The main advantages of securing your own airline tickets are
that you will be able to select the airline you fly and you will
have some control over the timing and routing of your flights.
You may wish to fly a particular airline to use frequent flier
rewards, or to earn frequent flier miles, or because that carrier
has nonstop service to your port city. If you arrange your own
airline tickets you will have more control over these variables
than if you utilize the cruise line's AIR/SEA program.
The main reasons to let us book your air at the same time you
reserve your cruise - through the cruise line's AIR/SEA department -
are convenience, better access to flights that make easy connections
to your ship, and added protection in the event of a flight or
sailing delay or cancellation.
Cruise lines meet their AIR/SEA passengers at the airport and
transport them to the pier. These transfers are frequently free of
charge, but even if a charge is levied it is typically less than
what you would pay if you arranged your own transfers.
Cruise lines monitor the status of flights carrying their AIR/SEA
passengers, and will sometimes hold a ship past its scheduled
departure time to wait for guests arriving on a delayed flight,
but only if that flight was booked through the cruise line.
Cruise lines reserve large blocks of seats on flights that make
easy connections to their departing and returning cruise ships.
These flights traditionally experience high load factors and you
could have difficulty getting a low fare - or a seat at any price -
as an individual. On busy days like Saturday and Sunday, you might
have to fly into your port of embarkation a day early if you book
your own tickets, adding a day's meals and lodging to your cost.
And finally, sometimes unexpected things occur that affect travel
plans. Flight delays or cancellations, changes in cruise ship arrival
or departure times, and cancellation of sailings altogether, are some
of the things that can force you to rebook at a later time or date or
seek a refund for your airline tickets. If any of these things should
happen before or during your vacation, you will not be eligible for
assistance from the cruise line if you arranged your own airline
tickets. However, if we secure your tickets through the cruise line's
AIR/SEA program, the cruise line's help desk will assist you in working
with the airline to make alternate flight plans, help you catch up with
your ship at the next port, or apply for a refund.
The bottom line: Unless you are a sophisticated traveler
who can plan to arrive in the port of embarkation a day early,
you're probably better off letting us book your airline tickets
through the AIR/SEA program.