[Resolved] Viking River Cruises / booking nightmare
We are in our 70s and were caught with the Viking TV commercial with promise of easy, no worry-travel. We used Viking twice before for flight booking and the cruise and it was good. We recommended them to friends and relatives. This time we booked an Ocean cruise for 2016 thinking we will get the same worry-free experience. After all, that's a lot of saved up money for this worry-free travel. Viking help us book our cruise and our flights from Calgary to Barcelona. To our amazement, they booked us with 2 stops instead of 1 stop to get to Barcelona. Viking booked: Air France: Calgary -> Amsterdam -> Paris -> Barcelona (more expensive ticket and later arrival to destination) It could have been: Air France: Calgary->Amsterdam->Barcelona (early arrival and flight is cheaper) When we asked who booked our flight and why it was booked like this when there clearly a cheaper and efficient way to get to our destination with same airline. We explained that this is causing unnecessary physical and emotional stress for our travel. Not to mention, Paris is under terrorist threat. Viking wanted us to pay $300++ for change fees plus ticket price difference to change flights. They did not acknowledge what so ever that they booked a bad flight for us. They do not care if we get stressed or aggravate our health nor care about terrorist threat to a place. We even called Air France directly to get the flight changed. They said we have to go through Viking as 'BULK discounts were applied' with Viking so pricing is not the same if Air France changed our flights directly. Maybe Viking is looking at their own pocket book instead of passengers safety and interest. I wish we had known this. Definitely not worry free travel. We are super stressed and angry with Viking. You are handcuffed with Viking and all they want is $$$ with every move.
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, Jan 07, 2016
We regret to hear you are dissatisfied in your assigned air schedule and that you’ve undergone such disappointment prior to departure. While we would require your booking information to address your situation specifically, we are happy to provide a bit of clarification.
When you opt for Viking Air, we arrange flight transportation to and from your cruise. Unfortunately, we do not guarantee the shortest or fastest routes. If, instead, you opt to pay for Viking Air Plus, we allow you to customize your own schedule and carriers – picking and choosing your flight preferences.
Additionally, as learned from your conversation with Air France, Viking has contracts with airlines and ticket prices and availability presented to the public often differ from the prices and availability presented to Viking. Therefore, the “cheaper” tickets you witnessed on Air France’s website may be priced differently for Viking, or even unavailable.
Please note that the safety of our guests is our utmost priority and we would not connect you through Paris if there was reason for concern. The Charles De Gaulle airport is a large, central hub where stopovers are commonplace.
We want you to be excited about your upcoming cruise and are interested in reviewing potential resolutions with you. If you wish to do the same, please contact us directly at TellUs@vikingcruises.com.
MargF, we appreciate your loyalty and look forward to your email message.
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