Difference between revisions of "Round the world flights"

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This is too globalization 3.0  I think Friedman would agree with me on this one.  Too confusing.
  
Rather than buying separate flights from one destination to another, a flexible and sometimes cheaper way of international travel is via '''Round the world''' (RTW) tickets. A round the world ticket is a plane ticket allowing you to fly around the world, usually over a period of up to a year and with between three and ten stops at different airports.
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I want to get laid.
 
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Round the world tickets cost far less than the sum of the one-way tickets between each set of individual stops. (One-way tickets are generally a poor value compared to round-trip tickets, and also may be viewed with suspicion by security or immigration personnel.) They are usually slightly more expensive than a return ticket between destinations on opposite sides of the world ([[London]] and [[Sydney]] for example), but if you were planning two or more stops then you may find that a round the world ticket is the cheapest option, and allows you at least a side trip. Many travellers plan entire holidays using a round the world itinerary.
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== Ticket types ==
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There are a number of ways to fly round the world.  A "real" round the world ticket is issued as a single ticket, and comes with a host of [[#conditions|conditions]] attached. 
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=== Airline alliance round the world deals ===
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Because no individual airlines offer truly global service, round the world tickets are often associated with an '''airline alliance''' and allow you to travel with any airline that is part of the alliance. Note that the specialist travel agents mentioned [[#Specialist travel agents | below]] can book these flights as well as providing alternative deals.
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The major alliance RTW offerings available worldwide are:
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* '''Star Alliance Round the World Fare''', [http://www.staralliance.com/en/travellers/fare_products/round_the_world_fare.html].  With 21 airlines, covering 162 countries and almost 975 destinations, this was and may yet again be the unmatched champion for sheer number of destinations and easy routing (see South America info below).  The pass is available in 29,000, 34,000 and 39,000 mile versions — in either Economy, Business or First Class — each with up to 15 stopovers.  There is also a special "Starlite" fare for 26,000 miles in Economy only, but this is limited to a maximum of 5 stopovers.  (Note: the price of any RTW ticket can vary, sometimes quite significantly, depending on the country of origin/purchase.) As in most of these fares, Star's rules require passengers start and end in the same country, but not necessarily in the same city. Some backtracking is allowed, though not over oceans; and backtracking, surface sectors, and transits/connections all count against the mileage total. Remarkably, Star is even more formidable than it used to be in Asia, with the additions of Turkish Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, and Beijing-based Air China. Soon-to-join Air India will only increase that advantage, and Egyptair has increased the coverage in Northern/Central Africa and the Middle East. The virtual demise of Varig, and its expulsion from the alliance, has hurt the network in South America (though there are rumors Brazilian airline TAM will soon join) leaving the Oneworld Explorer and Global Explorer as the only strong options there.
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** '''Regions with good coverage:''' North America, Europe, Southern Africa, China, East and SE Asia, New Zealand, and much of the South Pacific.
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** '''Weak Areas:''' South America, Central America, Russia, Australia.
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* . The 11-member '''Oneworld''' alliance offers two types of RTWs [http://www.oneworld.com/ow/air-travel-options/round-the-world-fares]: 
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**The unique '''OneWorld Explorer''' is based on the number of continents visited (from three to six) and has no maximum mileage limit. Up to 20 flights (16 for tickets purchased on or after June 1, 2008), as opposed to stopovers, can be included — in any class of service. However, because of that flight (or "segment") ceiling, this fare can be more limiting than it first seems. (Also, only two stopovers are permitted in the continent of origin.) On the other hand, routings that require major backtracking (ie: from Europe to Africa) are more easily accommodated here, than they are in mile-centric fares. The recent addition of Dragonair connects a bit more of China and Asia to the grid, and Royal Jordanian has made travel through the Middle East much more convenient. Mexicana will be coming on board in 2009.
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**'''Global Explorer''' is Oneworld's more conventional, mileage-based RTW (26,000, 29,000 or 39,000 in Economy class only; 34,000 in Economy, Business or First class).  While the OneWorld Explorer is limited to the full members of Oneworld, several non-Oneworld alliance airlines (including Gulf Air, Air Pacific/Fijian, Aer Lingus and Mexicana, plus many Qantas code shares on Air Niugini and Air Tahiti Nui) can be used with the Global Explorer.  For this reason, travel to certain regions -- e.g. many South Pacific islands -- is easier with Global Explorer than with Oneworld Explorer.  Surface segment rules are particularly rigid and constraining on the Global Explorer, and the 20-segment restriction applies (16 for tickets issued on or after June 1, 2008.)  As with the Star Alliance mileage-based RTWs, all miles are counted, including surface segments.  Each surface segment also consumes one of the 16 permitted ticket segments.
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*** '''Regions with good coverage:''' North America, South America, the Caribbean, Easter Island, Europe, Middle East, Eastern Asia, parts of the South Pacific (Global Explorer), Australia.
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*** '''Weak Areas:''' Intra-Africa, Russia, India, the South Pacific (OneWorld Explorer).
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* '''World Journey''' (aka '''Flying Dutchman''').  Though not well known, this is a spectacular choice for exploring more of the world. Not based on a specific alliance, this fare comes from an unusual group of 17 airlines, many with highly regarded service. The mix of Air Tahiti Nui, Alaska Airlines, Continental Airlines, Copa Airlines (Panama), Emirates, Jet Airways (India), KLM, Malaysian Airlines, Northwest Airlines, South African Airways, and SriLankan Airlines, plus Air Caledonie International, Air Europa (Spain), Air Pacific (Fiji), Air Vanuatu, Kenya Airways, and Malev (Hungary), offers incredibly good coverage of destinations both expected and unusual. It's offered in 25,000, 30,000, 35,000 and 40,000 mile versions, in either Economy or Business classes (with pricey First Class upgrades available for purchase on three-cabin flights). Three to 10 stopovers are included, but many more (up to a total of 37!) can be added for a fee, and there is enormous flexibility on backtracking and surface sectors, making this the best RTW for truly elaborate itineraries. The main caveats are 1) transits count toward the mileage total; 2) you must start and stop in the same city; and 3) some of the airlines' rate desks are not aware that they participate, so it may take persistence to get it ticketed. Consider booking with a travel agency specializing in RTW fares.
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** '''Regions with good coverage:''' North and Central America, Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India and South Asia, SE and Eastern Asia, and virtually all of the South Pacific.
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** '''Weak Areas:''' South America, Russia, China, Australia.
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* '''SkyTeam Round the World''', [http://skyteam.com/EN/benefits/aroundTheWorld/index.jsp]. This 11-airline alliance still runs fourth, but is improving fast, with singular strengths in Russia, Central America, central Africa, and Micronesia. The inclusion of associate airlines Air Europa (Spain), COPA (Panama), and Kenya Airways makes much of that difference (though again, some rate desks are not aware that these second-tier carriers are eligible.)  The recent addition of China Southern Airlines provides vast new options in China, and around some of Asia's more interesting nooks. And this region is set to receive even more coverage, with the upcoming addition of Taiwan's China Airlines. Mileage and rules are similar to Star Alliance's RTW.
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** '''Regions with good coverage:''' North and Central America, Europe, central Africa, Russia, China, Central and Eastern Asia, Micronesia and parts of the South Pacific.
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** '''Weak Areas:''' South America, the Middle East, India, Australia, and other parts of the South Pacific.
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* '''The Great Escapade''', [http://www.roundtheworldflights.com/bestseller3.aspx] 29,000 miles and unlimited stops throughout the Virgin Atlantic, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines and Silk Air network — great coverage in South-East Asia and the Pacific, but spotty elsewhere.  Backtracking allowed. The maximum number of stops within mileage is about 10 eg London - Delhi - Bangkok - Bali - Australia Stop - New Zealand Stop - Fiji or Raratonga - Los Angeles - London and prices are good value and start from £1025 including tax.
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Here are some example routes
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UK - India surface Kathmandu - Bangkok surface Saigon - Singapore - Borneo - Australia - Christchurch - Wellington - Auckland - Tonga - Samoa - USA - UK (or vice versa)
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'''London - Las Vegas surface Los Angeles - Raratonga (The Cook Islands) - Auckland - Fiji - Sydney - Bangkok - Singapore - Kathmandu surface Delhi - London (or vice versa)'''
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London - Dubai - Singapore - Bangkok surface Saigon - Sydney - Christchurch surface Auckland - Raratonga (The Cook Islands) - Los Angeles surface San Francisco - London  (or vice versa)
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'''London - Nairobi surface Johannesburg - Singapore - Brisbane - Auckland - Raratonga (The Cook Islands) - Los Angeles - London (or vice versa)'''
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London - Delhi - Singapore - Angkor Wat (Siem Reap) surface Bangkok - Kota Kinabalu (Borneo) - Sydney - Christchurch - Wellington - Auckland - Tonga - Western Samoa (Apia) - Los Angeles surface Las Vegas - UK (or vice versa)
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'''London - Dubai - Singapore - Hanoi surface Saigon - Bangkok - Sydney - Auckland - Tonga - Western Samoa (Apia) - Los Angeles surface Las Vegas - UK (or vice versa)'''
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London - Havana surface Vancouver - Auckland - Brisbane - Bangkok - Singapore - London (or vice versa)
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'''London - Bangkok - Singapore - Hanoi surface Angkor Wat (Siem Reap) - Sydney - New Zealand - Raratonga (The Cook Islands) - Los Angeles surface Las Vegas - London (or vice versa)'''
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London - Las Vegas surface Los Angeles - Western Samoa - Tonga - Auckland - Wellington - Christchurch - Sydney - Bangkok - Singapore - Delhi - London (or vice versa)
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'''London - Mumbai surface Delhi - Singapore - Saigon surface Bangkok - Sydney - Queenstown surface Auckland - Cook Islands - Los Angeles - London (or vice versa)'''
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London - Manila - Singapore - Angkor Wat (Siem Reap)  surface Bangkok - Sydney - Auckland - The Cook Islands (Raratonga) -Los Angeles surface Las Vegas - London (or vice versa)
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'''London - Tokyo - Bangkok - Singapore - Angkor Wat (Siem Reap) - Sydney - Auckland - Raratonga (The Cook Islands) - Los Angeles surface Las Vegas - London (or vice versa)'''
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London - Delhi surface Kathmandu - Kuala Lumpur surface Hanoi - Singapore - Kota Kinabalu (Borneo) - Sydney - Auckland - Raratonga (The Cook Islands) - Los Angeles surface Las Vegas - London (or vice versa)
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** '''Regions with good coverage:''' New Zealand,Asia,India
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* '''Four Corners'''.  Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Air New Zealand, Virgin Atlantic.  Similar to Great Escapade, but with better coverage in Europe/Africa and worse coverage in South-East Asia.
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** '''Regions with good coverage:''' Germany, New Zealand, Niue
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* '''Discovery tickets'''. [http://www.roundtheworldflights.com/bestseller1.aspx/]Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Air Pacific, British Airways, and most Qantas codeshares. This is probably the 2nd biggest selling RTW out of the UK, allowing 29000 miles and 6 stops. However an extra 1500 miles can be bought for £100, or 3000 miles for £200. A lot cheaper than the Global Explorer and the One World, with similar routings, including Africa and South America, and from £765 plus tax.
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London Heathrow - Bangkok - Sydney - Cairns  - Queenstown surface Auckland - Fiji or Hawaii - LA surface San Francisco - UK
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UK - Mumbai (Bombay) - Singapore surface Bangkok - Sydney - Queenstown surface Auckland - Fiji or Hawaii - LA surface San Francisco - UK
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UK - Bangkok - Perth - Sydney surface Cairns - Auckland - Hawaii - New York - UK
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Manchester - New York - LA - Hawaii - New Zealand - Brisbane surface Sydney - Bangkok - UK
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Glasgow - New York - Hawaii - Auckland surface Christchurch - Sydney - Cairns - Singapore surface Bangkok - UK
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UK - San Francisco - Fiji - Auckland surface  Christchurch - Sydney - Cairns - Hong Kong - UK
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** '''Regions with good coverage:''' Australia, Asia
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* '''Discovery Plus tickets'''. [http://www.roundtheworldflights.com/bestseller2.aspx/]Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Air Pacific, British Airways, and most Qantas codeshares. This is the biggest selling RTW out of the UK, allowing 29000 miles and 7 stops - 4 can be in Australia including the point of turnaround - within a wide variety of itineraries using the joint Qantas and British Airways route networks.
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Basically you're allowed 7 stops (including up to 3 in Australia and 3 in New Zealand) and you must travel out and back via Australasia sticking roughly to the routings of the airlines involved
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'''Australia and New Zealand Stopovers''':
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Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Ayers Rock (Uluru), Broome, Canberra, Hobart, Hamilton Island, Launceston, Maroochydore, Mackay, Gold Coast, Perth, Proserpine, Rockhampton, Townsville.
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'''Asia Stopovers'''
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Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bali, Saigon, Manila, Jakarta, Tokyo, Osaka, Beijing, Shanghai, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), or Chennai (Madras).
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'''North America Stopovers'''
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Hawaii, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Miami, Boston, Washington, Houston, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Toronto, Phoenix, Denver, Chicago, Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax, Calgary, Baltimore, Dallas, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, Tampa.
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'''Latin America Stopovers'''
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Mexico City, Cancun, Guatemala City, San Jose, Buenos Aires, Lima, Rio, Sao Paulo, Antigua, Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, Trinidad, or St Lucia.
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'''Pacific Stopovers'''
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Fiji, Hawaii, or Tahiti
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'''Africa Stopovers'''
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Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Windhoek, Victoria Falls, Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam, Lusaka, Entebbe
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'''Trans Siberian Train Stopovers'''
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Fly into St Petersburg or Moscow and out of Asia.
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Also an extra 1500 miles can be bought for £100, or 3000 miles for £200 which allows more for more advanced stops. You also don't have to go round the world; for example,. you can go out via Africa and back via Asia. Basically it's lot cheaper than the Global Explorer and the One World, with similar type skeletal-type routings, including Africa and South America, and starts from £860 plus tax and fuel surcharges. The taxes are high, £440-750 depending on the stops.
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UK - India - Thailand - 2 Stops in Australia - New Zealand - Santiago surface Lima - UK (or vice versa)
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UK - Bangkok - Singapore - Cairns - Ayers Rock surface Alice Springs - Sydney - Christchurch surface Auckland - Los Angeles - Miami - UK (or vice versa)
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London - Delhi - Bangkok - Perth - Sydney - Auckland - Fiji or Hawaii - Los Angeles surface San Francisco - UK (or vice versa)
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Manchester - Lima surface Santiago - Auckland - Fiji - Sydney - Cairns - Singapore - Bangkok - UK  (or vice versa)
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Edinburgh - Bangkok - Sydney - Auckland surface Queenstown - Fiji - Brisbane - Cairns - Hong Kong - Singapore - UK(or vice versa)
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Glasgow - San Jose surface Mexico City - Fiji - Auckland surface Christchurch - Sydney - Brisbane - Cairns - Bangkok - UK (or vice versa)
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** '''Regions with good coverage:''' Australia, Asia, United Kingdom.
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===Single/partner airline RTWs===
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A few airlines, including Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand, offer RTWs valid only on their own flights.
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Quite a few more sell two-airline RTWs, with some examples being:
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* '''Air New Zealand and Virgin Atlantic 4 Stop Plus.'''.[http://www.roundtheworldflights.com/bestseller4.aspx]This is probably the cheapest net fare RTW out of the UK (From 579 plus tax), allowing 4 stops plus extras for a fee.
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** 1 stop allowed in the Far East (Hong Kong, Tokyo or Shanghai)
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** 1 Stop in the USA (San Francisco, Los Angeles)
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** Pacific Island stopovers (Rarotonga, Tonga, Western Samoa) allowed for an additional fare of £110 per stop on the outbound journey or £220 per stop on the return trip.
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** Unusually if you pay an Australia fare, then you can have the option of visiting both Australia and New Zealand. However if you only want to visit Sydney in Australia you can pay the lower New Zealand Fare and still visit the two countries.  e.g. London - Hong Kong - Sydney - Auckland - San Francisco-London is an Auckland fare.
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** Surface sectors allowed, eg. you can fly into Hong Kong and out from Shanghai as long as you provide your own transportation between the two.
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** Return dates can be changed for £9. Maximum Stay: 12 months.
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** '''Regions with good coverage:''' United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, USA
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* Air New Zealand and ''one of'' Cathay Pacific, El Al, Gulf Air, Lufthansa, KLM, Royal Brunei
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* All Nippon Airways and Virgin Atlantic
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* El Al and ''one of'' Qantas, Korean
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* Singapore and ''one of'' LAN, United
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* Thai and ''one of'' Continental, Virgin Atlantic
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* United and ''one of'' Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Saudi Arabian, South African
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These can be cheaper than full alliance RTWs, but your choice of routing is severely restricted and tickets can only be purchased in certain locations, not across the network.  Inquire with the issuing airline for details.
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===Not quite round-the-world===
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If you want to do a long, circular itinerary that isn't quite all the way around the world, there are a number of interesting alternative options also available:
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* '''OneWorld Circle Explorer''', [http://www.oneworld.com/products/details.cfm?ObjectID=29].  A do-it-yourself kind of fare where you pay for the number of continents visited (minimum three, maximum four).  Note that a stop in Africa is obligatory.
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* '''OneWorld Circle Pacific''', [http://www.oneworld.com/products/details.cfm?ObjectID=28]. 22,000 to 29,000 miles around the Pacific Rim, covering Asia, Oceania, North America and South America.
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* '''Star Alliance Circle Pacific''', [http://www.staralliance.com/en/travellers/fare_products/circle_pacific_fare.html].  Allows you to loop around the Pacific Rim, for a total trip of 22,000-26,000 miles.  Excellent coverage in Asia, but in North America you can ''only'' visit Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Honolulu and Vancouver.
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* '''Star Alliance Circle Asia''', [http://www.staralliance.com/en/travellers/fare_products/circle_asia_fare.html]. 15,000 or 18,000 miles all around Asia.  Your journey must cover all three regions, defined as "South-West Pacific", "North Asia" and "South-East Asia".
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Circle Atlantic and Circle Pacific fares are also offered by some individual airlines, such as United and Malaysian.
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If you book an intercontinental round trip flight on an alliance airline you are eligible for passes that give discount flights in the destination continent.
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* Sky Team offer passes [http://skyteam.com/EN/benefits/specialOffers/index.jsp] for Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
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* Star Alliance have passes [http://www.staralliance.com/star_alliance/star/frame/main_10.html] for Europe, North America, Brazil, Asia, Japan, the South Pacific, and sub-saharan Africa.
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===Specialist travel agents===
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It is possible to put together a round-the-world route by combining one-way tickets on various airlines. This is more flexible than restricting yourself to what an alliance offers and, if you get good discounts on some hops, pricing can be competitive. The only practical way to do this — since it requires both knowledge and contacts — is to go to a travel agent who specialises in round-the-world itineraries. These can be found in major cities that are transit hubs — London [http://www.roundtheworldflights.com/],[http://www.globalvillage-travel.com/],
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[http://www.travelnation.co.uk/], Bangkok, New York, San Francisco [http://www.airbrokers.com/], [http://www.airtreks.com/] etc. — and many of them also provide services online. Expect the process to take several weeks; these agents will get parts of your ticket issued by their contacts in other countries and couriered to them. This can save you money, but it takes time.
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===Discount airlines===
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: ''Main article: [[Discount airlines]]''
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It's now possible to fly entirely around the world on [[discount airlines]] (low cost carriers), although the routings possible are restricted.  Your tickets will, in general, be completely inflexible, with steep fees for making any changes (if allowed at all), but for the frugal traveler this is still the cheapest option.  See [[Discount airlines#Round the world|Discount airlines]] for some options and sample itineraries.
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== Conditions ==
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Conditions for round the world tickets often include:
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* a strict '''mileage limit'''. Typical limits range from 26 000 to 40 000 miles, depending on the ticket price. "Land legs" -- travelling between two airports without using the ticket -- ''will'' typically count towards the mileage limit, so you cannot have a longer trip by doing this.  (Note the '''Oneworld Explorer''' has no mileage limit but is based on the number of continents included.)
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* a '''time limit''' in which to make the journey. This is usually the same as an open-ended return ticket, that is, 12 months after your date of departure.
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* a '''minimum''' number of stops (including your return home): often three.
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* a '''maximum''' number of stops: five and up, depending on the ticket price.
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* returning to your '''departure point''' (or, at least the country of origin) on the last leg of the trip.
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* travelling in '''one direction''' (east ''or'' west) only, usually interpreted per continent (ie. you can't cross the Atlantic or Pacific more than once).
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* a '''fixed''' series of stops determined at the time the ticket is booked (date alterations are usually allowed).  Changes in itinerary (routing, stopover points) may require that tickets be re-issued, usually at a cost of USD 100 - 150 plus additional taxes and fuel surcharges if applicable.
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Note that a RTW "stop" is usually defined as spending more than 24 hours in a place.  Changing planes in transit does ''not'' count, and you can use this to squeeze in additional brief day visits.  Depending on ticketing rules, in a few places with limited flights, it may even be possible to "transit" for several days while waiting for the next flight out.
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== Planning your trip ==
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Planning for a RTW trip requires quite a bit of preparation.
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Some ways to get the maximum value from your ticket are:
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* Use a '''mileage calculator''' to maximize your route.  The [http://gc.kls2.com/ Great Circle Mapper] is an excellent tool, but be sure to set the display to "mi" (miles), not "nm" (nautical miles).
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* Use '''direct flights''' whenever possible.  Be flexible with dates; routes off the beaten track are often not flown daily.
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* Start your trip from a '''low-cost country'''.  RTW pricing depends on where you issue the ticket, so you can achieve significant savings by starting from places like [[Bulgaria]], [[Sri Lanka]] or [[Thailand]].  As an example, in April 2005, a Star Alliance RTW3 in First would have cost you $16,509 if purchased in the United Kingdom, but only $7,929 (a savings of 52%) if purchased in [[Tonga]].
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** The famous '''Canadian exception''' means that RTWs sold in Canada cost the same as at the point where the trip begins. For example, that means you can buy a ticket in Canada for an RTW beginning in Thailand and pay the much cheaper Thai price. Of course, you have to get to Thailand in order to start the RTW but the extra ticket you need will probably cost less than the difference in the RTW fares; in other words, you still save money.
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** The United States is one of the more expensive places to begin a RTW trip (due to a combination of geography and lack of demand for such tickets compared to other countries).  If a Europe is on your itinerary, it is often up to a thousand US dollars cheaper to buy a ticket through a UK travel agent starting in London.  You can do this via email and over the phone, and purchase a cheap one-way ticket to Europe to begin your travels.  To return, just make sure your routing goes through the US and don't take the last leg back to London.
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* Start your trip in '''low season'''; in some cases this lowers the overall fare drastically.
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* Consider flying '''[[First and business class travel|business class]]''' (or, for a real splurge, first).  Yes, you'll pay about twice as much for the ticket — but business class usually costs 4-7x more than economy, so it's a comparative steal, and it makes all that sitting around in planes so much more tolerable. Also, it gets a larger baggage allowance; for some travellers it may be better to pay once for business class than to get hit for excess baggage on several legs of the trip.
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* Join a '''frequent flyer program''' before you fly.  With all the miles you rack up from your RTW, you'll earn enough to make another trip for free when you get back.
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* Watch out for '''taxes and surcharges'''.  These are ''not'' included in the base cost of the RTW,  but can easily add up to hundreds of dollars, and some countries (e.g., much of Europe) are much more expensive than others (e.g., most of Asia).  Also, don't forget the cost of visas, if required.
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When choosing your destinations, consider whether an RTW is the best solution for visiting them.  As a very rough rule of thumb for gauging costs, assuming a 29,000-mile ticket for $3000, one mile of an Economy RTW costs (on average) around $0.10.
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* Consider some '''offbeat, once-in-a-lifetime''' destinations.  For example, regular flights to [[Svalbard]], [[Easter Island]], or much of [[Oceania]] and [[Africa]] are horrifically expensive, but virtually free (only miles needed) when using a RTW ticket.
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* Consider taking '''non-alliance airlines''' for routes less travelled. As an example, suppose you'd like to fly from [[Dubai]] to [[Athens]]. You'd be hard-pressed to find a good route with most RTW tickets, as neither Emirates nor Olympic participate in the major programs, and would have to detour through a hub like Frankfurt, racking up over 4000 miles (~$400). On the other hand, direct flights on non-allied airlines cost as little as $196.
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* Consider taking '''[[discount airlines]]''' for return excursions.  For example, [[Bangkok]]-[[Singapore]] return would set you back 2000 miles (~$200), but on this heavily competed sector full-service carriers regularly offers fares under $100 and low-cost carriers promotions can be under $10.
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You can also learn by asking questions or reading experiences from other people who have been on an RTW. Here are a few sites that are well known for providing these types of resources:
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* [http://www.bootsnall.com/rtw/ Bootsnall's RTW section] - from a well known and highly trafficed independent travel web site with lots of people who have been on RTW or planning to go.
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* [http://www.dickandwitta.com/ RTW with Dick and Witta] - 2 "retirees" who went on an RTW trip and are now sharing their experiences online
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* [http://www.transitionsabroad.com/publications/magazine/0401/around_the_world_travel.shtml Transitions Abroad] - good article about around the world travel
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Some tips to consider if you need to squeeze in a few more miles:
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* Use [[Metropolitan Area Airport Codes]] instead of airport-specific ones.  For [[London]], LON covers Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and London City, while for [[Tokyo]], TYO covers both Narita and Haneda. SIN-TYO clocks in at 3294 mi while SIN-NRT is 3324 m — a difference of 30 miles.
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* Stops on the same flight '''don't count'''.  If ticketed so that Tromso doesn't show on the ticket, a flight from [[Oslo]] to [[Longyearbyen]] is 1255 mi, not 1292 mi, even though there is a stop at [[Tromso]]. (Note that the Star Alliance mileage calculator does not handle this correctly.)
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* You (usually) don't need to start and end your journey in the same city, as long as you end up in the same country.  For example, starting in [[New York City]] and ending in [[Los Angeles]], then using a cheap, separately purchased one-way ticket to get back to New York (e.g. JetBlue, Southwest, ATA) would free up a few thousand miles.
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== Southern Hemisphere ==
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If you want to fly around the world completely in the Southern Hemisphere, the choice of flights and destinations is limited due to the lack of transoceanic routes. No airline alliance presently covers all three ocean crossings in the Southern Hemisphere (and SkyTeam covers ''none'' of the crossings). 
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However, if you're starting in North America, Air New Zealand (Star Alliance) has flights from [[Los Angeles]] to [[Tahiti]] (code share), the [[Cook Islands]], [[Samoa]]/[[Tonga]], and  [[Auckland]].  Note that Star Alliance has no South Pacific east of Tahiti or trans-South American crossing as such (Varig Airlines is no longer a member), but is the only alliance that covers both of the other oceans.  For Star Alliance members in USA/Canada, getting in and out via Samoa or Tahiti may be the best route.
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Your options for each ocean crossing are:
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'''South Pacific'''
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* '''LAN''': [[Santiago]] - [[Auckland]] (Some flights stop at [[Easter Island]] and [[Tahiti]] en route. Also flies to [[Brazil]] and [[Argentina]] which is needed to connect with a South Atlantic flight.) (Oneworld)
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* '''Aerolineas Argentinas''': [[Buenos Aires]] - Auckland - [[Sydney]] (unaffiliated)
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* '''(Air New Zealand)''': (partial crossing with connecting flights) [[Tahiti]] - [[Auckland]] - [[Perth (Australia)|Perth]] <br> Also, connects the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, and other Pacific Islands with [[Auckland]] (Star Alliance)
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* '''(Air Tahiti)''': (former Air New Zealand east-west segment) [[Tahiti]] -  [[Cook Islands]] (unaffiliated)
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'''Indian Ocean'''
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* '''South African Airways''': [[Perth (Australia)|Perth]] - [[Johannesburg]] (Star Alliance)
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* '''Qantas''': Sydney - Johannesburg or (codeshare w/South African) Perth - Johannesburg (Oneworld)
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* '''Air Mauritius''' has flights from Australia to [[Mauritius]], and from there to Johannesburg, [[Cape Town]], [[Durban]], [[Nairobi]] and other African cities. (This is the most direct option if you want to stop in [[Madagascar]] or [[Kenya]] en route.) (unaffiliated)
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* You can also transit through [[Singapore]] or [[Malaysia]] to Johannesburg, but this is slightly north of the equator. (Star Alliance if via Singapore Air)
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'''South Atlantic'''
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* '''Malaysia Airlines''':  Johannesburg - Cape Town - Buenos Aires (unaffiliated)
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* '''TAAG Air Angola''': [[Luanda]] - [[Rio de Janeiro]] (unaffiliated)
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* '''South African Airways''': Johannesburg - [[São Paulo]] (There are many  connecting flights to Rio and Buenos Aires available.) (Star Alliance)
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==On the road==
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Even for alliancewide RTWs, the ticket will be '''issued''' by one airline.  If you need to change a flight leg, it is best to contact first the carrier you will be flying with, and if they can't help, then consult the issuing airline.
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After your ticket has been issued, you are typically allowed to change the '''dates''' of your flights for free (except the first international leg), but changing the '''destinations''' will require a hefty reissuing fee (US$125 for Star Alliance).  Flying the same route on another carrier covered by the pass may or may not be possible.
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* Two big warnings - Never just skip a flight on a RTW ticket or you may find that the seat reservations for your subsequent flights are '''automatically cancelled without warning or notice'''. It is reported that '''Cathay Pacific will do this''', regardless of whether the future flights are connections for the one that you missed or booked months in advance.  If you leave it and try and reconfirm immediately after missing the flight, you stand a very good chance of being put on a wait list because your seats have already been resold. Always call to cancel the flight in advance or phone immediately to reconfirm all flights, regardless of whether the airlines require reconfirmation normally. 
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* [[Yellow fever]] vaccinations:  Some countries require this even though there are no cases in your home country, the places you've just visited, or where you're headed to.  Example:  You've just visited Rio de Janeiro and are continuing on to Australia. They require vaccination for anyone who's been to Brazil within the past week, no matter what areas you've been to. Australian tourists who visit Brazil are aware of this, but someone else on a round-the-world holiday may have never heard of such a thing.  Always check vaccination requirements of each country you plan to visit, '''noting all previous countries in your itinerary'''. In some cases, you may be able reverse your direction of travel to avoid needing any.
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{{usabletopic}}
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[[fi:Lennot maailman ympäri]]
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[[WikiPedia:Round the world ticket]]
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Revision as of 06:23, 15 September 2008

This is too globalization 3.0 I think Friedman would agree with me on this one. Too confusing.

I want to get laid.