2.1 Airlines

Links
Online Airline Information FAQ at iecc.com
Major Airlines at Smilin' Jack's
Airline Route Maps
WebFlyer: The Frequent Flyer Site
The Frequent Flyer Program Site
Airline Meals
Best Way Downtown From More Than 100 Airports: International
Best Way Downtown From More Than 100 Airports: US Cities
"The Air Traveller's Handbook" at faqs.org
Flight Stats: Flight and Airport Info
Newsgroups
rec.travel.air
misc.transport.air-industry
Books
"The Worldwide Guide to Cheap Airfares" by Michael McColl


Published RTW Fares
Over 40 airlines on 6 continents participate in partnerships for RTW tickets. Programs and regulations vary considerably. You will usually have to supplement RTW with other tickets to satisfy your specific interests. Even those on business trips can fly cheaper using first-class and business-class RTW tickets, rather than regular long-haul and full-fare point-to-point tickets. Areas not covered can usually be added as a discounted side-trip. Flights in the southern hemisphere are US$5,000 to US$6,744 for first-class, US$4,500 to US$5,200 for business-class, and US$3,000 to US$3,300 for economy. Flights in the northern hemisphere are US$4,300 to US$5,100 for first-class, US$3,000 to US$3,700 for business-class, and US$2,200 to US$2,600 for economy. Some programs allow you to use frequent flyer miles for RTW tickets.

RULES

"For most RTW fares, it is OK to miss a reserved flight. Your tickets are issued for departure cities -- NOT TIME (this is the opposite for bucket shops). Just call the airline and make a new reservation (and hope they have room). To actually change your itinerary, you pay a 're-ticket' fee (mine was US$50 in 1992) where they actually take your old tickets back and re-issue a new set of tickets. Make as many changes as you want, but try to do them together since the re-ticket fee is fixed regardless of how many stops are altered. You *must* have your tickets re-issued by the airline who sold the RTW fare. I used a NorthWest/KLM partnership RTW-fare issued by NorthWest, and KLM *COULD NOT* re-ticket my itinerary -- only NorthWest could. Unfortunately, I found this out in a city not serviced by NorthWest." <Alan Nelson>

"Missing a reserved flight is usually not a problem. Usually they will put you on the next available flight. However, if it is a seldom travelled route or high tourist season, you may end up waiting days or even weeks for the next flight! Usually a good idea to double-check the time and date. I've heard of people showing up at 3:00pm for a flight leaving at 3:00am." <Dave Patton>


ADVANTAGES


DISADVANTAGES
Programs and prices differ depending on the country you purchase tickets in, and where you start your trip from. Sometimes it is cheapest to start with a one-way ticket from your starting point to a country where it is cheaper to originate an RTW fare. The airlines are starting to put basic RTW information on their web sites, so this set of links should continue to expand.

The following programs are available in the US, and are here only as examples of what is available from the airline industry. The list starts with British Airways programs, then US airline programs in alphabetical order, and finally non-US airline programs that are available in the US.

An alternative to all of the above is "Global Explorer", a mileage-based RTW fare that allows backtracking and zig-zagging. It was started by British Airways and has become better known through a group of airlines called One World Alliance.

You can download American Airline's OneWorld Electronic Timetable to see where flights go from a particular city, by selecting 'All Airports' in the To field.

Similar programs are offered by Star Alliance and SkyTeam.

A Distance Calculator will help with some of the options. The Great Circle Mapper is also useful for determining distance and displaying the route on a map.

Wiki maintains a good summary of current plans at RTW Flights.



Economy, Business, and First Class

Prices in $US for June 1995, which haven't changed much as of June 1998. Some programs may have been discontinued.

AirCanada/AllNipponAir: $2,358, $3,319, $4,605
AirCanada/CathayPacific: $2,570, N/A, $5,019 (6 months)
AirCanada/CathayPacific/AirSeychelles: $3,103, $4,754, $5,892
AirCanada/CathayPacific/KenyaAir: $3,103, $4,754, $5,892 (3 months)
AirCanada/JAL: $2,570, N/A, $5,019 (6 months)
AirCanada/MalaysianAir: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
AirCanada/SingaporeAir: $2,358, $3,319, $4,605
AirCanada/SwissAir: $2,570, $3,618, $5,154 (6 months)

AirNewZealand/AirArgentina: $3,154, $4,795, $6,239
AirNewZealand/AirMauritius: $3,217, $5,133, $6,682
AirNewZealand/Alitalia: $3,272, $5,133, $6,682
AirNewZealand/CathayPacific: $2,979, $4,452, $5,892
AirNewZealand/KLM: $2,853, $4,796, N/A
AirNewZealand/SingaporeAir: $2,592, $4,441, $5,782
AirNewZealand/SwissAir: $2,995, N/A, N/A
AirNewZealand/ThaiAir: $3,274, $5,180, $6,744

American/ChinaAir: $2,199, $3,099, $4,299
American/JAL: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019 (6 months)
American/KoreanAir: $2,570, N/A, $5,019
American/Qantas: $3,247, $5,180, $6,744
American/SingaporeAir: $2,476, $3,485, $4,835
American/ThaiAirline: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
American/ThaiAirline/SouthAfrican: $3,515, $5,451, $6,506

CanadianAirIntl/Alitalia Northern Hemisphere: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
CanadianAirIntl/Alitalia Southern Hemisphere: $3,272, $5,133, $6,682
CanadianAirIntl/Cathay/AirFiji: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019 (6 months)
CanadianAirIntl/EmiratesAir: $2,570, $3,618, $4,621
CanadianAirIntl/KLM Northern Hemisphere: $2,570, $3,618, N/A
CanadianAirIntl/KLM Southern Hemisphere: $3,272, $5,133, $6,682
CanadianAirIntl/Lauda Northern Hemisphere: $2,353, $3,316, N/A
CanadianAirIntl/Lauda Southern Hemisphere: $2,979, $4,752, N/A
CanadianAirIntl/PhillipineAir N. Hemisphere: $2,570, $3,618, $4,621
CanadianAirIntl/PhillipineAir S. Hemisphere: $3,217, $5,180, $6,239
CanadianAirIntl/SingaporeAir/SilkAir: $3,198, $5,180, $6,620
CanadianAirIntl/SouthAfricanAir: $2,999, $4,599, $5,599
CanadianAirIntl/SwissAir: $2,541, $3,581, $5,154 (6 months)
CanadianAirIntl/ThaiAir: $2,654, $4,195, $5,138

CathayPacific/AirArgentina: $2,979, $4,751, $5,892 (6 months)

Continental/AirIndia: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
Continental/CathayPacific: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
Continental/KLM Northern Hemisphere: $2,570, $3,618, N/A
Continental/KLM Southern Hemisphere: $3,198, $5,180, N/A
Continental/MalaysianAir: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
Continental/ThaiAir: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019

Delta/CathayPacific: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019 (6 months)
Delta/JAL: $2,570, N/A, $5,019 (6 months)
Delta/PhilippineAir: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019 (6 months)
Delta/Qantas: $3,217, $5,180, $6,682

Delta/SingaporeAir/SwissAir: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019 (6 months)
Delta/SouthAfrican: $3,516, $5,451, $6,506 (6 months)
Delta/ThaiAir: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019

NorthWest/AirFrance: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
NorthWest/AirIndia: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
NorthWest/CathayPacific: $2,353, $3,316, $4,493 (6 months)
NorthWest/Cathay/SouthAfrica N. Hem.: $3,516, $5,451, $6,506 (6 months)
NorthWest/Cathay/SouthAfrica S. Hem.: $4,363, $6,814, $8,154 (6 months)
NorthWest/GarudaAir: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
NorthWest/GulfAir: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
NorthWest/KLM Northern Hemisphere: $2,570, $3,618, N/A
NorthWest/KLM Southern Hemisphere: $3,217, $5,132, N/A
NorthWest/KLM/EmiratesAir: $3,139, $4,458, N/A
NorthWest/MalaysianAir Northern Hemisphere: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
NorthWest/MalaysianAir Southern Hemisphere: $3,250, $5,180, $6,744
NorthWest/PakistanAir: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
NorthWest/Qantas: $3,247, $5,180, $6,744
NorthWest/SaudiAir: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019 (6 months)
NorthWest/SingaporeAir Northern Hemisphere: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
NorthWest/SingaporeAir Southern Hemisphere: $3,247, $5,180, $6,744
NorthWest/SouthAfricanAir N. Hemisphere: $3,278, $4,042, $4,928
NorthWest/SouthAfricanAir S. Hemisphere: $3,449, $5,085, $6,620
NorthWest/SwissAir: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019 (6 months)
NorthWest/ThaiAir: $4,629, $4,035, $5,701

Qantas/AirCanada: $3,247, $5,180, $6,744
Qantas/AirFrance: $3,247, $5,180, $6,744
Qantas/KLM: $3,092, $4,841, N/A
Qantas/CathayPacific: $3,247, $5,180, $6,744


SingaporeAir/AirArgentina: N/A, N/A, $6,181
SingaporeAir/KLM: $2,570, $3,618, N/A

TWA/CathayPacific: $2,353, $3,316, $4,493
TWA/ChinaAir: $2,087, $3,149, $4,619
TWA/JAL: $2,570, N/A, $5,019 (6 months)
TWA/KoreanAir: $2,087, $3,149, $4,619
TWA/MalaysianAir: $2,199, $3,099, $4,299
TWA/Qantas: $3,247, $5,180, $6,744
TWA/SingaporeAir: $2,358, $3,319, $4,605

United/AirFrance: $2,548, $3,586, $4,974
United/AirIndia: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
United/Alitalia: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
United/CathayPacific: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
United/EmiratesAir: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
United/KLM Northern Hemisphere: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
United/KLM Southern Hemisphere: $3,217, $5,132, N/A
United/KoreanAir: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019
United/Lufthansa Northern Hemisphere/ThaiAir: $2,548, $3,586, $4,947
United/Lufthansa Southern Hemisphere/ThaiAir: $3,217, $5,132, $6,682
United/ScandinavianAir: $2,358, N/A, N/A
United/ScandinavianAir/ThaiAir: $3,247, $5,180, N/A
United/ScandinavianAir/Varig: $2,837, N/A, N/A
United/SouthAfricanAir: $3,247, $5,180, $6,744
United/SwissAir: $2,570, $3,618, $5,019

USAir/CathayPacific/Kuwait: $2,358, $3,319, $4,493
USAir/AllNipponAir/Finnair: $2,570, $3,618, N/A

Varig/AllNipponAir: $3,312, $5,284, $6,879
Varig/ThaiAir: $2,702, $4,115, $5,815

VirginAtlantic/AllNipponAir: $2,570, $3,618, N/A
VirginAtlantic/MalaysianAir: $5,140, N/A, N/A

When calling for general information (not prices), avoid calling airlines during the business hours of 8am - 8pm EST. Short, or no waiting on Sunday. Request a timetable, which has all the stops, to see if they cover your areas of interest. Most international desks can answer RTW questions. They like to ask you for the destinations you are interested in, because their goal is to send it to the "rate desk" to manually determine the price. Just tell them you need some details about their RTW program. Each agent and airline will give you slightly different information, so call each a few times. The "rate desk" can take many days to get a quote back to you.


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Round-The-World Travel Guide at PerpetualTravel.com/rtw
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Copyright © 1994-2014 Marc Brosius