P&O are one of the only companies that do direct flights from Belfast (once or twice a year) which is one of the reasons Im booked on P&O for next year on Azura - the direct flight. They recognise the 'regionality' of customers. The P&O flight is only for the cruise and no other customers. On Princess last year I had to fly to London then Venice, this year London then Barcelona despite the fact there are direct flights to Barcelona from Belfast so come on Cunard, Princess et al think of your regional customers. Anyone else say from Bristol or elsewhere had to go to London etc - its frustrating. How is the Scottish connection? Do you have to go from Edinburgh to Glasgow?
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Topic: Regional/Direct Flights
2nd May 2010, 12:39 PM #1Petty Officer Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
Could it be we need an Atlantic chunnel, all 3,400 miles or thereabouts of it.:p
2nd May 2010, 03:10 PM #3
For several cruise lines there are no regional flights whatsoever. Both times we've been with MSC we've had to drive from Derbyshire to fly from Gatwick - I've looked into recent cruises with them and their policy is still the same.
For our Viking River cruise later this year our only option is Heathrow
For many others the only non-London option is Manchester which doesn't look too bad on the map but it means either going over the high passes in the Peak District or driving a long way to go around it on the motorways (little difference in time either way).
Many state they offer regional flights but what they actually mean is that they will arrange a flight down to a London airport for you. As the London flights often go first thing in the morning, a regional flight often means having to fly down the night before.
When we fly we like to fly direct which means we often have to fly from inconvenient airports involving long drives and overnight stays.
Cruising my way through life!
3rd May 2010, 12:33 AM #4
I must admit that it was great travelling with Thomson's for our Red Sea cruise this winter- we'd a choice of 17 direct flights, and chose to stay with my family in Doncaster- we were the only flight at 11am.
So different from NCL- had to fly from Newcastle to Amsterdam, hang around for most of the day, then catch a flight on to Barcelona......and found that Easyjet had done the whole flight from N/C in 2 1/2 hours....
History Addict- both P&O and Princess do some cruises with direct flights from Doncaster, if it helps- my sister flew to the Carib. for Sea Princess this year.
One of the big turn off's for me is that P&O, Princess, Fred Olsen etc do not offer a true 'Cruise Only' price. The thought of being herded on to buses, queuing at hotel receptions by the bus load, arriving at the cruise check in en masse for even more queuing horrifies me.
By purchasing a cruise only with most of the 'American' lines' on a very early booking, buying my own flights, I can choose with whom and where I fly from.
Book a day or two's hotels to actually enjoy the port of departure as opposed to a coach from airport to ship, arrive at the check in well before all the cruise tour buses and be onboard in around 15 minutes.
The upshot of that is I can save hundreds and/or thousands of pounds on a family group booking.
Princess's new EZair scheme looks a good alternative providing we are not going to pay top dollar for the flights, but current trends of flying people to Amsterdam or Frankfurt for a Spanish destination and similar situation for flights to the States is something I wouldn't want if they offered them for free.
3rd May 2010, 06:55 PM #6Petty Officer Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
Absolutely, last year we booked a cruise only with Princess as they wanted us to go to Venice via Frankfurt so instead I managed to use BA airmiles towards our flights. We were able to fly direct on BA to Venice and back from Rome and found it easy to get to the airport to/from the port. Unless its a true fly cruise I always check. Unfortunately I booked a fly-cruise with Cunard for October and wasn't aware at the time that I will face an overnight in London outbound and inbound. I now have to take an extra day off work.
On top of this I also booked an add-on in Barcelona so we now have four nights hotel stays which in reality I could have gone to Princess grill when I add up all the additional costings. I will be planning better in the future.
Finally, my Eclipse flycruise means the ship gets in at 5.30 am to Southampton and my flight to Belfast isnt until 15.30 so I now have to take another extra day off work as I had counted on getting off the ship and getting an early flight then straight to work....