Here are some questions we often hear at InterlineTravel.com and the answers.
1) I just recently heard of you. How long has InterlineTravel.com been around?
Our parent company, Dynamic Travel & Cruises opened in 1981 in Southlake. Texas. A few short years later InterlineTravel.com was formed. We go back to the days before the internet. We were the first interline agency back then to operate what was called a BBS or bulletin board service. In 1996 we set up our first InterlineTravel.com website. We have had the same ownership since 1981. We serve airline employees worldwide but mostly in North America. We offer cruises, resorts, tours and other products for airline employees and unlike some other interline agencies we charge NO BOOKING FEES!
2) How do your interline rates on cruises compare to other interline agencies?
We have all of the exact same interline rates as other interline agencies as these rates are set by the cruise lines. What we don’t have, that many other interline agencies have, is we have NO BOOKING FEES! This saves our customers up to $100 or more on a cruise booking!
3) I did not know other interline agencies charge a booking fee.
Many interliners do not know they are being charged a booking fee as some interline agencies try very hard to disguise the booking fee. Sometimes they will call it an admin fee or a document verification fee or they will roll it into the taxes the cruise line charges. To see if you are being charged a booking fee, get the total rate from the other interline agency, all taxes, fees, etc, final total amount. Then call InterlineTravel.com at 800 766-2911 and have us tell you the price on the exact same ship, sailing date and category. The difference is the booking fee the other interline agency is charging you.
4) Am I being charged a booking fee for a resort booking or other bookings?
Yes you are. These interline agencies who charge the fee, charge it on every booking whether it is a cruise, resort or tour. Up to $100 or more per booking as their typical booking fee is $50 per person. So for a family of 4 in a cabin or resort room, you are forking over $200 in booking fees that you don’t need to pay!
5) Who qualifies for interline rates?
First we need to see if you are associated with a commercial airline, a cargo carrier like FedEx/UPS or work for a CRS company like Sabre, Amadeus, Worldspan or Apollo as the qualifications vary by vendor.
A commercial airline employee will always qualify and anyone in his or her room or cabin will go at the same rate. Usually the spouse and dependent children will qualify. In most cases retirees of the airlines will qualify along with their spouse. In most cases parents of the employee will qualify and can travel with or without the employee. In a few cases the parent-in-laws will qualify also to travel with or without the employee. Commercial airline employee is considered as such if the airline they work for is a certificate 121 carrier.
In many cases cargo carrier employees (FedEx, UPS) will qualify and again anyone in the room or cabin will go at the same rate. Then usually the spouse and dependent children will qualify. In most cases retirees of the cargo carriers will also qualify along with their spouse. In some cases parents of the employee will qualify and can travel with or without the employee. In a few cases the parent-in-laws will qualify also to travel with or without the employee.
In some cases interline rates are extended to employees, parents and retirees of CRS companies. CRS companies are Sabre, Worldspan, Amadeus, Apollo, etc.
In all cases at the time of booking and when checking in, you will be required to provide a valid airline ID or a letter on airline letterhead dated within 6 months of travel showing you as an employee and entitled to all travel benefits. If you are a retiree, then a retiree ID is needed or a letter on airline letterhead stating you are a retiree of the airline and entitled to all travel benefits. If you are a parent or parent-in-law of the employee then you need to get a letter from the employee on airline letterhead stating you are the parent or parent-in-law of the employee and the employee is eligible for all travel benefits and this letter needs to be dated within 6 months of travel.
You will need to supply InterlineTravel.com with such proof of eligibility with 48 hours of booking or the rate will revert to the public rate.
Employees and retirees of defunct airlines for the most part do not qualify for interline rates. Sorry.
Also in the case of Princess and Holland America, we are not able to book airline employees/parents/retirees who do not live in North America. Sorry.
6) Am I booked on confirmed space or am I booked on a standby basis when booking an interline discounted rate?
At the time of booking you are booked in confirmed space. HOWEVER some cruise lines and resorts do hold the option to bump you should they need to. Normally in the case of a resort we find the resort will move you to a resort of the same or better quality. In the case of the cruise lines, they will reach out and make you an offer, move you to another ship or sailing date and/or allow you to rebook on a later date. In most cases we have found their offer are very fair and in some cases included partial refunds and shipboard credits to make up for the last minute change. I would say less than 1% of our bookings have this issue come up. So it is rare but can happen. After-all you are traveling on an industry discounted rate.
7) Do I need a passport to go on a cruise?
Technically if the ship is sailing roundtrip from a port in the USA and returning to the same port, no as a US citizen, you do not need a passport. HOWEVER, it is highly recommended you have one. The reason is if you get to a foreign destination and something happens, you need to fly home due to an emergency, you miss your ship, etc, then you are now faced with trying to get home without a passport. While not impossible, it is a MAJOR headache to deal with. Passports are good for 10 years. You are in the airline business, Get a passport!
8) I am taking my kids who are under 18, any special rules I need to know about?
If both biological parents are not going then you need a notarized letter from the other parent giving you permission to take the child out of the country. See your family attorney on this matter and the wording that letter needs to have.
9) Can I get more than one cabin at the interline rate when I book?
Sometimes. It all depends on the ship, sailing date and cruise line. Sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t. Depending on who is going and their background there may be ways to separate people and get additional cabins. If not we have access to other discounts that might be close to the interline rate. Rates such as military, past passenger, senior, resident rates, group discounts and other pricing options.
10) If I am traveling with my extended family or planning a wedding can InterlineTravel.com help me and book everyone?
Yes we can. We can be your one stop for everyone. We will insure everyone will get the best rate they qualify for whether it is interline rates for your parents, military discount for your uncle who just got out of the military, past passenger rates for those who have sailed before, resident discounts for folks living in particular states and so forth. Then we will work to get everyone dining together, cabins close to each other (or far apart in some cases) and you don’t have to do a thing but give them our 800 number, 800 766-2911.
11) Do I have to call to book?
No, you can book online most of our cruises and resorts plus many of our hotels, shore excursions, travel insurance and some other vendors. Most of the tours do require you call our office. You can also call to book any of the cruises or resorts and either way you pay NO BOOKING FEES! Our phone number is 800 766-2911
12) Do you offer bump protection like some of the other interline agencies?
Yes we do on the resorts which offer bump protection. Understand bump protection is not something an interline agency offers on it’s own. Bump protection is something many of the all-inclusive resorts offer with their rates. We are happy to extend that bump protection when the resort offers it. None of the cruise lines offer bump protection, so you need to make sure you get to the pier in plenty of time,
13) How late can I book an interline rate on a ship I want to go on?
Assuming the ship does not sell out and assuming the interline rate is still available, the answer would be about 72 hours before departure. The cruise lines have to submit their passenger list to Homeland Security for clearance. For that reason you will find they normally cut it off at around 72 to 48 hours before departure. BUT you are taking the risk the ship will not fill up and the interline rate will still be available. Don’t wait unless you have no other choice.
14) What do you need to book me?
We need your full legal name, dates of birth of everyone traveling. We will also need to know what airline you are with, your phone and email address, your billing address on your credit card and of course your credit card information. Then within 48 hours we need a copy of your airline ID. Then tell us what dining you would like, if you have cruised with that cruise line before and of course the cabin type and location you want.
15) What if I want to cancel? Do I get all of my money back?
When you book with InterlineTravel.com we follow the cancellation fees and policies of the vendor. So if their rules are that when you cancel more than 90 days in advance you get a full refund, then if you cancel 90 days in advance you will get a full refund. The cancellation policies vary by vendor, length of the trip and even by the time of year you will be traveling. Our agents can go over all of that with you at the time of booking. The best thing to do is take our travel insurance which will cover you should you need to cancel due to a medical reason for yourself or a family member. In some cases travel insurance will allow you to cancel for any reason, including a bad hair day! Ask our agents about travel insurance.
One thing that makes us very different from some of the interline agencies, especially the ones who charge you a booking fee, is that we do give you an immediate refund when you cancel. Some of the other interline agencies that charge booking fees actually only issue you a credit which you have to use with them within a year and is subject to another booking fee when you go to use it. At InterlineTravel.com we don’t play games with your money. It’s your money and when you cancel a refund is issued back to the same form of payment as it was made. The refund amount depends on the vendor and when you cancel.
16) I book with you and later the price goes down. Do I get the new lower rate?
It depends. If the rate drops before final payment due date then typically we can reprice your booking at the new lower rate. Now if it is within the final payment date the cruise line will normally not protect your booking at the new lower rate so you would have to cancel, pay the cancel penalty and rebook. If the price drop is big enough it might be worth doing but normally it is not. What we do try to do in those cases where it is within the cancellation period and the price has dropped is to get the cruise lines to get you an upgrade or maybe some shipboard credit to make up some if not all of the difference. Sometimes we are successful doing that and sometimes not. But we do try for you!
17) Where are you guys located?
Our office is at 2325 E. Southlake Blvd. in Southlake, Texas, just northwest of the DFW airport. Our office is open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Noon to 5pm on Sunday. If you are in the area, stop by and say hi!