Round the World Air Tickets Business ClassAround the world Air tickets Business Class
Around the World (RTW) Tickets - Air Travel Forum
Round-the-world (RTW) air tickets can be useful and economical options for complex or extended journeys, but they are not particularly well known outside a relatively small group of leaflets. Here is a " primeer " for RTW tickets. The three major air alliance airlines (Star Alliance, Oneworld and Skyteam) each provide different RTW or related ticketing services.
Furthermore, a few carriers have partners outside their own airline networks (or in some cases with non-alliance airlines) that provide the RTW. And a number of special tourist offices have also put together RTW reservation vans. Travelling around the world means travelling east or west around the world and across both the Atlantic and Pacific in the same way.
It also sells more restricted "Circle Pacific" tickets, such as "Circle Pacific", which allow travellers to integrate America, Asia and Australia/New Zealand into one single ticketing, one via the North Pacific and the other via the South Pacific either counterclockwise or counterclockwise. Other similar "circle" product such as Asia and Atlantic Circles or a "Circle Explorer" covering Europe, Asia, Australia/NZ and Africa are available, but neither the Pacific nor the Atlantic have been used.
Each of these offers several stops on the way, and most are available for several month up to one year. In general, unless you have restrictions on tickets (and there are many rules), you can go and track within a continent or area in a zone of zigzags, but you cannot go back to a particular area once you have departed it.
RW-Tickets are available from member airline companies within the airline groups, and the tickets are limited to which airline companies you can use during your journey. Typically, you only need to use the member companies of an airline group ( some of its affiliates or local airline companies), although a few allow you to use non-alliance members or even rival members infrequently.
Restrict your RMT and Circle tickets to a total of 16 tickets contained in the tickets (a restriction placed by the e-ticketing software) and, as noted above, will not be valid for more than one year (sometimes less). Except one (below), all R&TW tickets are available on the basis of the total number of kilometres that can be travelled, without being subject to the next prize "Tier.
Ticket purchases can be made in either Business, First, or Business Class, and there are regulations whereby Business Class tickets can be "upgraded" to allow the use of Premier Class service based on a supplement per ticket. It is a singular and very important characteristic of using tickets from the RTW that prices are highly flexible according to where you start (and end) your journey.
For example, from this letter (April 2014), an Oneworld Business Class Explorer that covers four Americas purchased and started in the U.S. will have a strike value (before tax and fees) of $10,799. For the same tickets, with the same flight, but in a slightly different order, purchased and started in South Africa is 5,606 USD, in Egypt 6,303 USD, in Japan 766 USD and in Australia 11,307 USD.
There are similar variations in other class of services (Economy, First Class) and from Allianz to Allianz. It is often less expensive to travel somewhere apart from RTW just to "capture" a low "original price" - for example, from "high-priced" West Europe to a more favourable point of departure in the Middle East, such as Egypt or Israel, where the RTW ticketing economies more than offset the "access costs".
The number of stops is usually restricted by means of tickets, usually 15, but in some cases with a lower odometer reading (the 26,000 miles), stops may be more restricted. Using a fare that you purchased in a "cheaper" overseas location, you can "stop" at home, go back to work or college, and resume the journey six month later, essentially using two or even three journeys from the purchase of a fare.
However, all tickets provide for changes or additions during the validity period of the tickets. Generally, date changes are free of charge if the same carrier is used for the same twinned town. - request that the Tickets be "reissued" for a charge, usually $125 or its equal, and that any tax or charge that changes as a result of the new itinerary be added or deducted.
Furthermore, some carriers charge their own "service" charges for new issuance, usually in the $50-100 area. The free luggage allowance is contained in the RTW tickets, usually according to the "piece" equation - usually two tickets up to 44 kg are permitted, with higher business and first class restrictions. That may be a significant benefit over member airlines' luggage charges on non-RTW services.
Certain round-trip rides can be made more cost-effectively by using point-to-point tickets, which obviously provide more versatility than any other solution. A number of tour operators will help travellers to create such itineraries for gaps years or similar itineraries. And of course you have to go around the world for your tickets to get your own ticket to RTW.
Even over-the-counter business class travel can be much less expensive than a 16-way fare that costs tens of millions more for easy travel routes. However, the gap is even more pronounced in Business Class, where a fare of 6500 US dollars from South Africa, for example, leads to an annual rate of around 400 US dollars per group. In comparison to single outward and roundtrips RTWs are generally quite expensive.
Naturally, you pay for a single ticketing that allows up to 16 departures, so using it for only a few departures can lead to higher costs per trip than other ticketing models. They have to go with airline companies that allow the tickets that you can use and go where they go.
Because there are many "city pairs" in which there are no non-stop services, a high proportion of the 16 services are usually operated on non-stop services - for example, Phoenix to Paris services need at least two of the 16 services, as does Edinburgh to Moscow. Since the tickets (typically) use price ranges for which airline companies restrict ticket availabilities, sometimes you may not be able to travel on the desired flight on the date you select - you will have to delay until there is availabilty in the required "bucket".
Even with these restrictions, for many travellers, RTW tickets can offer outstanding value for money and a means of exploring the world that is hard to reach by other means. However, as already mentioned, tickets for RWT are governed by complex regulations, especially regarding routeing. It is always better to do as much research as possible - distance and route that can be traveled, which airline is serving which route, etc.
Such tickets are rare to sell through "normal" sales outlets, so pre-purchase self-education is very rewarding. Of the three large coalitions (Star Alliance and Oneworld), two have on-line bookings for the most sought-after of their RTWs. The Star Alliance has a very powerful and effective on-line reservation system for its product; just go to staralliance.com/en/... and go from there.
As soon as you have a current routing, you will see the fare, both the basic fare and a sub-total of the tax and charges that apply to the tickets. When you are happy with the results, you can make an on-line payment by using a debit-card and your tickets will be sent by e-mail.
In theory, any member company in an association (or those who are not allies but take part in Community Trade Products) can buy Community Trade Tickets for you. However, in reality, the overwhelming overwhelming proportion of airlines' employees will not know how to do this and many will just decline to try.
A number of carriers (American, Delta and others) operate "RTW Desks" with experts in this area who can be contacted and - according to the detail - used for reservations. Others, such as British Airways, Air New Zealand and Qantas, also have staff available for queries and reservations.
When you are making a reservation through an air carrier, it is always best to call and ask if there are specialized agencies who can help with the reservation and be patience if the individual you are talking to is studying right next to you. A number of carriers have their own commercial agencies in those Member States where they are not active. Occasionally, GSA' RTW tickets can be booked and sold on GSA' s own account on account of the carriers they operate, and sometimes GSA staff become highly competent in doing so.
Tour operators' awareness of RTW and similar commodities is very different and most have never even learned of them. It is also worth noting that tourist offices in some jurisdictions (in particular the US) operate VERY small carriers because carriers have not paid commission on air ticket purchases for years. In fact, some tour operators, such as Flight Centre, STA Trail, Trainfinders and some others, have qualified staff, many of whom have many years of experience in RTW-booking.
There are also several specialised agents, such as Airtreks, which provide tailor-made tickets for R&TW that may or may not use airline alliances. Certain may use so-called "consolidator" tickets, which contain very restricted requirements or restrictions, so that changes may result in costly charges or cancellations for travellers.
Like all air tickets, but especially tickets that you can ship to very distant places, it is important to know your privileges, what you have approved, and what happens in case of problems. Every one of the large airlines maintains web sites where their various RTW and related services are declared, and in some cases online bookings of RTW travel are possible.