UA Excursionist Fare

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Nov 16th, 2018, 09:59 AM
  #21
 
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I should clarify that there are restrictions (which differ slightly from one ticket type to another) on "doubling back" between continents that might happen to be within the same region. Thus with Oneworld, for example, you can't double back between Africa and Europe (with a couple of very specific exceptions) or more than once between North and South America. But this won't be an issue in most itineraries.
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Nov 16th, 2018, 10:29 AM
  #22
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Thanks again, Gardyloo -- I have to think about this. Very confusing for me, though I get what you are explaining. Have to see if I can put it in practice.
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Nov 17th, 2018, 03:21 AM
  #23
 
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Wow, this is fascinating stuff! I don't know if I'll ever be able to realistically take advantage of it, but it definitely gives me a lot to think about as I'm about to retire and have travel on the brain for the next few years.
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Nov 17th, 2018, 06:19 AM
  #24
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It's not really the way we travel as we like to go to one area and stay for 4 weeks or so (e.g. Morocco). However, like you, I find this fascinating and we are going to try to figure out a plan for a year from now. Our main goal is to get a biz class seat to NZ for Jan/Feb 2020. I can see adding some additional places that are far away that we would like to see at some point & putting together a plan as gardyloo suggests. In any case, it will give us some conversations for our GTG.
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Nov 17th, 2018, 06:28 AM
  #25
 
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Question: do you plan to go anywhere overseas during 2019? If so, where and when?
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Nov 17th, 2018, 07:14 AM
  #26
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For 2019 in the Spring we have already planned and paid airfare for a trip to Croatia. What we're looking to do with this RTW fare would start it at the end of the summer Aug or Sept. No specific plans at this point. We're generally very flexible as to time and when we go & where even. We were originally thinking about back to Italy for a month in September, but with this RTW we would do something else. I was thinking of starting with a week in Switzerland and then go from there. I like the idea of Israel & visiting Jordan. We'd like to stay away about 1 month before returning home. Other places far that we'd like to visit are Bali, Japan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia & maybe S.India.
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Nov 17th, 2018, 03:07 PM
  #27
 
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I know it's really complicated but Gardyloo, your examples have made it a little clearer. I'm wondering if this would be an allowable itinerary for OW Explorer (would be doing biz) starting in mid October 2019?
Get to Oslo and start there.
OSL - Berlin - Japan (early Nov) - BKK (mid-late Nov)- WAS (home in late Nov/early Dec) - Caribbean (mid December) - WAS (late April) - Tanzania (mid September) - Italy (late Sept/early Oct) - OSL (mid Oct). I was wondering if that side trip to the Caribbean and back to WAS is allowable?
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Nov 18th, 2018, 12:25 PM
  #28
 
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Originally Posted by FromDC View Post
I know it's really complicated but Gardyloo, your examples have made it a little clearer. I'm wondering if this would be an allowable itinerary for OW Explorer (would be doing biz) starting in mid October 2019?
Get to Oslo and start there.
OSL - Berlin - Japan (early Nov) - BKK (mid-late Nov)- WAS (home in late Nov/early Dec) - Caribbean (mid December) - WAS (late April) - Tanzania (mid September) - Italy (late Sept/early Oct) - OSL (mid Oct). I was wondering if that side trip to the Caribbean and back to WAS is allowable?
Subject to some specific route restrictions regarding travel from North America to Africa via Europe or the Middle East, it would be fine. The side trip to the Caribbean would be allowed.

Rather than complicating one person's thread with another's concerns, I've posted a sort of "FAQ" thread on RTWs that would probably be a better place for specific questions. Here it is: Round-the-world and multi-continent airfares
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Nov 18th, 2018, 02:29 PM
  #29
 
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Sorry, of course I should not have hijacked yestravel's thread but somehow, since we are neighbors, I thought it would be ok...LOL However, the link didn't work for me, tried a few times.
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Nov 18th, 2018, 02:31 PM
  #30
 
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OK, I found it without the link...thanks so much!
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Nov 18th, 2018, 02:32 PM
  #31
 
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I just clicked on it - worked fine. What do you get when you click on it?
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Nov 18th, 2018, 02:33 PM
  #32
 
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Oh - we were posting at the same time . . .
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Nov 24th, 2018, 02:34 PM
  #33
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We've been playing around with itin on the OneWorld website. Here's an itin that seems doable. Not sure though.
As gardyloo suggested we'd get ourselves to Europe and start

Oslo in the fall and go to Tel-Aviv (visit Jordan overland).
Tel Aviv to London
London to IAD

Home in DC for a couple months

IAD to Auckland
ACK to Bali
Bali to Kuala Lumpur
KUL to Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka to Oslo

We'd get ourselves home from somewhere in Europe

Does that make sense logistically in terms of using OneWorld? Any thoughts or improvements? As I stated when I started this thread, we want to get to NZ in biz class in our winter (Dec thru Feb time frame for a month or so). Except for London, the others are places we'd like to visit that we haven't been.

Another question - does it make sense to use an agency to optimize all this? I read they are sometimes less, but don't know if that is true.
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Nov 25th, 2018, 07:24 AM
  #34
 
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It's a completely legitimate itinerary for a Oneworld RTW. Here's a map showing the basic route - https://tinyurl.com/y8l5cwzr .

This is using only 12 segments out of a maximum of 16, so you could add a side trip in Australia or one (or even two) in North America in the course of the year. You wouldn't even need to make a decision on this at the outset; you can modify an existing ticket for $125, so if, for example, you got back to Washington after Israel, and a month or two later wanted to add a side trip to, say, the Caribbean or to Central America, you could do so by simply having the ticket "re-issued" with the new flights added. (This is as long as the revised route still fits into the rules regarding stopovers, etc.) Here's another map showing the addition of a side trip to Costa Rica, for example - https://tinyurl.com/ya2axbyp .

If you don't want to buy the ticket until sometime next year (in order to fit the NZ/Asia part into the 12 month lifespan of the ticket) then you have plenty of time to decide on a route. It's also possible that Oslo stops being the cheapest place to start business class RTW tickets in the meantime.

Not sure what you mean about "optimizing." If you mean making the route as easy as possible, the one I'm showing above is about as easy at it will get (owing to routes flown by Oneworld member airlines.) But again, you'd have plenty of time to do the tweaking.

To buy the ticket you could try to use Oneworld's online ticketing tool, but it's so buggy that I really wouldn't recommend it. Instead, American Airlines has a dedicated RTW desk at 1-800-247-3247 where they can do the whole thing. I'd recommend ticketing through AA instead of another member airline, because the AA RTW people know the rules and have more experience than the others combined. It can make changes and problem-solving much easier. I'd also avoid long-haul flights using British Airways if you can avoid it, as well as long haul flights following stopovers in the UK. BA adds very high surcharges on flights they operate, and departures in premium cabins from the UK carry high departure taxes (air passenger duty) that can be avoided if one simply changes planes in the UK rather than stopping over (24h or more.)
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Nov 25th, 2018, 07:35 AM
  #35
 
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Gardyloo: Quick question . . . I'm probably going to purchase a RTW sometime in the first quarter of 2019 to fit my travel plans into early 2020. Were can I find where the cheapest country of origination is at that time? Flyer Talk? AA's RTW desk? Or ??? (or just ask you )
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Nov 25th, 2018, 07:58 AM
  #36
 
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
Gardyloo: Quick question . . . I'm probably going to purchase a RTW sometime in the first quarter of 2019 to fit my travel plans into early 2020. Were can I find where the cheapest country of origination is at that time? Flyer Talk? AA's RTW desk? Or ??? (or just ask you )
Just ask me, or check out this thread on FT - https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/onew...periences.html

Because various countries (including the US and EU) prohibit advertising airfares unless all taxes and fees are included, and because this is impossible with RTW products since each itinerary will include different taxes (airport, departure, etc.) as well as different airline fees, the alliances pulled fare information from the web some years ago. You can still get base fares through subscription services like Expert Flyer - https://www.expertflyer.com/ (which is also useful in finding award seats) but otherwise FT is probably your best free source. (You can also go through the rigmarole of using the online tools for Oneworld or Star Alliance, but it's PITA and you'd have to explore one country at a time.)

Remember the cheapest place (in USD) for business class is going to be different for economy class, and don't forget to add in "positioning" costs before and after, be they cash tickets, miles, or whatever. For the time being, for business class, the cheapest Oneworld origination points are Norway, Japan and Sri Lanka, but other places in Europe or the Middle East (e.g. Sweden, Israel) are not terribly far off. Aside from base fare, the most important variable is the taxes and fees element of the final cost. As I mentioned above, using BA or London stopovers, as well as some other carriers, in particular Qantas and Qatar, can have a big impact on the final price due to taxes and especially carrier-imposed fees. American Airlines tends to have much lower fees, so using AA metal as much as possible, especially on transoceanic routes, is a big advantage. You still need to mentally add something like 15% - 30% to the base fare when estimating the final price, and compare that to flying on conventional tickets where those fees are buried in the final price.
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Nov 25th, 2018, 08:42 AM
  #37
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Thanks for all the advice! I was also going to ask about how to determine where the lowest fare for origination. The airlines you cite as adding fees are several that show up when looking at flights on the OneWorld site. I guess we should skip stopping in London as it just seemed like an easy thing to do. On the ONeWorld site it gives me a final purchase price. I assume that includes taxes and service charges?
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Nov 25th, 2018, 02:14 PM
  #38
 
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Originally Posted by yestravel View Post
Thanks for all the advice! I was also going to ask about how to determine where the lowest fare for origination. The airlines you cite as adding fees are several that show up when looking at flights on the OneWorld site. I guess we should skip stopping in London as it just seemed like an easy thing to do. On the ONeWorld site it gives me a final purchase price. I assume that includes taxes and service charges?
I wouldn't skip London necessarily, just try not to fly longhaul routes FROM London, especially using British Airways. The cost of the departure tax (Air Passenger Duty) goes WAY up for business class (also premium economy and first class) departures on flights over 2000 miles in length; shorter (e.g. intra-Europe) flights don't cost as much. So if you're going from, say, London to New York, flying London - Paris - New York can be cheaper because you're only charged the APD on the London - Paris flight.

The Oneworld online booking tool will show you the base price and taxes and fees. You can click through on the website to see an itemized listing of the extra charges, although these may have arcane codes, like "YQ fees," (meaning fuel surcharges, a fee for which BA got sued in federal court because there was no correlation between the price of fuel and how much they charged.) TAXES come with the route, FEES come with the airline.
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Nov 25th, 2018, 02:49 PM
  #39
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I went back and tried to eliminate the long haul from London. Instead of going to London, I went from Tel Aviv to Paris. All the flights seemed to go thru Jordan. When I did this I got the message "You have too many sectors within Europe Middle East region. Check the flight allowances and adjust your itinerary." Not sure how I can get back from Sri Lanka to Oslo without violating this.
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Nov 25th, 2018, 03:19 PM
  #40
 
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Here's an itinerary that avoids both BA and Heathrow - https://tinyurl.com/y9ma39t9 .

Part of the problem is that Washington is a United/Star Alliance hub (almost a "fortress" hub like Atlanta for Delta) and the only Oneworld transatlantic service to Dulles is via British Airways. So the revised flight plan sends you from Tel Aviv to Amman (a very short flight) but then to New York on Royal Jordanian Airlines, then down to DCA on American from JFK. (Switching airports even in the same city, e.g. Dulles to National or JFK to La Guardia, consumes one of the 16 available segments, thanks to archaic e-ticketing software.) You could also fly from Tel Aviv back to Helsinki and take Finnair to JFK, or to Madrid and take Iberia, but as Iberia and BA are the same company, you'll still get hit with surcharges.

You're only allowed four flights within each continent (six in North America) so if you start in Oslo and go to Helsinki, then to Tel Aviv and back to London, then Doha to Oslo at the end, that's four. Adding an Amman-Paris-London flight in order to ride BA to Dulles adds one too many Europe segments (five) to the itinerary. Hope that makes sense.
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