AndersB

Round the world flights in first class for $3800

33 posts in this topic

Well, I am a bit hesitant to publish this tip on how to travel in first class air travel really cheaply. If too many people get to know the tricks and make use of it, the airlines will clamp down on it.

Anyway, the information is available on another travel forum, and given that readership on this forum is minimal at the moment, perhaps the following is a small reward for the old members that are still hanging around here.

I am mainly interested in the multiple continent based tickets ("Oneworld Explorer") on Oneworld alliance airlines, which includes Qantas, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, American Airlines, and a few others. This ticket allows for up to 16 flights over several continents.

Basically, round the world tickets have different prices depending on which country you start from. For example, in Australia a four-continent fare in economy class costs $4932, business class is $13,138, and first class is $18,582

http://www.qantas.co...the-world/au/en

But buying the ticket and starting the economy class trip in New Zealand only costs approximately $3150 + taxes and fees.

http://www.oneworld....world-explorer/

Now, it just so happens that the cheapest place in the world to commence a Oneworld Explorer ticket in first class is from Sudan at SGD 20,400. The Sudanese pound has just plummeted in value recently, and therefore the ticket is only about $4,500 (+ taxes and fees).

If you try to book this fare through a travel agent, they will only quote you the Australian price, since you are located in Australia - which will be $18,584 + taxes and fees. The airlines get away with this price discrimination, except in Canada. The Canadian courts have ruled that this is anti-competitive behaviour and the price at origin should therefore be available when you buy the ticket from a travel agent in Canada.

The bottom line is that I have just booked such a ticket earlier this week. For some reason, the ticket was even cheaper: $3780 for the base fare + $1300 in taxes and fees.

You can read all about how to do this on this forum:

http://www.flyertalk...4-khartoum.html

To avoid having the hassle (and be exposed to the danger?) of entering Sudan, I intend to fly to Dubai first using frequent flyer points, and then get a cheap regional flight on Flydubai for about $150 one way to Khartoum. This flight arrives in Khartoum at 11:55pm, which is less than 6 hours before the first flight of the round-the-world trip, which is a Royal Jordanian flight that departs 5:25am. By having a less than 6-hour transit in Khartoum airport, I don't have to enter the country and will not need a visa either.

This will be my third round the world trip using the method of starting in a low cost country - but the first time traveling in first class. The previous two starting countries were Tonga (no longer available), and Philippines. However, the airlines tend to crack down on this and raise the local prices soon after they are being taken advantage of. The Philippines is therefore not such a cheap place to buy the ticket any more.

Anyway, read more about it on the Flyertalk forum.

Happy travels!

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Hmmm... reading my previous post in the cold morning light, it may look like I was skiting about travel. That was not my intent, and I was just trying to provide a tip on a fairly amazing travel deal.

Flying international long haul flights in comfort is a dream for many, myself included. Next year I will turn 50 and so this is an opportunity to make a trip of a lifetime.

OK, here is the economic justification for spending $5K in total on this trip:

A simple return flight to Europe in economy class during their summer season is about $2000. In contrast, the $5000 spent on this round the world ticket in first/business class will effectively provide two trips to Europe with a bit of careful planning.

The around-the-world ticket validity is 12 months from commencement of travel, so our plan is to fly via the Middle East to Europe and then back to Australia the next European summer (July 2013). We will then have two side trips during the 12-month period to New Zealand and later on Adelaide as part of the ticket (your are allowed up to 4 flights per continent / 6 in North America).

We will continue our round the world trip the year after (early June 2014) via New York and then back to Europe again, which will conclude the round the world ticket. By this time the travel would have provided enough frequent flyer points for one-way flights back to Australia.

So, by planning the travel this way, we effectively get two trips to Europe and two holidays in Australia/New Zealand over a 12 month period. Since two trips to Europe in economy class would cost $4K anyway, I think the justification to spend the extra $1K for the luxury travel and local holidays was worth it.

For those that want to squeeze even more value out of the ticket, you could make a stop in Asia on the way to New York, and then have a side trip to Bahamas / Caribbean before returning to Europe. This would add a little bit more in airport taxes and fuel fees, but probably not more than $300 or so.

Edited by AndersB

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Hmmm... reading my previous post in the cold morning light, it may look like I was skiting about travel.

Not at all. Sounds like a great plan. Almost too good be true. Are there any risks?

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Not at all. Sounds like a great plan. Almost too good be true. Are there any risks?

Commercially and contractually there is very little risk. The ticket is refundable if you cancel before the first flight.

Booking is best done directly to American Airlines by calling their around the world desk. Their phone number in Dallas is not listed on the AA website for some strange reason. Send me a PM if you want their number.

Then you need to call a Canadian travel agent to pay for the ticket. The instructions for how to do this is in the Flyertalk forum thread that I listed earlier.

For the travel itself the main issue is security in Sudan and how to get a visa. The nearest Sudanese embassy is in Indonesia. You have to mail your passport to get the visa organized. Sudan also refuses to grant visas to anyone with a passport stamp from Israel. Basically, the visa situation is a pain.

This can be avoided by transiting within 6 hours in Khartoum as mentioned earlier.

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sounds intruiging, thanks for the info, although im not looking to spend nearly $4k, on travel i do plan on winning loto this tue, and will book a world tour 1st class flight, as soon as i win, after all i have to spend 6 weeks waiting for my cash may as well do it in style.

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Hmmm... reading my previous post in the cold morning light, it may look like I was skiting about travel. That was not my intent, and I was just trying to provide a tip on a fairly amazing travel deal.

I'm with zaph. No skiting was detected by me Anders. Just good information. Thank you. :)

Flying international long haul flights in comfort is a dream for many, myself included. Next year I will turn 50 and so this is an opportunity to make a trip of a lifetime.

OK, here is the economic justification for spending $5K in total on this trip:

A simple return flight to Europe in economy class during their summer season is about $2000. In contrast, the $5000 spent on this round the world ticket in first/business class will effectively provide two trips to Europe with a bit of careful planning.

The around-the-world ticket validity is 12 months from commencement of travel, so our plan is to fly via the Middle East to Europe and then back to Australia the next European summer (July 2013). We will then have two side trips during the 12-month period to New Zealand and later on Adelaide as part of the ticket (your are allowed up to 4 flights per continent / 6 in North America).

We will continue our round the world trip the year after (early June 2014) via New York and then back to Europe again, which will conclude the round the world ticket. By this time the travel would have provided enough frequent flyer points for one-way flights back to Australia.

So, by planning the travel this way, we effectively get two trips to Europe and two holidays in Australia/New Zealand over a 12 month period. Since two trips to Europe in economy class would cost $4K anyway, I think the justification to spend the extra $1K for the luxury travel and local holidays was worth it.

For those that want to squeeze even more value out of the ticket, you could make a stop in Asia on the way to New York, and then have a side trip to Bahamas / Caribbean before returning to Europe. This would add a little bit more in airport taxes and fuel fees, but probably not more than $300 or so.

After the Hong Kong flight (I flew virgin blue) with 14 hours in cattle class I would walk over broken glass to avoid doing it again.

I had to keep asking for water on the virgin atlantic flight home. I was surrounded by babies because I paid $40 each for a couple of extra inches of leg room. (This is apparently where the parents hang out)

By the time I got to Sydney and had to queue up for 3/4 hour only to be told I had to lug my bags across the airport because they couldn't find my final domestic flight in their system I was getting pretty cranky. Then they made me queue up again for another half hour. Then they made me sit in the plane on the tarmack for an hour and a half (with no water again) and then I cracked it at the hostess. (Kevin Rudd style) She started to cry. Other passengers threatened me. I threatened them back...

All in all if I could avoid that happening again I would pay the extra. If I could pay less extra all the better...

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Nice. Only problem is that if you didn't use points to get to the Middle East then you're up for another 1k or so... and how do you get back from Sudan?

Edited by Mr Medved

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Nice. Only problem is that if you didn't use points to get to the Middle East then you're up for another 1k or so... and how do you get back from Sudan?

Yes, that's true. The positioning flights to Sudan cost a bit. ~$1200 one way with Emirates, for example. Qantas is about to start an alliance with Emirates in April next year, so it will be possible to get a direct flight to Dubai with Qantas frequent flyer points then. It should cost about 56,000 points - in economy, though :(

The fare rules state that you can end the round the world trip anywhere in the middle east. I will finish it in Amman, but I may actually skip the last flight and try to get back to Australia from Paris or somewhere in Europe.

In the typical rip-off-Australians fashion, the airlines charge 25% less for return flights Europe-Australia-Europe than Australia-Europe-Australia. So I may buy one of those return tickets from Europe instead. Alternatively I will use frequent flyer points to get a one way flight back to Australia.

Ideally though, I should just start another round the world trip in business class from Sudan or wherever it is cheap in 2014. At the moment a four continent round the world in business class from Sudan is around $2700 + taxes and fuel fees.

Edited by AndersB

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You can actually get a bit carried away with these tickets. Five years ago I had to travel to two cities in Europe for work, and my cheapskate boss would only pay for economy class airfares. I asked if I could pay the difference to fly business class and organise the travel myself. He agreed to this. At the time the economy class tickets were around $4000. The business class round the world from Manila was $6800.

Now, since I was paying out of my own pocket for the difference I wanted to maximise the frequent flyer points earned with my trip. So I flew on Qantas points to Manila, and then my itinerary went like this:

Manila - Hong Kong - New York - Los Angeles - Dallas - Anchorage (Alaska) - Dallas - Los Angeles - London - Madrid

These flights were all done in a row with no stops - only transits. So I slept on flights for two days straight.

I then made my way Madrid to the my two real European destinations.

After I got back to Brisbane via London I could now enjoy four local flights in business class. So I went for a trip to Perth and Adelaide and back to Brisbane. Finally, I just skipped the last flight to Manila.

Somewhere in the middle of all that flying I qualified for Qantas Platinum frequent flyer and got heaps of bonus frequent flyer points for being a Platinum flyer and traveling in business class. All up I got nearly 80,000 frequent flyer points at the end of it all.

Ahem.... did I just come out of the flyer nerd closet? I hope you don't reject me now (any further).

Edited by AndersB

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Ahem.... did I just come out of the flyer nerd closet? I hope you don't reject me now (any further).

Heh, so I guess you speak airportish fluently... MEL BKK CDG LHR YVR LAX... :)

I was Aeroplan gold member (35k miles per year) for about five or six years (all without business travel)... so I was on Star Alliance not One World. I guess one benefit of this sort of trip you have organised is the frequent flyer points... that's quite a bonus by itself. Have you worked out how many points you will receive for your itinerary on the RTW ticket?

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Heh, so I guess you speak airportish fluently... MEL BKK CDG LHR YVR LAX... :)

I was Aeroplan gold member (35k miles per year) for about five or six years (all without business travel)... so I was on Star Alliance not One World. I guess one benefit of this sort of trip you have organised is the frequent flyer points... that's quite a bonus by itself. Have you worked out how many points you will receive for your itinerary on the RTW ticket?

Hey! A kindred spirit!

Yes I do speak airportish fluently. Well, minor airport codes (like TPK) are a bit difficult to remember, but you learn all the major hubs after a while.

My routing is KRT-AMM-LHR,CPH-LHR-SYD-AKL-BNE-ADL-BNE-HKG-JFK-DFW-LAX-JFK-CDG-AMM

Fluent Airportish is mandatory to be able to use Mileage Monkey for your travel planning. According to this tool, the total flight miles will be 42,623.

But you also get 75% bonus points by being a Gold Frequent Flyer (which I qualify for two years in a row with this trip), and a further 25%-100% cabin bonus points depending upon business or first class flight segments and what airline is operating the flight. So in the end I think this trip will give me 75,000+ points.

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Are you the only person left who still enjoys flying?

Well, flying in economy is a pain - especially long haul. So the the initial motivation for me was to find out ways of getting cheap business class fares. Flying in business class is actually quite enjoyable.

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Hmmm... reading my previous post in the cold morning light, it may look like I was skiting about travel. That was not my intent, and I was just trying to provide a tip on a fairly amazing travel deal.

wow, I only wish you had posted it a month back!

Anyway I thought the Emirates trips to Europe for $1600.00 or Sing airlines which have since got nearly the same deal, were about the best value around at the moment. They do not get you there in norther summer either, stopping around May next year.

Anyway Emirates in economy is not a bad flight so I am happy with that, but for sure would have traded it in for a round the world if only to have a few nights in Las Vegas on the way home...

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Anyway Emirates in economy is not a bad flight so I am happy with that, but for sure would have traded it in for a round the world if only to have a few nights in Las Vegas on the way home...

Not all economy class seats are equal. Korean has 3" more legroom that Qantas. That's quite a bit on a 15 hour flight. Qantas has some of the shortest pitch in the world, long haul.

Vegas. Don't get me started. Best table G&Ts are at the Golden Nugget. I don't think that is by accident.

Flying economy is not abnormal. Flying Qantas economy is. Use your dollar votes accordingly.

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Not all economy class seats are equal. Korean has 3" more legroom that Qantas. That's quite a bit on a 15 hour flight. Qantas has some of the shortest pitch in the world, long haul.

Qatar Airways was excellent for pitch when I travelled a coupled of years ago. It was the first time I could stretch my legs straight in front of me in economy class.

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Not all economy class seats are equal. Korean has 3" more legroom that Qantas. That's quite a bit on a 15 hour flight. Qantas has some of the shortest pitch in the world, long haul.

Vegas. Don't get me started. Best table G&Ts are at the Golden Nugget. I don't think that is by accident.

Flying economy is not abnormal. Flying Qantas economy is. Use your dollar votes accordingly.

http://www.seatguru.com/charts/longhaul_economy.php

For me I seem to fit exactly into an economy class seat so every extra inch counts!

I have really noticed on sing having a bit of extra room but it seems that while they are good there are even better too.

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http://www.seatguru....aul_economy.php

For me I seem to fit exactly into an economy class seat so every extra inch counts!

I have really noticed on sing having a bit of extra room but it seems that while they are good there are even better too.

Tell me about it! It is quite a raffle, sometimes. -Virgin's 373's have noticeable variations.

My last long flight was Toronto - LAX - SYD. First leg AC was 32" , second leg QF was 31". It was very noticeable. And the second leg being 3x longer, is was horrible!

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Not at all. Sounds like a great plan. Almost too good be true. Are there any risks?

Ahm... yes, OK, there is also the teeny little detail about risk for war breaking out.

Turnaround transit at the airport is probably the way to go - if you are going at all ph34r.gif

http://www.nytimes.c...n-khartoum.html

Military Factory Bombed in Sudan’s Capital

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: October 24, 2012

KHARTOUM, Sudan — Four aircraft bombed a military factory here on Wednesday, officials said, killing two people in an explosion and fire for which Sudan blamed Israel.

“Four planes coming from the east bombed the Yarmouk industrial complex,” Mr. Belal said. “They used sophisticated technology.” He did not elaborate.

Mr. Belal referred to a 2009 attack on an arms convoy in Red Sea State in eastern Sudan, for which his government also blamed Israel.

“We are now certain that this flagrant attack was authorized by the same state of Israel,” he said. “The main purpose is to frustrate our military capabilities and stop any development there and ultimately weaken our national sovereignty.”

He said his country might take the issue to the United Nations Security Council.

A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces declined to comment on the accusation.

At the news conference, a military spokesman, Sawarmy Khaled, said two people were killed and one was seriously injured in the blast. Earlier, officials said some people suffered smoke inhalation.

The blast sent exploding ammunition flying through the air, causing panic among neighbors of the factory.

...

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How does an Israeli plane make its way to Sudan?

A bit off topic - and who knows what really happened? There have been a lot of civil war and political unrest in Sudan. A peace agreement with the southern region was established in 2011, which created the independent state of South Sudan. On the other hand there has been a long military conflict in Darfur. So we are not talking about a quiet spot of the world here.

It would be convenient to blame Israel for the bombings and Israel may have had the capacity to strike Khartoum. But this is all speculation, of course.

Given the Islamic and Arabic dominance in Sudan, it is not surprising that Israel is seen as an enemy of Sudan. American citizens have also found it difficult to get a visa to enter the country.

I will go for the airport transit option.

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Given the Islamic and Arabic dominance in Sudan, it is not surprising that Israel is seen as an enemy of Sudan.

I grant you that but looking at a map it would be one hell of a feat to get an Israeli plane near Sudan by crossing Egypt or Saudi Arabia.

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Well, it was too good to last. The round the world ticket prices from Sudan appear to have tripled as of 1 November.

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Well, it was too good to last. The round the world ticket prices from Sudan appear to have tripled as of 1 November.

Well done for getting in early. :)

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