Viaggi - Biglietti RoundTheWorld e Multi-Stop
The Travellers Lounge is not going to attempt to explain all thecomplex rulings of round the world tickets but if you take thesefollowing points into consideration your trip will be a lot more costeffective. We will give you invaluable insider advice on route planningso you can go armed and ready to book the best trip available to you!
There are a number of different airline alliances supplying round the world tickets. The main tickets are:
- The World Discovery ticket:
British Airways / Qantas / Cathay Pacific / Air Pacific
Good for trips to Oz/NZ with one or two stops en-route or internal flights in Oz.
- The Global Explorer:
BA / Qantas / Air Pacific / Cathay Pacific / American Airlines / Iberia / Gulf Air / Lan Chile + more
Good for RTW trips which include South America and those that link Africa and Asia.
- The OneWorld:
BA / Qantas / Cathay Pacific / American Airlines / Lan Chile / Lan Peru / Iberia / Finnair + more
Good for RTW trips with lots of stops and those that do not take the’conventional route’ as this ticket is not based on mileage - butzones. Great for South America.
- The Escapade:
Singapore Airlines / Air New Zealand / Virgin / Silk Air
Good for round the world tickets with lots of stops in SE Asia, Australia or the Pacific.
- The Star Alliance
Singapore Airlines / Air New Zealand / United Airlines / Thai Airways /Lufthansa / Air Canada / Varig / All Nippon / Mexicana / AustrianAirlines / Scandinavian Airlines + more
Good for most RTW routes and for those not going through Australia. Can fit almost any round the world route in this ticket.
- The World Navigator
KLM / Emirates / Air New Zealand / South Africa Airways / NorthWest / Air UK / Kenyan Airlines + more
Good for RTW trips that link Africa and the Indian Sub Continent and those that have lots of stops in the Pacific.
- The World Journey
Continental / Northwest / KLM / Air Pacific / Alaskan Airlines / COPA /Emirates / Malaysian / South African / Jet Airways (India) / Braathens
Good value ticket for ’Northern Hemisphere’ RTW’s (ie not Australia).Excellent links between Africa and Asia and a fantastic link for around the world ticket: Africa and South America! Very good for CentralAmerica and the India Sub Continent - 2 areas usually overlooked onother alliances.
Neither one of the above tickets is "better" thanthe others as they offer completely different routing opportunities.After speaking to your travel agent you will find that your trip willfall naturally into one of the above alliances. If you are dealing witha specialist travel agent they will hopefully offer you a couple ofalternative routings with slight changes to show you how to get thefare down - if not you should definitely ask them.
Whendeciding which travel agent book with, if you find that the fares theyare quoting are similar, we would advise you to book with the one whois the most switched on and efficient. Round the world tickets can bevery complicated and require lots of behind the scenes maintenance fromyour agent during the course of your booking. This is your once in alifetime trip - you want someone who is going to keep their eye on theball!
Top Tips on Route Planning
Thebest way to start is to make a list of your preferred destinations -your dream route! - and then, with an atlas in front of you, try andput them in some kind of sensible order. Remember your plans willchange a hundred times but you will need a basic starting structure totake to your travel agent.
There are a number of ways to keepthe price down when planning your trip but the main point is to planyour trip in a continuous global direction. This means you should tryto avoid any unnecessary backtracking. For example, this is fine:
- London - Bangkok - Sydney - Fiji - New York - London
But even though the following route can be done, it will raise the fare considerably:
- London - Bangkok - New York - Fiji - Sydney - London
MostRTW tickets are still based on a combination of mileage and stops butsome (such as the ONEWorld) are now based on regions offering a greatercombination of destinations available. (Remember though, the best tripsdo not necessarily have to include the most stops that you and yourtravel agent can squeeze into a 12 month ticket! - less can be more).Do not worry too much about the weather at this stage -even though itplays a major role in what you see and do in certain areas you will nodoubt have to make some sacrifices if price is an issue.
Surface Sectors & Open Jaws
The best way to travel!
Whenyou book your flight ticket, you do not have to fly in and out from thesame city in every country you visit. In fact it can sometimes evenwork out cheaper if you do not. Travelling independently overland comesextremely recommended if you have the time. You get to see far more ofthe country and really get a sense of travelling. A list of classicoverland routes are detailed below as well as some unusual or demandingjourneys.
Here are the two terms explained:
- Surface sectoris when you travel independently between two flight points en-route toyour final destination, e.g., London - Bangkok surface to Singapore -Sydney - Los Angeles - London
- Open Jaw is a surface sector at your final point ofturnaround - or furthest point from where you started, e.g., London -Singapore - Perth surface to Sydney - Los Angeles - London
These two can be combined in most RTW tickets tocreate some very interesting routings and also do not add to the costof the ticket as they count as one stop - not two.
Classic Overland routes
- Bangkok surface to Singapore
- Sydney surface to Cairns
- Auckland surface to Christchurch
- New York surface to Los Angeles
More adventurous surface sectors:
- Moscow surface to Beijing (Trans-Siberian)
- Rio de Janeiro - Lima
- Saigon surface to Hanoi, Vietnam
- Nairobi surface to Jo’burg
- Islamabad surface to Beijing (Silk Road)
- Cairo surface to Istanbul
- New York surface to Santiago
- Bangkok surface to Hanoi
The Ultimate surface sector: London surface to Sydney:
- London(EuroStar) Paris (EuroRail) Moscow (Trans Siberian) Beijing surface toHanoi (Re-Unification Express) Saigon surface via Bangkok to Bali(Boat) Darwin surface to Sydney
...but whatever part of your trip you choose to overland it will be an incredibly valuable experience!
RTW myths broken!
To help you speed up your planning process, here are some of the RTW myths shattered:
- Backtrackingis allowed - but only on certain tickets. This is normally fortransiting purposes but can be included on such tickets as theOneWorld, Star Alliance and World Navigator if it keeps within themileage or permitted number of stops rulings. This only means that youcan backtrack within certain regions though, e.g.:
London - Tokyo - Hong Kong - Bangkok - Bombay - Singapore - Sydney and so on....
- Flyingfrom the Americas to OZ/NZ is a common problem when it comes to puttingpeople’s plans into reality. So far there are only 4 major ’gateways’(or flight access points). These are as follows:
Los Angeles - Sydney/Auckland
Vancouver - Sydney/Auckland (via Hawaii)
Santiago - Sydney/Auckland (via Tahiti)
Buenos Aires - Sydney/Auckland
This means that if your planned destination is Central America ornorthern South America you will either have to pay for an extrainternal flight or make your own way overland.
- Linking Africa and India/SE Asia is only feasible oncertain tickets such as the Star Alliance, Navigator and the GlobalExplorer ticket. This is due to the airline’s networks or flightroutes. Access points are as follows:
Nairobi - Asia (via Dubai or direct to Bombay)
Jo’burg - Asia
Harare - Asia (limited)
- Opentickets are not really as open as you think. All RTW tickets must havethe route sorted before you depart and will also have specific datesprinted. This doesn’t mean, however, that you will not be able tochange these en-route. Dates are usually totally flexible but changesto the route usually incur a small charge (about £50)
- Changing the name on the ticket is NOT allowed. If youdecide you do not want to complete the trip you can not change the nameon the ticket to someone else’s which means you are unable to sell it.
Once you have been quoted the bestprice for your chosen ticket, how do you know if everything isincluded? Here are the things to look out for:
Almost every country in the world levies airport taxes. These are notVAT as airline tickets are so far exempt. These are levied by eitherthe airport themselves or the local government.
Some taxes are pre-paid (i.e. paid at the same time as your ticket).This is not a choice - or a choice of your travel agent. This has beendecided by a higher force! Pre-paid airport taxes are based on exchangerates and so may vary so do not worry too much if you get quotedslightly different figures each time you phone!
Other taxes are paid locally so remember to keep back a little cashwhen you leave the country - or else you’ll have a bit of a mission onyour hands
- PSC Passenger Service Charges. More and more countriesare starting to include pre-paid PSC’s which are in addition to airporttaxes. There has been a lot of debating about whether these relativelynominal charges will remain being charged but at the moment they seemto be here to stay and will be included with your taxes
- SAF Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance. This is anominal fee levied by the Civil Aviation Authority to protect you ifyour airline goes into liquidation. Some companies include it in theirairfares but others like to show you that you have it
- Weekend Surcharge These are normally for one-way orreturn flights to and from the States and Africa, and include Friday aswell as Saturday and Sunday. This should be included in the fare at thetime of booking - not later
- Credit Card Surcharge Most travel agencies will pass thison to you. This is because surprisingly little money is made on airlinetickets (As little as £17 on a return to Bangkok!). The fee is normally1% so shouldn’t break the bank too much but this can be avoided bypaying in advance by cheque or using your Switch or Delta card - and ofcourse good ol’ cash
- Travel Insurance Not really an excess charge but worthgetting (see our section on travel insurance). Do not be pressured intogetting your insurance from the agents that sell you your flights. Takeyour time - look around and get the best deal that fits your trip.
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