With international travel so affordable and relatively easy these days, linking multiple destinations on one ticket makes a lot of sense.
But what difference does it make having all your flights linked to the one fare? A significant saving is one obvious reason, but there are more benefits to be had.
What is a round-the-world ticket?
Put simply, it’s one ticket that requires you to travel in one direction and pay one price. Instead of trying to piece together individual flights between point A and B (or C, D and E) you can have one seamless journey, all on the one itinerary.
And it’s way easier to keep track of all your movements if you have only one ticket to consider.
Prices vary depending on the number of stops you make, with the only restrictions being you must travel in either an east or westerly direction and return to the same starting point.
Another advantage is that within an alliance or similar partnership, you’ll deal with one type of baggage restrictions rather than a mismatch between different sectors and airlines.
What type of tickets are available?
There are three main types – Alliance, Code-Share and Air Passes.
Alliance tickets mean the carriers you fly will belong to the one partnership alliance. Oneworld, Star Alliance and Sky Team offer a selection of carriers. For example, Qantas belongs to Oneworld and enables partner benefits and network connectivity flying with British Airways, American Airlines, Iberia and Finnair among others.
Not all airlines belong to an alliance. For example, Virgin Australia has code-share partners such as Etihad Airways, Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines making a round-the-world airfare still possible.
Like round-the-world airfares, you can choose an Air Pass if staying within a particular country or continent. For example, Star Alliance offers an Asia Air Pass, allowing up to 10 flight sectors to over 50 destinations across China, Japan, India, Vietnam and Cambodia, all for the one fixed price. These normally have flexible conditions to change when required.
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How many stops can I make?
Most fares allow between three and five stopovers. Generally, conditions state a stopover is more than 24hrs in one city. Depending on the partnership or carrier, it’s possible to have up to 15 stops on one ticket, as long as all in the same direction.
Can I still get frequent flyer points?
Even though you may be using multiple airlines on the one ticket, within an alliance group, frequent flyer points and status credits are reciprocal so you can earn points along the way. Be sure to check at the time of your booking as some code-share flights may not offer this.
Do I have to travel economy class only?
Travel is usually booked in the same cabin class throughout the journey. However, round-the-world fares are available in economy, premium economy, business class and first class. Sometimes, different classes can be combined depending on the carrier or partnership and the direction of travel.
Are the tickets flexible for changes?
Most round-the-world fares are valid for up to twelve months with some changes permitted. Considering the number of flights allowed, validation period and flexibility to change when required, these tickets generally offer great value for money.
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