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Around the world airline ticket in 2 1/2 weeks?

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Feb 1st, 2008, 06:39 AM
  #1
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Around the world airline ticket in 2 1/2 weeks?

When I was in Fiji during Christmas I met a family from England who did an round-the-world airline ticket in 2 1/2 weeks. Then had about three days each in Bangkok, Sydney, Auckland, Fiji and Los Angeles.

With airline tickets at about $2500 from LAX to New Zealand for the Christmas holiday, I'm considering an around the world ticket with the bulk of my time spent in New Zealand.

Am I crazy? (About this issue only)
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Feb 1st, 2008, 07:16 AM
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Why would you think it's crazy?

If you're just going to NZ, you can book an "RTW" just using Air NZ - LAX-AKL-HKG-LHR-LAX, or you can use a Star or Oneworld Alliance RTW or a Circle Pacific ticket.

Alliance RTWs generally require a minimum of 3 stopovers, and (I think all) require that the last intercontinental flight not occur sooner than 10 days after the first.

RTWs sometimes book into fare buckets that are hard to use during peak periods, such as December/January to/from Oz/NZ, so make sure your dates are available before you drop significant scratch.

If you plan to travel much domestically in the coming year, then starting your trip somewhere else before going to NZ (e.g. Europe) can allow you a lot of domestic flying before you actually proceed to NZ (or after it if you go in the opposite direction) since N. America would be included in the RTW route.
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Feb 1st, 2008, 05:11 PM
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If you absolutely have to buy the tickets today then maybe you are not crazy. But you don't have to buy them today.

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Feb 1st, 2008, 05:28 PM
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Wally -

We've purchased around the world tickets 5-6 times. It was the most cost effective way for us to get from the Middle East to New Zealand, then on to the US and back to the Middle East (via Europe) in Business Class. Our trips usually ran between 4-5 weeks.
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Feb 3rd, 2008, 04:44 PM
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Thanks for your comments. I will consider this for next Christmas travel.
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Feb 4th, 2008, 08:37 AM
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Yes, but...

If you live in England, and want to go to NZ, it doesn't matter (apart from the oddities of airline prices) which way you come back, since LHR-AKL is the same 24 hour journey via HK as via LAX. And lots of us want to go to NZ, expecially over Xmas.

But if you live in LA, NZ's a near-painless 12 hours nonstop flight away if you go straight, but at least a three-leg, 35 hour, marathon if you return via Europe.

There may be a price saving in this (though I doubt there is one over Christmas): but it'd take a gynormous one to get me to do it.
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Feb 4th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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RTW or circle tickets are priced differently depending on the start/end point. A four-continent economy class RTW ticket from the US (using the Oneworld alliance) currently costs around $4100/£2100 in the US, and around $2750/£1400 if bought in the UK. In the US, business class is double the economy price; in the UK it's over 3 times as much.

This compares to December/January economy round trip prices of $2100 - $2500 from the US to NZ and a little less from the UK to NZ due to UK < > NZ being a bigger market. In business class, the straight return/round trip tickets are considerably more in most cases than the comparable RTW. At other times of the year, one can see business class specials to Oz/NZ, but not around the holidays.

The price differential needs to be seen in the context of other travel that can be accomplished within the limits of the RTW. The RTW allows up to 20 flights, 4 per continent except in N. America, where it's 6. If you do any other travel in the year's validity period, it's not hard at all to make up the initial price difference. For Americans, especially those on the east coast, it's often cheaper to fly to Britain, buy the ticket there, fly off to Asia or NZ for the principal holiday trip, then return to the US after Oz/NZ, spend the rest of the year using the ticket to fly around N. America. You then return to Europe at some point for a second vacation and to end the RTW back in the UK, then use the return portion of your original ticket to get home.

The price differential in buying the ticket in the UK offsets the cost of the transatlantic "access" ticket.

For once-a-year there-and-back travel most RTWs don't make financial sense. However if you travel more than once-a-year, they start getting very attractive, especially in premium classes, since they also earn a helluva lot of frequent flyer miles that can be used later.
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Feb 4th, 2008, 04:29 PM
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LAX to Christchurch is $2900, leaving Dec. 20 and returning Jan. 4. United wants over $1200 to fly to Maui on those dates. It might pay to wait to the last minute to book.
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Feb 5th, 2008, 12:29 PM
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If by "last minute" you mean May, then I agree.
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Feb 5th, 2008, 12:51 PM
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I think Wally just scored tickets on Air Pathetic for something like $1400 apiece.
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Feb 6th, 2008, 03:52 AM
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Anyone who serves free wine in economy and free sparkling wine with breakfast isn't pathetic, IMO. They also have 32 inch pitch instead of the Qantas 31 inch, which helps.

However, I was suppose to get my E-mail confirmation yesterday and it never arrived.

I'll need to take another airline from Auckland to the South Island (probably Christchurch). How much time should I leave for a window in Auckland? I've been to Auckland before and will be anxious to get to the South Island.

Flying home from Fiji last December, they had maintenance problems and had to put everyone up in hotels for the night. I was delayed 18 hours, but everything worked out OK for me.
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Feb 6th, 2008, 05:56 AM
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Air New Zealand has several daily flights from Auckland to CHC, and even more options via Wellington.

I haven't flown into Auckland in years (I go to CHC via Singapore these days), but I remember having to walk from the international terminal to the domestic terminal. Air NZ requires that you check in 30 minutes before departure on domestic flights. No telling how long Customs will take - as you probably know they're very thorough.

I don't think I've ever been on an international flight that didn't offer complimentary alcohol in coach - guess I've been flying the right airlines or living outside of the US too long - I'm completely spoiled.

Enjoy the SI Wally - one of my favorite places in the world.
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Feb 6th, 2008, 01:17 PM
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There is a shuttle bus between the international terminal and the domestic terminal at AKL.
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Feb 7th, 2008, 04:18 AM
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"I don't think I've ever been on an international flight that didn't offer complimentary alcohol in coach - guess I've been flying the right airlines or living outside of the US too long - I'm completely spoiled."

Try flying American Airlines. $5 for wine on their 15 hour flights.
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Feb 7th, 2008, 05:00 PM
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That must be it Wally, I've never flown AA.

Just curious - does United charge for drinks on international flights in coach?

I've flown them internationally a few times recently, but only because I could upgrade to business using miles.

Is charging for alcohol in coach on international flights just a US Airline thing (by that I mean airlines based in the US) or has it caught on with European airlines too?

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Feb 7th, 2008, 06:06 PM
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* Alcoholic beverage charge in United Economy applies to the following markets:

*
Domestic Economy Class - U.S., San Juan, St. Thomas, Aruba and Canada
*
International Economy Class - Trans Atlantic, Latin America, South America and Caribbean.
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Feb 7th, 2008, 07:29 PM
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Thanks mrwunrfl.
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Feb 7th, 2008, 07:30 PM
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Is charging for alcohol in coach on international flights just a US Airline thing (by that I mean airlines based in the US) or has it caught on with European airlines too?

Mainly a US thing but expanding. SAS now gives one "complementary" alcoholic drink in coach on longhauls and charges after that, Aer Lingus charges (more than the US carriers IIRC) and I believe there are one or two more. Of course if you fly Egyptian Airlines the matter is moot. I confess I don't pay as much attention to it as some apparently do, mainly because there's nothing worse than having alcohol dry you out in an environment that's so unhealthy in the first place.
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Feb 7th, 2008, 10:00 PM
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Thanks gardyloo -

I don't usually drink much on flights either, as I feel bad enough when I arrive as it is.

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Feb 8th, 2008, 03:51 AM
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I'm flying to Cairo, Egypt on Egypt Air at the end of March. From what I hear, you can pick up the alcohol after going through security at JFK and the flight attendants will allow you to mix it.

I don't drink sodas, so a glass of wine with my meal is VERY important to me.

United serves free alcohol on their Pacific flights because the competition does and some of the Pacific airlines are some of the best in the world.
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