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Jan115

Weighing the pros and cons of cruise air ...

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Thanks for another good blog Jan. Here’s a quick version of our air lessons:

First cruise – fly Vegas to LA – booked our own air and transfers for early morning on sail date. Multiple delays on the tarmac followed by a bus driver who got lost made for a very stressful day even though we made it to the ship fine.

Second cruise – fly Vegas to New Orleans – booked cruise line air and transfers. Four weeks before departure we got our flight info and learned we’d be flying on sail date, changing planes in Minneapolis, in January! There’s a lot more to this story but of course there was snow in Minneapolis. The ship delayed its departure several hours and we literally jumped aboard as they unbolted the gangway!

After that we always booked our own air and flew the day before. Recently vacation days have been tight so we’ve been flying on sail date sometimes but we always have good travel insurance just in case!

Anyone else have “flying to the ship” stories – good or bad?

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Thanks for the stories, Mike&Amy. :smile: Good point about the airline changing flight times. That's another thing I hate - the way airlines will just change the itinerary, and the new flight times are never good. Yes, I agree - fly the day before whenever possible. So far, I have been fortunate in being able to do so. Flying is always an adventure - expect the unexpected. With packed flights, high prices and ridiculous connections, I approach flying day like I do a root canal! :unsure:

Fellow cruisers - tell us your flight stories! :smile:

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We have used air through the cruise lines but prefer to book our own. The main reason we book our own is we know that from where we live we will be transfering planes somewhere and with my wife being handicaped we prefer to book our own so we know that there is plenty of time to get from one plane to the next plane. When we booked with the cruise lines we had to really rush a few times and it was not a good situation even with getting help through the airports. We also make sure we fly in to our embarkation ports a couple days early.

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I am also reminded of the time I booked a Priceline flight. This was about 10 years ago when our oldest daughter was in college. I figured I'd save some money and bid for a flight. Well, the concept works well for hotels, but not so great for air. I flew Providence to Cincinnati and wound up with the most ridiculous 3-stop flight. It took me something like 12 hours, and by the time I got to my destination, I wanted to cry, it was so bad - and the return flight wasn't much better. No wonder I always search for non-stop whenever possible.

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If it worked out in terms of price, ease of connections, and the flexibility we like such as getting in a day early and staying a few days post cruise then maybe. However it's not likely as I would prioritize using a star alliance partner for the miles, booking on the UA website if optimal and using my explorer card for baggage fee waiver and the possibility of triple miles. So very doubtful.

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