USA for Christmas, plus South America

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Chazmen, Mar 19, 2007.

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  1. Chazmen

    Chazmen Junior Member

    Mar 19, 2007
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    HI all,

    Let me first say what a great forum. I've been trying to plan a trip to the states with my partner for Christmas and then South Amercia for 6 weeks thereafter.

    Just wanted to tap your collective intelligence about the following:
    1) Best fares (when to buy, who with etc) to LAX/NYC ex Sydney for Dec 18-21, 2007.
    2) Spending most of time in Florida (Parents in law)
    3)We then want to travel to South America (Chile, Argentina & Brazil) in Jan/Feb

    What is the best way to go about such a trip, with an emphasis on keeping costs down?

    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
     

  2. Chazmen

    Chazmen Junior Member

    Mar 19, 2007
    38
    0
    I also wanted to add that I'd be looking at returning around the 21st Feb 2008.

    Hoping to transfer from LAX to Florida (Tampa Bay or Orlando) on arrival.

    Then Leave FLorida (Miami) for South America in the first week of Jan, looking to do a Hahn All American Airways pass most likely unless any of the you have a better suggestion.

    Thank you all!
     
  3. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    Unfortunately your departure dates put you into High Season for OneWorld products like OneWorld Explorer or Global Explorer. The low season ends December 02 and then picks up again 25th December. So its High Season for 3rd December until 24th December.

    So for High Season, a OneWorld Explorer for 5 continents will cost $3669 plus taxes and surcharges. That will provide up to 20 segments including up to 6 within North America, 4 in South America, 4 in Europe or Asia and 4 in Australia.

    So you could route something like:

    SYD-LAX-JFK//LGA-MCO//MIA-SCL-EZE-SCL-GIG-LHR-SYD-PER-ADL-SYD

    Add to that more sector in North America, Europe, Asia etc up to he segment limits. You can add some Australian domestic travel to the end (up to 12 months from first sector date) so long as you don't exceed 2 stopovers in Australia and meet the rules for trans-continental routings.

    That is probably going to provide reasonable cost when compared to getting to the USA, some sort of USA air pass, and travel to three countries in South America.

    Of course it means returning from South America through Europe and Asia. But you could also choose to upgrade the GIG-LHR-SYD to BA World Traveller Plus if you wish. The cost is $600 for GIG-LHR and $900 for LHR-SYD.
     
  4. Chazmen

    Chazmen Junior Member

    Mar 19, 2007
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    NM thanks for the great advice.

    Would a Oneworld Circle Pacific fare allow me to do the same itinerary leaving out travel to LHR and going from SYD via Hong Kong or Japan and then a similar intinerary to below?

    LAX-JFK//LGA-MCO//MIA-SCL-EZE-SCL-GIG-SYD

    Although i beleive I couldn't go from GIG-SYD.

    Any other suggestions?
     
  5. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    For Circle Pacific you will need to route SYD-NRT-JFK//LGA-MCO//MIA-SCL-EZE-SCL-GIG-SCL-SYD. That would be LCIR29SA fare (the SA indicates that it includes South America) and costs $4399 plus taxes. And by my calcs, that is 28,990 miles which is very close to the maximum of 29,000 miles permitted on any Circle Pacific fare. So it does not take much variation in how the airlines calculate the distances to push it over the limit and there is no margin given with these fares.

    Remember that for Circle Pacific you must cross the North Pacific and the South Pacific. SYD-LAX and SCL-SYD are both South Pacific crossings. So one needs to route via Asia, using either NRT or HKG. Also, you only get 2 free stopovers per region, so will need to purchase an additional stopover for South America at US$75. And only one stopover at any one point so SCL must be one stopover and 2 transits.

    So the LHONE5 fare is actually cheaper and has the advantage of being able to include 4 Australian segments even after returning to SYD (just a max of 2 stopovers in Australia). You would be better off spending the extra money on upgrading GIG-LHR to World Traveller Plus on BA.
     
  6. Chazmen

    Chazmen Junior Member

    Mar 19, 2007
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    NM thanks for clearing that up. Great Info.
    I also want to commend you on "NM's favourite seats by aircraft type" it will become very handy.

    On the below suggested route for LONE5 a few questions and points of clarification:
    SYD-LAX-JFK//LGA-MCO//MIA-SCL-EZE-SCL-GIG-LHR-SYD-PER-ADL-SYD

    1) Could we upon arrival to LAX travel to Boston then NYC or travel from LAX-NYC to Boston and the down to MCO or Tampa?
    2)Are there any other options rather than travel to/through LHR? (South Africa comes to mind? Somewhere else in Europe without going through London?)
    3)Upon arrival back in Sydney could you explain the rules regarding the use the remaining Australian Segments.
    4) Will we earn Qantas FF points through the entire journey.

    Thanks so much.
     
  7. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    Yes, you have up to 6 North America segments available to you. The only limitation is that only one non-stop trans-continental service is permitted. So if you fly LAX-BOS or LAX-JFK then you have used that.
    Lots of options in Europe other than LHR. However, if departing directly from GIG your options are limited to BA to LHR or IB to MAD. If you head back to SCL you can use LA to various ports on Europe including MAD (again on IB).

    However, on a OneWorld Explorer fare you can route between South America and Europe with a "transit without stopover" in the USA. So that opens up many ports in Europe, such as routing GIG-JFK-HEL, GIG-JFK-CDG, SCL-DFW-FRA, SCL-DFW-CDG etc. To include South Africa would make it a LHONE6 fare since there are no OneWorld flights to South Africa from North or South America, so you need to route via Europe in all cases.
    • You can have up to four segments in the continent of origin (South West Pacific)
    • You can only have one international departure from the country of origin, so that means you are now stuck in Australia and cannot visit NZ etc.
    • You can have a maximum of 2 stopovers in the continent of origin. You stop back in Sydney will be the first of those stopovers. You can then have one more stopover. A stopover is a stop of >24 hours in the same city.
    • You can only have one flight between the following destinations: BNE/CNS/SYD/MEL - PER; MEL/SYD - DRW; MEL/SYD - BME
    All flights will be booked in L class, so that means the following points and SC earning:
    • QF flights = 1 point/mile and discount economy SCs
    • AA flights = 0.5 points/mile and discount economy SCs
    • BA flights = 0.25 points/mile and discount economy SCs except for flights between Australia BKK or SIN and for flights BKK or SIN and LHR or FRA which earn 1 point/mile and discount economy SCs
    • CX flights = 0.5 points/mile and discount economy SCs
    • IB flights = 1 point/mile and discount economy SCs
    • AY flights = 1 point/mile and discount economy SCs
    • LA flights = 1 point/mile and discount economy SCs

    You will also earn the QF Status bonus of 100% for Platinum, 50% for Gold and 25% for Bronze on all QF, AA and BA flights.
     
  8. Chazmen

    Chazmen Junior Member

    Mar 19, 2007
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    NM, thanks again, I think we'll come home via Madrid.

    For this trip would it be worthwhile taking advantage of my work's subsidised Qantas Club Membership ($215pa or $360 for two years)? I don't travel extensively during the year except for a big trip such as this once a year.
     
  9. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

    Mar 16, 2005
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    Chazmen, $360 for two years is a pretty reasonable price, esp. considering you can take a guest in, which covers both of you for that price (and even better if you can claim it as a tax deduction, or salary sacrifice it). It's primarily a matter of working out where you get lounge access on this trip, depending which carrier you're flying. You can access Qantas Clubs when flying QF, and if departing on AA flights, Admiral's Clubs, and if departing on BA, Terraces lounges. They do, I think, need to not be 3rd party operated lounges. May or may not seem worthwhile depending on that.

    Also can help with preferred seating, and with priority checkin, depending on carrier flown.

    Have a great trip! I'm planning to go to Sth America myself next year, so you may be able to report here on your trip.
     
  10. Chazmen

    Chazmen Junior Member

    Mar 19, 2007
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    Thanks tuapekastar,

    I'll be sure to report on my travels.
     
  11. Chazmen

    Chazmen Junior Member

    Mar 19, 2007
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    I want to thank everyone for their help on this so far.

    I'm running out of sector in South America as I have a few land crossings from place to place which count as sector.

    At present I have

    SYD-LAX-BOS-JFK-TPA(Via MIA)//MIA-SCL-PUQ-SCL//BUE-IGR//GIG-BCN(via MAD)-MAD-SYD(Via LHR)

    How much does it cost for me to obtain extra sector in South America? I believe I'm entitled to up to 2 at a set rate?

    Ideally I would like to go from PUQ-MDZ(Via SCL) but i understands this counts as two sectors?

    Your help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  12. Chazmen

    Chazmen Junior Member

    Mar 19, 2007
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    He again,

    I've also read that the Oneworld trip planner has a few bugs in it....such as counting land transfers as a segment.

    THis could be the answer to my question above. Can anyone confirm?

    Cheers
     
  13. StevePER

    StevePER Established Member

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    You might be able to make use of the LAN Discover South America Airpass, which seems to give reasonable prices for one-way flights. Alternatively, there often seem to be super-cheap fares in South America on ExpertFlyer (one I'm looking for our trip in November is SCL-LIM return for A$76).

    Steve
     
  14. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    On a One World Explorer, surface segments do not count as flight segments (within a continent or to the 20 flight maximum), however they do count as stopovers.
     
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