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Advice on DONE4 routing...?

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UpTheFront

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Feb 7, 2005
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I'm hoping you wonderful wise wizards might be kind enough to take a look at my rough DONE4 itinerary, and to offer your pearls of wisdom... ;)

I'm leaning towards ex-KHI stedda NRT, simply because I haven't heard any persuasive reason why Japan is worth $600-700 more than Pakistan (I'll be in BKK at the time). But if you've got one, I'd be grateful to hear it.

My priorities on this trip are, in descending order:
a) to get from sydney to new york, LA, london & back;
b) to enjoy some nice J cabins along the way;
c) to stop over in some cool & interesting places where I wouldn't normally go; and
d) to get miles & status (pref with AA).

How do you reckon this routing fits with those goals...?
KHI-HKG CX
HKG-MEL QF
MEL-AKL QF
AKL-BNE QF
BNE-CNS QF
CNS-SYD QF
SYD-JFK QF
JFK-YVR CX
YVR-MEX JL
MEX-ORD AA
ORD-LAX AA
LAX-LHR BA
LHR-MCT BA
MCT-AMM RJ
AMM-DME RJ
DME-LHR BA
LHR-NRT BA
NRT-DEL JL
DEL-HKG CX
HKG-KHI CX
= 59,710 base miles

Are there any similar routings which would offer better mileage opportunities or involve travel on carriers with a superior J class service? I'd be interested in your thoughts...
 

tuapekastar

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UpTheFront said:
I'm hoping you wonderful wise wizards might be kind enough to take a look at my rough DONE4 itinerary, and to offer your pearls of wisdom... ;)

I'm leaning towards ex-KHI stedda NRT, simply because I haven't heard any persuasive reason why Japan is worth $600-700 more than Pakistan (I'll be in BKK at the time). But if you've got one, I'd be grateful to hear it.

My priorities on this trip are, in descending order:
a) to get from sydney to new york, LA, london & back;
b) to enjoy some nice J cabins along the way;
c) to stop over in some cool & interesting places where I wouldn't normally go; and
d) to get miles & status (pref with AA).

How do you reckon this routing fits with those goals...?
KHI-HKG CX
HKG-MEL QF
MEL-AKL QF
AKL-BNE QF
BNE-CNS QF
CNS-SYD QF
SYD-JFK QF
JFK-YVR CX
YVR-MEX JL
MEX-ORD AA
ORD-LAX AA
LAX-LHR BA
LHR-MCT BA
MCT-AMM RJ
AMM-DME RJ
DME-LHR BA
LHR-NRT BA
NRT-DEL JL
DEL-HKG CX
HKG-KHI CX
= 59,710 base miles

Are there any similar routings which would offer better mileage opportunities or involve travel on carriers with a superior J class service? I'd be interested in your thoughts...
That's quite a routing you have there UpTheFront, which appears to satisfy your needs pretty well. Obviously there are innumerable permuations but you've done pretty well I'd say. The only problem I see at first glance is that I don't think you can earn AA miles flying from the US to UK on BA. So if you wanted to go BA over the Atlantic and still earn to AA, you'd need to do it from Canada or Mexico - if BA offer it- or possibly the Caribbean. Or just fly AA LAX-LHR - again, if they offer it.

From what I've read here, ticketing these (DONE4s) in other countries can have its difficulties. Don't know how you'd go with Pakistan. And if I'm not mistaken, if you purchase it in a different country to where you commence it, the price is the higher of the two.

That's just what I recall, I'd doublecheck anything I've said, or get confirmation from someone else!!

Edit - Oh, and it's not going to get you back to SYD (as in point a)
 

Hawkeye

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I thought YVR-MEX on JL was a bit dubious. But there is indeed a 2-class service operating on Mondays and Thursdays. Thank you for the heads-up!!

Otherwise, looks a great itinerary.
 

littl_flier

Active Member
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
898
Looks like an interesting routing UpTheFront. ;)

You have skipped ANC though which would be nice if you want to see Alaska. If you take out the MEL-AKL-BNE (which is close to home and can be done reasonably inexpensively anyway) routing, you can pick up some more miles by going MEX-DFW-ANC-ORD.

Routing could be:

KHI-HKG-MEL-CNS-SYD-JFK-YVR-MEX-dfw-anc-ORD-LAX-LHR-MCT-AMM-DME-LHR-NRT-DEL-HKG-KHI

Total: 62,346 miles.

It really depends on your priorites and whether a key priority is points. If you choose ANC, you head up to the National Park which has some great scenery.

Just some suggestions to steal some more candy! :p
 

littl_flier

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Hawkeye said:
I thought YVR-MEX on JL was a bit dubious. But there is indeed a 2-class service operating on Mondays and Thursdays. Thank you for the heads-up!!

Otherwise, looks a great itinerary.
Don't worry, I had to look up my trust OW timetable too. ;) This actually looks pretty good and means ex. NRT, MEX is only 1 sector, or good for some candy.
 

Keith009

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Mar 6, 2005
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You'd need a visa to enter Pakistan.
Also, airline offices in NRT have been proven to be adept at issuing xONExs, whereas Pakistan is still relatively unexplored.

In any case there is an AA GSA in KHI:
Ticket Sales Center - Pakistan

And here's a thread on FT about issuing ex-KHI:
DONEx ex-ISB/KHI? - FlyerTalk Forums

The extra costs of NRT over KHI can also be justified by the rather thin service into KHI vs the myriad of daily OW flights into NRT. CX only flies into KHI 3 times a week so you might want to try getting an eticket if you're only planning to turnaround, otherwise plan for more than a night's stay in which case your savings on starting ex-KHI would be absorbed by accom costs wouldn't it? ;)
 
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straitman

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UpTheFront,

Call me a pessimist if you like but I look at this from an entirely different perspective. Anything involving Pakistan is off my agenda at the moment due to the rapidly declining stability in the country. It doesn't get the media attention of Afganistan or Iraq but it's certainly off any list I own at present.

At the very least have a look at the travel adviseries for the area before considering this idea. Is $600 - $700 worth the extra risk involved?

Not for me!
 

UpTheFront

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Feb 7, 2005
Messages
22
Thanks guys. It's a tough call. I think I'm probably gonna have to side with straitman here. I'm a pretty intrepid traveller but the instability in pakistan just makes it so difficult to make reliable long-term plans. Back to the drawing board for now... :oops:
 

UpTheFront

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Feb 7, 2005
Messages
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Yeah, I'll definitely go ex-NRT, but that means rejigging the itinerary substantially coz I don't have infinitely flexible options. Mostly it's for arcane scheduling reasons like avoiding flying on my work days, avoiding overnight flights when working the next day, maximising 3-class QF flights (coz I get UGs on QF metal), favoring overnights in cheaper cities like BKK/SIN stedda HKG/NRT, getting into & out of wherever I need to be on the days I need to be there, and so on.

KHI worked perfectly for my needs. NRT will work, but not as well, and will cost more. The only downside with KHI is that 48-hour layover: who knows what the heck the situation is gonna be in pakistan come december...?

But then that little intrepid journalist's part of me pipes up and says: I've been to loads of unstable places, Karachi will be fascinating, ten million people (including plenty of westerners) live there without getting blown up, if I'm sensible then statistically it's immensely improbable that I'd encounter any major trouble, and if god forbid the country goes to hell and musharraf can't hang onto the reins then CX will suspend their flights anyway (as they did with CMB) and I'll go from NRT instead.

Speaking of which... does anyone know what happens if you hold a paid DONE4 and all OW flights to the country of origin get suspended? I assume you'd get a refund, right...? Or would they say you just have to wait until flights resume? Has anyone heard of this happening to someone on these forums when CX suspended its service to CMB...?
 

NM

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UpTheFront said:
Speaking of which... does anyone know what happens if you hold a paid DONE4 and all OW flights to the country of origin get suspended? I assume you'd get a refund, right...? Or would they say you just have to wait until flights resume? Has anyone heard of this happening to someone on these forums when CX suspended its service to CMB...?
The OneWorld Explorer fare is refundable prior to commencement of the journey. So long as you cancel the ticket before you start your fist flight you get a full refund. However, not that some airlines may take many weeks to actually refund your money. Qantas will generally quote 6-8 weeks for the refund, however I had Qantas refund a DONE4 in about 3 weeks.
 

simongr

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Interesting NM - I was told after my paid for DONE4 paper ticket had been issued that there was a 10% cancellation fee if I wanted to cancel and rebook (this was when I wanted to skip my SYD-NRT-HKG routing in favour of SYD-HKG).
 

NM

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simongr said:
Interesting NM - I was told after my paid for DONE4 paper ticket had been issued that there was a 10% cancellation fee if I wanted to cancel and rebook (this was when I wanted to skip my SYD-NRT-HKG routing in favour of SYD-HKG).
As far as I know, that is only for an Origin in TC1. no penalty for Origin in TC2 or 3.
 

simongr

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Blimey - I guess the other consideration was having to cancel all the flights as it was the first int'l segment and not getting back the flights that I wanted... At this point I would have probably preferred a direct flight to HKG with a chance at an F upgrade :(
 

Keith009

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UpTheFront said:
Has anyone heard of this happening to someone on these forums when CX suspended its service to CMB...?
My DONE4 was originally booked exCMB (but not issued thank god), and when CX canned CMB they unilaterally shifted me to BKK-HKG flights at the start and end of the itin.

You can perform a search on the oneworld forum over at FT for what happened to people holding exCMB tix, but essentially it was a pain getting CX to issue FIMs.

edited to add - opps i didn't see this other page worth of posts when i replied...:oops:
 

Bundy Bear

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Starting from NRT had been an absolute bargain, that was until the Australian Dollar took a dive.

THE Australian dollar tonight slipped below the US 80 cent level for the first time in five months tonight after the currency's wildest day of trading in years.

After the end of local trading, the Australian dollar had fallen to US 79.84 cents at 1825 AEST – its lowest level since March 20.

At 1700 AEST, the Australian dollar was trading at 80.45 US cents, down sharply from yesterday's close of 82.59 US cents

RBA: Exchange Rates
DATES 10 Aug 13 Aug 14 Aug 15 Aug 16 Aug
US $ 0.8410 0.8485 0.8387 0.8287 0.8057
YEN 99.180 100.32 98.870 97.110 93.58

I had been reading the recent DONE4 threads and seriously considered buying a DONE4 from Japan. Now it just got more than 5% dearer.
 

Keith009

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Whoa... I was debating whether to make that call to NRT before or after lunch. Saved a good few dollars there as the AUD took a sharp dive a while after the itinerary was ticketed.
 

turtlemichael

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My DONE4 out of NRT ticketed on June 29, thus beating the surface sector change. :D It was 793K yen and hit my card as $7777. On the current exchange rate (which is see-sawing) the same ticket would cost around $8900 now. Substantially more but still a bargain compared with the price or originating in Australia. Even more of a bargain compared with those ticketing through QF/BA :(
 

UpTheFront

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EUGH! This is SO frustrating. After finally concluding that Karachi probably isn't worth the effort and I should buy it ex-nrt instead, the aussie dollar has crumbled 17% against the yen in the last SIX TRADING DAYS ALONE.

Exactly four weeks ago, a DONE4 ex-NRT cost $A6,900.

Six working days ago, it cost $7,170.

Now it's $8,250-8,350 depending on the time of day. A fourteen-hundred dollar loss in a matter of weeks.

I'm not sure it's even worth getting a DONE4 at all at that price. I can get a mini-* alliance RTW ex-SYD for $4,929 from Best Flights, or with SIA ex-SYD for $6,119.

I envy you who bought early!! :evil:

Karachi looks ever more like a bargain at $A7,100ish... and as for CMB, won't Cathay pleeeeease come back? It’s $6,600ish there!

Despondent.
 
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