Cruise Lines Offer New Features for Agents

HAL, RCI add air and booking features to address flight delays and cancellations By: Marilyn Green
Holland America Line recently launched the Flight Ease air program, available for departures starting in the fall. // © 2013 Thinkstock
Holland America Line recently launched the Flight Ease air program, available for departures starting in the fall. // © 2013 Thinkstock

The Details

Holland America Line
www.hollandamerica.com

Royal Caribbean International
www.royalcaribbean.com

Cruise lines, sensitive to the challenges of air travel and pricing, are offering new features for agents to sell.

Holland America Line recently launched the Flight Ease air program, available for departures starting in the fall. The program allows travel sellers to select from two competitive pricing options, depending on their clients’ travel needs: Flexible Fares with no fees to adjust a flight schedule and airfare payment due with the final cruise payment, or Restricted Fares that are generally more cost-effective for those who are sure of their travel plans.

Available through Holland America Line’s Polar Online booking process, Flight Ease features up-to-the-minute fight schedules for those flights that arrive and depart in time for the specific cruise booked. Competitive pricing and flight inventory from multiple carriers are presented through the program. All flights booked through Flight Ease include 24-hour assistance and Next Port Protection, which means that in case of airline delay or cancellation en route to a cruise, Holland America Line will take care of any flight changes necessary to join the cruise at the next available port of call.

Royal Caribbean International (RCI) announced its new Lowest Airfare Guarantee with Royal Caribbean ChoiceAir. If guests find a cheaper airfare within 24 hours of booking their flights on ChoiceAir, RCI will refund them 110 percent of the difference in onboard credit to spend on their cruise vacation. If the ChoiceAir flight is delayed or cancelled, RCI will work to re-accommodate guests to help them make it to their ship in time for departure or to the next port.

The line also has added enhancements to the NextCruise Open Booking option. NextCruise, for Crown & Anchor Society members, gives guests a reduced deposit of $100 per person ($200 per person for those booking suites) and an onboard booking bonus of up to $200 per stateroom to spend on their next sailing. The Decide Later Open Booking option allows each guest to purchase up to three transferable Open Bookings, and Crown & Anchor Society members can combine the onboard booking bonus with their savings certificate or the Platinum-tier and above balcony and suite discount. Open Bookings are transferred back to the agent on file.

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