Article: Great Value Round-the-World Tickets with Finnair & Lufthansa

baarg

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I asked this here and contacted as suggested without luck :( agree that it's hard to find a good TA who is available/willing/able to assist. I then contacted a few I found online that had good reviews but many of them charge you an upfront fee of $100. I guess their costs had gone up? I ended up checking Flight Centre's website for flights to Argentina and the prices listed were the same as Latam's (when converting to AUD), Latam's website didn't accept my cc as their system crashes with international ccs, so had to go to a TA, but looked at all the fares myself before contacting them. Went twice to see Flight Centre. Agent is local and seemed competent (she had advice re layover at Syd airport which I wouldn't have considered and could have ended badly for me). Second time I went, I had an idea of what I wanted to do as leaving from Bne resulted in a shorter trip, but returning to the Gold Coast was also a better option for us and you can't organise that without a TA, so took all my options to her and she put it together. Perhaps it's just my experience only, but it seems that as a customer, you're the most invested (obviously) in what you want, especially if you are experienced or can't compromise on certain things, and you need to do your homework first, otherwise they're so busy that they cannot look at the best options for you. I hope I am wrong and someone can recommend a good and available TA as it's always very useful to have the contact details of someone who's good at their job! :)
 
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RooFlyer

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I asked this here and contacted as suggested without luck :( agree that it's hard to find a good TA who is available/willing/able to assist. I then contacted a few I found online that had good reviews but many of them charge you an upfront fee of $100. I guess their costs had gone up? I ended up checking Flight Centre's website for flights to Argentina and the prices listed were the same as Latam's (when converting to AUD), Latam's website didn't accept my cc as their system crashes with international ccs, so had to go to a TA, but looked at all the fairs myself before contacting them. Went twice to see Flight Centre.

With a 'good' TA, its mostly about relationship - they need to get to know you, your likes and dislikes to give best service. Unfortunately you can't get that the first time or so, so, as you say, spell out what you want.

TAs have traditionall been paid via commissions from the airlines, but these have been cut and cut so I'm not surprised some now charge a fee. Remember they might do a lot of work for varius folk who end up not booking with them. Mine still doesn't charge a fee (even though I sometimes offer when they need to do a lot of up-front work - declined) but I think its good value. I know some here disagree.

I woudn't call FC a 'good' TA in this context. :confused:

Perhaps it's just my experience only, but it seems that as a customer, you're the most invested (obviously) in what you want, especially if you are experienced or can't compromise on certain things, and you need to do your homework first, otherwise they're so busy that they cannot look at the best options for you. I hope I am wrong and someone can recommend a good and available TA as it's always very useful to have the contact details of someone who's good at their job! :)

yes - only the passenger knows what the 'best' options for them are (goes well beyond price), so again, spell out your wants (time of flight, preferred airlines, airlines or times you won't use, route preference, layover preferred or not etc etc.). Else its a million combinations which they can't present and you'll end up dissatisfied.
 
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serfty

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We rang Roundabout and whoever answered was useless. I used to work as a TA so I’ve got high standards haha. Someone that can construct complex itineraries and find availability were it may appear scarce.
Then @madrooster is the one who'll speak your language.

I refer to them as the PNR Whisperer ... ;)
 

baarg

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Yes, thanks Rooflyer. It's all good info. I was reluctant to use FC as well, but I didn't hear back from the suggested names above and wanted to book sooner rather than later. I looked at all the options myself and gave them to the TA at FC. She is flat out and FC is sort of like a fast food joint for travel :/ so yea....I don't want to find out how they manage things if something goes wrong.
I understand the reasoning behind charging a fee if airlines cut TA's commissions: lots of quotes and questions for nothing in return is not good for business, however, considering the costs of travel nowadays, it's tough on the customer too. If booking with an airline was an option, I would have gone directly with them as I personally like to deal direct unless there's a very good deal.
 

Mattg

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It is so damn expensive flying to Dubai 😞 and so few options.

Actually, an update on this - and some good news.

I was just speaking to @madrooster and it is now possible to include DXB in a Finnair RTW ticket, as the "European" destination. But there is a catch.

You can fly from Australia to DXB as the destination if you fly to Europe via Asia (e.g. DEL, SIN, BKK, HKG) and Helsinki both ways. You could also fly from Australia to DXB via Asia & HEL, then do an open-jaw to somewhere in Europe and fly back from there to Australia via HEL and North America. But you can't fly from Australia to DXB via Asia and HEL, then fly back to Australia *from DXB* via Helsinki and North America.

So for example, you could fly (for the same price as having somewhere like Oslo as your destination in Europe):

SYD-BKK
BKK-HEL-DXB
DXB-HEL
HEL-SIN-SYD

Or, you could fly:
MEL-DEL
DEL-HEL-DXB
[open jaw to Europe]
BUD-HEL-LAX
LAX-MEL

But you could not fly:
SYD-SIN-HEL-DXB
DXB-HEL-DFW
DFW-SYD
 
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RooFlyer

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Great podcast, thanks Matt.

I'm unclear on a couple of things relevant to my planning on the Lufthansa business ticket.

* What are the stopover rules en route? If I go Sydney-Canada-Europe-Asia-Sydney, how many stopovers am allowed in Canada? Can I do SYD-YVR (stop), YVR-YYZ (Stop)-FRA? Maybe its fare dependent? Related to the fare tiers?

* Alan I think said that the LH fare would be more expensive if you "finish up" in FRA, or any of the LH group hubs/?countries. Does that mean that if you stopover in those places (before flying onto Asia), it's more expensive than flying onward from FRA to, say, MAD?

* Are open jaws allowed en-route - within Canada and within Asia, say? For instance, in my case, SYD-YVR .... YYZ-FRA Or again, is that cost/fare tier dependent?

Yes, I have a TA to ask :) , but might be beneficial for others here, if possible.

Lastly, although I've had some great flights in LH J (and they still fly the B747-400!!), I guess one should try to fly LX long haul, due to the better seat? So in my case I might go SYD-YVR-YUL-ZRH.
 

Mattg

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Great podcast, thanks Matt.

I'm unclear on a couple of things relevant to my planning on the Lufthansa business ticket.

* What are the stopover rules en route? If I go Sydney-Canada-Europe-Asia-Sydney, how many stopovers am allowed in Canada? Can I do SYD-YVR (stop), YVR-YYZ (Stop)-FRA? Maybe its fare dependent? Related to the fare tiers?

You can stopover en-route, as long as it doesn't require backtracking etc. In your case, yes, you could stopover in both YVR and YYZ on the way to Europe.

* Alan I think said that the LH fare would be more expensive if you "finish up" in FRA, or any of the LH group hubs/?countries. Does that mean that if you stopover in those places (before flying onto Asia), it's more expensive than flying onward from FRA to, say, MAD?

This fare is more expensive if your final destination in Europe is in Germany, Austria, Switzerland or Belgium. However, you can stop over in Frankfurt and then continue to somewhere else in Europe (e.g. Amsterdam) at a later date and the fare will be cheaper.

There's no cost to adding a stopover in FRA, MUC, ZRH or VIE (the city will depend on the airline used).

* Are open jaws allowed en-route - within Canada and within Asia, say? For instance, in my case, SYD-YVR .... YYZ-FRA Or again, is that cost/fare tier dependent?

Sometimes. I'm not 100% sure about doing an open jaw from YVR to YYZ specifically, but given you can stopover in both cities this probably wouldn't be necessary unless you wanted to drive or take a train to Toronto.

Yes, I have a TA to ask :) , but might be beneficial for others here, if possible.

Lastly, although I've had some great flights in LH J (and they still fly the B747-400!!), I guess one should try to fly LX long haul, due to the better seat? So in my case I might go SYD-YVR-YUL-ZRH.

It's a personal preference, really. IMHO the J seats on LX and OS long-haul are better than LH, but the 747 is a good reason to fly LH as well!

You can mix & match, e.g. fly LX from Canada to Europe and then LH from Europe to Asia.
 

ddaann

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Just completed one of these in J last week (BNE-SIN-HEL-JFK ... my own internal ... DFW-SYD-BNE). My last one was around 10 years ago. The AY A350s and the new seats make this a really enjoyable trip.
Hi @madmat777 - this is exactly the same trip I am thinking of.

How long after departing BNE did you arrive at JFK? Did you stop over for any length of time? Wondering if I might squeeze in an overnighter in Europe before getting to the US.
 

Seat0B

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Actually, an update on this - and some good news.

I was just speaking to @madrooster and it is now possible to include DXB in a Finnair RTW ticket, as the "European" destination. But there is a catch.

You can fly from Australia to DXB as the destination if you fly to Europe via Asia (e.g. DEL, SIN, BKK, HKG) and Helsinki both ways. You could also fly from Australia to DXB via Asia & HEL, then do an open-jaw to somewhere in Europe and fly back from there to Australia via HEL and North America. But you can't fly from Australia to DXB via Asia and HEL, then fly back to Australia *from DXB* via Helsinki and North America.

So for example, you could fly (for the same price as having somewhere like Oslo as your destination in Europe):

SYD-BKK
BKK-HEL-DXB
DXB-HEL
HEL-SIN-SYD

Or, you could fly:
MEL-DEL
DEL-HEL-DXB
[open jaw to Europe]
BUD-HEL-LAX
LAX-MEL

But you could not fly:
SYD-SIN-HEL-DXB
DXB-HEL-DFW
DFW-SYD
thank you @Mattg - it's super confusing and I've been caught up with thesis submission and end of FY, and then 2 weeks off air with COVID!! Only just getting back to thinking about this, so will work through all your kind suggestions and see how we go!
 

Mattg

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What does EH, AF AP and TS routing mean for Lufthansa fares, please?

See:


EH = Eastern Hemisphere (e.g. Australia to Europe via SE Asia)
AP = Asia Pacific (e.g. Australia to Europe via North America)
TS = Trans-Siberian (e.g. Australia to Europe via Japan)
 
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