I’m working on getting the Round-the-World (RTW) ticket right now, and I’ve been using Star Alliance’s trip planner tool for the past month, and I have to start making the decision and buy the ticket so I can move on to other parts of the trip planning. The leg that’s causing the most debate is Europe. Depending on the way I order the itinerary and opt for separate flight tickets, I could potentially lower my cost overall.
Being the logical person that I am, I must figure out at a basic level which option costs the least and what the benefits and disadvantages I may encounter are. This table started out with only a few columns and rows last night, and in a few hours it exploded.
Since Round-the-World tickets are usually priced partly in mileage tiers, I’m trying to arrange the route a certain way to get it just under the next mileage tier. In some cases, I save a couple of hundred dollars.
Then I had the idea to try to shorten my overall trip as much as I can and see how low in mileage and price I could go. The only other places I could do it were to the starting and ending points, where I could reduce the mileage within American soil and book separate domestic tickets for cheaper. So instead of flying from Albuquerque, I moved my starting point to Houston or Miami, where there are direct flights to Lima. And instead of including the Hawaii-to-SF leg in the RTW ticket, I stop at Hawaii and would fly back to SF separately. So I started logging that and re-ran the numbers for every route I had previously planned.
Somewhere along the way, many hours have passed, I had the idea to shorten the Europe leg of the RTW ticket down to Athens, Greece. Maybe I could train it through Europe or get cheaper flights within Europe. To my surprise, my route got below another mileage tier, and so did the cost ($1500-2000 less!). By then, it was too late in the night for me to do more price checks, so this morning, I resumed work and ran quick numbers on Kayak. If I fly separately within Europe starting and ending at Athens, and I include the Hawaii-to-SF flight, it would still cost a couple hundred dollars below all the prices I had logged earlier that night!
(If you were wondering that maybe booking all of your flights separately may be cheaper than a RTW ticket, which I also wondered, it’s not, at least for my trip. The long flights between continents still cost a lot, enough to be beat by RTW ticket when added up.)
So now, I have to rearrange my dates to include Athens in my itinerary. But that could be another post. This is starting to become a tour of capitals (except South Africa, which has three capitals and “Jo-burg” is not one of them), and also a tour of Olympic cities!
(“Before Midnight” (coincidentally took place in Greece): there’s little relevance to traveling here, but I wanted to follow up. It’s good just like the other “Before” movies, but it’s sort of become a “hyper”-reality (even though it’s the most current) where it’s gone so far into the future from the first two movies where now they’re middle-aged parents with more problems, to a point where part of me prefer to “go back to simpler times” of “Before Sunset” where we’re a little older and wiser but still have enough hope for the future.)