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Around the world - any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by Jobu, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. Jobu

    Jobu Member

    Dec 24, 2005
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    Hallo,

    My brother is planning an around the world trip planning to depart on 17 May 2006. The definite stops he wants to include in his itinerary are (ex-Perth):

    - Los Angeles
    - Cleveland
    - Las Vegas
    - London (then contiki to Amsterdam)
    - Munich (from Amsterdam)
    - Athens
    - Back to Perth
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    Can anyone please help with some suggestions? He is not a FF with any airline, and will be doing this in economy.

    I initially suggested an economy ONE4 but he was told by the TA that Star Alliance would be better because they have more carriers. He has been quoted A$2,970 + taxes of approx $650 for *A 29,000 miles.

    Would really appreciate any suggestions, especially from the gurus like NM and Kiwi Flyer, etc... both in terms of value for money plus any tips and tricks to maximise his first holiday!

    Thanks all - I really appreciate it.

    :)

    JOBU
     
  2. QF WP

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    Jun 20, 2002
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    Jobu, personally I think some of his consideration could be the best use of programs.

    If you use 1W, an LONE4 would be what he is looking for. Now, this could easily get him Platinum status with AA - probably after the first two long haul flights considering he'll be in L class. So after that point, he'll have business class line check-in, lounge access, etc. Plus once he has status and miles in his account, his next trip will be free (from all the points collected) - sure it might only be a mid-haul flight, but somethings better than nothing.

    I don't think he will get him Silver with any of the *A carriers (but I'm no expert, I'd be looking at Kiwi Flyer for the definitive answer here).

    Having said that, the difference could be (as the TA said), that with more USA-based carriers, connecting between those cities (like CLE) will be easier (and perhaps being able to do it in the one ticket, without additional cost).

    Is there any direction he wants to travel first... to LHR first or to LAX first??
     


  3. Skyring

    Skyring Established Member

    Oct 18, 2005
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    Once he works out which alliance he wants to fly, he should join one of their frequent flyer programs. I live in Canberra and an international flight is always going to involve a domestic first leg and that pretty much locks me into Qantas and therefore OW.

    I got a LONE4 quoted the other day for almost exactly the same price, and there's certainly room for a lot of airmile and status credit chasing on the 20 flights allowed to do the trip.

    But if he's doing all those miles, he should get the benefit of them.

    He could certainly make the AA Platinum Challenge on 1W, but may not see any benefits until after he gets home. You can get a letter faxed to you on the road, apparently, useful for getting into lounges for the remainder of the trip.

    My preference for RTW is east to west, flying with the sun, but that's because I'm a lazy b*ugger and this allows me to make a medium sector in daylight hours. Otherwise I have to scramble out of bed before sunup and arrive in the evening dark, and there's a good chance I'll miss both brekkie and dinner and have to rely on whatever ghastly nosh I can find along the way.

    The other big question is aisle or window. Aisle means that you don't have to climb over other folk on your way to the dunny, and you'll be able to stow your carryon in the overhead lockers and still have access during the flight. But I prefer windows because I like to stick my head out and see where we are going, and I stick my pack under the seat in front and have all my gear available instantly.

    Best plan is to get him to sign up here and he'll get plenty of useful tips.
     
  4. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

    Mar 16, 2005
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    No expert, but OW covers all the destinations mentioned (and obviously many more). If yet to join a FF scheme then opportunities for future points/miles earnings should probably be taken into account also, be it by flying or via credit card or whatever. A LONE4 ex-Australia (departing in low season) should cost around AUD2,959 + taxes and as Dave Noble has mentioned elsewhere, booking directly through AA can reduce the taxes by a fair degree. The AA Plat challenge is a consideration also, and could give fast track to benefits like lounge access, priority check-in etc (though that's a personal research thing). However, have no idea about *A, they may offer some great benefits also. Hope Kiwi Flyer or someone else can elaborate on that side of things.
     
  5. Jobu

    Jobu Member

    Dec 24, 2005
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    Wow thanks Lindsay, Skyring and tuapekastar! Those are some great tips and I didn't think about being able to get to Platinum on AA. :)

    I agree with you - probably best to get him to sign up here!

    To book a LONE4 - will most travel agents understand if we request that? Any idea what a good price will be ex-Perth?

    Also - the order he wants to travel is pretty much as I listed in my first post - so LAX first. So I would guess it would probably go something like: PER-SIN-LAX or PER-SYD-LAX or PER-AUK-LAX. Can he get plat status quickly? And like you say, will he need a letter or something to be faxed to him to get the benefits?

    tuapekastar you mentioned that booking directly through AA can reduce taxes - how is this so? Do we need to book on-line / phone?

    Thanks again for all your help Frequent Flyers!

    JOBU
     


  6. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

    Mar 16, 2005
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    My understanding (limited understanding, I might add, and I'll stand corrected) is that AA does not add fuel surcharges like QF does. And they form a significant part of the "taxes" - not sure if taxes is the correct term, I'll just say "extras".

    I have not yet made a xONEx booking but plan to do so in the near future. Planning to make it via the AA ATW (Around The World) desk via phone. Haven't got the number to hand but will find it and post it soon if others don't in the meantime.

    Not a lot of of what I say here comes from personal experience, but from what I have read here and on Flyertalk, though I'm confident it's good information.

    To look at details re the Plat challenge, refer to http://www.frequentflyer.com.au/discus/viewtopic.php?t=1446, and to the stickie in the AA frequent flyer section of www.flyertalk.com called "Unofficial guide to AAdvantage etc..."

    A couple of useful planning tools can be found at www.oneworld.com, those being a downloadable itinerary manager, and a pdf timetable.
    I'm sure similar tools exist for Star Alliance.
     
  7. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

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    And I should have said AUD2,979, rather than 2,959. And the "low" season (date on which trip needs to commence for lower fare) ends on May 27, so he should get the low season fare if departing May 17.
     
  8. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    I think for this kind of itinerary a Star Alliance RTW may be better placed.

    One World RTWs are better for long complicated itineraries, but Star Alliance RTW have better mileage (and status) earning for simpler itineraries.

    The mileage cap on *A RTWs shouldnt be a factor here, and the standard *A RTWs book into M class - ie full economy. There is also a cheaper, more restricted Star Lite RTW which books into a lower class.

    The standard *A RTWs come in 3 different mileage limits - 29000, 34000 and 39000. For this itin 29000 is plenty.

    The Star Lite RTW has a 26000 mileage limit.

    From GCM we have a sample routing under 26,000 miles. (Note the surface segment between London and Amsterdam counts towards mileage limit.)

    25000 status miles is enough for *Silver status on several programs, and should also be enough airpoints dollars on Air NZ Airpoints for silver status.
     
  9. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    The *A RTW prices (may be out of date) are

    AUSTRALIA
    Starlite/Star Special
    Low Season - AUD2499.00 (All year except peak season dates)
    Peak Season - AUD2899.00 (01JUN-19AUG and 07DEC-24DEC)

    Star1: Y - AUD2979.00 . / . J - AUD9419.00 . / . F - AUD13,269
    Star2 : Y - AUD3499.00 . / . J - AUD10,499.00 . / . F - AUD14,249.00
    Star3 : Y - AUD4099.00 . / . J - AUD11,799.00 . / . F - AUD15,229.00

    Starlite = 26000 miles (and more restrictive rules)
    Star1 = 29000 miles
    Star2 = 34000 miles
    Star3 = 39000 miles
     
  10. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    The fare is a set figure regardless

    I would suggest making the booking directly with AA , ideally with the AA ATW ticket desk, though once all booked pay AA in Sydney.

    The ATW desk know what they are doing whwn it comes to booking these so it is , imo, worth spending the extra for a calling card call to USA ( the several hundred $ saving that booking through AA saves makes it all worthwhile anyway )

    To try and get Platinum status in the quickest time, book
    AA 7348 PER-SYD
    AA 7363 SYD-LAX
    This will earn 9529 of the 10,000 points needed for Platinum status

    If 1 QF sector can be fitted in somewhere before this journey starts (booked in anything other than N class), then SYD-LAX would complete the challenge and would earn a 7488 mileage bonus

    Do make sure that the AA codeshares are booked and not the QF flight numbers. If he took the same flights but as QF574/QF11 then only 4765 points would be earned

    Also, I would consider when flying europe to asia, paying the extra AUD600 for BAs World Traveller Plus cabin; it is a lot more comfortable than economy and mileage wise, as a platinum member, on LHR-SIN (for example) would earn 14,207 FF miles vs 3,384 in economy

    Dave
     
  11. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    The fare is a set figure regardless

    I would suggest making the booking directly with AA , ideally with the AA ATW ticket desk, though once all booked pay AA in Sydney.

    The ATW desk know what they are doing whwn it comes to booking these so it is , imo, worth spending the extra for a calling card call to USA ( the several hundred $ saving that booking through AA saves makes it all worthwhile anyway )

    To try and get Platinum status in the quickest time, book
    AA 7348 PER-SYD
    AA 7363 SYD-LAX
    This will earn 9529 of the 10,000 points needed for Platinum status

    If 1 QF sector can be fitted in somewhere before this journey starts (booked in anything other than N class), then SYD-LAX would complete the challenge and would earn a 7488 mileage bonus

    Do make sure that the AA codeshares are booked and not the QF flight numbers. If he took the same flights but as QF574/QF11 then only 4765 points would be earned

    Also, I would consider when flying europe to asia, paying the extra AUD600 for BAs World Traveller Plus cabin; it is a lot more comfortable than economy and mileage wise, as a platinum member, on LHR-SIN (for example) would earn 14,207 FF miles vs 3,384 in economy

    Dave
     
  12. Skyring

    Skyring Established Member

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    LOL! I'd like to say that you can pick us in RL by the anoraks, but no. Dave, that's brilliant. This poor bloke is going to find that booking his big trip is more complex than he (or his TA) ever dreamed possible. Just making sure that the flights have the right codeshare numbers, for instance. It's really weird, when you think about it.

    These little tips that one picks up here make a huge difference, if you have a certain frame of mind.

    Now, would you say that saving money by booking through AA makes up for the extra $$$ for WT+??

    --
    Pete, of a certain frame of mind
     
  13. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Similarly on the *A RTW you can pay up to premium economy on Air NZ for AKL-LAX and LAX-LHR. I cant find the amount but from memory it is in the several hundred $ range.

    There is room to add more flights to the sample itinerary shown in the GCM link. The standard *A RTW allows 24 flights.
     
  14. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    I would say that it is hardly difficult to make sure that the AA codeshares are used where possible ( especially if booking through AA )

    The savings on using AA are there regardless whether World Traveller Plus is used; I would recommend the WT+ upgrade since it makes the 13 hour flight a lot more pleasant. The saving would possibly cover the extra if the booking wasnt being done from Australia/NZ since the surcharge is only USD300 rather than AUD600

    The dsn 9* travel agency can often help out on the finding of the flights

    Dave
     
  15. Skyring

    Skyring Established Member

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    Oh, not difficult, Dave! Just something that the ordinary traveller (or TA for that matter) wouldn't care about.

    The sort of fine points one is given for free in advice here can make a big difference.
     
  16. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Its tips like this that keeps us coming back for more pun-ishment :)
     
  17. serfty

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    Is that Pun-ishment as in <bad joke>-ishment or <something else>.:?:
     
  18. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

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    AA ATW desk phone number

    The (US) number I have for AA ATW desk (courtesy, I suspect, of a DSN 9* post sometime in the past) is 0011 1 817 799 2500, if the OP (or rather the OP's brother) opts to go down that path.
     
  19. NM

    NM
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    If going to pay for WT+ upgrade on the Europe to Australia run, then why not head ATW in the other direction. Head PER-SYD on the AA codeshare as recommended by Dave, earning 2041 EQP. Then SYD-BKK on BA upgraded to WT+ earning a further 7020 EQP. This sector completes the AA Gold Challenge and hence also earns 50% bonus miles.

    Then BKK-LHR can even be in L class if not wanting to pay for the upgrade, and the Platinum candy theft is complete. Lots more AA miles earned if also upgraded to WT+.

    Then could apply for an upgrade to J (miles plus co-payment for international) for Europe to USA, and will have lounge access as well.

    And being AA Plat, he can also apply for upgrades on the AA domestic flights. No lounge access for the AA domestic flights unless with a same-day international connection.

    Again on the way back to Australia use the AA codeshare for maximum AA miles. Could even return via HKG on CX if he was only transit through BKK on the way to Europe.
     
  20. Jobu

    Jobu Member

    Dec 24, 2005
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    Wow thanks for all those awesome tips! We really appreciate it. I'm trying to get me brother to sign up - he is on his way over to my house as we speak so hopefully we can sort this out soon...

    He is leaning towards *A because he's travelling with a friend who has status and can access all the lounges anyway.

    He says the problem is that he is apparently 3(!!) miles over the 29,000 mile limit on his current itinerary. He is bringing it over shortly.

    The problem is that he has to go to Cleveland before Las Vegas, so there is a bit of doubling-back...

    Will post back when I have more details.

    Thanks again,

    JOBU
     
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