Airfare cost

We have reserved the Scandinavia tour for next May. Airfares are just starting to be posted from SEA to COP. Has anyone reserved air through Tauck for this tour this year? I am interested in the discounts (if any) Tauck offered over the published fares that existed when your reservations were made.

Thanks,

Carlo

Comments

  • My wife and I have done 8 Tauck trips over past 8 years (including trip starting next week.) For each trip, I did cost/schedule /airline comparisons between booking through Tauck vs booking flights myself. Final score: booked myself, 5 – booked through Tauck, 3. (Ticket cost was primary decider in each case.) (e.g., next week’s trip, at significant cost-advantage, is booked through Tauck; our last-year Scandanavia-trip air-tickets were booked ourselves)

    But a possible additional point for Tauck: In one particular “booked myself” case, and based on flight-attendant strike followed by aircraft-equipment problems, our return-home trip took 47 hours, an unscheduled hotel-overnight, 2 different airlines, and loss of business-class seats (at no reimbursement from airline.) I’m guessing (but don’t know) that had we booked this flight itinerary through Tauck, then Tauck would have stepped in and handled these nightmare logistics much better than I did.
  • Find out what the airfare cost would be through Tauck, but continue investigating on your own. I know that people have said that Tauck can book whatever flights you want; however, for an upcoming trip to Southeast Asia, the exact same flights would have cost me $7700 if I booked the flights through Tauck, but $5380 on my own. My travel agent said that the airline (Emirates) must have been offering some promotional price on a direct booking, but Tauck was committed to its contract price. And, as you know, airfare changes constantly. If you find a good price, grab it.
  • edited August 2018
    Like Phantom, we have booked flights through both. I believe the count is at least 3 Tauck and 8 on our own. There are a number of factors that determine possible savings either way, so a lot depends on what is important to you. The amount obviously depends on whether you fly coach or business class and whether you want to use "reward miles" (you can't use "miles" with Tauck.) But, savings in general depend on where you live, whether you want a specific route, arrival time, etc. and are willing to accept what might not be the most direct or what some might consider circuitous routing, if you want a particular airline, what time of year, etc. Arguably most important if you book yourself, is when you book, especially with business class.

    For our first tour we let Tauck handle our tickets. Not sure if flying from the east coast to Edinburgh, Scotland via Amsterdam was the most direct, but the comparison I did of available fares showed Tauck was lowest or at least comparable. However, I found out later that we earned less than normal miles with Delta (Delta said it was an unpublished discount fare, and pointed me to the fine print that explained why we earned less Skymiles.)

    Lately we've been flying business class and I book at the earliest opportunity- when the so-called 330 day window opens and airlines start accepting bookings- so I get the flights, airplane, seats, and route I want (I have never seen business class fares go down. They only go up, sometimes as much as double, the closer you book to the tour date!) By booking at the first opportunity, I always beat Tauck fares. Two years ago, we made a late decision, less than 6 months(?) before departure, to book a tour. Except for some lengthy, multi-stop routes, Tauck beat anything I could find.

    But, if you don't want to deal with flight research or mess with all the details on your own, and think you might use or need their lenient cancellation and book-now-pay-later policies, go with Tauck.
  • Thanks everybody for your input. When I made our reservations in Feb I gave the Tauck rep the airline and the seats we wanted given what I could see 11 months out. When reservations opened up for our tour Tauck reported the reservations were made and the price for Premium Econ was less than 1/2 what I could book myself. 2 weeks later they confirmed the seats I had requested. I entered our confirmation number on the airline site and they were showing the flights and seats I had requested. This is our 4th Tauck tour and we have always booked flights at great prices from SEA to Europe with Tauck. The lower price is nice but the bonus for is is the drivers that Tauck sends to pick us up at the beginning of the tour and deliver us to the airport at the end. Everything is always first class.

    Thanks again for your replies.

    Carlo
  • edited August 2018
    Carlo, I hate to tell you this but every Tauck tour includes being picked up from the airport. You do not have to book your flights with Tauck for this service as long as you let Tauck know at least three weeks in advance what your flights numbers are. They will even pick you up from the local train station at the destination and take you to the Tauck hotel.
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