My First DONE4 in the planning

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by YosemiteP, May 31, 2007.

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  1. YosemiteP

    YosemiteP Junior Member

    May 31, 2007
    41
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    Hi All
    First up I just want to say this has to be the most useful website I have come across in a long time!!!
    I am planning a round the world holiday for next year. From what I have read on these boards it looks like the DONE4 fair would suit me perfectly in terms of where I want to go and get me some awesome frequent flyer points and status credits as well
    Just wanted to ask one quick question where is the best place to go and buy these fares and what price should I be expecting?
    As it is a one world fare and not any specific airline is it better to buy outside of Australia?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated :D
     

  2. moa999

    moa999 Senior Member

    Jun 23, 2003
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    Cheapest place closest to Australia is Sri Lanka - saving $5k or so on the DONE4
    But it is not that easy to get to (I went on a cheapish QF/Sri Lankan ticket via Singapore), there are few OW flights out of CMB and there are some current issues with CX flying out of CMB as a result of a few explosions in CMB.

    Next best is probably Japan - plenty of options given JAL is now part of OneWorld and may be possible to get a cheap JQ ticket to start the DONE.

    If you go to FT, there is a pricing spreadsheet that shows current prices in one of the stickies.
    People generally seem to ticket through CX or AA - AA is cheaper due to less fuel fines, but the CX office, particularly in CMB are very good at the xONEs
     
  3. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    Just for clarity the price that you pay is HIGHER of point of origin and place of ticketing. So if you buy out of CMB you have to fly to CMB first and then join your DONE4.

    I am a huge fan of these fares (3 planned this year alone) as they give you the opportunity to max status etc. whilst still getting me anywhere I need to be.

    Just a quick observation before you book - depending on your individual situation think about the AAdvantage program (some better award flight rates and better earning rates as well) - there is a thread in the AAdvantage forum to think about.

    In terms of booking I have had less success than others in booking trips that maxed out (well now KiwiFlyer/serfty/NM/Dave Noble maxing out) the flights, mileage and routings. My next one will be booked through AA as QF REFUSED to book it.

    Good luck with the planning - its an exercise in itself :D
     
  4. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    Note that CMB is now a problem for DONE4's as CX are not flying there "for the time being". :confused:

    There are other inexpensive places to commence these trips.

    For far more detailed information I suggest you check out FlyerTalk and the The oneworld explorer ticket FAQs in its oneworld forum.
     
  5. Keith009

    Keith009 Established Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    4,432
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    Brisbane / Sydney
    Try NRT - it's about US$500 higher than CMB. Still a good fare compared to the ex-oz fare. NRT is also easier to get to on awards than CMB. And unlike CMB, there's an AA ticketing facility at NRT airport which eradicates the need to head into town.
     
  6. YosemiteP

    YosemiteP Junior Member

    May 31, 2007
    41
    13
    Thanks for the advice
    At this stage NRT looks like it could definately be an option. Will post updates as I get further into the planning of this trip
     
  7. dragonman

    dragonman Active Member

    Apr 3, 2007
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    I am curious about this. How do you know it is $500 (or any price higher)? I am having no success checking out a DONE4 (or a DONE5 which is what I want). What would the procedure be - book via USA over the phone and turn up at NRT and pay for it? - given that AA do not seem to accept Australian addressed visa cards.

    I accept you know this - it seems hard for a noob like myself to get hold of the info. Can you post the actual price as for a DONE4 through AA?

    thanks
     
  8. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
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    To book a DONE4 ex NRT

    Phone the AA ATW desk in USA and get the flights booked and then sent off for pricing; tell them that it will be ticketed in Japan. I suggest keeping the itinerary down to 16 sectors and have no open sectors since then it can be issued as an electonic ticket and save you having to collect a ticket

    Then phone the AA office in Japan and give them your credit card number; they will then issue you a ticket and email you the details

    Job done

    Cost ex NRT is AUD7576 plus taxes

    Dave
     
  9. Keith009

    Keith009 Established Member

    Mar 6, 2005
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    #9 Keith009, Jun 3, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007
    Fresh off expertflyer.com:

    DONE4 exNRT base fare via any oneworld carrier - US$6107
    DONE5 - US$7005
    Surcharges vary wildly - and the reason AA is prefered is because their fuel fines are minimal compared to BA, QF and CX. No idea about JL.

    Even if AA America accepts Australian credit cards, you have to pay through AA NRT to get the Japanese fare. Otherwise the fare will be the greater of that of the country of purchase vs the country of origin.

    For ONE exNRT issued by AA:

    Call up the AA RTW desk in the US and set up ur desired itinerary, at +18002473247. If you itinerary involves any CX segments you will need to ticket it within 14 days - the joy of doing exNRT means you can avoid CX segments altogether since there is a myriad of oneworld carriers at NRT unlike CMB. You will need to indicate that you're purchasing the itinerary in NRT so that this gets noted when the itinerary gets sent to the rates desk for pricing. Any extension of the ticketing deadline is generally done by the actual office you're purchasing from, in this case AA NRT, though extensions by the AA RTW desk has not been unheard of if you've built up a rapport over time with certain AAgents. If you do have CX segments the AA oneworld liaisons will generally try to extend the CX ticketing time limit for you to bring it in line with the AA limit but this is not always the case.

    Otherwise the standard AA limit is 21 days (some people have got longer time limits). You will then need to call up AA Tokyo at +81345502111 to discuss payment. They speak really good English so no worries on that front. They'd also set up an itinerary for you if you haven't already contacted the RTW desk - they'd fax you a sheet of paper for you to write down ur desired itinerary and they'd book everything for you. This is of course a much slower process than dealing with the RTW desk urself.

    If your itinerary involves 16 segments or less you will get an eticket. Credit card payment can be taken over the phone, "unless we experience any problems." Alternatively you can always turn up at the AA counter in NRT and the whole issuing process for an eticket will be over in 20 mins.

    If ur itinerary is more than 16 segments, you'd have to get a handwritten paper ticket. The guy I dealt with mentioned that payment can be accepted over the phone, and that my ticket would be sitting at their NRT counter waiting to be picked up whenever I arrive at NRT. Fortunately I have a long ticketing deadline so I don't have to deal with ticketing yet.

    OTOH at least one person on FT has experienced problems paying over the phone for a paper ticket itinerary and was told to turn up at their counter in NRT to pay in person and wait 3 hrs :shock: while the ticket gets written out. But in his case it meant that the ticketing deadline got extended (they also managed to extend the CX deadline) until the day he's anticipated to show up at NRT.

    Whatever you do make sure you have evidence of onward travel from Japan if you're using a one way ticket to get there, otherwise your airline is likely to refuse to check you in and you could be turned away if the immigration people decide to check for such evidence. Valid ticket numbers work - whether eticket or paper ticket. Or you could get a fully refundable ticket to SEL or something - whatever works.

    I do have to admit that my experience does not extend much more beyond the reservation process and having spoken to both the AA RTW desk and AA NRT as I do not have to issue my ticket till later due to a previous tkt deadline set by AA CMB which does not perform advanced ticketing. And if what the AAgent at NRT told me is true, it sounds like AA NRT does not do advanced ticketing either as you only need to pay "whenever you're ready."

    For more information you might want to search the oneworld forum over at flyertalk.

    Hope that helps. :)

    edited to add - ok looks like i took too long to reply and Dave has once again beaten me to it. ;)
     
  10. dragonman

    dragonman Active Member

    Apr 3, 2007
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    Many thanks for the advice.
     
  11. Evan

    Evan Established Member

    Dec 26, 2006
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    JL fuel fines could be large... i say could by just judging by a booking the other day.

    JL - KIX-SIN (taxes etc) = USD $150-170 approx
    CX - KIX-HKG-SIN (taxes etc) = USD $60-80 approx

    So seems it could be a fuel fine difference, as it happens although the CX fare was $20 more than JL the total cost was about USD $65 cheaper.

    E
     
  12. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    But if booking an xONEx via AA, even if it is ex-NRT, it is AA's fuel surcharge policy that applies, not JAL's policy. AA only charge fuel fines for trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific segments on xONE4 tickets.
     
  13. Keith009

    Keith009 Established Member

    Mar 6, 2005
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    So in summation, fuel fines of oneworld carriers exNRT - AA<CX<JL/QF/BA.
     
  14. YosemiteP

    YosemiteP Junior Member

    May 31, 2007
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    Ok. Well here is my first attempt at an itineray. Gets me to all the places I want to see and visit and I think maximises my milage and status credits. 20 flights and 4 continents. Please tell me if anyone sees any problems with it. Here goes....
    (NRT-LAX, LAX-ORD, ORD-MIA, MIA-POS, POS-MIA, MIA-JFK, JFK-LHR, LHR-DXB, DXB-LHR, LHR-MAD, MAD-FRA, FRA-SYD, SYD-PER, PER-ADL, ADL-BNE, BNE-CNS, CNS-HKG, HKG-BOM, BOM-BKK, BKK-NRT)

    According to Oneworlds explorer planner it is OK but I would really appreciate your thoughts on the eligibility of this routing.
    Thanks
     
  15. littl_flier

    littl_flier Active Member

    May 1, 2007
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    #15 littl_flier, Jun 4, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2007
    Looks ok to me but I'm definitely no NM, Simongr, KiwiFlyer, Serfty or Dave Noble. Another way to maximise mileage would be to go NRT-ORD then ORD-LAX and LAX-MIA would be the transcon that you don't seem to make use of. But then again, depends how much you like planes? ;)
     
  16. Keith009

    Keith009 Established Member

    Mar 6, 2005
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    Looks valid to me so far.

    Would help if you listed the places you're actually visiting if you want advice with status credit-maximising routes. ;)

    Second the notion of NRT-ORD-LAX-MIA. Assuming you're visiting all 3 cities that routing would optimise ur SCs and utilise the transcon you're entitled to. Plus depending on ur schedule you might even get a nice 777 for LAX-MIA.

    Or if you aren't visiting LA - NRT-ORD-MIA at the start. And JFK-SFO-LHR at the end [JFK-LAX is fully 3 class and would book you in D, whereas some JFK-SFO flights are 2 class and you get A].
     
  17. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    I would take a three class J over a 2 class F
     
  18. Keith009

    Keith009 Established Member

    Mar 6, 2005
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    Was thinking SCs....:p

    And if it's a 2 class plane on SFO-JFK, it'd be the 763 - where the F cabin is the same as the long haul J cabin IIRC. None of the MD80 or 757 crappiness.
     
  19. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    Just in relation to the SWP segments - why are you hitting all the locations? I find SWP to be a poor mileage earner compared to other continents It sucks up four of your flights that could be burnt on mileage runs ;)

    there are different mileage options as well - I am finding BGI as a useful transit location - ppartly because I am happy to get to the UK via LGW as I have family down that side of LON or cn transit to Cyprus through LGW.

    I like the DXB MR - thats a new one for me to experiment with in July. Luckily in J though ;)

    And please dont mention me in terms of experience with people like NMm , Dave Noble Serfty and
    our currently absent KiwiFlyer - I am puppy in terms of my flying - I havent even been to FRA!
     
  20. littl_flier

    littl_flier Active Member

    May 1, 2007
    898
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    :oops: Oh, I managed to miss some of the best people, I'm so sorry. :oops: PS. I have noticed KiwiFlyers absence, its like something is lacking now I've spent months reading all his TR's. Come on NM, time for the next installment of yours, and Simongr, time to get your next trip underway. :p

    As for you Simongr, you seem to be on never ending DONE4's so in my eyes you are worthy of a crown. ;)
     
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