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Purchasing Oneworld Visit Europe visitor pass

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coyote25

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Hi everyone,

I'm a long time lurker who thought I might ask for some help before I try QANTAS and get a wrong answer (happened too many times to count :evil:). I'm looking at finally redemming some points next year and getting a return award booking to London from Melbourne.

The plan is to explore Europe a bit for about 2 months (I'm only briefly staying in UK as I've been there before). I haven't yet worked out the best way to travel around but the two obvious choices are by airlines or rail (say Eurail).

I was checking out the Oneworld website and they mentioned a Europe visitor pass. I was wondering if I could use this option given I'm booking an award flight:

Available only to residents of the country of sale outside Europe, when booked prior to departure at country of origin. This fare must be booked in conjunction with return travel to Europe on oneworld member airlines
.

Obviously I'd like to stay on the Oneworld Alliance given the QFF program :D

If anyone has any experience with this ticket/option or an opinion on the rail/air options.... hell any opinions on the best places to visit or time of year (I can go anytime between late Sept 05 and April 06) I'd appreciate you insights. :?

Coyote

Qantas SG (2003), WP (2004-)
 

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Can't help with the Visit Europe pass, but I have used the Eurail pass. I would not be at all surprised if you are not able to purchase the Visit Europe pass on an award flight, but only the airlines will be able to tell you that one. You could always call Qantas, Cathay and BA and eask each for their opinion.

We found the Eurail pass got us around Europe very well. One advantage is that the train stations are ususally closer to the centre of the cities than the airports, so you could end up saving significantly on local transport (eg taxis).

I looked for accommodation that was within walking distance of the train stations and then we just used local public transport to get around the sights of each city.

The Eurail pass gets you into the first class cabin of the trains, which is quite a nice way to see the countryside. If you are travelling with a group (we had 7 people to accommodate), or travelling at peak times, I suggest you reserve seats wherever possible. But if only one or two people together then you may not need to reserve.

Another advantage of the train is that you can change your plans without the trouble of changing reservations (unless you have reserved seat on the train, but that cost is minimal) and worrying about having the particular fare class available on the day/time you want to travel. You can get on any train and just look for a seat (there are some trains that must have reserved seats - normally the long distance high-speed trains).

The train is a good way to see the countryside, but it does take time to get from place to place. We chose to travel by day as we had three children. But traveling overnight can save accommodation costs as well as time.

With the train you can get between close locations quickly, while air travel in good for longer distance. We took the Eurostar from London to Paris, then used a Eurail pass for Paris-Nice, Nice-Monaco-Nice (a day trip), Nice-Pisa, Pisa-Rome, Rome-Venice, Venice-Luzern, Luzern-Salzburg, Salzburg-Munich, Munich-Berlin. Then flew Berlin to Helsinki. Ferry Helsinki-Tallinn-Helsinki. This was in conjunctin with a Qantas FF award OneWorld Award (Round The World).

If you want to see lots of places in Europe, then I would expect the Eurail pass will be significantly less expensive that the Visit Europe fares. Also note that if you spend a few extra FF points you could use the OneWorld Award from Qantas FF and get up to 5 stopovers. Used wisely in conjunction with a Eurail Pass you could get to a lot of places in Europe.
 
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