*A RTW Planning

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by trooper, May 10, 2007.

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  1. trooper

    trooper Established Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    1,452
    283
    Canberra
    I have tried "searching" for this without much success... so I'll go ahead and ask...

    What planning aids are recommended for working up the best *A RTW.... "best" in this case meaning most efficient/maximum use of the miles available.....

    We see plenty of detailed (and interesting!) threads on DONE4's etc.. are the *A RTW's not as good?

    I would need to visit Prague.. and get around the USA a bit... that's all... everything else can be for fun and FF return...:D

    Suggestions?

    And a curly one.. has anyone incorporated NZ's Y+ on a RTW???
     

  2. littl_flier

    littl_flier Active Member

    May 1, 2007
    898
    0
    Brisbane
    Mu understanding (although I may well be wrong) is that *A RTW products are mileage based, and thus maximising frequent flyer points can only occur to the level of which you are going to pay for (the minimum is 26K with the max at 39K). This contrasts highly to the One World continent fares where as you would have seen, mileage can easily exceed 55K, all for the one price. This also explains why we see so much about the xONEx's and not Oneworld's mileage fares.

    There is an excellent tool that IMO is much better than the Oneworld program, available from the *A website that is an interactive planner and whilst it does have bugs, generally does a reasonable job at verifying your routing.

    Hope this helps before some wiser members (ie. KiwiFlyer, NM and Simongr) can help.
     
  3. trooper

    trooper Established Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    1,452
    283
    Canberra
    #3 trooper, May 10, 2007
    Last edited: May 10, 2007
    DOH!!!

    Yes, I am sure you are right.... I am really leaning towards doing it in J/C as a one time treat... but will have to look at the "return" first... and I'd have to seriously look at how/if one could have the RTW originate elsewhere...... given the different pricings from other start points!

    I might just be better off booking NZ Y+ SYD-LAX (stopover? I assume that's possible)-LHR then intra europe on I dunno. LH? - then back either through the USA again or via HKG.. again NZ Y+... as there is no Y+ RTW offered...

    If I do the mileage based one then I'd simply maximise the usage... and try to go to places I haven't been before... Make sense?

    I'll be *G by then, with some certs and AD's to burn on upgrades.......

    ONE problem is I would HAVE to just transit through LHR.... the "restricted goods" I will be carrying for the competitions I'm going to are not legal in the UK... so there's another complication! I will of course speak to the High Commission here well in advance to ensure such transit is OK! (Can't see why not - I wouldn't actually be entering the country!)
     
  4. littl_flier

    littl_flier Active Member

    May 1, 2007
    898
    0
    Brisbane
    This here is the tool I was talking about:

    Round the World Mileage Calculator - Star Alliance

    The one thing to be careful with is that if you have a land segment (ie. arrive at one point and leave from another), this is included in your mileage.

    Definitely splurge and go for J, if you are personally going to pay for Business Class and aren't Bill Gates or the like, the best value of a J fare is to travel RTW as you probably know. ;)

    Just wondering though, why are you considering the *A fare? Generally the xONEx can give you better mileage (ie, you're not limited to 39K and can really push it with long sectors like KiwiFlyer's LHR-MCT) and coupled with an AA challenge, can give OW status very easily and loads of points.
     
  5. trooper

    trooper Established Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    1,452
    283
    Canberra
    It IS tempting... but I am ONLY a recreational traveller.. and pay every cent of the cost myself.... I'm a bachelor with a paid off mortgage so I CAN splurge a reasonable amount each year on something I enjoy... but I don't want to go crazy!!

    If I start splitting travel between TWO alliances I'm concerned I'd end up as "NOBODY" status on BOTH! :D

    You see my "normal" travel is SYD-LAX... and that's only once or twice a year.. add to that one trip SYD-CHC-SYD, and it doesn't amount to a whole lot! (I stand in AWE of the travel some of the folks here do!!) I won't routinely pay for C/J - can't justify it to myself... my personal "compromise" has been to fly NZ's Y+ as soon as it appeared... I had been flying Y with them for a few years anyway... (had a bad experience with QANTAS a while back..) with current travel plans I'll hit Gold about next March - and due to extra trips in this period I think I'll actually make GE.. so the "slide" back to no real status will take until 2010... my understanding is NZ only drops you one level per year...(?)

    I plan to use all the AD's for upgrade requests from Y+ to BP.. as to ME that represents the best "return on investment"... and I assume as I go to *G etc the (standby) upgrades are more likely to clear... (?)
     
  6. littl_flier

    littl_flier Active Member

    May 1, 2007
    898
    0
    Brisbane
    Hmm, I understand completely. It may be time to give QF a chance again. Admittedly, if in economoy the 31" pitch compared to NZ's 34" may be a little tough.

    If you are going to travel J class though on a DONEx, you need to weigh up your options. You are almost guaranteed AA Platinum under a challenge, equivalent to QFGold so you wouldn't end up a nobody in OW's books. You may drop back to AA Gold the year after but this is still the equivalent of QF Silver. Not really sure what your staus with NZ and *A involves but AA Platinum would give you lounge access and good chances of upgrades ;) .

    Just something to ponder.
     
  7. trooper

    trooper Established Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    1,452
    283
    Canberra
    It sure is... and thanks...

    Don't think I could cope with that 31" pitch again..... it'll be hard enough going back to Y+ in October after my recent return from LAX in BP!!!! :D

    Nah.. not really.. now that the AKL-LAX flights are back to 744's (thanks to Kiwi flyer for that comforting bit of info!) I'll be requesting MY favorite seats there..... main deck pair... and probly enjoying it again....

    That will be followed by 9 domestic flights with UA.... wonder how I can sneak into E+!!! :D
     
  8. littl_flier

    littl_flier Active Member

    May 1, 2007
    898
    0
    Brisbane
    Good luck, definitely agree with the seat pitch in economy. Flew NZ on an NZ mini RTW at Christmas and was so impressed with their seat pitch (and food). My TA had arranged for all window seat exit rows but as I found out the hard way, on the 744 the exit row window seat is taken up by the door and has no window so i would move back into the normal seats for a row of 3. ;) The 777's were great however!!!

    Needless to say really, I got back and within three days headed away again with work on QF domestic and felt so claustrophobic.

    Enjoy and Good Luck! ;)
     
  9. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    There isn't much mention of *A RTWs on AFF simply because almost all members are tied with one world.

    Some of us ;) do use these products extensively. Even though mileage based they are very flexible (some nicer rules than OW equivalent, global explorer), can earn much more than OW equivalent (higher booking class in economy), and *A has a wider global network than OW (australia and south america excepted).

    On a single business class RTW I have earned enough for a round trip award in business class from oz/nz to europe. Try doing that on a DONE4 crediting to QFF!

    FT's *A forum has the best info. I have some trip reports that include *A RTWs, including one from April. On www.staralliance.com click on RTW mileage calculator tool. It isn't perfect but does a good job of applying the rules and schedules for mapping out an itinerary. You need an airline or travel agent to check availability - the tool doesn't do this - but there are some publicly available tools you can use to get an idea.

    NZ Premium Economy can be included on a *A RTW, for a surcharge.

    You can also upgrade SAS intercontinental flights to Economy Extra (for a surcharge), and both Singapore and Thai's ultralonghaul nonstop flights from Singapore and Bangkok to Los Angeles and New York have a surcharge. Flights which stop en route don't have this surcharge.

    If you upgrade too many sectors you may be better off purchasing business class.
     
  10. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
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    With *A you have many more ways to avoid UK than with OW. Although if wanting to make NZ*E, which requires a certain level of earning on NZ operated flights, the extra earning to LHR is tempting. If not needed then most of the airbucks are earned on the leg to LAX so not missing much by then flying to a european hub.

    When NZ's AKL-YVR service starts it will make it even easier to avoid both USA (go via YVR instead) and UK (go via YVR/YYZ/YUL Vancouver/Toronto/Montreal) on a *A RTW.

    Yes that is right - soft landing for those who fail to requalify for status.

    Yup clear rate for upgrades is much better for GE than for anyone else on NZ flights. Still not easy on LAX flights.
     
  11. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    As an example CRWSTAR1 itinerary (max 29k miles = cheaper than DONE4), not especially well optimised (since I've just thrown it together)

    SYD-AKL-LAX-SFO-DEN-PIT-IAD-BOS-FRA-PRG-MUC-ZRH-FRA-LHR-HKG-AKL-SYD

    I reckon this earns 1215 aussie airbucks (650 of which on NZ metal)

    Uses 16 of the 24 flights and 28902 of the 29000 miles, so can do much better (adding short 2-class USA domestic legs is valuable for airpoints earning).
     
  12. trooper

    trooper Established Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    1,452
    283
    Canberra
    WOW!!

    THANKYOU very much! What great information! Advice that like is simply priceless... because it just doesn't seem to be available anywhere....

    Except here and on FT of course!

    I LOVE the apparent capacity to "bounce" around the US... as I would certainly want to visit numerous places there.... I expect I would carefully "max out" the US sectors (which allows me to visit more friends.. and maximise Airpoint earnings as you pointed out.. how "win-win" can you get??).... and avoiding the UK entirely looks good.... and is another reason to skip Y+ and go for the CRWSTAR1..... If I'm losing the ability to use Y+, might as well skip the idea entirely! That particular fare seems to represent enormous value....as it is pretty much the same as a simple SYD-LAX rtn in C..... and as you imply, you could rack up big "costs" trying to upgrade a bunch of sectors....

    Of course THAT may apply to all the "CRW" and "DONE" fares too!!!

    Much food for thought here.... thanks again!

    What a nice day I'm having... I checked my e-mails before getting on to AFF.. and found (finally!!) the full "e-ticket and itinerary" from UA for THAT LAX-SYD-AKL-SYD-LAX fare....in C....:D :D :D

    Gotta admit I was worried about whether it would "clear" as it were......
     
  13. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    If you want to maximise earning, find short USA (UA or US) 2 class flights (operated as first and economy, and as with DONEx these book into first on a CRWSTARx subject to availability) that do not deviate far from direct routing (thus not using up too much of the mileage limit).

    Can do similar in Europe but only in business class (thus not as good). Note the hubs of LH (FRA & MUC + MXP), LO (WAW), LX (ZRH & GVA) and OS (VIE) are quite close together and between most of these there are airports you can fly via. If visiting nothern europe then CPH, ARN, OSL all close.

    AMS and HAM lie almost in a line between CPH & LHR.

    In my experience Europe is easier than USA to find routings that add segments without using up much mileage (due to sheer number of *A hubs and destinations served), but less earning due to business vs first.
     
  14. trooper

    trooper Established Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    1,452
    283
    Canberra
    I'm going to print all this out and keep it somewhere safe...

    I am VERY grateful for the advice!
     
  15. littl_flier

    littl_flier Active Member

    May 1, 2007
    898
    0
    Brisbane
    Thanks KiwiFlyer, I knew someone with alot more *A knowledge would be able to help. trooper, make sure you keep us posted on your routing and maybe even do a trip report for us. ;) After KiwiFlyer's advice about enough earning for a Business Class to Europe on one trip, I will definitely think twice before choosing a done4.
     
  16. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
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    Note that was not crediting to airpoints, made extensive use of generous minimum mileages in europe. I was on 34k. Also I benefitted from some nice promos.

    For those interested, here is an index to my trip reports which includes a few RTWs.
     
  17. littl_flier

    littl_flier Active Member

    May 1, 2007
    898
    0
    Brisbane
    Hey Kiwi Flyer, I've already checked out a few of your Trip Reports. Liked you're description of Gove Airport. I spend six weeks a year up there with work and whilst we have a good time, the best part is arriving back at the airport for the flight back to civilisation.

    If you have a quick sec and haven't already outlined elsewhere (sorry), could you explain who you credited to etc? Was it SQ?
     
  18. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
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    For that particular trip I credited a mixture of FFPs. Intra-europe to Miles and More (2500 status miles plus very good promo bonuses for even the short flights under 100 miles!), Air NZ flights to NZ and the rest varied.
     
  19. garyjohn951

    garyjohn951 Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    561
    2
    Melbourne
    For those who like to plan RTW's and miss the joys of London Heathrow !!!!

    see below

    Iberia launches Madrid-Boston and heads for Washington and St Petersburg: Iberia has launched its new Madrid-Boston route, with an initial five Airbus A340s a week. It joins American Airlines and British Airways in serving the New England gateway. Next month, oneworld's Spanish partner adds Washington DC to its network too, while it Europe it will open services to St Petersburg from 2 June, with two Airbus A319s a week from and to its Madrid hub.
    Royal Jordanian resumes Montreal route: Royal Jordanian, which joined oneworld on 1 April, resumes non-stops between its Amman home base and Montreal from 25 May, with twice-weekly two-class Airbus A340s, offering its Crown Class flat beds. The airline last served the Canadian city ten years ago.
     
  20. Evan

    Evan Established Member

    Dec 26, 2006
    3,168
    0
    SIN / MEL
    Thats good news, another option to St Petersburg. I want to visit later in the year, although i was thinking ferry from Helsinki as a different option.
    E
     
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