I will be using my own air on an upcoming transatlantic crossing (this is also my first cruise experience). I called Cunard about an air credit since they will not have to issue a ticket for us. They said that since the air is "complimentary" there is no credit.
I went back to my brochure and the word that Cunard uses is "included"..one way air is included on transatlantic crossings. They do not say free or complimentary. It sounds to me like they should give us some credit for not using the included air.
Does anyone have any experience with this situation?
Unfortunately, because Cunard Line places no dollar value on their complimentary one-way transatlantic air, they are correct when they say that there is no credit to give you. Otherwise the brochure would list the cruise-only air credit on their pricing page. Hope this helps.
In my experience you cannot take a credit for the Cunard air but they are very flexible with when you take the air. They will give you up to three months or more in my experience although they may not be that keen on giving you a flight that is out of sync with the crossing. (ie, for a UK traveller, if you are doing a westbound from UK you will have to take the flight after the crossing).
If I am UK resident, and I want to go to NY - then they assume that I want to come back.
Therefore it's not possible to do it 'old style' ie. I want to go on a ship to North America. Following which I will do whatever for however long (subject to US immigration restrictions).
And then one day I may return to the UK - and I want to book a return crossing - for which they'll want to charge me a return flight to the US.
Gosh. Our forebears never had this problem back in the days of 'real' transatlantics.
Can you imagine all those people arriving in NY only to be told that their transfer to another return ship is waiting.......? ( I jest)
Getting back to the point though...... Cunard (and all cruise lines I suspect) get really jumpy about people who are booking a cruise from a country other than their country of residence. I know this because I've checked the itineries for various QE2 segments - and they differ according to which country you are resident in. eg. A US Cunard passenger cannot get the same 'deal' to do a Southampton to Spain and back to Southampton as a UK resident. Cunard insist that all US passengers fly with 'them' from the US to the UK and then back to the US at the end of the cruise. You're not allowed to book a US resident on a UK resident cruise.
Good point!!!! Last year we wanted to book a cruise on the QE2 that was advertised in US dollars. We are from Canada and wanted to book the rates advertised and have them charged to our credit card in US$ but the Cunard line said NO. They advised us that we must pay for the cruise in Canadian dollars at Cunards exchange rate which of course was worse then most banks. A similar thing happened when our travel agent went to book us on the QM2 maiden Caribbean cruise this year. We refused to pay the exchange rate and so they backed down let us charge it to our credit card.
Pete, good question, the problem is to do with the the connecting flights.
In the airline industry there is what is called the "Partnership Agreement". The basis of it is that travel agents cannot sell international flight tickets to people in other countres also they also cannot sell tickets for journeys that do not originate in their home country.
The effect of this is that :
If you live in the UK you could not buy an international flight from an American travel agent. You also could not buy an international flight from a UK agent for a trip that started in the US.
The flights that connect with transatlantic crossings by QE2, QM2 and other lines are also covered by the partnership agreement. The crossing counts as one part of your trip so the flight out or home is the other leg of trip.
There is no problem in buying cruises that do not include flights from a travel agent in another country, you just can not buy any deal that includes an airline flight, or you will be unable to obtain the airline tickets.
I live in the UK and have bought QE2 Southampton round trips from American agents (when they are cheaper). I have also bought a Caribbean cruise from a US agent. As long as no flights are involved you have no problem. I have never had any problems myself, I find travel agents are always more than happy to take my money off me!
Jon - in answer to your last question - I live in Canada - I buy my washing machine, TV in Canada - I pay CA$ - I could buy it in the US but would be required to have an import license, and heaven knows what else, pay frieght etc. and all taxes applicable in my Province of residence. It would cost me much more probably (due to US$/CA$ exchange rates) than buying the items in Canada.
I can call my local TA and buy a one way airline ticket from the States to Canada,
(required because I flew from Canada, on a flight included in the cruise line's offer, to the UK to join the ship )
e.g. arriving in New York from Southampton on a ship, but I have to pay in US$ - I may charge it to my CC, the issuing bank will apply the exchange rate and add (usually) about 2% (handling fee) to my charge.
By the same token I have purchased, in Canada, an airline ticket from Lisbon (having arrived on a ship from the States) to London with return from London to Toronto. The cost appearing on my CC has been converted to CA$. I can also arrange round trip flights from the UK to Canada for, let's say. my parents - my invoice would reflect the UKú rate converted to CA$ in which currency I would be paying.
As for a QM2 westbound trans-atlantic crossing, a Canadian travelling as a single to join the ship has eastbound air included - the UK based westbound passenger joining CAD passenger for the crossing does not receive an air allowance and is required to make personal air arrangements from the US back to the UK.
Scheduled airlines (not to be confused with Charter airline service) are governed by IATA regulations (International Air Transport Association) as to what can and what cannot be done.
It's a complicated business, best handled by an experienced and reputable Travel Agent.
It's been a long week! - apologies if I've confused the issue!
We are flying over to England a full week before our crossing back to NY. We want to do some sightseeing first in Scotland and England. We haven't had any problem with Cunard arranging for our flight over to be that far in advance. They just made sure we understood that we were responsible for getting ourselves to Southampton on the day the ship leaves.