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PMT51

Cruise Air Question

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DH and I are in Canada and are taking an Australia cruise in 2021. We will also be visiting family in Australia pre and post cruise and want to spend a few days in Hawaii on the way over. 

Can Cruise Air accommodate this convoluted travel plan or should we ask a TA for help?

 

What is the advantages of using Cruise Air?

Thank you.  

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You need to speak to CA about your 'desired' itinerary, to be sure and safe.

 

Advantages, at least for departures/arrivals in the U.S. include better fares more often than not. YMMV

 

I Am sure there will be some posters who will have more detailed info about their experiences with CA.

 

bon voyage

 

 

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Yes - no problem.   I have booked travel as much as 3 weeks before and/or after a cruise.   You can do a mock booking to see for yourself or call them and have them confirm for you.

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It is difficult to get schedules on line. You will have better luck if you just call them.

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1 hour ago, PMT51 said:

DH and I are in Canada and are taking an Australia cruise in 2021. We will also be visiting family in Australia pre and post cruise and want to spend a few days in Hawaii on the way over. 

Can Cruise Air accommodate this convoluted travel plan or should we ask a TA for help?

 

What is the advantages of using Cruise Air?

Thank you.  

 

Call Choice air directly.  We had a plane change in Amsterdam and then spent 4 days there before continuing on to our destination for the ship. There was no issue whatsoever.

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Before calling Choice Air do some research using ITAMatrix or Google Flights.  Once you have an idea of routing and price you can see if Choice Air can offer you better pricing or alternatives.  
 

Also worth checking Air Canada direct (my wife got a fantastic deal last spring).  I’ve rarely see significant prices using choice air (Caribbean and Europe cruises) but can’t comment on Australia.  Also be sure to compare fare types to make an apples to apples comparison.  Air Canada now has three different basic fares for North American travel ranging from bare bones to luggage/seat selection included.

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I agree with RickT above doing research beforehand will give you a sense of the prices.  I recently purchased tickets to Australia and found that the prices through Choice Air were exactly same as those with the airline.  I decided to book directly with the airline -- no middleman -- since there wasn't any savings for me.  Maybe you'll be able to do better.  The benefit of Choice Air is you don't have to pay right away.

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12 minutes ago, mchell810 said:

I agree with RickT above doing research beforehand will give you a sense of the prices.  I recently purchased tickets to Australia and found that the prices through Choice Air were exactly same as those with the airline.  I decided to book directly with the airline -- no middleman -- since there wasn't any savings for me.  Maybe you'll be able to do better.  The benefit of Choice Air is you don't have to pay right away.

Wow.  Surprised!     I just booked a return flight from Sydney to SFO for $2,600 Business Class one way United non-stop.    Cheapest I could do on any site including Air Canada, AA, Delta, Orbitz etc was $6,300. 

 

One thing I noticed was that if you choose Flights By Celebrity from their website they don't show all the available airlines and rates that they do if you go to choiceair.com

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7 minutes ago, Jim_Iain said:

Wow.  Surprised!     I just booked a return flight from Sydney to SFO for $2,600 Business Class one way United non-stop.    Cheapest I could do on any site including Air Canada, AA, Delta, Orbitz etc was $6,300. 

 

One thing I noticed was that if you choose Flights By Celebrity from their website they don't show all the available airlines and rates that they do if you go to choiceair.com

 

I was surprised too and very disappointed.  I looked at both sites you mentioned and called as well; and still no luck.  I was watching prices for a few months and decided to make the purchase so I can choose my seats. I keep reading about these great deals with ChoiceAir but I couldn't get it.

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I agree with calling them .. I had trouble trying to book online through Celebrity Air, but called, and they took care of everything. I ended up changing our flights, and again they were outstanding over the phone. And because we hadn’t paid anything, we were able to make all the changes without having to pay any additional fees. 
 

The same flights directly through the airline were twice as much.

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10 hours ago, Jim_Iain said:

just booked a return flight from Sydney to SFO for $2,600 Business Class one way United non-stop

 

 

Over the years, it’s always been documented on CC that the one area where the cruise lines are nearly always cheaper than direct from the airlines is one way flights.

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With cruise air you can almost always be booked to allow extra time in the embarkation/disembarkation cities.  I would imagine they can book you with a stopover in Hawaii too, but whether you still get the same discounts many speak of with cruise air if you do that, I'm not sure.   As someone mentioned, best to research before calling so you can tell them in detail exactly what itinerary you're looking for. 

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15 hours ago, mchell810 said:

 

I was surprised too and very disappointed.  I looked at both sites you mentioned and called as well; and still no luck.  I was watching prices for a few months and decided to make the purchase so I can choose my seats. I keep reading about these great deals with ChoiceAir but I couldn't get it.

That is so disappointing.    I generally start shopping about 11 months in advance so possibly the allocation of the special rates have been booked.  

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5 hours ago, villauk said:

 

 

Over the years, it’s always been documented on CC that the one area where the cruise lines are nearly always cheaper than direct from the airlines is one way flights.

My experience has also been that usually I can get the same rate or better on domestic US flights on other sites.   Internationally Business Class I have almost always been able to find a REALLY good fare.

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I have had luck searching my preferred airlines and creating the itinerary I want.  Then, I call Choice Air and see what they can do with those flights or if they have a better option.

 

When I flew to Australia I was using points for a couple legs and paying for the others.  Flying on Hawaiian Airlines between Honolulu and Sydney was far cheaper than other airlines, so don't tie yourself to a single carrier for the trip.  I flew American roundtrip between Ohio and Hawaii with my Honolulu-Sydney/Auckland-Honolulu sandwiched in between.

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17 hours ago, mchell810 said:

I agree with RickT above doing research beforehand will give you a sense of the prices.  I recently purchased tickets to Australia and found that the prices through Choice Air were exactly same as those with the airline.  I decided to book directly with the airline -- no middleman -- since there wasn't any savings for me.  Maybe you'll be able to do better.  The benefit of Choice Air is you don't have to pay right away.

Where were you traveling from?

 

If from the U.S., that is very odd or possibly the timing of travel to purchase?

 

bon voyage

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2 hours ago, Jim_Iain said:

That is so disappointing.    I generally start shopping about 11 months in advance so possibly the allocation of the special rates have been booked.  

 

1 hour ago, Bo1953 said:

Where were you traveling from?

 

If from the U.S., that is very odd or possibly the timing of travel to purchase?

 

bon voyage

 

I've been looking at the flights since they opened up and I am still 9 months out, but decided to buy now rather than risk an increase in the costs.  So I don't think it's about timing.  I am only willing to do one stop so that adds to the price.  I was hoping to get a good deal on business class but it didn't happen. ChoiceAir did have significant discounts for economy seats; however, for a long-haul flight to Sydney I am just not willing to go economy.  My tickets are premium economy. I am not happy with what I paid for flights; but I am able to do it and it gets me what I want, so I can live with it. (I am fully aware life can present far more difficult problems.)

Edited by mchell810

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We used Choice Air on our Chicago/NZ flights, We were in the air for a long time longer than our Sydney/Chicago flight. Which ended up being non stop. We should have looked at the route they were taking on flights to NZ. 

But it is nice that choice air promises to get you to your cruise.  We were staying a few days in Aukland precruise and it was wonderful.

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1 hour ago, pattyj 1204 said:

We used Choice Air on our Chicago/NZ flights, We were in the air for a long time longer than our Sydney/Chicago flight. Which ended up being non stop. We should have looked at the route they were taking on flights to NZ. 

But it is nice that choice air promises to get you to your cruise.  We were staying a few days in Aukland precruise and it was wonderful.

Just a little warning -   Choice Air promises to get you to your cruise but they don't tell you the details that it may be at an additional charge.    I had a problem (my fault for forgetting my passport) and couldn't make it back to the airport in time.   I called Choice Air and they looked into it and said the earliest they could get me to Rome would be the day after the cruise left.    Evidently the ticket was on AA and could not be endorsed to another airline.    They then told me they could get me there on time for an additional $2,500.       I lucked out and was able to book a Mileage Ticket  leaving in 1 hour.   

 

I sent Iain on his way with all the luggage and as luck had it I arrived in Rome 3 hours after he did.  

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14 hours ago, mchell810 said:

  I was hoping to get a good deal on business class but it didn't happen. ChoiceAir did have significant discounts for economy seats; however, for a long-haul flight to Sydney I am just not willing to go economy.  My tickets are premium economy. I am not happy with what I paid for flights

 

Premium economy is a mixed bag on Choice Air.  They don't seem to have separate booking categories for true premium economy AND economy "extra" type seats, so it all gets lumped into one category.  This creates a lot of confusion and problems at booking, and may be part of why you couldn't find a good rate via Choice Air.

 

13 hours ago, pattyj 1204 said:

 

But it is nice that choice air promises to get you to your cruise. 

 

Not exactly.  Read the fine print.  You are arriving a few days early, so yes, any rebooking would almost certainly still get you there in time, but if one is flying in the same day there is no "promise" or guarantee whatsoever.  There are a lot of "feel good" words about working with the airlines to do whatever is "reasonable" to get you rebooked etc, but no actual guarantee.  It's possible that the earliest they can rebook you could mean you end up having to join the ship at a future port of call.  If the only other flights that can get you there are sold out, Choice Air has no ability to kick other passengers off, and your discounted ticket may have limitations on being endorsed to another airline that COULD get you there (see the post above) or being rerouted etc.

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Well, I guess, that I never really read the fine print and our first 2 cruises had no cushion days. It was really touch and go out of O'Hare in Jan. on our Caribbean cruise and way too much stress for me, so now we leave a cushion which is nice as we get an extra day or two to unwind before the cruise. Thanks for posting the information and there is a lesson for me---Read the fine print. 

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4 hours ago, waterbug123 said:

Premium economy is a mixed bag on Choice Air.  They don't seem to have separate booking categories for true premium economy AND economy "extra" type seats, so it all gets lumped into one category.  This creates a lot of confusion and problems at booking, and may be part of why you couldn't find a good rate via Choice Air.

 

This is probably true in general but not for my case  ChoiceAir had premium and business class for the exact same prices as the airline sites.  I just couldn't get a deal for this trip.

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