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September 24, 2009 at 5:41 pm #1226
Has anybody here booked a round-the-world flight with the Oneworld Alliance after their contract was up? I heard about it from a blog from someone who was at Pole with their husband and traveled with him afterward, but the name of the person and the blog escape me. My impression was that they bought their tickets in NZ, and were able to put their airfare credit home towards the ticket instead. Does anybody know if you’re actually allowed to do that? I believe my return ticket is through Quantas and they’re a part of this alliance, but I’m not sure if you can get a completely different kind of ticket like that.September 25, 2009 at 1:29 am #10182
Just be aware that those programs steer you towards certain hubs which may or may not be mandatory. Oneworld has a hub in Singapore, might want you to stop in Dubai…. Also know that where you buy the ticket will impact the options and pricing. This means that buying it from New Zealand will be priced differently than from the US. The US likely being more expensive.
This is where a live agent may pay off over booking online.
For example, a German visiting Florida can book rental cars much cheaper than a local Florida resident. Also be careful though, if paying at the airport, a credit card from the local area may be required.
All said and done, check with a travel agent in both the US and New Zealand, find out what the requirements are to fulfill the various options. Also Quantas has a %10 off all round the world trips if booked by… Nov 31st? In celebration of their alliance anniversary.
-PeteSeptember 25, 2009 at 2:35 am #10183
The rules are fluid.
In the past, if you wintered-over then the fare-code was different and typically more liberal; this made it easier to exchange the ticket for an around-the-world trip (or any other variation, such as a circle-pacific fare). Short season tickets *may* or *may not* be traded for something else — it just depends on the fare code, the whim of the airline, the OneWorld agent you talk with (seriously!), the phase of the moon, and how much eye-of-newt and wolf’s bane incense you’ve burnt to the gods of air travel.
For an around-the-world ticket, chances are you’ll have to call AA to book the ticket. I don’t think you can do it online, although some airlines have nifty tools for mapping your journey on the “available” flights. I put “available” in quotes because many of the destinations that are shown are, in fact, unreachable.
I’ve booked the around-the-world ticket, but it was so long ago that the rules and conditions have probably changed significantly.
One tip: be open to other options. I tried to do an around-the-world ticket the next year as well because I wanted to go to Italy. The agent I talked with pointed out that simply exchanging the program ticket for a round trip (NZ to Italy) would be easier and cheaper: it was good for a year, and I could make a couple “stopovers” in the US. So I flew home on my “Italy” ticket, taking a stopover. 8 months later I flew from the US to Italy (on the same ticket), and returning back to the States (another stopover). The last segment, US to NZ, I discarded. Total cost: the USAP ticket + $300.
Good luck. And remember, the AA or OneWorld agent you work with makes all the difference. If you’re on the phone and not getting the answers you want, hang up, call back, and talk to a different agent. Yeah, it’s that stupid. If you go through the Chch travel agency, well, you’re on your own.September 25, 2009 at 3:01 am #10184
Fluid is the word.
The offers, policies, and restrictions on these flights can change daily.
All you can do is gather info and hope to get the right person on the phone, or work out a great deal.
But just as knowing what days to travel on a one leg journey helps you get a better price, planning your trip around the alliances’ hubs will likely help too. You can always look for inexpensive options to move around from the preferred stops that are outside your ticket.September 25, 2009 at 3:50 am #10185
Here’s a link to the Google map that I’ve been using to plan out this trip; it only includes the places that we’re fairly sure we are going to put in right now, i.e the destinations on the Oneworld ticket and the few places that we know we want to visit through other means. Eventually I plan on adding things like hotels, restaurants, and other places that we might want to visit, so while we travel we can use this map as a reference guide too (assuming we have internet). To clarify, the trips to Angkor Wat, Oslo, Marrakesh, and the flight to Atlanta are going to be separate from the RTW ticket, since it didn’t make sense to include them with it. Also, some of the locations for the airports look like they’re horribly wrong; I just used the search box on Google Maps to locate the airport, and I’m pretty sure it put a few of them in areas that are obviously not airports.
I built this itinerary using the Oneworld trip planner first, which does a pretty impressive job of validating your plans against all of their rules. After you add a destination you can also use it to search for actual flights to it, which is nice because then you know for sure how many total jumps you’ll end up using in order to visit somewhere. It’s a little frustrating though, because they recently added different icons to show you which cities are a direct, single connection, or multiple connection flight from your departing city, only sometimes it’s completely wrong – the city will show up as a direct flight, but you scan through 3 or 4 weeks and there isn’t a single direct flight.
I’m still seriously considering adding Amman, Jordon into the trip as well, since having Royal Jordanian as one of the member airlines makes it easy to get to. I’m not sure if my girlfriend will agree to it though, I think she’s a little concerned about being US travelers in a Middle East country with absolutely no grasp of the language – I suppose that’s a valid concern, but the idea of seeing Petra first-hand is really tempting.
Also, I forgot to mention: I would love any advice on places to go in these regions, I haven’t actually traveled outside of the US and Canada before, so I’m basing most of my destinations off of people that I know in these places and Wikitravel.September 25, 2009 at 4:24 am #10186
I would suggest don’t rush it.
You may feel this is your chance to see the world, but if you move too fast you won’t see much at all.
There are a lot of things hi-lited in guide books, but I always prefer to step off the beaten path.
Having coffee in a noname cafe where I talked to someone who suggested a place to check out and putting that together was far more fulfilling than the stars on the guide map.
I’d also rather spend quality time in fewer ports than see more places, but that is an individual preference.
Also try to match what you like to where you are going.
An example: Italy… I would return to Venice or Rome over and over but Florence after you see the art and architecture once, you are likely done, though there is good shopping there. I want to go back to Venice and track down all those places I missed, especially after seeing Anthony Bordain do a better job than I did. Rome just has too much to see in one stop regardless of how long you have.
I started to write a list here but deleted it. Its all good, just realize if you rush through you won’t find your own reason to love a place.
I’m gonna do this soon myself, I promise…
PS Goto Venice, Rome, Hong Kong, Egypt, Dubai, Paris, Dublin, NYC, Iceland, Brazil, and someplace where there is always snow 🙂September 25, 2009 at 3:28 pm #10187
Just go. Have fun.
When you first start traveling it’s new and exciting. You’ll want to do 8 countries in 6 days, see everything, and do some more. It’s all good. I loved it.
After a bunch of years of traveling like that, the energy will be different. You’ll want to find one good place, off the beaten track, sit in a cafe all day and talk with the locals. Now that’s what I love.
Embrace the experience!
glennSeptember 26, 2009 at 12:13 am #10188Been ThereMember
And watch for feet washing up on the beach 😆 😆September 26, 2009 at 12:38 am #10189
We haven’t had a single human foot wash up since the, uh… six… last year.September 26, 2009 at 2:26 am #10190MightyAtlasModerator
Okay, first off – It’s QANTAS. There’s no ‘u’. It’s an acronym for Queensland And Northern Territories Air Service.
Secondly, the Denver travel group will f***-up any leisure travel plans you may have. That’s a promise.September 26, 2009 at 8:33 pm #10191
Oops, my bad – it’s still pronounced like you’d pronounce “quantas” if it were a word, right?
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