Just wondering how anyone had booked their oneworld RTW tickets when there are only valid flights a year in advance. After much tinkering and many hours trial and error , we finally came up with a valid RTW itinerary on the online booking system that the oneworld website has .
Our valid itinerary was as follows:-
London -> Madrid-> Rio ->Easter Island (through Santiago) -> Lima (through Santiago) -> Mexico city -> Washington -> San Francisco -> LA -> Auckland -> Melbourne -> Perth -> Hong Kong -> Delhi -> London
We will be having breaks in the journey where we tour round for a few months (Lima, NZ, Hong Kong, Delhi) as the whole trip is planned to be around 12 months, but will ultimately end up back where we arrived to continue the flights. We will also be checking the conditions regarding making changes etc, as we know that things may change in the travel period.
So to enable us to do all of the work into seeing if we could make a valid itinerary, we have been using the dates of September 2010 to July 2011 for planning all of the specific flights on the above itinerary (because I know that that checking for specific flights to make up a valid itinerary is the hard part). Our actual trip times will be September 2011 to August 2012 so im a little bit confused as to how I can make a booking when we come to book in a few months time. Lets say for instance that I want to make the booking in November this year. We should then be able then to book the first few flights for September and October 2011, but how do I complete the remaining flights that take us up to August 2012 as they wont be released at that point… Are you able to book your itinerary without having made specific flight bookings or anything like that?
I had a look in the FAQ’s on the website, but it didn’t really give me the help I was looking for, so I know that there are many people on here with the experience that im sure can give me the help a lot quicker!
Many thanks in advance!
I've had the same problem - I'm leaving the UK to Rio in January 2011, flying from Santiago to Auckland the following September and back to the UK in November.
Although I can book the Jan tickets now, I've been told to wait until start of Oct when the Sept flights are released. As for the Nov flights which are not out yet, the travel operators work on 'dummy dates' - i.e. 'fake' dates are booked just for the purpose of booking the flights but which are later changed when the dates are released.
But it does cost to change them - Quantas for example charge around $100 (£50ish) for every change you make to the ticket - hence why I'm waiting a while to book so it will cost me less in the long run.
You can either book the first couple of flights when they come out (make sure there are enough days though for you to enter dummy dates) and change them later on or why not just wait a while and make it cheaper for yourself? If you're quite flexible on your start date, there should be plenty of tickets to Rio and the price of a RTW ticket doesn't tend to go up like a normal flight ticket does.
You might benefit from talking to an operator face to face even if you do book through oneworld - I find it helps to have someone talk you through things who know their stuff. I went to Trailfinders (although there are lots of other companies too) and they were great at explaining the booking process to me without any pressure. Just a thought.
Can I make a suggestion with regard to round the world tickets.
Make sure it covers all contingencies, if I remember correctly we dismissed oneworld as the ticket was too inflexible for our requirements.
Having said that the conditions may have changed since we did our trip over 2007/2008. Our main concern was the cost of changing dates and route changes. In the end we used the Virgin Alliance group. I see you are going to South American which our trip didn't include and I'm not sure if Virgin do this route. We changed our dates a few times and the cost was a £10 admin fee and the route once which was more expensive at £100. When you are travelling for such a long time it's quite possible your plans will change.
What happened with our booking for us was, we loosely booked our approx dates and cities with some not booked too far in advance and when we were travelling booked the remainder when it was convenient, your travel agent will explain how it works, you really do need to take advice as you might be missing out on some good stopovers.
Booking tickets for a long trip is tedious, why not get down to your local Thomas Cook that's what I did after doing all the things you did and they helped plan for us and made some suggestions because most rtw tickets are based on milage covered ours was 41,000, you can buy in miles also under certain conditions over and above the maximum mileage limit, it's quite complicated you need to read the conditions. The thing is they are the experts they can advice you and it doesn't cost anything for this service. At the end of the day if you don't want to go with them you don't have to but you could get some good advice on the way.
Best of luck
Is it possible to collect airmiles on RTW tickets? I'm quite partial to those...
Daniel, when it comes to booking round the world flights you will need to have dates set for each leg of your journey so the tickets can be issued. However, one you have started travelling you can change these (dependent on availability of course!). Sometimes local offices may charge administration fees for those too.
Therefore, I would wait closer to the time until most of the flight legs are released. Have a great trip - it's looks like a good one!
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Try Round The World Experts - we have an ininerary that STA and Trailfinders couldn't match, RTWE can't match it exactly either but they have come the closest!