Oneworld Explorer ticketing

burnt

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My Platinum expires in Nov and I was thinking about doing a Business class OW Explorer trip, originating in South Africa or Egypt that would be reasonably economical and be enough SC to qualify for Platinum again (after my Plat has expired, so that when I re-qualify I will hold the Plat until Nov 2019.
Has anybody else done a similar exercise and may have some itin. examples. As most of my flying these days is redemption, it would be handy to be able to include the four QF sectors in the ticketing somewhere to meet that requirement.
I will need 1400 SC so it would be interesting to see how much of "an interesting trip" can be put together as opposed to the old USA YUP type fares.

I think I also read that QF can now sell OW Explorer that originates in other countries, at the local price but converted to AUD?
 

Danger

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It's not difficult to get over 1400 SCs on a oneworld Explorer (DONEx), even a DONE3. I've done five (including the one in progress) and have easily gotten over 1400 each time, although the first two were in the glory days when you could have 20 sectors instead of the now 16.

Yes, the rules changed last year such that you can originate in country A but purchase in country B at country A's price. Of my five, the last four have been purchased abroad (one in South Africa, one in Namibia, one in Egypt and, the latest, ex-Mozambique). The one in progress, out of Mozambique, was booked literally hours before oneworld spoiled the party and more than doubled the cost of the ticket. I had a ticket on hold with Qantas and, to its credit, the held price was honoured even though I was ready to book only after the price increase. For this DONE5 I paid $4530. It will net 100k Qantas frequent flyer points and a little under 1700 SCs.

Note, though, that despite being able to pay another the price of the country of departure there are few competent oneworld airlines who can properly price and sell these tickets to begin with. American is the key one and has a dedicated round the world desk in Dallas (+1 800 843 3000). Note also that the deep discount countries of departure have dried up. South Africa, Namibia, Egypt and Mozambique are all much higher than they once were. I'm lead to believe Japan is about as good a bang for your buck as you can get and for us Aussies is probably easier and cheaper to position to.

The rules of the oneworld Explorer are ridiculously convoluted and the majority of agents really have no clue. Even some of the agents at the AA RTW desk get it wrong. I had to speak with three different Qantas agents on my last ticket because they repeatedly told me I couldn't fly in and out of Africa twice. That's correct (given my origin) but my in and out was Maputo-Doha-Casablanca-Doha. Under the oneworld rules Morocco is considered part of Europe, not Africa, so I wasn't actually going in and out of Africa. The rules, all 16-odd pages of them, are on the oneworld website. Prepare for grief with anything other than a standard itinerary.

There is an extensive thread on FlyerTalk with much advice including two or three resident experts (one from Australia). Your best bet is to post in that thread or, for some local help, post your planned itinerary here (even something like where you'd like to start from and what cities you'd like to visit) and we'll have a crack.
 

Cynicor

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Danger, I'm impressed that you can still milk so many SCs from them.
Do you do lots of USA miles to achieve that? Last few times I've looked it's been hard to get to 1200.
 

Danger

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Danger, I'm impressed that you can still milk so many SCs from them.
Do you do lots of USA miles to achieve that? Last few times I've looked it's been hard to get to 1200.

I was slightly off (on both points and SCs):

DONE5.jpg

(BOG-LIM is flex Y.)

In previous iterations I've got a little more but that's when I'm had more flights in the US and was before the gutting of QF earning on AA flights.

I'll dig up some old ones.
 

Himeno

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Note, though, that despite being able to pay another the price of the country of departure there are few competent oneworld airlines who can properly price and sell these tickets to begin with. American is the key one and has a dedicated round the world desk in Dallas (+1 800 843 3000). Note also that the deep discount countries of departure have dried up. South Africa, Namibia, Egypt and Mozambique are all much higher than they once were. I'm lead to believe Japan is about as good a bang for your buck as you can get and for us Aussies is probably easier and cheaper to position to.
Depending on exchange rates at the time, South Korea can be good as well.

There is an extensive thread on FlyerTalk with much advice including two or three resident experts (one from Australia). Your best bet is to post in that thread or, for some local help, post your planned itinerary here (even something like where you'd like to start from and what cities you'd like to visit) and we'll have a crack.
There are at least 2 or 3 people from Australia active in that thread. As far as I can tell, those people are also active here. ;)

I've done a oneworld RTW of some type each year since 2006. The first year was an LGLOB29 (mileage based global explorer) in order to use JL prior to their joining the alliance. After that I did LONE4's until 2010 when I started combining a DONE3 from Seoul or Tokyo with a DAS13 (Circle Asia and South West Pacific).
When I was doing the LONE4's, I could only get mid way between sliver and gold. Since 2010, I've had no issue getting platinum. With the first DAS13/DONE3, I had just fallen back to bronze right before departing due to the timing of the trip, and got to platinum just before I got home.

It has become harder to get SCs for the last few years since the QF "simpler and fairer" changes. It will be harder again this year with the AA booking class changes and no longer having the "D books into A" on 2 class US domestic.

This is just the RTW part of my trips since I started using booking J. (The DAS13 part has been almost the same each time, with the 8 allowed flights getting just under the allowed 13,000 mile max)
2010: NRT-SIN-HKG-JFK-DFW-ORD-MCO-DFW-SEA-JFK-CDG-HEL-LHR-DXB-LHR-HKG-NRT 41637 mi
2011: ICN-NRT-DFW-ANC-DFW-ATL-ORD-SFO-JFK-FCO-MAD-LHR-DXB-LHR-SIN-HND-GMP 42573 mi
2012: ICN-HKG-JFK-MIA-SEA-ORD-LAX-IAH-ORD-AMM-MAD-LHR-DXB-LHR-SIN-NRT-ICN 45934 mi
2013: HND-HKG-JFK-SFO-ORD-RDU-ORD-MIA-BCN-HEL-LHR-DXB-LHR-PVG-KUL-SIN-HND 42702 mi
2014: HND-HKG-JFK-BOS-MIA-LAX-IAH-ORD-DOH-CDG-LHR-DXB-LHR-PEK-HKG-SIN-HND 44433 mi
2015: HND-HKG-BOS-DFW-LAX-MIA-JFK-MIA-ZRH-HEL-LHR-DXB-LHR-PVG-HKG-SIN-HND 42484 mi
2016: NRT-JFK-DFW-PDX-LAX-DCA-DTW-DFW-DOH-OSL-LHR-DXB-LHR-ICN-HKG-SIN-HND 44572 mi


Last year on a DONEx, booking a 2 class AA domestic flight would book you in A and get First class status credits/points, however if using a QF codeshare, you'd get booked into D. Thus the AA code on DFW-JFK would give you 120 SC while on a QF code, you'd get 80.
Now, with the AA booking class changes, and the QF earn cuts on AA, that same flight would get you 40SC on an AA code and 80 on a QF codeshare.
 
Last edited:

moa999

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In the ancient past I did a 20-segment (paper) ticket ex-CMB and two back to back ex-KHI (transferring money to Pakistan is not simple and no CCs accepted). Also done a Circle Asia ex-HKG

The changes to earn on AA (Business v First, and reduction in earn on shorter segments) have made them less useful
 

burnt

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Wow, thank you all for the responses and ideas for planning with the examples of flights that you have done. I will have a look at FlyerTalk, watch this space for updated info. when i get a little further.
 

Jacques Vert

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I'm lead to believe Japan is about as good a bang for your buck as you can get and for us Aussies is probably easier and cheaper to position to.Your best bet is to post in that thread or, for some local help, post your planned itinerary here (even something like where you'd like to start from and what cities you'd like to visit) and we'll have a crack.

So given that QF are restarting flights to Osaka, do you think that might be an ideal starting point?

JV
 

Himeno

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So given that QF are restarting flights to Osaka, do you think that might be an ideal starting point?

JV
Only for a limited time between the 3rd 787 arriving and PER-LHR starting.

There aren't many oneworld flights from KIX (ITM is all domestic), so starting there could lead to 'wasting' a sector depending on what your plans are (limited to 16 sectors overall, 4 max in each continent or 6 in North America). There is also a limit on the amount of stops you can have in the continent you start in, 2 IIRC.
The (international) oneworld flights from KIX are; HKG, TPE, BKK, LAX, HNL, PVG, KUL. JL used to have a lot more flights out of KIX (inc SIN and LHR), but most were cut when they were in bankruptcy.
As for JP domestic, KIX has 6 destinations, ITM has 26, HND has 33 and NRT has 3.

There are also limits on HNL (and Hawaii in general). Hawaii is in North America, so you can't do something like KIX-HNL-NRT or NRT-HNL-SYD. If you go to HNL from Asia or SWP (Australia), you have to continue on to the US/Canada mainland. However, if you go in the other direction eg LAX-HNL, you can't then return to the US mainland.
 

burnt

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Forgot to ask, but maybe an obvious answer, can you use the AA desk if you wish to credit to QF?
 

Danger

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This was the best I managed, back in 2012:

DONE4 2012.jpg

Depending on exchange rates at the time, South Korea can be good as well.

Think Seoul might be a lot better for not much more hassle. I could be wrong.

I think the South Korea days are behind us. A DONE3 is currently AUD9536 and a DONE4 AUD11365.

So given that QF are restarting flights to Osaka, do you think that might be an ideal starting point?

JV

Japan is pretty reasonable at AUD7445 for a DONE3 and AUD8852 for a DONE4.

Forgot to ask, but maybe an obvious answer, can you use the AA desk if you wish to credit to QF?

As Cynicor noted yes, you can but expect some pushback if you don't have at least one overwater segment on AA. There is no rule that requires the ticketing carrier to also be an operating carrier but because the cut the airlines get on these tickets is so low, most one at least some piece of the pie before they'll assist. Fortunately, this is usually quite easy to do. For example, even if you wanted to ultimately fly with QF on, say, a Trans-Pac leg, you could book the itinerary on an AA service (or even just an AA code on QF) and later change to the QF service. There are no charges for changes to date, time and carrier, provided ticketed points remain the same. Note that the first flight must go untouched or a re-assessment of the entire fare will take place.

What about HKG for a starting point?

Awful, unfortunately at AUD12733 for a DONE3 and 14238 for a DONE4.

I am looking at booking 1 of these next year and accessed the webinar Learn all about Cheap Round-the-World Travel (13 April 2017) which said that starting in Egypt was cheap and good value. When using the Oneworld Plan and Book, receiving error saying 'Your itinerary cannot start from any city in Egypt.'

Unfortunately that information is out of date. Oneworld suspended the sale of Explorer tickets from Egypt several weeks or even months ago due to the volatility of the currency. The GDS no longer displays a price for ex-Egypt departures.

It would seem that South Africa and Mozambique are about the best places right now at AUD7693 (DONE3) and AUD8453 (DONE4) and AUD6859 (DONE3) and AUD7421 (DONE4) respectively. Maputo, however, is a hole and a TWOV is problematic.

(All prices from ExpertFlyer.)
 

Himeno

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I am looking at booking 1 of these next year and accessed the webinar Learn all about Cheap Round-the-World Travel (13 April 2017) which said that starting in Egypt was cheap and good value. When using the Oneworld Plan and Book, receiving error saying 'Your itinerary cannot start from any city in Egypt.'
When the Egyptian pound went into free fall last year, RTW tickets departing from Egypt suddenly became really good value and oneworld members were quickly flooded with ex-CAI xONEx tickets. Given the state of the EGP, rather then do what they had done in other similar cases and either increase the fare or refile the base fare as USD, oneworld elected to pull ex-Egypt fares completely.

Forgot to ask, but maybe an obvious answer, can you use the AA desk if you wish to credit to QF?
You can ticket with any oneworld member you like. There are some limits in the rules relating to who can ticket based on exact details of the trip (eg, going to/via Cuba prevents using AA on the ticket in any way, and some airlines can't ticket if you use a QF coded JQ flight which is allowed on an LONEx). If you ticket via the AA RTW desk, they will try to insist on at least 1 intercontinental flight being on an AA code.
You can send FF program earn to any airline, it doesn't matter which airline issues the ticket. You can also change which program earns on a flight to flight basis.

There are no fees to change carrier, date, time, flight. There are fees ($125USD) to change routing, however changing the first flights (any flights up to and including the first international flight) can lead to a refare and any tax/fee changes being payable.
You can be booked on AA1 (8am JFK-LAX) and can change to AA255 (10am JFK-LAX) without charge (provided the needed booking class is available), but if you wanted to change to AA179 (11am JFK-SFO), you would have the $125 change fee.
 

VPS

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I obviously have a lot more reading to do - might plan this for 2018 so I can get WP for another year and then I'll be LTG - awesome knowledge on this forum - thanks once again
 

wandering_fred

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The loss of QR DOH-CAI flights with a DONEx ticketing into A class (was QF 150SC) is another downside with the current embargo.

Note that in attempting to reschedule my LONEx (one year from the first flight was way past one year from ticket purchase date) QR has insisted that a change of transit to stopover is grounds for charging the US$125 re-issue fee. Certainly there would be small changes in the taxes involved (at some airports)

The prices for LONEx from southern Africa are still among the best for the consumer. Though as noted above QFF status earn suffers greatly versus the DONEx.
My gripe at the moment is serious upgrade costs on a LONEx to the PEY cabin. This FAR exceeds the pricing differential on standard one way fares.

Happy wandering

Fred
 

Himeno

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Note that in attempting to reschedule my LONEx (one year from the first flight was way past one year from ticket purchase date) QR has insisted that a change of transit to stopover is grounds for charging the US$125 re-issue fee. Certainly there would be small changes in the taxes involved (at some airports)
It should be noted that in recent years, when trying to make free (date/time/carrier) changes with airport agents, after calling ticketing, they have claimed that the change would have the fee. This has mostly been with US/AA agents at SFO, DFW and LAS and the issues started when the US merger process began.
The lounge agent at DFW I spoke with last year when trying to change a PDX-LAX to different flight, same day, agreed with me that the change should be free, but had to do what the ticketing office said.

I ended up not making the change at the time and instead emailed the travel agent back home to do it.

I haven't tried to make changes via other airlines for some time, so can't say if it is just an issue with the AA ticketing office or not. (I have made changes during travel with QF, CX, BA and JL before without issue, but not for some years. The one time I tried to change a flight at the MH downtown KUL office, they came back and claimed I had to go talk to SQ.)
 

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