Although some cruise lines already offer cruises with flights and hotel stays included, it’s not standard practice throughout the industry. It seems that Jetblue looked at this gap in the travel industry and is now offering cruise packages through JetBlue Travel Products.
Guests can now book flights, cruises, and hotels, all through one provider, making the airline the first domestic US airline to offer the packages.
The new JetBlue packages are available for most of the major cruise lines operating in the United States. Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity Cruises can all be booked through the Jetblue website.
While international cruises can often be secured including flights, this is usually done through the cruise lines. The offer from Jetblue will likely produce significant savings.
The program is a part of Jetblue’s plans to expand further on the travel and leisure markets:
“Continuing to build upon the trust that JetBlue has established over the last 20+ years, we want customers to book their entire trip, from flights and cruises to hotels and more, all with us,” said Andres Barry, president, JetBlue Travel Products.
While handling flights is one thing, it is different to handle entire trips for guests from start to finish. Jetblue, therefore, has set up some guidelines that will help them ensure customer satisfaction. These include:
- Same Cruise, New Port: If the airline experiences delays and you miss the ship, you can count on JetBlue to fly you to the first port of call, ensuring you can still enjoy the rest of the vacation.
- Same Cruise, New Dates: If you don’t want to fly to the next port of call when you miss your flight due to a JetBlue delay but prefer to rebook your cruise, this is also possible. However, guests are responsible for paying any differences in the package price.
- Same Date, New Vacation: Missed your flight due to a JetBlue delay, and JetBlue cannot get you to the next port of call? JetBlue will cover up to 150% of the original price for a new vacation.
JetBlue believes being involved in every step of a guest’s vacation will enable them to offer better vacations: “Handling the customer service ourselves, rather than sending them to multiple entities, allows us to go above and beyond while meeting JetBlue standards at every single touchpoint. With cruise lines increasingly beginning to sail again, we’re excited to refresh our package offerings, as we continue to drive ancillaries and build our non-ticket revenue base.”
The thinking behind JetBlue offering the packages is the increasing stress guests experience when booking cruises.
While it was easy enough before, with the various testing procedures before boarding, travel restrictions in place, passengers spend a lot of time searching for flights that will get them to their port on time, doing the math, and accounting for travel time on their own. A company doing this for you does make life that little bit easier.
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Whether or not the cruising public will be interested in booking a trip through an airline remains to be seen.
The cruising public has always been relatively independent when making their bookings, while a large majority of guests have traditionally relied on the services of a travel agent to take care of all travel arrangements.
If nothing else, at least it provides an alternative that could potentially have some exciting cruise deals.