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Around the world tickets? Someone please explain them!

Around the world tickets? Someone please explain them!

Old Mar 19th, 2008, 08:41 AM
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Around the world tickets? Someone please explain them!

I have heard of around the world tickets but don't have a clue how they work. Is it a bargain? Where do you get them...any airline? What is the advantage other than maybe cost? Please, love to get the low down on them.
southeastern is offline  
Old Mar 19th, 2008, 09:22 AM
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Abercrombie & Kent is the only travel company I know of that does around the world tours but almost any major airlines can book one for you.

I'd contact a travel agent that specializes in this. This isn't a case where I'd try and do it myself.

There are too many countries out there with sketchy airlines.
Old Mar 19th, 2008, 09:31 AM
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Helpful website for you...

You can travel with any Star Alliance member airline subject to some flight exceptions. Start and end of your journey have to be located in the same country and one Atlantic and one Pacific crossing have to be included in your itinerary.
Star Alliance Round the World Fare is available for travel in First, Business or Economy Class.
There are four fare levels, allowing you to travel up to 26,000 miles (Round the World Special available only in Economy Class), 29,000, 34,000 or 39,000 miles (Round the World travel available in First, Business and Economy Class). The exact fares will depend on the origin and the class of service of your journey.
Round the World tickets may be purchased at any time prior to departure, except if you purchase a Round the World Special Economy fare. Then, you can buy your ticket up to seven days before departure. In all other cases, you can buy your ticket at any time before you depart.
Your journey may last any time between ten days and a year. You can change the dates of most of your flights at any time, except for those flights up to and including your first international or intercontinental journey. For a small fee, you will be permitted to change destinations.
You can take as few as three, or as many as 15 stopovers in different cities (within the maximum permitted mileage). The maximum number of stopovers within certain regions may be limited. For the Round the World Special Economy the maximum number of stopovers is five.
The fares and more specific conditions for a Round the World ticket will depend on where you start your journey. In order to find out specific information, please be advised that you can either contact your travel agent or your nearest Star Alliance member airline's reservation office or click to our Round the World Mileage Calculator to plan your journey.
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 09:37 AM
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RTW tickets are frequently discussed on the LonelyPlanet Thorn Tree posting board, on the "Gap Year and Round The World" branch. You'll find lots of information there.

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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 09:37 AM
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Suggest going over to the Airlines forum, search on "around the world", there's many discussions and good info for you there......
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Old Mar 19th, 2008, 10:29 AM
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A round-the-world ticket goes around the world one-way, you cannot backtrack but have to continue in one direction, east-to-west or west-to-east. You may zigzag a bit, as long as you are continuing in the same direction.

How much a ticket costs depends on how many stops you want to make. A RTW ticket with three stops costs a lot less than a RTW ticket with 10 stops.

A RTW ticket is usually good for one year. You have to complete your entire trip within the year.

Yes, a RTW ticket usually costs less, mainly because you cannot select your airlines. You have to travel with whatever airline is "partner", e.g., the Star Alliance has its partners. If you want to travel with another airline for a certain segment, you're out of luck.

You can also google "round the world tickets" and get other websites which will lead you to consolidators/travel agencies who sell RTW tickets.

easytraveler is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2008, 04:49 PM
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We booked with a RTW travel agent in San Francisco when we couldn't afford the StarAlliance packages.

We just paid for the "big" jumps, and used the amazing number of budget airlines (in Europe mainly) for the shorter hops and booked ourselves.

This was the most economical, but perhaps more susceptible to problems if we needed to change dates, etc.
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 01:09 AM
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Around the world ticket is perfect for u if u fly open jaw, one-way type of destinations.

I bought my RTW ticket at Airtreks.com. It's unbelievable. LAX - Surabaya (Indonesia) - Bali (Indonesia) - Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) - Dubai (UAE) - Cairo (Egypt) - Athens (Greece) - find my own flight to London - then from London - LAX....all for $2,999 including tax!!
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Old Jun 10th, 2008, 09:45 AM
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Another great source of expertise on RTW and similar tickets (e.g. Circle Pacific tickets) are the discussion forums on flyertalk.com. Go to the section in the forum on airline alliances (Oneworld, Star Alliance and Skyteam). You can read the "stickies" (which collect useful discussion threads), look at pricing charts, ask for general advice and even get discussion forum members to review and critique your itinerary.

Generally speaking, RTWs in business class and first class are often significantly cheaper than regular return fares. For example, I booked an RTW in connection with a business trip I had to take to India from Canada, and the RTW ticket was about $1000 cheaper than the regular fare. About a year later, I priced an RTW for a business trip to Australia. The RTW fare would have been about $2000 cheaper than a regular fare, but the Circle Pacific ticket was even cheaper - about $3500 cheaper than the regular fare.

I think that, in Economy class, an RTW fare is likely to be somewhat more expensive than a regular fare to and from a specific destination (e.g. NYC-Thailand) but cheaper than a multi-destination ticket.
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Old Jun 11th, 2008, 05:22 PM
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This is an older thread, but I'll answer anyway since I had most of this written before I noticed the original posting date. Oy.

I do an RTW every year and also own a small travel agency/travel consulting firm that specializes in RTW and related travel products (like Circle Pacific etc.)

All the major airline alliances offer RTW products, and there are also a number of RTWs offered by consortia of two or more airlines, for example one that's sold by Qantas/El Al/Air Pacific (Fiji), and so on.

With the exception of the Oneworld Explorer (see http://www.oneworld.com/ow/air-trave...he-world-fares) RTWs are based on a maximum mileage, with various mileage "tiers" ranging from 26,000 miles to 39,000 or 40,000 miles, depending on the ticket. For reference, a route like New York - London - Vienna - Bangkok - Sydney - Los Angeles - New York would come to something like 24,000 miles, so with, say, a 29,000 mile ticket you could add some additional stops, or zigzag a bit within Asia or North America, and so on.

The Oneworld Explorer is unique in that it's priced according to how many continents you visit, from a minimum of 3 (N. America, Europe, Asia) to a maximum of 6.

As of June 1 this year, RTW tickets are limited to a maximum of 16 segments, including "surface" segments covered on land. With the Oneworld Explorer there are also per-continent limits, 6 for North America and 4 for all other continents, so with a max of 16 (and including the intercontinental flights) one needs to look carefully at where one flies.

One very important thing about RTW tickets is that they're priced differently depending on where you begin and end the trip. Prices for an RTW ticket involving the same cities, but with a different start/end point, can vary in price by as much as 30% or even 50%. Right now, for example, the cheapest place in the world to buy a 4-continent Oneworld Explorer in business class is South Africa, where prices are around 40% less than a 4-continent ticket bought in the USA or western Europe. Of course if you're not in South Africa you'd need to figure out how to get there to start the trip and get home after, but the 40% savings may be enough to make it come out okay even with those "access" costs.

In business or first class especially, RTWs can provide a rich harvest in frequent flyer miles and for people who travel frequently they can also provide elite status in many FF programs, helping one accrue additional miles through bonuses, upgrades, provide lounge access or expedited check-in, higher baggage allowances, preferred seat selection, waiver of fees, and so on.

RTW tickets are good for a year and allow changes in dates for free; changes to the itinerary (which stops, order of stops etc.) usually cost $125 or so, i.e., cheaper than the change fees for many discounted tickets.

My current business-class RTW (I'm part way through it) may provide an illustration. I started in Cape Town at the first of May and flew to London, then Helsinki, then back to London, out to Muscat (Oman) and back to London, then to Los Angeles. I then flew to New York last week and home to Seattle. Later this summer I'll fly to Anchorage to see some friends, then in October I'll fly to New York again for a couple of days. From New York I'll fly to Singapore, then to Hong Kong and up to Hokkaido for some autumn leaf-peeping (wonder how that translates into Japanese) then back through Hong Kong to Johannesburg and down to Cape Town to close the loop. All in all I'll have flown around 55,000 "butt in seat miles" and will have earned upwards of 120,000 frequent flyer miles (good for another RTW in business class) and will have renewed my top-tier frequent flyer status, giving me unlimited domestic upgrades and 8 international one-way upgrades for the next year and a bit. The cost with taxes for the ticket came to around US$5700. All of my flying will be in business class (international) or first class (US domestic.)

I regard this is excellent value for all the work and leisure travel I'll be able to do using the one RTW ticket. Many (thousands) of people do the same thing. I sat next to a fellow on a Vancouver-London flight on my way to Cape Town who does an RTW a month on average, visiting his company's branches in North America, Europe and Asia. His $6K for a RTW ticket compares to something like $12,000 for conventional business-class tickets, so he saves his company upwards of $70,000 a year using RTWs.

Typically long-winded of me, but there you go.
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Old Jun 12th, 2008, 07:49 AM
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Gardyloo, wow! Thanks. Great information! Sounds like it takes some sorting out, and thinking but looks like a good deal.
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Old Jun 17th, 2008, 02:36 PM
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Hi Gardyloo, could you send me your company's contact information?
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Old Jun 17th, 2008, 03:40 PM
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Not here but if you use my screen name @ comcast dot net I can do so.
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