RWT Fares - Share Your Knowledge

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by diver90, Feb 22, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. diver90
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    diver90 Gold Member

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    The diver90 family of 3 is looking into a RTW trip later this year. We will be originating in the US (ATL) and would probably travel Westward (but am open to other ideas). We are budgeting for FC (not an oxymoron - want the most cost effective fare) and are most interested in SQ and CX at this point. We have found good information on the SQ site:

    SQ RTW Information

    Any and all tips, links, "You must go here" data, knowledge and wisdom are greatly appreciated. We have been to Australia, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia previously but the last 3 were quite a while ago. Mrsdiver90 has been to Germany and France in Europe but that's it. Minidiver90 has been to AUS.

    We are doing research here and on FT (the TR's over there are pretty fantastic).
     
  2. Gardyloo
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    Gardyloo Gold Member

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    In terms of sheer value for North American originations, the all-SQ fare is hard to beat. The downside is extreme inflexibility in terms of routing, plus a lot of hidden costs in using premium cabins on long-haul sectors (surcharges etc.) However, it might be useful if you use the SQ RTW as a backbone, then pay for side trips or loop trips from SQ stopping points. Of course those side trips can reduce the cost advantage significantly, especially if you want to go someplace like Australia or Africa, which you can't do with the "bare bones" SQ RTW.

    I do (Oneworld) RTWs fairly often, and have "coached" quite a few friends to put their toes in the water on their own RTW trips, including Star Alliance products and the "Escapade" ticket (SQ/NZ/VS). My advice to them is the same as I'd give you. First, plan where you want to go and when, and let the choice of ticket products and carriers flow from that.

    These are big investments, but they can generate big rewards: not just the travel experience and all that comes with that, but also in terms of future travel.

    For instance, virtually any alliance-member based RTW ticket in a premium cabin can generate elite status in the chosen FF program, with ripple effects onward (reduced baggage charges, upgrades, etc.)

    Second, any reasonably-constructed RTW itinerary ought to generate quite a lot of redeemable miles for future travel. In my case, as an AA EXP (or Plat) through the combination of elite bonus miles plus premium class-of-service bonuses, I can usually earn enough miles through one paid business-class RTW to "pay" for a second RTW through redemptions.

    Third, note that most RTW products (and I think all when premium cabins are used) have a ticket life of a year, and most allow changes with relatively small penalties (and at no cost in some instances.)

    Combine these facts with another big characteristic, namely that the price is different - possibly dramatically different - depending on where you start and end the trip, and you have a recipe for turning most RTWs into a means of having two or even three separate vacations (or business trips, or both) in the space of a year.

    Example (using the Oneworld Explorer because I have the most familiarity with it):

    Buy a three-continent business class ticket with travel starting and ending in Israel or Jordan. (Why Israel or Jordan? Because the price of a "DONE3" bought in Israel or Jordan is $3700 cheaper than one bought in the USA, more than enough savings to pay for the "positioning" travel to get to Tel Aviv or Amman to start the trip. Oh, the "code" is D = business booking class, ONE = Oneworld Explorer, and 3 = 3 continents. An AONE5 would be first class - A - and 5 continents.)

    From TLV or AMM head west and have a vacation or lengthy touring opportunity in Europe. (The Middle East is included in Europe for the purposes of defining "continent.")

    Then fly home and check on the mail, dog, business, life. Your ticket allows 6 flights within North America, so at some point in the next ten or eleven months (or of course shorter) use the ticket to travel to Alaska, or to the Caribbean, or Central America, or whatever. Second "vacation" opportunity.

    Then when it's time to resume intercontinental travels, take off to Asia, and use the ticket for four segments/stopovers within Asia. Third vacation.

    Finally return to anywhere in the Middle East and the trip's done. Of course you could tour around before flying home.

    This is just one paradigm; for example you could purchase a 4-continent ticket (around $1000 more) and fly Europe/Middle East > North America > Australia/NZ > Africa > Europe, or Europe > South America > Australia/NZ > Africa > Europe, or any permutations. Just finish in a year and don't backtrack between the three big global divisions invented by the airlines - TC 1 (N/S America), TC 2 (Europe/Middle East/Africa) and TC 3 (Asia and "Southwest Pacific".) In other words, keep going west or east (albeit with plenty of zigzagging allowed.)

    So in starting the planning process, decide first where you want to go, then look at local conditions (weather, festivals, etc.) over the various seasons, then start rummaging around for the best fit for tickets.

    There are lots of rules with these products, some of them far from intuitive, but the value is there for the mining. Happy planning!
     
    jupper, Biu, Cosmos Human and 2 others like this.
  3. diver90
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    diver90 Gold Member

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    Thanks so much for your response. Great insight!

    And I just noticed that I titled the thread "RWT" [headslap smiley]
     
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  4. Mark Allen Jackson
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    Mark Allen Jackson Silver Member

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    Wonderful insight. I want to do this at one point in the future!
     
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  5. Blue Skye
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    Blue Skye Silver Member

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    about the title, it is okay. i somehow managed a dyslexic moment and read it the way you intended. [​IMG]
     

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