March 16, 2010

Best Around the World Tickets: A Comparison

What is the best RTW ticket? BootsnAll launched Indie, the world’s first multi-country flight finder that allows users to search, price, and book tickets up to 25 legs, completely online, in January 2013.  This completely changed the game when it comes to multi-stop, RTW tickets.

While we feel Indie the best option for round the world travelers, as it gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to combining a multi-stop ticket with one-way, point to point tickets, it’s not the best option for every trip. Depending on your location, budget, and destination, for some RTW trips, it makes sense to use different RTW tickets, only one airline, or a regional provider. Here’s a comparison of all your RTW flight options.

Recommended Provider: Indie

Best for: Multi-stop trips and coming up with your flight budget.
Booking: Online at Indie or over the phone at 1-866-549-7614.
Maximum stops: 25
Airlines included: any
Valid for: 12 months from issue date
Maximum flight mileage: unlimited
Required stops: no
Fine print/exclusions: There is no fine print – you can travel any which way you want with a cap of 25 legs.
Bonus: If you don’t want to book your entire trip up front, you can do it in several legs, combining the best of both worlds – being able to have some flights booked and leaving part of your trip to spontaneity.

One World Explorer

Best for:First-class RTW travel and those with miles on participating airlines.
Book: online at oneworld.com < strong>Maximum stops: 5-15 < strong>Airlines included: American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malev Hungarian, Mexicana, Qantas, Royal Jordinian.
Valid for: 12 months from first flight
Maximum flight mileage: tiered (based on continents visited)
Required stops: no
Fine print/exclusions: Pricing is based on number of continents visited and class of travel. Bonus: Business and first class RTW tickets available.

Read our Oneworld Alliance Round the World Ticket review. Have you used Oneworld Alliance? You can write your own review here, too.

Star Alliance

Best for: flight-heavy RTW trips and those with miles on participating airlines.
Book: online at staralliance.com
Maximum stops: 15
Airlines included: Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, bmi, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, THAI, Turkish Airlines, United, US Airways, Adria Airways, Blue 1 and Croatia Airlines.
Valid for: 12 months from first flight
Maximum flight mileage: 26,000 – 39,000
Required stops: no Fine print/exclusions: Trip has to start and end in the same country. Travel must follow east or west direction (no backtracking). Atlantic and Pacific oceans must each be crossed exactly once. Routing changes $125 fee. Bonus: Business and first class RTW tickets available.

Read our Star Alliance Round the World Ticket review. Have you used Star Alliance? You can write your own review here, too.

Air New Zealand RTW

Best for: limited-stop UK/USA/Australia/New Zealand itineraries Book: online at Air New Zealand
Maximum stops: 7 Airlines included: Air New Zealand (partner airlines: Lufthansa, United Airlines, Swiss International, Austrian Airlines, Air Pacific or Air Tahiti Nu) Valid for: 12 months from first flight
Maximum flight mileage: unlimited
Required stops: Australia or New Zealand
Fine print/exclusions: limited stopover points, including 3 in Asia, 3 USA, 5 Pacific Islands. Bonus: Business and first class RTW tickets available.

The Great Escapade

Best for: only RTWs leaving from London or Manchester Book: online at Great Escapade Maximum stops: unlimited Airlines included: Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Valid for: 12 months from first flight Maximum flight mileage: 29,000 Required stops: Australia or New Zealand (and required to cross the Atlantic or Pacific) Fine print/exclusions:you can only stop in each city once and limited stopover points.

Round the World Flights RTW

Best for:UK citizens
Book: by phone or email at Round the World Flights
Maximum stops: unlimited (depends on what company they use)
Airlines included: Various
Valid for: Varies depending on what company they use
Maximum flight mileage: Varies depending on what company they use
Required stops: no
Fine print/exclusions: They act more as a travel agent and sometimes they use the alliances to book their RTW tickets. Sometimes they find other options, so there are no set rules for using them.
Bonus: They have many different options.

Read our Round the World Flights RTW Ticket Review. Have you used Round the World Flights? You can write your own review here, too.

Round About Travel RTW

Best for:Australian citizens
Book: by phone or email at Round About Travel
Maximum stops: unlimited (depends on what company they use)
Airlines included: Various
Valid for: Varies depending on what company they use
Maximum flight mileage: Varies depending on what company they use
Required stops: no
Fine print/exclusions: They act more as a travel agent and sometimes they use the alliances to book their RTW tickets. Sometimes they find other options, so there are no set rules for using them.
Bonus: They have many different options.

Read our Round About Travel RTW Ticket Review. Have you used Round About Travel? You can write your own review here, too.

STA Travel RTW

Best for: Students, teachers, and those under 26 years old
Book: by phone or email at STA Travel
Maximum stops: unlimited
Airlines included: Various
Valid for: unlimited
Maximum flight mileage: unlimited
Required stops: no
Fine print/exclusions: We know your plans might change which is why many of our Student Exclusive tickets offer special date change and refund rules just for students and youth. Unlike many non-refundable fares that cost at least $150 to change dates, our ticket changes start at just $50. Ask your Travel Expert for more details.
Bonus: They have many different options.

Read our STA Travel RTW Ticket Review. Have you used STA Travel? You can write your own review here, too.

Build your own Multi-stop flight:

Expedia multi-stop flights (5 stops maximum)
Kayak multi-city search (6 stops maximum)
britishairways.com(6 stops maximum)

Read our DIY RTW Ticket Review using Kayak. Have you used Kayak or a combination of websites to book your flight as you went? You can write your own review here, too.

Other RTW transportation options:

Train: Eurail in Europe Overland travel: most adventure tours include overland travel (like the Trans-Siberian Railway from St Petersburg, Russia to Beijing, China) and most regional flights. Low-cost airlines: in Europe Skyscanner.net (photo: alex-s)


4 Responses to Best Around the World Tickets: A Comparison

  1. says:

    What is the best ticket for ARW leaving OZ going to Central America, South America, Mexico, Africa, Asia & home to OZ. On a budget can you help is there someone I can call. Thank you Karelle

  2. says:

    I had similar trip …from OZ and found Star Alliance was the cheapest and fortunately there was no mishap
    Cheers

  3. says:

    Thanks for the effort you took to expand upon this topic so thoroughly.

  4. says:

    My Husband and I would like to make this trip in april 2012 on business class –
    have 2 travel plans in mind -
    1. starting from Singapore – then to Vancouver next to Honolulu and back to Singapore.
    2 start from Singapore – Vancouver – Honolulu – Perth – back to Singapore.
    would appreciate if you can give approximate costs of both trips.
    thank you,
    Lucy

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