggage outside our cabin the night before and collected it at the Anchorage airport. Because NCL is aware of your flight times you are given the appropriate colored bag tags so you can depart the ship, board your transfer bus and make it to the airport on time.  We would not hesitate using this offer again. 

I would love to know what you and newmexicoNita were doing, or what your relationship to NCL wast, to get NCL to budge on your flight times.  They told me, quite rudely in fact, that it was what it was and there would be no changes.  And i was very nice and non-confrontational to them when i called.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Alatraveler1 said:

I would love to know what you and newmexicoNita were doing, or what your relationship to NCL wast, to get NCL to budge on your flight times.  They told me, quite rudely in fact, that it was what it was and there would be no changes.  And i was very nice and non-confrontational to them when i called.

I don't know what we did, in my case my TA took care of it for us. I have heard of many who have called the airline to get changes close to the departure date. We were traveling with another person from our same city who was booked for different times and different airlines. That may have had something to do with being able to make the adjustments. I don't know. ow we are traveling altogether. BTW I had expected bad schedules considering the price we are paying. It goes along with saving a bunch. If we could not have gotten the changes I would have worked it out some way. I will add, if I were you I would talk to a supervisor and in a nice way. Many years ago I ran into something similar when booking a group with air. I also got a rude representative; as soon as I asked to speak to a supervisor magically the problem was solved. This is just one reason I like to deal with TA. They seem to have a little more clout. Right or wrong, that is life. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...