Airline Tickets

Discussion in 'Adventures By Disney' started by BluesTraveler, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. BluesTraveler

    BluesTraveler Mouseketeer

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    I know it's a common question whether to book tickets through ABD or independently. Wanted to share my experience - I've been watching flights for Greece and priced out our preferred itineraries all sorts of ways - via Google flights, directly with the airlines, etc.. I called ABD just to see if they had similar pricing/itineraries, and ABD was able to find a better route for significantly less $$ ($1500 per person less - we are flying business). Huge savings, so it's definitely worth making the call.
     
  2. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel

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    That's been my experience, too (although not a $1500 savings!! :eek: )

    Sayhello
     
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  4. Donalyn

    Donalyn DIS Veteran

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    I'm hoping to get a good deal too!
     
  5. CaliKris

    CaliKris Mouseketeer

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    We experienced the same thing with our airfare to Greece. ABD was able to secure us business class seats for just $800 over what we were going to pay for premium economy. This was a significant savings over what I was looking at for the same exact flights!

    Our ABD guide explained that they also book air for cruise customers so they deal with a large inventory and therefore can get great deals.

    We just returned from our ABD Greece trip. Feel free to ask any questions. I didn't think any ABD could beat China, but I think Greece just did!
     
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  6. BluesTraveler

    BluesTraveler Mouseketeer

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    Oh PLEASE tell me how wonderful it is! After Iceland and its too-big-group we need some pumping up!!
     
  7. CaliKris

    CaliKris Mouseketeer

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    I do believe that a lot of travel has to do with expectations, so I don't want to oversell it.

    Some of the things that made this trip great:

    Guides - Mary and Kira. Mary is an experienced Greek guide who helped design the trip for Disney. She is a brilliant lady and a warm and special person. Kira is an experienced guide who ABD seems to be able to slot in anywhere. She is very organized, efficient and a good communicator.

    Itinerary - This trip has been around for a long time so it just runs like clockwork. I think they have this ABD down to a science. It is an excellent mix of incredible sites and outdoor adventure. The longest bus time was 2.5 hours to and from Delphi with a stop both ways and an incredible lunch with a view built into the day.

    Food - The food is not gourmet but just incredibly fresh and tasty. It is Greek food every day but somehow we never got tired of it. All produce is fresh, fish were caught that morning and the creamiest yogurt and cheese I have ever eaten.

    People - The Greek people are very hospitable, friendly and proud of their country and culture. This is something we weren't expecting. They are lovely, passionate people. It also helped that they just came out of their economic crisis so everyone seemed happy.

    Please note we were there during shoulder season so the weather was not too hot and places were less crowded.

    Crete - was an unexpected favorite. The Porto Elounda, where we stayed, is a five star beach and golf resort with top notch service. Crete is a large island and was just not crowded.

    Pace - the pace of this trip was perfect for our family. China was a great trip, but by the end we were just exhausted. This trip we found we had more down time which was much needed and appreciated.

    Some of the things that weren't as great:

    Athens - The sites are incredible. It is very safe to walk around; however, there are pickpockets and gypsies so you must be aware of your surroundings and not make yourself a target. There is graffiti everywhere so be prepared and some areas appeared dirty. Our hotel was nice but not in a convenient location. It has been changed to a new hotel closer to the Plaka for next year.

    Santorini-This was a bit of a disappointment as we have all seen the iconic photos with the blue domed buildings. Well, there is really only one place to get this photo and it was incredibly crowded. Even though we were there in "shoulder season" the narrow pathways in the streets were too crowded. There were 4 cruise ships in port which was why it was so crowded. Again, it is about expectations. We anticipated this would be our favorite location based on photos we have seen and we were really ready to leave after two days (not that it isn't gorgeous.) We did enjoy all our activities there, but it was very touristy.

    Group Size - We had 36 people in our group. When I heard this, I expected long waits at restrooms and photo stops. For whatever reason, this was not the case. We had an incredible group of adults who were always on time or early. The group just jelled really well and everyone was very down to earth. Kira made a point at the beginning of the trip to point out that there are no reserved seats on the bus and to make sure to not always sit in the same place. We never had an issue with people rushing to the bus to get in the front. Also, they used Mercedes buses which were much nicer than the ones we had in China.

    Okay, I think that is enough for now. I hope you enjoy the trip as much as we did. Let me know if you have any other questions.
     
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  8. BluesTraveler

    BluesTraveler Mouseketeer

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    That's perfect, thank you so much. I do think the fact that this is a tried and true trip makes a huge difference.
     
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  9. sandhya

    sandhya Earning My Ears

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    We did this trip exactly a year ago. Calikris is spot on about all aspects of this trip.
    Second ABD for airline tickets, they got us best price for Business class tickets on
    British Airways. Lie flat in the upper deck, can't beat.
     
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  10. carpenta

    carpenta DIS Veteran

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    There is something to say about selecting the right airline tickets. We just inquired about doing an AMA river boat tour with free flights thrown in. But we had to fly economy and fly which ever was selected by the company. No say on connections, just day selected. Not for me.
     
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  11. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel

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    Yuck! I agree with you. No way! Some things are worth paying for.

    Sayhello
     
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  12. OhanaCuz

    OhanaCuz I can finally say that I've been on an ABD.

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    They sure are pushing that deal hard right now! I keep getting emails about it. Very interesting and thanks for sharing those details. I wondered how it worked. I like being in control of my flights to lessen the pain.
     
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  13. Donalyn

    Donalyn DIS Veteran

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    We just called ABD for airfare for our trip next year to Italy, then from Venice to Paris (for a trip to Disneyland Paris) and then home. Overall, the price tag for the tickets were what we were seeing on the Delta website (we live in a hub city, hard not to travel with them, to take advantage of non-stops, etc.) for economy (have to do this, we have already blown the budget on this trip). But, we were able to select seats now and got upgraded to premium economy for our flights into Rome.

    So, we are happy with the results!
     
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  14. jimmymc

    jimmymc Professional Adventurer!

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    Always ask ABD about the airfare. Worst case scenario, ABD can just book the best price you find, and best case is they save you some money or find friendlier connections.
     
  15. sayhello

    sayhello Have Camera, Will Travel

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    I actually had just recently, for the first time in many years, where I ended up *not* booking my airfare through ABD for my trip to Japan. In the past, they've been able to get me exactly what I wanted for less than I could find it, or one time they found a better option for me than what I'd found, for less than what I was looking at.

    But this year, I had a very specific flight I was looking at, on ANA out of Haneda coming back, and ABD just couldn't book it through ANA. So they ended up offering me the same trip as a codeshare through United. But it was for the same price I could book it myself through ANA directly. The big problem with booking it through United was that they could *not* book it as Premium Economy, so I'd have to book it as regular Economy, and then go through ANA to upgrade to Premium Economy. The problem was, they couldn't guarantee me that I could do that, or how much it would cost to do it. AND the ticket would be immediately non-refundable, without the 24-hour grace period you normally get.

    So I would be committed to an economy ticket which I did not know if I could upgrade, or how much it would cost to upgrade if I could.

    In this particular case, there was really no advantage to booking with ABD beyond the ease of cancellation considerations, and there were actually some serious disadvantages.

    So I booked it myself.

    So it's definitely worth checking with ABD, but be sure & do your research first!

    Sayhello
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  16. Jason Martin

    Jason Martin JDM

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    I wanted to share my excellent experience with booking directly with ABD. Booked on the 8/16 London and Paris. Booked flights from Dulles and ended up saving about $150 pp on direct United economy flights. Also their business class quotes were significantly less than the direct
     
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  17. gatordoc

    gatordoc hopelessly addicted...

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    So we're doing our first ABD trip this year and I've been scouring this board for advice - thanks to all!
    Decided to check with ABD regarding flights to Paris with at least the flight across in business class (for lie-flat sleeping overnight), but fine with economy coming back. They quoted me several options, but I was able to find an itinerary on my own for $1000 less per person, business class both ways, and better departure/connection/arrival times. As a caveat, I've been stalking Paris flights since we booked the trip last year, so I have a pretty good idea of what price fluctuations may exist, but in this case it did pay to search on my own.
     
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  18. chloe77

    chloe77 Mouseketeer

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    Any hints? I am also looking for lie flat seats to London or Paris (from Philly). Thanks!
     
  19. gatordoc

    gatordoc hopelessly addicted...

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    My strategy was to set up a daily alert on Kayak for any routes that were possible for me (I live reasonably close to two major airports). Kayak is able to put together trips using code-share airlines you might not consider. So in my example, my entire trip is now confirmed through United, but legs of it were booked through partner airlines at a significant discount to what was listed on the United site (though I’m earning United miles for all of them). You have to stay alert and flexible, too. Last year the best fare that popped up for a few days was on American. And the particular fare that I booked was gone the next day. If you’re not sure you can figure out how to link them all yourself, in some cases you can book directly through Kayak, or you can get your travel agent the info to book for you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
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  20. pjacobi

    pjacobi DIS Veteran

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    If flat seats remain unsold prior to 24-hr checkin, some airlines (United) offer upgrades with point or cash. One flight to Europe I was able to upgrade at last minute to flat seat for only $500.

    I find that flat seats are only of value to me when flying east to Europe. For the westbound return flight to US, I prefer to sit up in a seat.

    Be aware that plane movement is easier to feel when lying flat. If prone to motion sickness, I would avoid a flat seat.


    -Paul
     
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