Air Travel Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

  • Announcement:
  • Recent Spam Attacks
    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
View all Air Travel activity »
  1. 1 Jat Airlines? (AKA Serbia Airlines?)
  2. 2 Lufthansa or Condor Air
  3. 3 UA New (?) Economy Class Fare
  4. 4 Connection Time at Heathrow.
  5. 5 Norwegian Air - What's the catch?
  6. 6 LAX Domestic to Int'l Connx
  7. 7 Traveling to Spain in March
  8. 8 Flying through Istanbul onto Montenego-Safety?
  9. 9 Premium Economy Virgin Atlantic
  10. 10 Help with Seats on KLM Flight
  11. 11 Google Flights ?
  12. 12 FLL Navigating Fort Lauderdale airport
  13. 13 Logging into my Aadvantage account
  14. 14 Does a OneWorld Explorer ticket make sense?
  15. 15 Flying "Backwards"
  16. 16 Europe (Lisbon) to Miami: Iberia or Lufthansa in terms of cabin comfort?
  17. 17 Asking for a sandwich in lieu of a hot meal
  18. 18 Reclining Seats in BA Premium Econ?
  19. 19 Delta and Virgin
  20. 20 Cancellation of Thai Airway return trip ticket
  21. 21 Newark connection
  22. 22 connection in jfk for only 90 minutes
  23. 23 Which airline for Paris/Nice?
  24. 24 Ticket spelling error with Orbitz
  25. 25 Cooperating with Airport Security
View next 25 » Back to the top

Around the World Fare on OneWorld?

Jump to last reply

Hi, I’m hoping for a little advice on this forum! I am thinking about booking an around the world ticket & have been doing my research & reading this forum, but my head is spinning with all the calculations (ie – cheaper to depart from overseas vs US, etc). I am toying around with a couple options & am trying to figure out what would work best. Our dream itinerary is New York – LA - Papeete – Sydney – Johannesburg – Istanbul – Rome – Paris - JFK. I was trying to figure out how to fit in Hong Kong or Moscow, but am not sure how to do it without backtracking. My boyfriend & I are both OneWorld members & have about 500,000 miles between us. We would like to go first class – either using miles or paying if we can get a good fare. I’ve tried entering my itinerary into their website, but the price comes up as around $30k! What is the best way to try to book this & get the best route & deal? Also, has anyone used Emirates around the world tickets? It looks like you can only have 6 stops, but the price seems good at 8k to go in Emirates first class which I’ve heard is very nice! Any advice on how to book this is greatly appreciated! Thank you so much for helping with our dream trip!!

  • Report Abuse

    Two threads to review, one here, one on TripAdvisor:

    http://www.fodors.com/community/air-travel/considering-an-around-the-world-ticket.cfm

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i10702-k7409073-About_round_the_world_RTW_tickets-Viaje_en_avion.html

    ------

    First, your proposed route is one in which business class is preferable, not first class. Many international routes (the vast majority) don't offer first class any more, but international business class is (for most people) plenty deluxe enough, in many cases easily exceeding older first class standards.

    Second, even with 500,000 AA miles between you, you don't have enough for two people to do the route you've described. AA has gone to a one-way award basis, so the mileage requirement in business class for your proposed itinerary would be the sum of all the individual legs, e.g. JFK-LAX, 25,000 miles, LAX-PPT 62,500 miles, PPT-SYD 30,000 miles, and so on. I make the total around 300,000 miles per person. You could reduce that total by eliminating short flights or some stopovers, e.g. New York to Tahiti “costs” the same miles as LAX to Tahiti, so by skipping LAX you’d save 25,000 miles, while in Europe you could just buy local tickets and save the miles for long-haul flights.

    Third, but even doing so (editing your award flights) on an ambitious mileage trip like yours, award availability becomes a bigger problem, particularly to destinations that are not heavily served such as Tahiti. Depending on how long you plan to stop over at your destinations, planning award flights with "rifle shot" precision is pretty tough, and things can turn into dominoes if one segment in your itinerary is unobtainable when you want it, leading to a squeeze down the line, if you get my drift. Plus some of your routes, such as Sydney to Joburg, virtually never have business class award availability – Qantas is very protective of its own flyers.

    And fourth, not all mileage trips are "free" when you add in taxes and "carrier imposed fees" like fuel surcharges etc.

    Now I'm not saying your miles are useless, far from it. But "earning and burning" FF miles is something of an art, and using them strategically is important. Think of them as currency that you can spend - either wisely or not so smartly, depending on the circumstances. Just having a wallet full of money doesn't mean you should blow it on a bad deal, right?

    So...

    Assuming you were stay with Oneworld, a couple of observations.

    1. Tahiti is not served by any Oneworld airlines. You can use one type of Oneworld RTW product (the Global Explorer) to get there using Air Tahiti planes on certain routes, but the Global Explorer product has a number of limitations, namely a mileage limit that could hamper your flexibility over time.

    2. With short hops like Istanbul to Rome, or Rome to Paris, RTW tickets are poor value. With the ticket you’re spending a lot for up to 16 flights, and when you divide the cost by 16, you get a per-flight average that usually is much higher than the cost of simply taking the train from Rome to Paris, or flying on some cheap airline from Istanbul to Rome. Especially in business class, RTW tickets deliver the maximum value on longer flights, or flights to more remote or under-served places where the “walk up” price is very high.

    And a couple of questions.

    1. When is the trip, and how long do you plan to be gone? RTW tickets are good for a year, and because you don’t have to worry so much about availability (since they’re paid tickets, now awards) you have the ability – should you choose – to pace yourselves.

    2. Do you have any other travel plans or obligations outside the RTW? For example, do you want to travel (or need to travel) around North America at some point in the coming year or 18 months?

    3. How negotiable are you on the individual destinations? For example, could you substitute Hawaii for Tahiti, or maybe somewhere on the tropical islands off Australia or New Zealand? Or for that matter some Indian Ocean beaches in South Africa?

    Why I’m asking: The Oneworld Explorer RTW product (Oneworld’s biggest seller and in my view the best RTW product out there) doesn’t have any mileage restriction. Instead, it’s priced according to how many continents you touch in the course of the trip, from three (North America, Asia, Europe) up to six (including South America, Africa and/or the “Southwest Pacific” – meaning Australia, NZ et al.) Unlike the Global Explorer, however, you have to use only Oneworld member airlines, so if a member airline doesn’t physically fly someplace (such as Tahiti) you can’t include that destination as part of your ticketed itinerary. You can, of course, buy tickets “outside” the RTW ticket and many people do so for such flights.

    But the big benefit of the OWE has to do with my first two questions. Because there’s no mileage limit, and because the ticket’s good for a year, it allows you – should you desire – to craft a trip which is in fact several trips, separated by weeks or even months.

    You’re right that the tickets are priced differently – hugely so in some cases – depending on where you start and end the trip. At the moment, because of the strong dollar, there are several places around the world where a Oneworld Explorer ticket, or a Global Explorer ticket, costs around half what it does in the US.

    So imagine you buy your 16-flight, business class ticket somewhere on the far side of the Atlantic from the US, say in the (northern) springtime. You travel around Europe or the Middle East (regarded as part of Europe for these purposes) then use the ticket to fly home and go back to work or school, whatever.

    Over the next few months, you use the ticket to travel around North America (which includes Central America and the Caribbean.) Maybe a trip in mid-summer to Alaska, or to California, or to Costa Rica or…? With the OWE you’re allowed six flights within North America, all of them in business or first class.

    Then it’s time to head across the Pacific to Australia. Visit Sydney, and maybe swap Tahiti for Lord Howe Island, or Cairns up on the Great Barrier Reef, or the tropical Whitsunday Islands off the Queensland coast, or maybe hop over to New Zealand and visit the Bay of Islands three hours north of Auckland.

    Then back to Sydney and then to Joburg. Maybe head up to Kruger Park or to Victoria Falls, maybe down to Cape Town. Regardless, the flights are covered, and when you’re done with southern Africa, you return to where you started, the ticket and the trip completed.

    In this scenario, you’ve had at least three, possibly four or more separate vacations – one when you go to pick up the ticket, a second or third while you’re back home in North America, a third or fourth one in Oz/NZ followed by Africa, and maybe a fourth or fifth one at the end of the RTW before you fly home.

    Where are the “cheap” places to buy business class RTW tickets? Well, this changes from time to time, and it’s all relative, but at the moment the lowest-cost origin points for business class Oneworld RTW tickets are South Africa, Egypt, and Japan, with Israel and Jordan not too far behind. And because of the dollar’s strength, even western Europe is considerably cheaper than in the US, although nothing like the spread between the US and South Africa or Egypt/Japan.

    For example, this itinerary, starting in New York using the Oneworld Explorer ticket - http://tinyurl.com/kth4mz8 - would cost around $11,600 plus taxes. But this itinerary, starting in Cairo - http://tinyurl.com/o7kygzx - would cost $5,771 per person plus taxes – less than half.

    How do you get to Cairo (or Cape Town, where the same itinerary would cost around $500 less than Cairo)? Simple, use all those miles you’ve been accumulating. And if you’re dead set on Tahiti, use the same miles for an award trip from Auckland or Australia while you’re in the neighborhood.

    It’s not like the miles will be useless, in fact on a paid RTW ticket like the second itinerary, you’d earn anywhere from 75,000 to over 120,000 FF miles each in the course of the trip.

    This goes back to my earlier questions. How much do you want to travel going forward? I can only offer a personal example. Around 10 years ago my wife and I decided to emphasize travel in our lives. We started with an RTW trip that took is for the first time to South Africa, where we fell in head-over-heels love with the place.

    From then on, we got into a pattern where we’d buy business class RTWs every other year, then use all the miles we’d banked in the “off” year, then repeat the next cycle. Doing so, we ended up paying roughly $6K (after taxes) every two years, for which we got the 16 flights in the RTW ticket, plus anywhere from 4 to 6 flights (all in business or first class) the following year. It averaged out to less than around $300 per flight, which is pretty good from New York to Miami, but hell on wheels for New York to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific.

    That’s us – it may not be you – but it illustrates the power of these tickets. And you can go damn near anywhere; let your imagination soar. Easter Island? Siberia? The Maldives? Tierra del Fuego? The Kalihari? Carnival in Rio or Edinburgh for New Years? Piece of cake.

    This is long-winded, as usual, but it’s a subject that I’m a little geeky about. Feel free to ask questions, which will have equally tedious and long answers.

  • Comment has been removed by Fodor's moderators

  • Comment has been removed by Fodor's moderators

  • Report Abuse

    Hi Gardyloo,
    Thank you so much for your advice! I have been researching on the Forum & saw your name pop up on several ‘round the world’ threads, so I’m very appreciative you commented on mine! You definitely brought up some excellent points that I had not considered since I’m a novice at this. I would say I’m a fairly seasoned traveler, but have never attempted this type of trip before. To answer your questions-

    1. This is a very last minute trip we are trying to plan due to a change in work schedules, so we would like to leave mid/late April! We plan on being gone maybe 6-8 weeks. I realize that many flights may already be unavailable, but the good news is we are really pretty flexible on our destinations. I do have some “must sees” I would like to get to, but I realize planning very last minute you can’t get everything you want. Also, it’s a great idea to use some of our miles to get to places that are not available on the RTW ticket.

    2. We don’t have any further travel plans in the next year. Perhaps we would plan one more trip, but since we would be travelling 6+ weeks with this trip, that will probably be about it for us. I realize you can really get maximum value by stretching out the RTW tickets but I’m not sure that we will be able to do that. I actually questioned if a RTW tickets was the way to go for us, but it seems like if I booked all this business class one way tickets separately, it would add up to a lot more.

    That being said, I have now ruled out using miles so I’m open to using any carrier – Star Alliance or One World. Maybe it makes sense to use One World because I do fly American a lot & wouldn’t mind getting status there. I also still am thinking of looking into the Emirates RTW (even though it only makes six stops). Do you have any knowledge about what they offer? From their website, it appears they only stop in certain cities but that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

    I do have a couple more questions for you, if you don’t mind. You mentioned to book business class instead of first. Would these int’l business routes have lie flat seats? This is something important to my boyfriend. I suppose once I narrow down my route, I can research specific planes. Also, I read the other thread which talked about booking tickets thru the South African AA travel desk for better prices. So do I have 2 options to find better deals? Either starting my trip in another country, or booking my trip within another country? I’ve been putting sample itineraries into OneWorld Explorer website & am still coming up with fares such as $25k. Do you suggest I just change origins/destinations to come up with something I’m satisfied with? I was hoping to find a ticket around $10-12k (business or first). It seems like that is possible based on what I have read?

    Thanks again so much for spending the time to share your expertise. I am really learning a lot! :)

  • Report Abuse

    The amount of time and effort needed to plan a trip such as the one descirbed by the OP shouldn't be underestimated. Figuring out which carriers to use, figuring out the scheduling, figuring out the time of year that you'd want to be in each of the places -- that's just some of the considerations.

    That said, and considering your parameters, here's one suggestion:

    Use your AA miles to get a one-way ticket to Japan. Then, start a RTW trip in Tokyo or Osaka/Kyoto, on Star Alliance, with the following flights:

    1. Tokyo or Osaka - Hong Kong
    2. Hong Kong - Sydney
    3. Sydney - Singapore - Johannesburg (either stop in Singapore for a while, or just chnge planes to JNB)
    4. Joburg - Istanbul
    5. Istanbul - Rome
    6. Rome - Paris (via Munich or Frankfort or Zurich)
    7. Paris to NYC (via Munich or Frankfort or Zurich)
    8. NYC to Tokyo

    You don't have to use the NYC - Tokyo portion right away -- it's valid for 1 year from the date of your flight from Japan to Hong Kong. Then, again use your AA miles for a flight from Tokyo back to NYC -- this gives you maybe a long weekend in Japan.

    My quick calculation is the mileage would be just under 34,000 miles, and the price before taxes and fees will be $7,180. The reason that the price is so (relatively) low is that the trip starts in Japan; if you started the same trip in NYC, the ticket cost before taxes/fees would be $12,448. (Do be aware that taxes and fees can be substantial.)

    With that itinerary, Papeete and LA would not be included. You could, of course, arrange to fly to Papeete from Sydney on a separate ticket.

    You could do something similar using OneWorld, though getting to/from your destinations in Europe would be much more problematic.

  • Report Abuse

    Not-so-quick answers -

    I don't know much about the Emirates RTW ticket - I think it's pretty new, and the prices that I could find are not especially compelling compared to tickets with MUCH more flexibility using the likes of Oneworld or Star Alliance.

    Regarding lie-flat seats. Yes, most longhaul routes in business class have lie-flat. There might be some so-called "regional" flights in Asia, or certainly many domestic first/business short-haul flights in North America, that don't have lie-flat, but virtually any intercontinental or transoceanic flight will. With the alliance RTW tickets you can choose between carriers on various routes, e.g. NYC - Europe, to pick the carrier that offers the best amenities according to your tastes.

    As for when and for how long, of course I get it. The time frame (sounds like April - June) is relevant more with respect to what conditions are like when you're going - for example January in Queensland is extremely hot and humid, and the water is full of very dangerous jellyfish, while June is late autumn in Kruger National Park in South Africa, when the foliage is off the trees, making wildlife viewing a little easier, and the mosquitoes (hence the need for anti-malaria drugs) are pretty much gone. Things like that. But April - June is pretty benign in most parts of the world where you'd be traveling, with the possible exception of Tahiti, where April can still be very warm and humid (gets better by June.)

    The difference in prices requires you both pay for and begin/end the trip in the "selling" country. If you begin the trip in, say, France, but pay for the trip in the US, you'll be charged the US originating price, thousands more than the French one. You get around this by either buying the ticket online using the Oneworld Explorer online tool - https://rtw.oneworld.com/rtw/ - or by using a travel agent in the country of origin, or (usually easier) an airline office in the origin country, such as American Airlines' "general sales agent" in South Africa, or similar "GSAs" in countries like Egypt. In the case of American Airlines, they have a "round the world" desk in the US (1-800-247-3247) where you can set up an itinerary and have them price it for sale in your country of origin. You then phone (Skype) or email the overseas office and arrange payment by credit card. The ticket is then issued as an e-ticket, so all you have to do to start the trip is turn up at the originating airport, check in and fly.

    Note the online tool mentioned above is only for the Oneworld Explorer (continent-based) RTW ticket; the Global Explorer or any of the related products, such as Circle Pacific, have to be booked via the RTW desk or via a travel agent/GSA, but the same approach holds - set up the itinerary for origination and payment in the foreign country.

    Given the time of year you’re starting and the length of time you have, I’d be inclined to begin the trip in Europe or the Middle east, then head south and east from there.

    Here’s a scenario – fly to Europe using your miles, maybe to Paris or Rome. Tour around for a week or two, then hop a cheap flight to Cairo (maybe $200 from Rome, $160 from Istanbul.) If you don’t want to visit Egypt, just stay in the airport and begin your ticket there (having already set up the ticket in Egypt using AA’s GSA/agent, Emeco, who have arranged umpteen RTW tickets over the years.) Fly from Cairo to Doha (Qatar Airways, a Oneworld member) then change planes and continue south to Johannesburg or Cape Town.

    Visit southern Africa – Cape Town, maybe a safari or maybe Mauritius (amazing culture, beaches) then fly to Sydney on Qantas. Maybe visit Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) or head up to Queensland for the Great Barrier Reef, or Melbourne for a drive out the Great Ocean Road, over to New Zealand, whatever.

    Maybe stop in Hawaii on your way back to the US, then return to your lives, but at some point before the year’s up, use a long weekend to return to Europe or the Middle East – maybe an autumn weekend in Spain, or what about a couple of days in the late winter in the Galilee in Israel, or at Petra? Or Dubai? (One of the good features of the Oneworld Explorer is that trips beginning in the Middle East can end anywhere else in the Middle East, e.g. Israel, Jordan, whatever.) Here’s an imaginary map - http://tinyurl.com/osga3ne Fly home on your miles.

    The price of this ticket would be around $5700 plus taxes and fees per person, so probably in the neighborhood of $6300 (could be a bit less depending on your choice of operating airlines) all in.

    It packs a lot into 6 or 8 weeks, but it’s very doable. Our first ticketed RTW started with a few days in Europe (at the time Istanbul was the “cheap” origin point) then returned for several months back at work in the US, followed by around 6 weeks during which we went to Australia via Hawaii, then across to South Africa, and back up to Europe. It wasn’t tiring at all, but what it certainly did was whet our appetites for more. I put together a little photo record of that trip on my website here - http://gardyloo.us/rtw05.htm

    Think about where you'd like to go and for how long, and from that it's really very easy.

    Oh, a separate thought. For the same price as the 4-continent Oneworld Explorer, you could buy a 34,000 mile business class Global Explorer that would allow you to include Tahiti, Easter Island, and Santiago Chile should you choose, with a route like this - http://tinyurl.com/kjxasav

  • Report Abuse

    My experiences with RTW fares has been with the excellent consolidator, Airtreks. I've been using them for years for my multi-continent travels. They're infinitely flexible, you aren't limited by an alliance, you work with an agent after your initial inquiry and they are perfectly amenable to combining flights you book with your miles with the parts of the itinerary you book with them, as I did on my last go-around. They include basic insurance with their fares and even covered me free of charge on the trans-pacific segment I booked with my Aadvantage miles.

    You can get a fare range for your itinerary by using their interactive Trip Planner, then fine tuning is done with a real person. It's fun to play with: http://tripplanner.airtreks.com/HtmlUi?

  • Report Abuse

    Thanks so much for all of the comments & suggestions! I really appreciate it so much.

    Thanks again Gardyloo, for your advice & also the link to your photos! Seeing your Africa photos really puts it at the top of my list. Although, I would not be too happy if there was a cobra next to my room!

    We are going to work on our itinerary in the next week or so, and then price it from there using all of your suggestions. I think planning is half the fun of it for me! I will keep you posted, and may be back with more questions :)

  • Report Abuse

    Great...seriously thinking about this... one question...any booking limitations on seat availability as when using miles...or are all seats available to book with the owe ticket?

  • Report Abuse

    Great...seriously thinking about this... one question...any booking limitations on seat availability as when using miles...or are all seats available to book with the owe ticket?

    Yes, the tickets book into specific fare categories or "buckets" - "L" for economy, "D" for business class, and "A" for first class. In general these buckets are available on most flights, but there are occasions when they're not and you might have to wait a day or two for them to open. This is quite rare; I don't recall having to work around any availability troubles in many many flights. It's nothing like having to search for mileage seats.

  • Report Abuse

    > are all seats available to book with the owe ticket?

    The seats are limited, but not nearly as limited as award seats. In my experience, it has always been possible to get the flights I wanted in 1st or business when booking 2 or 3 months out, and often possible to get the flights I wanted when booking only a couple of weeks out. I have heard that there are a couple of routes (maybe to South America and to Australia) where availability is definitely limited, however.

  • Report Abuse

    Gardy & don...thanks...very helpful. Our little doggie is 17...we are on hold until .... what we are referring to as the "memorial tour"....have to (happily)limit travels a bit until then... but this sounds like the perfect plan.

  • Comment has been removed by Fodor's moderators

  • Report Abuse

    Hi Gardyloo....your posts have helped me immeasurably in crafting an RTW itinerary. I will give you an overview of where I am now and the final questions I have.

    I had already bought RT tix to CPT in February (10-28th) from my home city of MEM. Given the cost benefit of purchasing a RT in SA, my thoughts were to use this as a jumping off point to buy a RTW business class ticket. Proposed itinerary would be JNB-HKG-NRT-SYD-EZE-JFK-MEM (return home late April). Then in August do MEM-SFO-ORD-MAD-FCO-PRG-LHR-JNB.

    I would then change the back end of my initial ticket to fly back to home in October from JNB.

    Now my questions.....

    I have entered into OneWorld itinerary planner. The Feb to April dates I can easily get flights. For the August piece, obviously the flight are not in the OW system yet so I would just enter placeholder dates, recognizing I can change dates for free later on when flights available in OW system (correct??).

    The OW prices the itinerary in SAR's and it looks like I can complete a purchase online. I would then assume I would have an e-ticket that I would pick up in conjunction with my February presence in SA, or, do I need to have it ticketed in SA in person (which might be too close to trip to get flight schedules I want) ??

    Lastly, how far in advance is it practical to purchase ticket ?? The cost isn SAR's is roughly 137,000 which equates to a little over $10k USD. Given I am still 6+ months out from even my initial trip, what would you recommend as a timeframe to purchase so as not to have to lay out the $10k now or in the next 60 days for example ??

    Anything glaringly in error with my thought process / planning ??

    Greatly appreciate your wisdom. Thanks.

  • Report Abuse

    Okay, a couple of things. First, Oneworld raised the price for business class RTWs originating in South Africa by quite a lot a couple of months ago. Then there was a flurry of people buying RTW tickets out of Mozambique, where the business class fare evidently hadn't been updated for years, leading to them scoring tickets for under US$4000. Then Oneworld caught that and immediately increased the fares from there too (although they're still cheaper than ex-South Africa.) So as of today, the cheapest place to start business class RTWs (in USD terms) is no longer South Africa but is now Egypt. (That, too might be temporary; nobody knows.)

    Another major change is that you can now book RTW tickets from anywhere, with the price set as the one that prevails in the country of the first flight. This was always possible using the online tool, but the online tool was so buggy that you'd pull your hair out trying to get it to do what you wanted, then it would freeze when you're trying to pay. Now, however, you can simply phone the American Airlines RTW desk, tell them your route and pick flights, and they'll put the ticket together and send it off to their tariff people for pricing, then you can pay AA over the phone (the price will be the South African or Egyptian one, whatever, converted to USD) and you're good to go. This is a HUGE improvement over using the #@! tool.

    So back to your plans. One of the things you'll need to do is fully populate the flight list. Oneworld doesn't have any direct flights (one flight number) from JFK to Memphis, for example, and while they do have one from La Guardia, the simple cross-town connection in NYC consumes one of the 16 available segments in the whole ticket, NOT a good use of a segment. Same goes for Heathrow to Gatwick, CDG to Orly, etc.

    Nor does Oneworld have any nonstop flights from Sydney to Buenos Aires or Rome to Prague, so the intermediate flights need to be included. Thus your actual route would have to be something like JNB-HKG-NRT-SYD-SCL-EZE-DFW-MEM-DFW-SFO-ORD-MAD-FCO-LHR-PRG-LHR-JNB with the bold cities either added or substituted (e.g. DFW for JFK after MEM.) Maybe you've already accounted for these in your plans; the online tool will require them anyway.

    But I'll throw out this BIG question: How important is South Africa to you on this trip, and would you be willing to go through the effort to change your origination city if it could save a lot of money?

    Case in point, a DONE6 (business class, six continents) which you're starting with, has a base price of US$8966 originating in South Africa. A DONE6 originating in Cairo, on the other hand, has a base price of $6599. If you excluded Africa from your trip, you'd need a DONE5, with a base price ex-Egypt of $5653, over $3300 less than the price you'd now pay for the JNB departure. And even if you still wanted to visit South Africa, there are many business class round trip fares out of western European cities for under US$2000 through most of the year, so even doing the South African leg separately, you'd still be money ahead.

    A six-continent ticket originating in Cairo could have a route something like this: CAI-DOH-JNB-HKG-NRT-SYD-SCL-EZE-DFW-MEM-DFW-SFO-JFK-FCO,PRG-LHR-TLV, while a 5-continent ticket which skips Africa could look like CAI-DOH-HKG-NRT-SYD-SCL-EZE-DFW-MEM-DFW-SFO-JFK-MAD-PRG,FCO-DOH. Use the Great Circle Mapper - http://gc.kls2.com - to see these on a map.

    (Note in both the above cases I've use a surface segment (separate flight or train) between Rome and Prague. This is because the RTW rules only allow 4 flights total in the Europe/Middle East region (and only two stopovers) if you originate the ticket in Europe/ME. There are no intercontinental nonstops out of Cairo, hence the first flight has to be within Europe or the Middle East. You're also allowed, however, to finish in any Middle Eastern city if you start in one, so in the first case I had you ending in Israel, and in the second one in Qatar. You could play with these options yourself.

    Since you've already purchased your ticket to SA, one thing you might do is phone the airline and find out what the cost differential would be to exchange it for a ticket to Cairo. They might give you full credit, less a change fee, to make the switch. It's certainly worth the price of a call.

    Finally, as to timing: DO IT NOW. As you can see from the South African experience, the prices can and do change, sometimes a lot, with no notice. Spending $125 for a re-issue, or spending $0 for date changes, is well worth it once you've locked in the base price.

    Another lengthy post, sorry, but hope it's helpful.

  • Report Abuse

    Thanks....here is how itinerary planner came out.This is a direct print of what I input. Sector 3 is from SYD to BUE via JFK on Quantas/AA. Sector 4 is BUE to MEM via JFK all on AA.
    Sector 10 Rome to Prague is on Finnair. The total segments is 16 in the itinerary planner.

    Itinerary Name : ROUND TRIP JNB

    Cabin Class : BUSINESS
    Adult Passengers: 1
    Child Passengers: 0

    Number of Continents: 6
    Number of Segments : 16
    Number of Stopovers : 11

    Sector 1. JNB HKG 02/Mar/2017 + 1 day
    JNB HKG CX748
    1230 0700 (operated by Cathay Pacific Airways)
    Stops: 0 Via: Booking Class: Business
    Sector 2. HKG TYO 08/Mar/2017
    HKG TYO CX524
    0105 0615 (operated by Cathay Pacific Airways)
    Stops: 0 Via: Booking Class: Business
    Sector 3. TYO SYD 19/Mar/2017 + 1 day
    TYO SYD JL771
    1930 0715 (operated by JAL)
    Stops: 0 Via: Booking Class: Business
    Sector 4. SYD BUE 02/Apr/2017 + 1 day
    SYD BUE QF11/AA953
    0950 0936 (operated by Qantas/ operated by American Airlines)
    Stops: 1 Via: NYC Booking Class: Business/Business
    Sector 5. BUE MEM 10/Apr/2017 + 1 day
    BUE MEM AA954/AA4465*
    2030 1310 (operated by American Airlines/American Airlines operated by REPUBLIC AIRLINES AS AMERICAN EAGLE)
    Stops: 0 Via: NYC Booking Class: Business/First
    Sector 6. MEM CHI 01/Jun/2017
    MEM CHI AA3277*
    1236 1420 (American Airlines operated by ENVOY AIR AS AMERICAN EAGLE)
    Stops: 0 Via: Booking Class: First
    Sector 7. CHI SFO 04/Jun/2017
    CHI SFO AA1220
    0740 1022 (operated by American Airlines)
    Stops: 0 Via: Booking Class: First
    Sector 8. SFO MAD 08/Jun/2017 + 1 day
    SFO MAD AA36
    1021 0900 (operated by American Airlines)
    Stops: 1 Via: Booking Class: Business
    Sector 9. MAD ROM 17/Jun/2017
    MAD ROM IB3230
    0845 1115 (operated by Iberia)
    Stops: 0 Via: Booking Class: Business
    Sector 10. ROM PRG 20/Jun/2017
    ROM PRG AY782/AY717
    1120 1845 (operated by Finnair/ operated by Finnair)
    Stops: 0 Via: HEL Booking Class: Business/Business
    Sector 11. PRG LON 23/Jun/2017
    PRG LON BA855
    1115 1230 (operated by British Airways)
    Stops: 0 Via: Booking Class: Business
    Sector 12. LON JNB 03/Jul/2017 + 1 day
    LON JNB BA55
    1905 0705 (operated by British Airways)
    Stops: 0 Via: Booking Class: Business

    The South Africa was the impetus for my original trip. I am seeing the RTW as an add on since I will already be there.

    Dont know it the above

    I understand your comments about Egypt. I have looked into pricing a ticket from CPT to Cairo and can do for $556.00 per Skyscanner. So the only question now is re working itinerary to leave from Cairo with hopefully the original routing.

    Your thoughts ?? I appreciate the info in your above reply. I had noticed the change in cost as when I originally started playing around with this plan it was $2500 cheaper.

  • Report Abuse

    This is a basic question, I know, but having checked the rules on the OW website, I didn't see it answered. Must one return to the point of origin? For instance, if the RTW itinerary begins in Cairo, must I return to Cairo on the final flight segment?

  • Report Abuse

    This is a basic question, I know, but having checked the rules on the OW website, I didn't see it answered. Must one return to the point of origin? For instance, if the RTW itinerary begins in Cairo, must I return to Cairo on the final flight segment?

    You generally have to end in the same country (not necessarily the same city) where you started, but there exceptions:

    - You can end in the US or Canada if you start in either.
    - You can end anywhere in Africa if you start in Africa.
    - You can end anywhere in the Middle East if you start there.
    - You can end in Malaysia if you start in Singapore or v.v.

    ...and maybe one or two others I'm forgetting.

  • Report Abuse

    Thanks, Gardyloo. I figured it was something like that and definitely cuts into the savings when buying a start point far from home. I suppose if I timed it right I could suffer a "spell" just before boarding in California for the last flights.

  • Report Abuse

    Hi Gardyloo.....well here is where I am at. I have entered itinerary starting in CAI-LHR-HKG-NRT-SYD-SCL-EZE-JFK-SURFACE-LGA-MEM-ORD-SFO-MAD-FCO-SURFACE-LHR-CAI. Oneworld shows as 16 segments.

    My problem is I can't get it to price online (The JNB routing did price online with no problem). I called RTW desk at AA and BA and they both tell me that it cannot be paid for in Egyptian Dollars, must be USD.

    Suggestions as to how to accomplish ?? Thank you again for the courtesy of your time in helping.

  • Report Abuse

    The South Africa was the impetus for my original trip. I am seeing the RTW as an add on since I will already be there...

    I understand your comments about Egypt. I have looked into pricing a ticket from CPT to Cairo and can do for $556.00 per Skyscanner. So the only question now is re working itinerary to leave from Cairo with hopefully the original routing.

    Your thoughts ??


    Knowing that South Africa was the impetus for the trip helps.

    What I was proposing was to see if you could switch your RTW origin to Egypt, then use the RTW ticket to get down to South Africa and around the world from there, ending back in the Middle East at the end of the trip.

    I saw on one of your prior posts that you're transiting Doha en route to Cape Town, thus I'm assuming you're currently ticketed to fly on Qatar Airways. Are you using miles or paying cash for this ticket? If the former then it would be a simple matter to re-book (probably with fewer miles needed, but with a fee) to have CAI as your destination rather than CPT. Then you could start the RTW there and continue more or less* as before.

    *See below for the changes it would require in your itinerary.

    If it's a paid ticket, since Qatar flies both to Cairo and South Africa, I would think it'd be very easy to contact Qatar and ask what it would cost to change CPT to CAI. You'd probably get a credit on the original airfare (since I assume Cairo is much cheaper from the US) but they'd probably charge you a fee or service charge for making the switch. But I'd be surprised if they didn't agree easily enough.

    THEN, you'd fly USA - DOH - CAI on the paid/mileage ticket, start the RTW and probably just get back on the same plane to Doha, then down to Cape Town as previously planned.

    *Itinerary changes. The RTW rules limit you to a certain number of flown segments in each continent you touch, with a maximum of six in North America (only one of which can be a transcontinental nonstop) and four in all other continents. In addition, you're only allowed two stopovers (24h or longer) in the continent of origin. For the purposes of the ticket, the continent of "Europe" includes the Middle East and Mediterranean Africa, so by starting in Cairo you'd be held to the rules for Europe, i.e. four flights and two stopovers max.

    Your itinerary as planned includes stopovers in Rome, Prague, Madrid and London. That would be two too many with a Middle East origin. In addition, you'd have to get from Cairo to Doha at the beginning, and that would use one of your four allowed segments within Europe, leaving you with three to be used later.

    Fortunately, the (massive) cost savings you'd make by starting the trip in Egypt would leave you with plenty of resources to buy some additional intra-Europe flights later, using one of your remaining two stopover points as launching points for those "side" trips (outside the RTW ticket.) For example, you could fly from the US to - I don't know - say Madrid - and fly from there to Rome on a cheap paid ticket, then from Rome to Prague, then to London on the RTW for your second stopover, then the final flight back to (anywhere in) the Middle East to complete the trip. (Your two European stopovers will have been Madrid and London.)

    Here's a possible route with those changes: CAI-DOH-CPT-JNB-HKG-NRT-SYD-SCL-EZE-MIA-MEM-ORD-SFO-MAD,PRG-LHR-TLV (on a map - http://tinyurl.com/gr2lt75 .) I've used Tel Aviv as your final stop, but it could just as easily be Amman, Cairo, Dubai, Muscat...

    Hope that explains things.

  • Report Abuse

    Hi Gardyloo.....well here is where I am at. I have entered itinerary starting in CAI-LHR-HKG-NRT-SYD-SCL-EZE-JFK-SURFACE-LGA-MEM-ORD-SFO-MAD-FCO-SURFACE-LHR-CAI. Oneworld shows as 16 segments.

    My problem is I can't get it to price online (The JNB routing did price online with no problem). I called RTW desk at AA and BA and they both tell me that it cannot be paid for in Egyptian Dollars, must be USD.

    Suggestions as to how to accomplish ?? Thank you again for the courtesy of your time in helping.


    Right, they won't price it in Egyptian pounds, their "back office" - the tariff people - will convert the Egyptian currency base price and will quote you the equivalent in US dollars. The old rule ("old" meaning until last month) was that you paid the price where the ticket was booked or where the trip originated, whichever was higher. Now they'll charge you the Egyptian price - converted to USD at the current exchange rate - when you book it through the AA RTW desk. By the way, BA is hopeless on this, stick with the AA people.

    I would avoid using BA as much as possible, and especially avoid them for issuing the ticket, as they will add VERY significant surcharges to the price. (These used to be called "fuel surcharges" until BA got sued in US federal court since they had nothing to do with the price of fuel. Now they're called "carrier fees," but a rose is a rose is a skunk. ;) ) Those fees for a business class RTW ticket can easily amount to over $1000. Also I'd avoid longhaul departures from the UK (e.g. LHR-HKG) as those will expose you to the expensive UK Air Passenger Duty, another few hundred bucks you can avoid paying.

  • Report Abuse

    Hello Gardyloo. Well heres where I am at....reserved Business Class flights CAI-AMN-HKG-NRT-SYD-JFK-EZE-JFK-LGA-MEM-ORD-SFO-MAD-FCO-LHR-CAI. 16 segments. By following your tip to avoid BA out of London, knocked another $600 off fare with total now of $6600 inclusive of taxes & fees.

    Miraculously the online website gave me a price and enabled me to make the reservation. I am just waiting for Royal Jordanian (initial flight segment carrier) to contact me re payment.

    Thank you so very much for your help. Saved me a bunch !!!

  • Report Abuse

    I believe AA actually does the ticketing on behalf of RJ for online bookings, so if you haven't heard anything in a couple of days, call the AA RTW desk (1-800-247-3247) with the record locator from the online tool. Congratulations!

  • Report Abuse

    Just found out AA realized Cairo fares were a money loser and they will no longer ticket RTW fares in Egyptian Pounds. Gonna have to find the next best country to use for my next ticket.

  • Report Abuse

    Just found out AA realized Cairo fares were a money loser and they will no longer ticket RTW fares in Egyptian Pounds. Gonna have to find the next best country to use for my next ticket.

    The EGP devaluation a week or two ago resulted in ridiculously low (USD-demoninated) prices, like under US$3K for a business class ticket, so it was inevitable that Oneworld would put the kibosh on it. Same thing happened a few years ago with Mauritius, then with Sudan, and the Rand finally got low enough earlier this year that South Africa prices went up. With Egypt "gone" (and we don't know that it is, the prices might be raised but not that much) Mozambique remains as an inexpensive starting point, at around US$4700 for a four-continent business class ticket.

  • Report Abuse

    They can't just arbitrarily stop selling tickets for which they have a published tariff. They CAN slow things down to a crawl of course, pending a new fare being set.

    In the meantime, Google Emeco Travel in Cairo. Emeco used to be AA's GSA in Egypt and have sold a lot of xONEs over the years.

  • Report Abuse

    Gardyloo....Have run into an interesting situation that is unresolved with AA RTW at this time. When I booked ticket starting in Cairo it came out to exactly 16 segments. One of these segments was a non-stop SFO-MAD. Since booking the ticket, AA has changed its schedule so what originally was a non-stop (no longer offered) is now a SFO-DFW-MAD routing. They claim this gives me 17 segments.I should expect them to make this right, agreed ?? They have yet to come up with a solution. Your thoughts ??

  • Report Abuse

    When was your SFO-MAD flight to have taken place? Sometimes the seasonal flights go away and then come back.

    I've run into this situation myself, and have had it go both ways. If travel hasn't yet commenced, they're within their rights to force a rerouting. I've also had it go the other way, where they had to scrub the e-ticket and provide "paper" tickets so they could get past the e-ticket limitation of 16 segments.

    I've also had irrops result in a non-Oneworld flight being substituted. A few years ago I was in Anchorage ready to fly ANC-DFW-SEA on AA. DFW had thunderstorms so the ANC flights were canceled. I HAD to be in Seattle, so I talked to the AA people at the counter, they phoned Ft. Worth, and they put me on an Alaska nonstop to Seattle; I asked for and received "original mileage credit" for the unflown route. (I did have to surrender the two separate segments, but no loss.)

    So the airlines have more flexibility than they let on. In your case I'd ask the RTW desk if issuance as a 17-segment paper ticket might be possible. or else do a dummy 16-segment booking and hope for SFO-MAD to reappear by the time you're ready to fly. They might be able to annotate the PNR to waive a re-issue fee if it does.

29 Replies |Back to top

Sign in to comment.

Advertisement