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peter l 07-19-2010 11:57 AM

Although we have cruised and also done all inclusives, we have never arranged our own flights. I have a question? I have looked at Princess Air and also checked numerous travel sites and air fares are not coming down at all. Can I arrange one way flights from home to cruise port and also coming back? Are there any types of flying restrictions I should be aware of? I can arrange a major airline going out and a discount airline for the return and save
$350 to $400 off totals. Thanks in advance for your input.


Cruise Fanatic 07-19-2010 12:50 PM

The discount airlines Southwest, Spirit, Air Tran, and Jet Blue, do their fares on a one way basis. The major airlines AA, United, Delta, US Air, Continental base theirs on roundtrip. In most cases a roundtrip ticket is cheaper than one way with the major airlines. However; it pays to check it both ways. It also pays to compare anything you find with what the cruise line is asking for their airfare. Often in peak holiday times the cruise lines air can be comparable and provides a little security of getting to the ship. We always recommend flying in a day prior to the cruise.

Jim C. 07-19-2010 12:52 PM

peter- arrange your flights however it suits you best. Yes you can do a one way in both directions and even on different airlines if you wish. The cruise line will not care how you get to the ship.

Typically a round trip airfare is less expensive than a one way, but if you can book it that way and save money, go for it.

Just be careful that you book travel for the correct date and give yourself time to get to and form the airport on both legs. We normally fly in a day before the cruise and spend the night in a hotel. Check a day or two in advance and after your cruise for prices too. Many times staying for an additional day can mean saving money on airfare too.

Cruise Fanatic 07-19-2010 01:12 PM

Also, If you have connecting flights look for a layover of at least 1 hour in between flights. Changing planes in some airports can be tricky.

LisaP 07-19-2010 02:52 PM

Good point by Cruise Fanatic about also considering the amount of time between connecting flights. I play it even more conservatively and try for at least two hours. This saved me yesterday when my first flight was delayed 1.5 hours. We had planned for two hours and 20 minutes between flights, so had no problem making the second flight. However, a good number of passengers on our first flight missed their connections.

I also recommend, if you do have to connect, that you make sure that your second flight is not the last one of the day. This may give you a Plan B (although it's not guaranteed).

Jim also made a good point about leaving enough time to get to and from the airport. For your return flight, check the cruise line's Web site for the earliest flight times they recommend for your particular cruise and disembarkation port.

peter l 07-22-2010 04:29 AM

Thanks for all the input. We have put all of the great suggestions in our travel plans in the past, even when arranged by the cruise line or our travel agent. We did book our flights yesterday and will keep an eye on them as we do have Price Assurance with Orbitz if our exact flight pricing should go down..? I'm sure this will never happen..
Again, thanks for the input.


Jim C. 07-22-2010 08:58 AM

Air fare price drops are rare now days. But has happened. If you are booking a long time in advance it is likely you can catch a seasonal price sale and get a discount.. good luck!

peter l 07-22-2010 10:22 AM

Thanks Jim; it seems that prices have only gone up since we booked the cruise a couple of months ago and have been watching the flight prices..A week or two before or after our cruise (not a break week) the prices are much more reasonable..Having to travel during break periods for the past 20 years have proven to be much more expensive. That, hopefully, will change if my wife retires next year.


susanmaz 07-22-2010 01:03 PM

The other thing to watch for is cancelled or re-scheduled flights. We encountered this problem on our last two cruises. The airlines automatically rebooked us on flights they had changed or cancelled - and didn't notify us. I found it by checking on my flights online. One change had us arriving after the ship sailed, and on the second occasion, had us departing before the ship docked. I always book my own flights because I like to know what I've got, and when you go through the cruise lines, you don't know until you get your tickets (unless that's recently changed). However, you do need to pay attention and keep checking. You don't want to wait until you go to print your tickets 24 hours before you leave.

penny3333 07-22-2010 01:30 PM

You're right susanmaz, I can't remember how far out Princess did let me know. I had purchased the room through them, too. The airlines keep switching flights, actually cutting them out. I'm sure using Princess EZAir, they would insure that their passengers made it to the cruise.

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