RTW Flights - good idea or not?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Flights, Currency & Car Hire
5 replies 763 views
KieranRunsAwayKieranRunsAway Forumite
2 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Flights, Currency & Car Hire
I've been looking at travelling round the world, and am trying to work out what is the most esensible option.

With the seeming decline of traditioanl open-jaw or genuine RTW tickets, I've been disappointed to find most places (STA, trailfinders, the various alliances etc) all require specific dates and destinations for every step of the trip. This somewhat goes against the whole idea for me, bu tt this seems to be the norm now.

Anyway, it appeareed the most flexible (and cheapest) was STA, due to their mutliflex option. hoever, it now emerges that even this only applies to certain 'flight contracts' and so paying the £99 for the unlimited changes, I would only actually be able to use it on two of the flights.

I don't like the idea that, if I want to stay a few extra days in my first location, I'll either have to pay to move everything back, or just shorten the next stage and just pay for one adjustment.

This leads me to think that the best apporach is to just buy an outward single ticket, then buy as I go. however, various websites, including this one, strongly recommend avoiding this, saying that you nee to book as early as possible.

Any thoughts?

Replies

  • signolsignol Forumite
    336 Posts
    I did this some years ago, booking at STA (cost £925 if I remember correctly!) I had to specify the exact route in advance, and pick "probable" dates. I could then change dates whilst en route, for a £35 change fee each time.
    One option is to look at the websites of the major alliances:
    http://www.oneworld.com/ (RTW section on the left by "Timetable Search"
    http://www.staralliance.com/en/fares/round-the-world-fare/
    http://www.skyteam.com/en/your-trip/Round-the-World-Planner/
    Bear in mind that some alliances have better coverage in certain areas, eg. Skyteam is poor in Africa and South America.

    Hope this helps!

    signol
  • callum9999callum9999 Forumite
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    I've been looking at travelling round the world, and am trying to work out what is the most esensible option.

    With the seeming decline of traditioanl open-jaw or genuine RTW tickets, I've been disappointed to find most places (STA, trailfinders, the various alliances etc) all require specific dates and destinations for every step of the trip. This somewhat goes against the whole idea for me, bu tt this seems to be the norm now.

    Anyway, it appeareed the most flexible (and cheapest) was STA, due to their mutliflex option. hoever, it now emerges that even this only applies to certain 'flight contracts' and so paying the £99 for the unlimited changes, I would only actually be able to use it on two of the flights.

    I don't like the idea that, if I want to stay a few extra days in my first location, I'll either have to pay to move everything back, or just shorten the next stage and just pay for one adjustment.

    This leads me to think that the best apporach is to just buy an outward single ticket, then buy as I go. however, various websites, including this one, strongly recommend avoiding this, saying that you nee to book as early as possible.

    Any thoughts?

    Well I'm sure you can get flexible RTW tickets but they would cost a fortune. Just like you can get flexible economy tickets, but the vast majority (of leisure travellers anyway) will be buying the discounted economy tickets.

    Though the terms and conditions of the £99 pass specifically state "ALL" (their capitals!) flight change fees are waived, so I don't know what you're talking about? If you change to a more expensive flight then you have to pay the fare difference, but that will apply across the whole of your journey (and presumably with anyone) - not just on a couple of flights?
  • edited 29 October 2012 at 8:37PM
    richardwrichardw Forumite
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    edited 29 October 2012 at 8:37PM
    Is "the great escapade" rtw ticket any good for you?
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • callum9999callum9999 Forumite
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    richardw wrote: »
    Is "the great escapade" rtw ticket any good for you?

    How is it any different to the other RTW fares? From looking online it looks like you have to book every leg in advance and it seems to have substantial change fees if you want to alter anything as you go along. Plus you're restricted to Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand, which could be an issue depending on where you want to go.
  • Thanks everyone.

    To clarify:
    1) RTW tickets USED TO BE where you just chose a direction and a number of stops (and your first destination usually) and that was what you paid for. everything else was decided en route. I know as my sister did it in 2006. The prices were equivalent to what I'm being quoted for my entirely pre-determined trip. I don't think it's a coincidence that the operators act as if such a thing never existed as it shows them up for the swindle they're getting away now.
    2) to quote STA directly: As an agent, we have some airlines where we have our own contracts with our own terms and conditions. Not sure why, but STA have decided the unlimited multiflex pass can only be used on a particular contracted flight (the ones we have made with the airline and there are only two flights in your itinerary that have this contract).
    3) Signol, have checked the alliances, but STA is cheaper than all of them. Plus, they all charge per change and require dates and destinations. I expect it's the alliances that force organisations like STA to now do business the way they do.
    4) One issue with with my alternative (buying-as-I-go) is that it can be problematic getting in to certain countries without an outgoing ticket already booked.

    I think I will have to just accept what STA are offering. I just think its a shame that the idea of RTW tickets (offering flexibility and the opportunity for spontaneity and so on) has basically gone...unless you're willing to pay a lot for it.
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