R E C O M M E N D A T I O N S
In this "How To" episode we offer the Top 5 Recommendations for booking your own flights.
Using a 3rd party can often slow things down when you need immediate action during flight delays, cancellations, or missed connections. You need solutions fast and you’ll get the quickest, best resolution straight from the airline if you book direct. This is truer than ever amidst our current travel climate. By booking & dealing directly with the airline, the airline representatives have the authority to get things done and centers dedicated to dealing with customer care issues.
HOW TO BOOK
By booking direct with the airline, you’ll guarantee mileage accrual and credits toward your status, loyalty benefits while traveling, the 24-hour booking grace period, & direct customer service.
Start your search with Google Flights. Their search engine is super easy, fast, & informative. Zero in on the best airfare then check and book directly with the airline.
24-hour Grace Period
If you book direct.
WHEN TO BOOK
Booking your flights TOO early or waiting until the last minute may cost you. Buying more than 6 months or less than 2 weeks prior to your trip won’t allow room for deals, but prices also spike within 2 weeks before take-off. Sign up for alerts from your airlines of choice so you can be notified when prices start to drop – usually about 5 months before departure. The prime window to book? Between 112 to 21 days prior to your trip.
Days of the Week
Many people book their airfare on weekends. Airlines cash in on this. Book during the week. Tuesdays are great days to book with many deals popping up on these days or other weekdays.
WHAT TO BOOK
Departing between 5 & 8am usually offers better pricing.
Sundays tend to be the most expensive day of the week to fly. Typically Tuesdays & Wednesdays can offer the best savings.
Consider these gateway cities that offer direct flights to Barcelona &/or Lisbon:
Budget vs Standard
“Budget Airfare” often seems to be too good to be true and often, it is. There are usually fees for everything from checked and even carry-on bags to anything else they can think to charge for...sometimes costing as much, if not more, than a standard ticket.
It is always recommended to arrive into the city from where your cruise departs AT LEAST a day prior to account for flight delays, cancellations or missed connections. Do not plan to arrive into Barcelona or Lisbon the morning of your cruise departure and expect all things to go accordingly to plan – getting you to your cruise check-in for an on-time departure. Arrive early to avoid any disappointment or unneeded stress in joining the ship.
If you are not planning to stay in Barcelona or Lisbon after your cruise, we recommend booking your return flight home no earlier than 1pm on the day of disembarkation to account for customs & immigration procedures, luggage retrieval, transportation to the airport, and time needed for your flight check-in at the airport. Please do not book return flights earlier than this to avoid frustration, stress or missed flights.
ROUTES & FARES
Because your cruise departs from one city and arrives into another, you will either need to book 2 one-way fares or, better yet, a “multi-city” fare. When booking through your preferred airline, select “Multi-City” option and enter your details. You will usually find much better pricing & more options by booking this way.
Ensure you check the spelling of your names (as listed on your passports), correct airports, and departure/arrival dates & times (especially with red-eye flights into Europe having you arrive the next day and with the time difference). Usually, airlines have a 24-hour grace period to cancel or make changes without penalties, so it’s in your best interest to triple check these during the booking process and then immediately after you receive your confirmation. Check your emails for your confirmation(s), print or save your documents as a PDF on your phone, and download the airline’s App on your phone to have your flight details & status updates on you at all times - especially if the airline has made any last-minute changes.
Both the Barcelona & Lisbon airports are about a 20-min drive to the city centers with traffic.
Airport Code - BCN
Distance from Airport to City
8-10 miles from BCN to city center
Airport Code - LIS
Distance from Airport to City
4-6 miles from LIS to city center
REDWOOD TRAVEL PARTNERS is an independently owned & operated Cruise Planners franchise & the official travel partner for Dave Koz & Friends at Sea. For more information about the cruise, visit Dave Koz Cruise where you can find details about itinerary & other important information.
P: 415-231-7411 (customer service hours 9:30am - 4:30pm PST M-Th)
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