Round the World BusinessAround the world Business
Round-the-world (RTW) air fares 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 passes. 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" fares, such as "Circle Pacific", which allow travellers to integrate America, Asia and Australia/New Zealand into one single fare package, 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 your ticket (and there are many rules), you can go and track within a continent or area in a zone without returning to a specific area once you have departed.
TTickets are available from member airline companies within the airline groups, and the ticket limits you to which airline company you can use during the itinerary. 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 passes to a total of 16 flight (s) contained in the pass (a restriction placed by the e-ticketing software) and, as noted above, no longer (sometimes less) than one year. Except one (below), all R&TW passes 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 and there are regulations whereby Business passengers can "upgrade" their own RWT ticket to allow the use of Premier Business based on a supplement per ticket. It is a singular and very important characteristic of using PTT ticketing that prices are highly flexible according to where you start (and end) your journey.
For example, from this letter (April 2014), an Oneworld Business 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 services categories (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 one-way fares (RTW), usually 15, but in some cases the number of stops may be more restricted in the case of lower kilometres (26,000 miles). 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 of them provide for changes or additions during the validity period of the respective tick. Generally, date changes are free of charge if the same carrier is used for the same twinned town. - request that the Fare 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 ticket, usually according to the "piece" equation - usually two bags up to 44 kg are permitted, with higher business and first-class limits. 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 ticketing, which obviously offers more versatility than any other method. 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 return ticket.
Even over-the-counter business 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 round trip air travel, a RTW is 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. However, since the ticket (typically) uses price ranges for which the airline limits airline 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 travel passes 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, Community ticket RTWs 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.
Seldom are these vouchers purchased 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 / 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 Fairs for you. However, in reality, the overwhelming vast 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 ticket bookers can make and buy RTW reservations on GSA representative airlines' behalf, and sometimes GSA staff become highly competent.
It is also worth noting that tourist agents in some jurisdictions (in particular the US) operate VERY small carriers because carriers have not paid commission on ticket purchases for years. In fact, some agents, such as Flight Centre, STA Trail, Train finders 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 R&TW ticketing that can or cannot use airline alliances. Certain may use so-called "consolidator" ticket, which contain very restricted requirements or restrictions, so that changes may result in costly charges or cancellations for travellers.
It is important to know your privileges, what you have approved and what happens in case of problems, as with all flight ticket, but especially with ticket you can ship to very distant places. 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.