The Best Value Round-the-World Tickets

Travel the world monument concept

Did you know that it’s possible to travel around the world for just a little over $2,000?

One member discovered this recently while planning a round-the-world trip of their own. This member was researching fares in Economy class, with a preference for oneworld airlines.

Does anyone know of a good value round the world fare that uses oneworld carriers (specifically that would give points/SCs to QF FF)? Would be wanting to go to Europe and North America in economy in February. North American destination(s) flexible. Europe need to get to/near Latvia/Estonia (so HEL is fine). DXB stop would also be desirable on the way to Europe.

The oneworld Explorer fare is one of the most popular round-the-world tickets. Oneworld Explorer tickets offer a large amount of flexibility, and allow for up to 15 stopovers in any destination that a oneworld airline flies to. However, this flexibility comes at a price. Economy Oneworld Explorer tickets booked in Australia generally cost around $5,000. While this can represent excellent value if maximised, there are cheaper options available for our member’s relatively simple itinerary.

One alternative is to make a multi-city booking with Qantas. It’s possible to book a quasi round-the-world ticket for around $3,000 in Economy using this method. Routings from Australia-Europe-North America-Australia (and vice versa) are possible, with stopovers in Asia and the Middle East (Dubai) also allowed. These bookings can generally incorporate flights on Qantas, Emirates, British Airways and American Airlines.

One option would be to do a multi-city booking on the Qantas website. You can usually get something like SYD-DXB-LHR-JFK-LAX-SYD (as an example – different cities in Europe/USA, and different Australian departure points are possible) for around $3,000.

Probably the cheapest option, however, will be to book a simple round-the-world ticket through oneworld airline Finnair. Finnair is one of a number of European airlines to offer special prices on simple round-the-world itineraries. Using one of these tickets, our member will be able to fly to Europe via Asia, returning via the United States. The flights to and from Europe will be on Finnair, while the flights between Australia, Asia and North America may be operated by Qantas. One stopover is allowed in Asia, Europe and North America respectively.

This ticket does not offer the flexibility of a oneworld Explorer fare. However, it comes at a significantly lower price. Online travel agency “RoundAbout Travel” currently lists Finnair RTW Economy tickets as costing just a little over $2,000.

Roundabout travel is certainly another option, and in particular the Finnair fare you have found. These fares are special RTW fares offered by various carriers for simple itineraries only. In your case I think it would be perfect. These are offered by various airlines, including Lufthansa and Swiss Air, but I believe only Finnair offers it of the oneworld airlines. You should be able to book the Finnair RTW ticket with any travel agent that’s worth their fees.

These fares can also be booked directly with Finnair. However, our members recommend calling the airline rather than attempting to use the airline’s website to book.

I booked direct by phone – [the Finnair] online multi secctor is worse than QF and that’s saying something. I don’t believe there is a “telephone booking fee”.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]