[Resolved] Viking River Cruises / air travel department
In August 2015 my wife and I along with three other couples from Savannah booked a 7 night Viking River Cruise from Amsterdam to Basel for $15, 491.00 per couple. At the same time our local travel agent found $4200.00 per business class flights from Savannah to Amsterdam with one stop in NYC for a 14 hour total flight time. Viking Cruise Agent Igor S. told my wife that Viking could get us from Savannah to Amsterdam in business class for $3800 per ticket with flight details to be arranged later. In order to save $600 my wife agreed to let Viking Cruise arrange our airfare. We have a September 2015 email from Viking/Igor confirming that fact. In March Viking Cruise flight team called my wife and told her that leaving from Savannah we had several choices of flights. We could go through Chicago, Detroit Washington DC or NYC. She told them to go through NYC. In May our tickets came but did not include any flights from Savannah to New York. We had business class tickets with Iberia from NYC to Amsterdam via Madrid for 12 ½ hours of flying. When I called Viking Cruise to ask about the error in ticketing they steadfastly refused to help arrange for our travel from Savannah to NYC. They claim that my wife instructed Viking to leave from NYC and not through NYC. Viking claims that the telephone call recorded my wife saying that she wanted to leave from NYC and not Savannah. Despite multiple attempts to hear the recording we were left hanging. We had already paid Viking Cruise a non refundable $23, 091.00, so my wife and I bought tickets from Savannah to NYC and had to add $850 on top of the cash we had already paid. It took 24 hours of flying in order to get from Savannah to Amsterdam. The Jet Lag was awful. Viking wrecked our cruise even before it started.
From our experience Viking Cruise does not have a customer service department. They have a customer harassment department. They made a dumb mistake and failed to correct it. By not allowing us to hear the recording that Viking Alleges has my wife asking to begin our trip in New York, they are quilty of a simple coverup. In response to an email I sent Viking, their customer service offered us a $100 on board credit at their gift shop. Stated another way, Viking caused us to pay an extra $850 for the discomfort of 10 hours of additional time spent in transit so they could sell us overpriced merchandise from their on board Viking apparel. NO THANK YOU!!!
NEVER AGAIN VIKING.
Customer care service did everything in their power to resolve this complaint. All attempts to contact the complainant have failed. Therefore, this complaint has been annulled and must not be considered where image of the company in question and it's services are concerned.
Viking River Cruises Customer Care's Response, Jul 27, 2016
Dear Dr. Duttenhaver:
We do hope you had an overall enjoyable experience cruising the Rhine River. While we appreciate the frustration you reference about your departure gateway, we wanted to map out the situation in an attempt to understand how the situation unfolded. Below is a bulleted time line for reference.
• August 27, 2015: An invoice was emailed confirming business class airfare from Savannah airport.
• November 17, 2015: Ms. Duttonhaver called to have air removed and refunded; an invoice was emailed confirming cruise only package.
• March 16, 2016: Ms. Duttonhaver added air to the reservation with a departure from John F Kennedy (JFK) airport, confirming she would arrange roundtrip flights from Savanah to JFK. An invoice was emailed in confirmation.
• March 17, 2016: An invoice was emailed confirming departure from JFK
• May 8, 2016: An invoice was emailed confirming departure from JFK
• May 9, 2016: Ms. Duttonhaver called and discussed that the flights had not been ticketed but were scheduled to be.
• May 11, 2016: An air itinerary was emailed confirming the confirmed flight schedule.
• May 12, 2016: You spoke with the Air Team and discussed changing the departure city to Savanah, but you decided not to change the departure gateway.
• May 13, 2016: Flights were ticketed with the original air schedule.
• May 26, 2016: Ms. Duttonhaver called to change the gateway, but she declined to change it because of the airline change fees.
Dr. Duttenhaver, we certainly understand how the situation could have gotten confusing considering you didn’t arrange the flights in March when the air fare was added back to your reservation which is why a shipboard credit was extended to you for use onboard the ship. Shipboard credits are deducted from your final onboard bill that covered any onboard purchases including drinks and shore excursions.
We do hope that this has helped clarify how the situation unfolded because we do not want your last impression of Viking Cruises to be shrouded in disappointment. You are a valued guest and we would very much like another opportunity to work with you again. So we kindly ask you to please contact us at [protected]@vikingcruises.com when you are ready to have another conversation.
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