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To buy a plane ticket around the world: The nonconformity arts
Purchasing a flight around the globe can be a puzzling experience for an outsider. I' ve been spending at least 40 lessons, probably more, studying the specifics of round-the-world-travelling. I' ll be explaining a) why round-the-world tickets can be a great value even if you're not trying to get to every land in the globe, b) how to schedule your journey, c) how much it will cost, d) 7 optimisation hints.
Note that scheduling and purchasing a Round-the-World (RTW) pass is a labor-intensive one. When you don't like the idea of making a quick getaway, you will find it much more challenging to make a complex RTW route. In addition, you must be prepared to do all these things before you can actually buy a Round-the-World ticket:
These are the minimal "time costs" to make a good circumnavigation of the world. Remember that you can use an RTV pass for up to a whole year, so it is important to take the necessary amount of good mileage. My tickets are worth far more than the required scheduling period, but as mentioned earlier, this is not suitable for everyone.
When you are ready and able to spend your own amount of money, the advantages of using these types of tickets are considerable. Tickets are not very inexpensive (see below for a budget), but a well-optimised ticketing can have a value far in excess of what it would otherwise take to buy round-trip tickets.
I' m constantly changing my flight, and with RTW tickets, it's simple. Changes to dates and times are free, and you can make changes at any moment - from well in advance until your date of travel. You can even redirect the whole tickets for a small charge after the start of the journey.
It gives you a whole year to use the pass, which means you can have an astonishing year going from place to place, or you can get even more imaginative, like I do, and distribute the pass over a couple of short journeys by figuring out a way to get home in the center.
It'?s got me a mile and an iv. Thanks to my travels in RTW, I now have the highest rank of airline tops in two of them. In 2008, I also collected 200,000 airline Frequent Flyer Footprints on American Airways, thanks to my doubles-mile bonus and a long flight experience. Imaginative travelling possibilities. With easy round-trip tickets you can reach many places in the globe, but since your return tickets are calculated by odometer or segments, you can go to destinations that are otherwise very costly with normal tickets.
You should devote some of your attention to understanding how they work. You will also want to read the OneWorld Road Maps and downloadable StarAlliance schedules to better comprehend where you can go. So what's the purpose of your journey? Well, how much longer do you have? Every carrier has its own set of regulations for how the tickets work.
Star Alliance is mile-based, which means you have a maximum of 26,000, 29,000, 34,000 or 39,000 mile on your tickets. I had a boyfriend who brought his route to 33,998 nautical miles, which I thought was quite good. OneWorld' products are segments of the market, i.e. a 11-hour trip from Hong Kong to New York is the same as a 2-hour trip from Chicago to Dallas.
There can be up to 16 segment tickets on the journey, and of course you will want to optimise for travel that would be quite costly to buy a regular flight. I' ll be even more imaginative with my schedules that include shore excursions, returns to Seattle and opening multiple tickets at once.
A relatively simple RMT can offer significant advantages and possibilities for travelling that you would not otherwise have. Costs for both of the above products vary between $3,000 and $10,000, depending largely on your cabin category, miles traveled (Star Alliance only) and departure point. Each of my tickets costs about $5,000.
Here, for example, is a travel route I used for my first OneWorld RTW pass: The best way to get the best offer for Round the World Tickets is to depart from (and ultimately return to) some particular country where the cost is much lower than from North America or Europe. Now, they are changing from period to period, but at the moment I am posting this (December 2008), the best places are Korea, South Africa, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
When they are too far away, Japan is also a good place to start this first RTW-journey. In order to get the estimated costs of your journey according to your journey category, number of mileage ( Star Alliance only ) and departure state, please feel free to dowload this great table kindly approved by a FlyerTalk volunteer. After all, if you are actually preparing to buy your tickets, you need to take two simple or not: 1. call in on your route.
With OneWorld, it's much simpler because they have their own RTW desks run by American Airways. On Star Alliance carriers, you may need to speak to several individuals before finding someone who knows how to build the route in their system. Finding a way to buy the tickets.
And I mean, "figure out how to actually buy the physical tickets. For example, if you are living in the USA and want to leave the USA, you can buy the tickets after they have been "rated" by the ADS. When you start the journey in another land, it is a little more difficult.
When you use OneWorld, you'll find a very useful tool here that can help you validate your travel route before you make a booking. As a result of inconsistent regulations among airlines, some North African country are considered to be in Europe for the purpose of validating tickets. Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria or even Sudan can be visited as part of the "European" part of your journey.
And if you don't know how to use certain sections, you can make them "open" (so the tickets can be issued) and subsequently enter the data. In most cases you do not want to use your mileage for a circumnavigation of the world. Instead, you can get better value for money by earning mileage for two return tickets between different continents. What's more, you can earn money by using your own mileage for two return tickets between different countries.
Everything will depend on where you are traveling and what your destinations are, but when I am compelled to make a referral, I usually put guys on American Airlines' AAdvantage itinerary. Most Star Alliance programmes are equivalent if you choose Star Alliance. Be sure to use at least a portion of your return tickets to destinations that would otherwise be disproportionately costly to buy.
As part of my fellowship I went to Kurdistan (Iraq), Pakistan, Burma and Uganda. Any of these places is quite pricey to arrive with a single fare. I' ve been spending a few dozen working days to write this information because I often get queries about how to book tickets for VRT, and while I try to answer each query separately, I also like to get folks to an on-line resources site to read more.
As I searched for more ressources at Google, the vast majority of the results on the first page for "Round-the-World plane ticket" and related items included imprecise information from a distorted well. Many of them cause the visitor to make a booking via an on-line tourist office where they earn commissions. As far as round-the-world tickets are concerned, it is unique that it is actually better to buy from the airline than from a tourist office or other retailer.
Because these tickets are usually not commissionable at all ( the agency is not paying much to make them out), some agencies will fool themselves or try to point out an alternate type of tickets to you. A DIY journey will be better in some cases, but frankly I think these are a small group.
Because I think most folks want the best kind of tickets at the cheapest possible prices, and for at least 90% of travellers, OneWorld and Star Alliance are the right way to go. Can' t always do this, but I did answer every one of the questions on the last Advanced Travel Planning mail and will try to do the same here.
I also come out with a Travel Ninja Guidebook to discuss this kind of travel plan in more detail, but what I have here can help you go a long way (no wordplay intended). Hopefully we'll see each other somewhere at a round the-world stop in the near term! Sign up now and you'll get the best entries ever.