RTW & Circle Pacific Fares (VA/SQ)

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erkpod

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Has anyone had any experience either booking or travelling with VA/SQ RTW or Circle Pacific fares?

Airline Special Offers | Velocity Frequent Flyer


In case you haven't, here's how I went in getting the ticket.


Recently, I was looking for airfares to fly VA to/from LAX. Because I wanted to travel when I did, the best Y fare I could get was about $2.9k. I didn't want to wait for special fares - I thought the chance of them would be zero.


So I went on the website & was looking around & found the specials page complete with RTW & Circle Pacific fares (link above). For just after the prices I was quoted SYD - LAX - SYD, I could get a Circle Pacific fare. With the way I wanted to travel, I decided that I wanted to go SYD - LAX - NRT - SIN - SYD.


You can't book the tickets online, the page suggests going to a travel agent.


For the first time in years, I walked into a travel agent.

Agent 1 had no idea what I was on about, even though I had the relevant pages on my phone. Reluctantly, the agent called VA who couldn't find the fare either.

I went across to agent 2. Not much idea either. They said they needed time to check the T & C & that could take them an hour. If it takes a TA an hour to read T & C, routings etc, what hope does an Average Joe/Joanne Public have? Agent 2 said that they'd contact me - still waiting 4 weeks later.


Later that week, I decided to call SQ. Told the guy what I wanted & his idea of a Circle Pacific was SYD - SIN - LAX - SIN - SYD, all on SQ. That's not a circle! Eventually he told me to call the ticket office. I said "Aren't you the ticket office?" to which he replied "I'm reservations." He then suggested I call VA.

So I called VA. I got transferred 4 times around the GCC & the VFF desk. One woman said I couldn't go via Japan as it wasn't on the permitted routing. I read her the relevant section of the website. later, I found I could get a seat when I wanted on the flights I wanted except LAX - NRT. Then I was told that I could get a seat on that plane if I paid with points but not with cash (WTF!!). After an hour, I thought I'd be transferred to Sir Richard Branson himself but no. So I gave up.

I then found a site called Best Flights. I used them in 2011 when I went to Europe. I could find a range of RTW/Circle Pacific fares but not the VA/SQ one I found above. Calling the RTW phone number (on a Sunday!), they had a ballpark figure in 5 minutes & called me with a confirmed price (the same price) the next day - under the price of the SYD - LAX return that I was originally looking at. I booked the ticket & can't want to go.

Round World Flights - Cheap Flights - Phone Flights Results

I'll be going on VA 1 SYD - LAX & then back via NRT & SIN. Bonus is that I'll get to go on the SQ A380 for the rest of the trip.

My advice - go direct to Best Flights!
 
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moa999

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However with Best Flights, just don't ever ever need to change your flights.

A few horror stories on this site.

Pity that VA can't make available any decent RTW fares, and their codeshares are often horribly out of market (eg. on VS to HKG)
 

erkpod

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However with Best Flights, just don't ever ever need to change your flights.

A few horror stories on this site.

Pity that VA can't make available any decent RTW fares, and their codeshares are often horribly out of market (eg. on VS to HKG)

Uh-oh. I think I might have to change my booking for the flight ex Sydney. Looks like going to America isn't as important to my Place of Employment to them as it is to me because of a small event called New Year's Eve (despite me asking for leave a week prior to it).
 

Cynicor

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Well, good luck and please let us know how it goes.

Best frights gets a pretty poor rap on here and I will never use them, but a few say they are quite good, so more experiences are always helpful.

If they try to gouge you, make sure you have a decent read through the ticket rules and their own T+Cs prior to agreeing any charges.

Then call back armed with a bit more info, or even try the carrier direct (unlikely to work, but worth it to save some $).
 

erkpod

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I'm expecting some sort of charge. Had a look on the VA site & it says to contact the agent in case of a 3rd party booking.

I'm hoping to find out this week if I need to make that change.
 

erkpod

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I had to change my first flight to fly out of SYD on NYD instead of Xmas Day.

I called the guy I booked it with & he told me that in total, it would be around $200 to change the flight. So I say to go ahead & confirm this via email.


Then about 20 minutes later, I get a phone call saying that the charges would actually be $522. Most of this is stated as increased taxes.

What taxes have gone up lately?
 

Bolthead

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I have been recently rattling my brain and keyboard as well lately trying to find a RTW flight for both my daughters in early December this year. Despite all the so called promised prices on the web none of them are either available or the prices come ion twice the price. I have read other threads in this forum stating similar things and others questioning the value of RTW. However I then tried the Star Alliance website and despite that all airlines in that group fly every sector we are after the online tool won't let me add Sydney as a return leg despite the error message saying you must return to your original country. (which I am) I had a quick look at the Virgin option and I too had similar issues with travels agents. So far we have a quote for $4300 being for the following:

SYD-DEL
DEL-New York (any airport)
New York-MCO
MCO-YVR
YVR-SYD

The quote from our local TA includes Thai, Lufthansa, Delta, US Air & Air Canada. At first thought it was Star Alliance except Delta is not part of them. Hence I am confused. I thought all RTW fares where part of some form of Alliance between airlines.

Tried the above route with Star Alliance online tool with no luck. Very frustrating so now going to try Best Flights despite the negative reports.

Keep soldiering on......:)
 

erkpod

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Tried the above route with Star Alliance online tool with no luck. Very frustrating so now going to try Best Flights despite the negative reports.

Keep soldiering on......:)


When I went to Europe in 2011 (before I cared about FF points & SC), I booked a multi-city with Best Flights. It wasn't RTW or whatever but it did what I wanted it to do on the one website. I went SYD - NRT on QF, NRT - AMS on KLM, AMS - HKG on KLM & HKG - SYD on QF. It's worth a look.
 

AstroDamo

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This is weird despite the fact that I don't want to use One World, they too have an issue with the itinerary saying that I am crossing the Pacific twice despite the fact that I am not. Has anyone else had this issue?? See above http://www.australianfrequentflyer....circle-pacific-fares-va-51319.html#post848605

Works fine after you actually select the flight to Delhi and route via the other way in August I came back with $4800 for your routing after a quick search
 

erkpod

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Then about 20 minutes later, I get a phone call saying that the charges would actually be $522. Most of this is stated as increased taxes.

What taxes have gone up lately?

I originally also asked the VA SM team if they knew what taxes have "gone up". They (as could be expected on a 3rd party booking) refered me to the TA.

All the TA could say via email was that (me paraphrasing) was that around $100 was change/admin fees & the remaining $400ish was increased taxes but could not say what these taxes were for & what had gone up.
 

Bolthead

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Works fine after you actually select the flight to Delhi and route via the other way in August I came back with $4800 for your routing after a quick search

Finally got it to work.... the TA quoted $500 cheaper however.

Now it's up to our girls to make a decision.

Thanks :)
 
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