Booking a return flight before noon?

Feb 7th, 2017, 04:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 171
Booking a return flight before noon?


Later this year I will be traveling on an Alaska cruise from Vancouver. Flight options to go home are less than ideal. However, there is one flight that leaves at 11:30AM that's semi-decent. The caveat is that my cruise line doesn't recommend booking return flights until 12 PM or later. I realize it's only 30 minutes and I woluldn't think that would make a huge difference. For the record it would be on Air Canada so I know I wouldn't be clearing US customs until I got to Toronto for my connecting flight back to the US.

The ship is supposed to dock at 8AM, it would be a Monday. I'd plan to disembark the ship as soon as we were able.

I've never flown out of Vancouver Airport before (or been to the city in general).

Thanks for any tips/words of wisdom.
librarychica85 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2017, 11:17 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,506
Your cruise line suggests not booking a flight before Noon because experience has shown them trying to make earlier flights can be problematic. You want others here to tell you it will be OK but "others" aren't the ones taking the chance of a missed flight - you are.

Ask yourself what are your options if you miss your flight and how confident are you that if you miss the earlier flight there will be space available on the next flight? Also, what time do you think you will reasonably be able to disembark from the ship. I'm guessing which an 8am arrival it will be at least 9:30 before you disembark. How long will it take you to get from the Port terminal to the airport? Perhaps 30 to 40 minutes?? If going by taxi expect a long queue so add another 30 minutes wait time. That means you'll arrive at the airport somewhere between 10:30 and 11:00. Then there's airline check in time, security and passport control - not much wiggle room.

I can tell you this, when we flew out of Vancouver last year it was pretty much like any other airport. Check-in lines at Air Canada seemed to move at a snail's pace (and we flew Business Class - lines were longer for Cosch Class), Security lines were the same as at most airports.

I'd follow your cruise line's recommendation and book a flight after 12 noon.
RoamsAround is online now  
Feb 7th, 2017, 01:17 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,426
It's pretty close. You can self disembark and be off the ship asap but remember 0800 is not etched in stone. You have to be cleared by port authorities first. You could be off by as early as say 0815 if all goes well. We once self disembarked in Copenhagen and were waiting at the gangway and were off just a few minutes after scheduled docking time so its possible but dont have the staff take your bags. You must do it.

I would be more concerned about traffic on a Monday at that heavy traffic time and the distance to the airport followed by the time it takes to check in. When we did our thing in Copenhagen it was like 0500 on a Sunday so we breezed to the airport with plenty of time to spare but this is not the case with you.
jacketwatch is offline  
Feb 7th, 2017, 03:55 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,426
I read that the distance from pier to airport is about 15 km. It's up to you. For me that's too tight but I'm one of those super early birds. .
jacketwatch is offline  
Feb 7th, 2017, 03:58 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 171
"You want others here to tell you it will be OK but "others" aren't the ones taking the chance of a missed flight - you are."

I was more just looking to hear about people's past experiences in regards to disembarking from a cruise in Vancouver and then going onto the airport directly after. I realize that each and every scenario will always vary widely since no two things will ever be the same on any given day especially in the world of travel. And believe me when I say I am always the "air on the side of caution" person when it comes to connections (as in I sit around the airport for what seems like forever waiting for my next flight to be safe)

All the same, many thanks to you both for your replies!
librarychica85 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2017, 09:26 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,426
Best of luck with your decision and more importantly enjoy your cruise. Our Alaskan cruise was amazing and the best part is what you can do in ports.

Cheers, Larry
jacketwatch is offline  

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