RTW Fares from Buenos Aires - an arbitrage opportunity...?

Discussion in 'Mileage Runs/Travel Hacking' started by Gaucho, Feb 28, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Ive been a retired frequent flyer for almost 8 years now, so the once experienced RTW flyer in my has long passed.... having said this, the current Foreign Exchange Crunch that Argentina is experiencing may present an opportunity similar (or perhaps better) than what was once the Cairo & Egyptian Pound option for RTW's that I used in my fflyer days.

    So then..... what do you RTW experts know about prices ex-EZE for long RTW tickets in F....? In some initial posts over on TOBB, it seems that EZE is a relatively full priced destination to begin initeraries from. Also, as one smart poster pointed out with good reason, in these sorts of tickets you have a place of issuance and then you have a place of begin of itinerary issue... and I dont know if Star or One World wil allow you to purchase a ticket ex EZE and begin your RTW from GRU... which apparently is a better place (ie lower fares) to start a RTW from. This latter point I cannot confirm, I havent fared out any itineraries to compara GRU and EZE fares.

    In any event, the most important thing is that I called AA and UA today and spoke to their reps, and both airlines confirmed that you can issue your tickets ex-EZE which will have a reference fare quoted in US Dollars, but that you can and pay for them in cash, in Argentine Pesos......

    So then... in practice what does this all mean...? Well, that it is perfectly possible for you to get a discount of at least 30% on the actual US$ fare by paying in pesos.

    I dont know if EZE is that much more expensive than GRU or whichever the currently favorite destination to issue RTW from happens to be.... but in any event, a savings of at least 30% off is a relevant amount... and depending on when you purchase the ticket and where the Official to Blue rate Peso/Dollar spread happens to be, there is a potential to save even more than 30%.

    Thoughts...?
     
  2. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    There are a few issues, I think. First, if you can pay with peso cash you'll end out with the difference between official and actual rates, a big deal today. Second, IATA exchange is typically reset every 30 days IIRC, so you'll still have a decent advantage so long as you can use EZE as the fare construction point. I was up to date on these matters quite a few years ago. I would like to know what current experts think. This could be a good opportunity.
     
  3. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    JC.... please note that there is no IF on the peso cash payment. I called United and American today, and Im sure that LH will also take your Pesos cash.... and they MUST use the official exchange rate to convert to pesos so, as long as we continue to have dual markets for ForEx, the savings potential is there.

    I dont know how often IATA exchange rates are modified, but regardless, its clear that there is the opportunity to pay in Pesos for the time being.

    What I dont know because Im long out of the game is how expensive EZE is compared to other current popular RTW issuing destinations are. Back in my days, Cairo was great because prices for RTWs were listed in Egyptian Pounds and when the currency went south you cold save at least 25% off of ex USA prices. This was back in 2001.... and I did a number of RTW3's in F out of Cairo.

    Folks over on TOBB have said that ex EZE fares seem to be subject to additional fuel surcharges that places like GRU dont... and again, I dont know if the "base published fares" (if they still exist) out of EZE are competitive or not. It seems that according to current RTW rules, you cant know what a base fare is until you quote out an exact itinerary.... I think I recall that some 10 years ago this was not the case, I remember knowing what am FRTW3 fare would cost me from a given airport and then I just had to ensure my selected routing was eligible for that fare... apparently (and please correct me if Im wrong), current program rules dont allow that, or else if they do I just dont know where I can find that published fare for a -say- FRTW3 fare out of EZE and compare that to the same fare ex JFK......

    Perhaps the RTW experts can comment....?
     
  4. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    I guess RTW fares are no where near as popular as they once were in the old days...?
     
  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    RTW rules are complex, such as what no backtracking really means given hub and spoke routes, but AFAIK there is still a base fare for up to X miles, assuming legal routing and booked in correct inventory classes, and then another higher fare for up to Y > X miles etc. However, I've recently browsed only SkyTeam and the all SQ deal that I wish I had done a year or two ago.

    For me, arranging a RTW out of EZE is potentilly intriguing because I have my ten year entry permit (versus applying for a visa for Brazil, sorry JC) and DL upgradeable fares from almost anywhere in North Amercia to EZE seem to currently be the best one can do, with amazingly good upgrade inventory of 9 or more seats on most dates at the end of the summer but the bad news is that so far, flat bedded aircraft aren't on the schedule, although they did appear for part of last summer.
     
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  6. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    I think they are.
    It does look like quite a fun situation.
    I just don't have time right now to think about it.
    In a few months perhaps- at the moment swamped enough just with "regular" travel plans.
    Looking forward to who can take advantage of this and how it works out though- very very interesting.
    Thanks for posting!
     
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  7. Travelsavant
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    Travelsavant Gold Member

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    I haven't priced out a RTW fare yet but just might check it out as this could be a great way to kick-start that trip. BTW, If flying One World, LAN has flat bed service EZE-MIA & reverse, probably other routes too, & their Biz-First prices have been very cheap lately to US.
     
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  8. TRAVELSIG
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    Coming from Europe IB in particular has been running some very aggressive fares in business to EZE (1999 EUR all in RT).
     
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  9. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Another option is to get to EZE on a mileage award and then start the Journey from here.
     
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  10. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    And what are those base fares...? Is there a "fare list" posted somewhere...?
     
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  11. Travelsavant
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    Travelsavant Gold Member

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    Good idea, as I just checked fares again & they have gone up a bit over the $920 I paid for my DFW-MIA-EZE first/biz ticket next month!
     
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  12. Tenmoc
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    I haven't seen the latest charts but is EZE that much of a better option now than say South Africa? Especially with MH now part of OW you can get there from EZE a few days a week.

    To your initial question though, i'm not up enough on recent changes in pricing to know.
     
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  13. MSPeconomist
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    The SQ terms were posted on line, although I don't recall whether I saw it on the SQ website or whether someone posted about it on MP or FT. A year or two ago they had a RTW fare that was quite reasonably priced for FC or business class travel entirely on SQ metal. Someone here did it (secretsea?).

    For DL, one calls during business hour and asks for the round the world desk. They know rules and restrictions that don't appear elsewhere, even for travel agents, such as required booking classes and number/length of stopovers. There's a SkyTeam RTW tool on the alliance website, but it doesn't do fares, just routing.
     
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  14. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    It would apprear that everything is much more complicated now... back in the old days when I was still a serious frequent flyer on "active duty", you knew that a FRTWSTAR3 ex JFK would cost, say, US$9000. You also knew that you had a set of rules to follow, but the good thing was that you knew how much the trip would cost, only that you had to construct an itinerary that would be legal under the fare rules.

    It seems that now these charts dont exist... and that you have to fare out a given itinerary from a given city to get a fare... this makes is a lot more difficult to compare fares from different cities.

    Or am I missing something...?
     
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  15. Gardyloo
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    Oneworld used to list base fares for their RTW products online, but took them down when various countries passed laws requiring airfares to be advertised "all in," inclusive of taxes and fees. Because every RTW is different in terms of originating airport, stopover points, transit points, and allows the use of different airlines on the same sectors - some of which may add insane fuel surcharges to RTW tickets while other airlines don't - they couldn't possibly post the "all in" prices online.

    Oneworld lists all South America departures with the same price for Oneworld Explorers, denominated in USD: a DONE4 (business class, 4 continents - the minimum if originating in S. America, Australia/NZ or Africa) is US$9299++. An AONE4 is $13,299. These are both roughly $1500 less than the same ticket purchased in the USA. (But by comparison, a DONE4 purchased in Jordan is $7200 and in South Africa $5300.)

    You can see base prices on Expert Flyer.
     
  16. Travelsavant
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    Thanks! Guess I'll see if I can find a cheap fare to So. Africa!
     
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  17. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Ok... so South Africa seems to be the cheapest destination..... but, have you guys done the math with the Peso spread to see what the comparison of JNB to EZE comes out to...? Also, for some North American based flyers, the EZE starting point could be better than JNB or CPT because connections may be better or more convenient.... this of course will depend on each individual case.
     
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  18. Hattie105

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    I have an invitation to Santiago Chile, but these rates are out of sight.
     
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  19. TRAVELSIG
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    Go! It is such a great city- you don't need a RTW ticket to go to Chile!
     
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