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This "Round-the World" thing

This "Round-the World" thing

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Old Feb 19, 08, 2:52 pm
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This "Round-the World" thing

I had never hard of RTW tickets until I discovered FT. It seems like a neat thing to do, but I would imagine it takes a certain amount of time and money.

In another thread, one poster says he'd like to get a couple of RTW's for himself and his wife, but the 3-year old makes it difficult. Another poster says he's going to blow his accumulated stash on two or three RTW's.

Really?

My idea of a RTW would happen over a period of weeks if not months, I mean, I'd be going around the world! What's the point of visiting many countries if all you do is grab a bite to eat in the airport and then catch another plane?

Plus the money --- You gotta sleep somewhere, right? I can't believe most Americans would be happy zonking out on the airport floor and eating from whatever local vendor happens to be around. If it were me, I'd be looking to use points or whatever. I make a nice living, but blowing several thousand dollars (or more) on a bunch of consecutive plane trips seems a little silly to me. YMMV.

So, what's the deal here. Is it a once-in-a-lifetime thing for most people, or do folks use it for mileage/status runs or what?
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Old Feb 19, 08, 3:19 pm
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Originally Posted by BigLar View Post
So, what's the deal here. Is it a once-in-a-lifetime thing for most people, or do folks use it for mileage/status runs or what?
In my case, I fly from NYC to the Far East quite frequently. Given that my destinations are halfway around the world, I have often used RTWs as normal tickets if they worked out to be more cost-effective than a simple RT.
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Old Feb 19, 08, 3:51 pm
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Originally Posted by UAL Traveler View Post
In my case, I fly from NYC to the Far East quite frequently. Given that my destinations are halfway around the world, I have often used RTWs as normal tickets if they worked out to be more cost-effective than a simple RT.
Me, too. Although I haven't done one in a few years. A trip to Australia and a trip to India were cheaper booked as RTWs, and I managed to see a few interesting places and racked up tier points and miles along the way. I paid my employer for the extra taxes associated with stopovers.
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Old Feb 19, 08, 3:54 pm
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Omigawd... what am I doing??!!

1. Cheaper than many RTs in J or F, even some in Y.

2. Changeable and refundable within certain parameters.

3. Easy and comfortable way to attain/retain status (comfortably in J or F) - bracket "have to" destinations with mini-MRs.

4. Useful for places that are hard/impossible/fantasy to get to with award miles.

For some it's trips of a lifetime, for others it's cost-saving for business purposes.

Example - JFK-HKG-SIN-JFK, March 15 - April 2, business class: CX $9300; RTW around $8000. Your (company's) savings - around $1300. Pays part of the hotel/bar tab.

Within the flight or mileage limits, you can also do a fair amount of domestic flying within N. America (or Europe, if you live there) that's included in the base fare. So if you have to visit the Las Vegas office (yeah, sure) it's already paid for.
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Old Feb 19, 08, 4:17 pm
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If you're mostly flying around the Southern Hemisphere, hotel and food prices can be very very cheap. The price of a night at an ordinary 4-star hotel in London or Tokyo equals that of 3 nights at an equivalent 4-star hotel in Montevideo, and will probably keep you for over a week in a lodge in rural Thailand.
If you can save a couple of thousand dollars on a business-class ticket, that's most of your stay paid, while getting a boatload of miles into the bargain.
If you're just spending miles on a leisure trip, I agree that a couple of weeks sounds way too rushed...but FTers are known to travel a lot, so you may want to do it quickly in order to get a feel for which places are worth returning to...
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Old Feb 19, 08, 4:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
Omigawd... what am I doing??!!

1. Cheaper than many RTs in J or F, even some in Y.

2. Changeable and refundable within certain parameters.

3. Easy and comfortable way to attain/retain status (comfortably in J or F) - bracket "have to" destinations with mini-MRs.

4. Useful for places that are hard/impossible/fantasy to get to with award miles.

For some it's trips of a lifetime, for others it's cost-saving for business purposes.

Example - JFK-HKG-SIN-JFK, March 15 - April 2, business class: CX $9300; RTW around $8000. Your (company's) savings - around $1300. Pays part of the hotel/bar tab.

Within the flight or mileage limits, you can also do a fair amount of domestic flying within N. America (or Europe, if you live there) that's included in the base fare. So if you have to visit the Las Vegas office (yeah, sure) it's already paid for.

Agree fully.

When a round trip in business class to 1 destination in South America is more expensive than visiting 2 destinations in South America plus a whole 3 extra continents, it is an easy decision.

Combining multiple hard to get places on the same trip for cost of just one round trip.

Getting lifetime status really quickly when worried the program will remove it.

To get to europe I have to go halfway around the world each way anyway.

Able to add flights in home country, that are booked flexibly.
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Old Feb 19, 08, 6:31 pm
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Yeah, I knew people did them for business -- if you're located in Oceania and you deal internationally (especially with the UK), it probably makes a lot of sense.

However, a lot of the threads I was reading gave the distinct impression that it was done for leisure travel.

I fly a lot, too, and I wouldn't mind doing one ... but only one. And I'd make sure it included everything I wanted, 'cuz I probably wouldn't be back again. I'm thinking like a couple of months or maybe half a year. Heck, with what I'd have to go through to get the miles (I don't pay that much for a car, much less air trips ), it had better be a damned good trip.

But that's just me.
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Old Feb 19, 08, 7:23 pm
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Originally Posted by BigLar View Post
Yeah, I knew people did them for business -- if you're located in Oceania and you deal internationally (especially with the UK), it probably makes a lot of sense.
Even for USA it can make sense. For not much more cost get a whole lot of extra travel included.

Originally Posted by BigLar View Post
I fly a lot, too, and I wouldn't mind doing one ... but only one. And I'd make sure it included everything I wanted, 'cuz I probably wouldn't be back again. I'm thinking like a couple of months or maybe half a year.
Hmm. You can only have 20-24 flights with the most commonly used (by FTers) RTWs, possibly reducing to 16 for one of the products. I don't know about you but there is a lot more than 20-24 places I want to visit.
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Old Feb 19, 08, 8:37 pm
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I (and then we) used to do RTWs for leisure. With some research of the rules, and some planning, you can spready the RTW over 12 months (ticket validity). We used to start in a place other than our home, fly to my family in Australia, do some side trips, fly home to LAX, stay for months (get on with our lives), do some side trips during the year to Carribean, Mexico or domestically) then towards the end of the 12 months we would jet off to Europe and/or Asia for another trip. We would end up where we had originaly started 12 months later and normally start another one. So 12 months of travel for the price of a J RTW (in those days approx $5-5.5k ex-BKK) - all in J and F domestically in US. Great value for money.
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Old Feb 20, 08, 1:16 am
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I like the idea of starting a RTW trip in another country, flying home in the middle and spreading this out over a year with careful planning. Just as mentioned above. I could handle doing that in Y, though would consider splurging for C/J. I have enough annual days off to make it worth the effort too.

What airlines provide RTW fares? I've done a search but there is a huge glut of information. Are there any suggestions for specific threads, or other sites to research this?
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Old Feb 20, 08, 4:24 am
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Originally Posted by ArizonaGuy View Post
What airlines provide RTW fares? I've done a search but there is a huge glut of information. Are there any suggestions for specific threads, or other sites to research this?
The alliance fora are your best bet for RTW information.
*A obviously has the widest choice of flights/carriers/destinations to offer.
Of the other two, Skyteam has a much better network than OW, but fewer flights offering a first class cabin (so, in general terms, ST trumps OW for Y and C, and OW trumps ST for F).
There also exist some other RTW-type fares offered by weird airline combinations (relics of pre-alliance days and bi/multilateral co-operation).
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Old Feb 20, 08, 9:07 am
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Originally Posted by graraps View Post
The alliance fora are your best bet for RTW information.
*A obviously has the widest choice of flights/carriers/destinations to offer.
Of the other two, Skyteam has a much better network than OW, but fewer flights offering a first class cabin (so, in general terms, ST trumps OW for Y and C, and OW trumps ST for F).
There also exist some other RTW-type fares offered by weird airline combinations (relics of pre-alliance days and bi/multilateral co-operation).
Choice of RTW product is highly dependent on where you want to go, and how much you value things like mileage earning or status attainment or retention.

'A has good Europe, Asia and Africa coverage but lousy coverage in Australia and especially South America; OW is great for S. America, Australia and Asia, good but not great for Europe, and minimal for Africa; Skyteam is hopeless for much of Asia and especially Australia/NZ (and for intra-S. America.)

The Oneworld Explorer has no mileage limit (only one) so if you want to fly your @ss off to earn miles or status, that's your baby. However it limits the number of flights per continent, so if your aim is to beeble around Europe or Asia for an extended time, it's not your best bet.

Devil < > details.
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Old Feb 20, 08, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by BigLar View Post
Yeah, I knew people did them for business -- if you're located in Oceania and you deal internationally (especially with the UK), it probably makes a lot of sense.

However, a lot of the threads I was reading gave the distinct impression that it was done for leisure travel.

I fly a lot, too, and I wouldn't mind doing one ... but only one. And I'd make sure it included everything I wanted, 'cuz I probably wouldn't be back again. I'm thinking like a couple of months or maybe half a year. Heck, with what I'd have to go through to get the miles (I don't pay that much for a car, much less air trips ), it had better be a damned good trip.

But that's just me.
My wife and I were going to India for vacation. It was cheaper to do a RTW in business than a RT. So we roughly doubled the planned time and spent most of our time in India, but added in Sri Lanka, Bangkok, Angkor Wat, Vietnam and Hong Kong. The total was about 20 days.
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Old Feb 20, 08, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
Skyteam is hopeless for much of Asia and especially Australia/NZ
Not true. CZ (I know many don't like them...haven't flown them personally so can't vouch for or against) are one of Asia's largest airlines, and other parts of East Asia are well-covered by KE and even NW. There's quite a bit from/to Oceania, but obviously not within it. IMHO the lack of a Middle Eastern carrier is the only serious gap in the Skyteam network besides flights within S. Am.


In any event, my comments were general. Since my "normal" routes are with ST, I am more likely to fly with them than the other two alliances. If I wanted to fly RTW and didn't have a loyalty relationship with a ST airline, I'd most probably choose *A. Outside of the Americas, the OW network is quite poor.
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Old Feb 20, 08, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by BigLar View Post
My idea of a RTW would happen over a period of weeks if not months, I mean, I'd be going around the world! What's the point of visiting many countries if all you do is grab a bite to eat in the airport and then catch another plane?
I would love to do it, but insufficient vacation means I'd have to do it in a couple of weeks, with just a couple of days in each city. I'm sure I'm not alone in this situation.
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