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Choice Air Experiences?

Cleveland, Ohio
posts: 5
Choice Air Experiences?

I am honeymooning in November. We are taking a Royal Caribbean cruise for the first week and then traveling via train the second week. I want to fly from Cleveland to Rome, and from Paris to Cleveland.

Every website I have found (Kayak, Priceline, Orbitz, the airlines themselves, etc.) lists these flights around $1,335. Choice Air has it for $1,182. I'm extremely nervous because I had never heard of Choice Air before booking my cruise. Is it the same as a Priceline or Orbitz? $300 is a pretty significant savings to us, but not worth it if we will be stranded somewhere.

Does anyone have experience with Choice Air?

27 replies to this topic
posts: 485
reviews: 17
1. Re: Choice Air Experiences?

The major problem with Choice Air is that you do not know what kind of ticket you are purchasing. Some of the Choice Air tickets come with severe restrictions, such as non-endorsability and non-reroutability. Importantly, when you purchase the Choice Air ticket, you cannot determine whether your ticket has these restrictions.

If your flights go as scheduled, you will never know the difference between a Choice Air ticket and one purchased directly from the airline. If you have problems with the flights, you may face sigificant problems that would not occur with an airline-purchased ticket.

You can consider the risks and benefits of purchasing Choice Air tickets, but, whether you purchase your airfare from them or directly from the airline, I strongly urge you not to fly to your departure city on the day of cruise departure. Fly in at least a day early, in case of flight problems.

Cleveland, Ohio
posts: 5
2. Re: Choice Air Experiences?

Thank you! Is it any different than an Orbitz or Priceline ticket? I guess I'm not familiar with the exclusions you listed. Does that mean I could be SOL if my flight is canceled? As the prices continue to rise on other sites, ChoiceAir has stayed pretty consistent. I'm now looking at a difference of about $400 (total).

I plan to fly out two days before, just in case.

The website has allowed me to book time both before and after, which I was worried about since we want to fly out of a different city than the one our cruise ends, and we want to leave a week later.

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
posts: 13,048
reviews: 210
3. Re: Choice Air Experiences?

Is there no way you can book directly with the airline you wish? I personally never make airline reservations with third party booking agents simply because if anything goes wrong you have to work through the problem with the third party agent rather than directly with the airline.

As the previous poster indicated, if all goes well you may notice no difference, but if there is even a small problem it can become much larger before you can get resolution through the airline.

Cleveland, Ohio
posts: 5
4. Re: Choice Air Experiences?

Booking directly with the airline is the same price as all of the Pricelines, Kayaks, etc. I usually book through Orbitz, and in the past when I've had an issue, I've always gone through the airline with no issue. So, if it's the same as those, I would be fine with using them.

Willow Grove
posts: 2
reviews: 2
5. Re: Choice Air Experiences?

We used Choice Air last month for flights to and from our cruiseport Ft Lauderdale. The prices were good, the peace of mind that they would help you make your flight if problems arose..comforting, until...As our luck would be, a major snow storm was expected in our area. The airport that we use, PHL, had flights cancelled and we would have missed the boat if we had waited for the reps from Choice Air to tell us that our plans had changed.....many cruisers met the ship at the first port...Aruba 3 days later. For the past 2 months, I consistently checked our flight reservations with the 2 airlines we were to fly, and on the morning before our cruise--when the storm was almost a nonevent in Phila, I noticed the change. I called Choice Air immediately and the rep was relieved that my husband had suggested that we fly from BWI (an airport 3 hours away that was not effected by the storm). An hour later we realized the fact that our return flight was never changed --our car would be in Baltimore, ourselves in Philadelphia 2 weeks later! Choice Air basically told me to call the airline, myself. Three hours later , our return flight was corrected. Beware of change fees!!! Choice Air is fine if you are proactive and check your flights yourself on the carriers websites throughout your reservation. FYI: yesterday I booked flights for our next cruise myself and we will leave 2 days before our cruise! Live and Learn!!

Cleveland, Ohio
posts: 5
6. Re: Choice Air Experiences?

Thank you! That gives me some piece of mind. I really just wanted to make sure it wasn't a scam. I am very proactive/anal about checking these things, so I'm sure I will be on top of the flight. I will make sure to have all of the applicable phone numbers with me when we go. I'm scheduling it so we could be delayed 24 hours and still get to the port in time (though I really hope that doesn't happen).

posts: 716
reviews: 250
7. Re: Choice Air Experiences?

This is my review of Choice Air. I would not use them again.


Phoenix, Arizona
posts: 5
reviews: 3
8. Re: Choice Air Experiences?

My biggest problem with CA is that most of the agents I've dealt with have been rude, dismissive and some even downright nasty. I work in Customer service myself, and if I spoke to my customers the way the CA agents spoke with me, I would lose my job! They do not try to help, theyb only state policies, etc. I reserveed FLEXFARE airfare from CA for my upcoming RCI transatlantic cruise in November 2013. (I do have to admit that the actual fare to Southampton from Phoenix and return from San Juan on American Airlines was MUCH lower tan any other booking agent or the Airline website itself. CA airfare was $941.40/PP and the cheapest airfare I could find on other sites was about $1500/PP. AA had the price as $2100/PP! )

CA has a $25/PP non-refundable booking fee that is charged for Flexfare reservations. I don't mind paying that fee, but be awarte that ANY CHANGES MADE TO THE RESERVATION even though the ticket has not been purchased yet (payment is not do until final cruise pmt in 8/13) an ADDITIONAL $25/PP fee will be assessed. We changed the reservation from Sunday 3rd Nov to Saturday 2nd Nov to make sure we were at the ship in plenty of time, and were assessd ANOTHER $25 fee PP. Even when the fare dropped in price, to change to the cheaper fare would have cost us another $25/PP fee. That seems rather arbitrary (and greedy) to me.

The whole experience with Choice Air was rather unpleasant, although the savings were there.

Marshalltown, Iowa
posts: 1
reviews: 5
9. Re: Choice Air Experiences?

Here is my simple advice to you if you are even thinking of using ChoiceAir for your airplane tickets to anywhere. Don't. I can't begin to tell you folks how many times they have changed our flight itinerary from November of 2012 to July of 2013. I quit printing them out after the third change. We can't get seat assignments ahead of time, in fact, one customer service representative informed us that we needed to get off our ship quickly, run to the airport and on to our gate in order to get seats back home.

We will never use them again. For the few extra dollars and the comfort you get, I'll book future flights directly through the airlines.

Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,359
reviews: 139
10. Re: Choice Air Experiences?

BangTheDrum, They sound like a nightmare, thanks for posting your experience, hopefully it will help others.

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