I want to do a RTW trip for the UK ideally to -
Thailand -for a couple of weeks (any advice on what areas/tours etc will be greatly appreciated)
Oz - to work & travel for a few months
South America - for a few months
optional north America i can take or leave.
I am having difficulty getting any decent round the world tickets with south America in them. ie price wise so wondering it be cheaper or me to get a RTW ticket with USA in it and fly down on a return
Anyone been on a RTW with these destinations, any advice on things not to miss out on to or fare prices, RTW agencies etc.
The only alliance currently providing the South America - Oceania connection (without going through North America, which would rack up a huge number of extra miles / another continent) is oneworld (through LAN), so you're very likely looking at having to go with one of their RTW tickets. This has the big benefit that you can visit places you'd otherwise never consider for 'free' (these being Easter Island and Tahiti, which one of the two LAN routes across the Atlantic visit (the other is a direct flight to Auckland))
Hmm, but according to wikitravel, there's something called a "Discovery ticket" in the UK by a couple of airlines (but not a complete alliance), which through Qantas can give you the Sydney-Buenos Aires leap, just needing another 100 or 200 pounds over its regularly advertised price to cover the extra miles. As I read it, that should cover what you want.
[ Edit: Edited on 19-Jun-2009, at 11:39 by Sander ]
Like Sander has mentioned the Oneworld fare is pretty much your only option for this. Star Alliance may have one or two flights that allow you to reach South America, but flying within South America is impossible on any alliance other than One World.
The best fare type to get is the Continent based One World fare as the rules are less restrictive, but the down side is the cost as the One World fare is the most expensive one on the market but it is heaps cheaper than buying the same flights individually. It is pretty tricky with the Oneworld fares as some flights that are available one the Oneworld alliance are only allowed to be used on the Mileage Based fare which means options like including Tahiti like Sander mentions can not happen unless you can manage to restrict your mileage enough to fit on the mileage base fare. On the continent based fare you could rack up 60,000 miles and not pay any more than had you gone on the 39,000 Mile fare! The airlines that are allowed to be used for each fare type are mentioned on the oneworld website. It would be a good idea to download the destination guide and have a play around with that for working out a possible itinerary.
It wouldn't normally be cheaper to buy a RTW with the US and do a return flight down to South America. Flights to/from and within South America are usually pretty pricey although they have started to come down a bit.
Things not to miss in South America would be the patagonian region of South America. It is very nice especially for hiking, nature and glaciers.
A sample itinerary could be something like London - Bangkok - Sydney - Buenos Aires - El Calafate - Ushuaia - Punta Arenas - Santiago - Mexico City - Miami - Montego Bay - New York (maybe some other US City) - London.
Another option if Hawaii takes your fancy would be something like London - Bangkok - Sydney - Honolulu - Los Angeles - New York - Montego Bay - Miami - Mexico City - Santiago - Punta Arenas - overland to El Calafate - Buenos Aires - overland to Rio De Janerio - Madrid - London (this option might mean paying a bit extra for an extra stop in South America as overland sections still count as a flight).
They should both be able to work on the 5 continent One World Fare. You could be a bit more adventurous than that especially in the South East Asia and Australia section but you would want Sydney to be the last stop in that area if going from West to East i.e. Europe - Asia - Australia instead of Europe - North/South America - Australia.
Myself and my girlfriend have just booked this below route (similar to yours but missing out N.America) through STA Travel - we got them to price match a cheaper quote from Travel Nation (nb. the // symbol means an overland leg)
London - Bangkok - Melbourne // Cairns - Christchurch // Auckland - Santiago // Lima - London (via Madrid).
This route cost us about £1500, well happy with that!!! It's flying on a World Walkabout ticket operated by British Airways and Quantas with a 29,000 mile limit to it.
PM me if you need any more info,