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Round the World Tickets
Round the World (RTW) tickets from Flight Centre will take you, quite literally, around the world. Looking to make multiple stops on various continents and perhaps have a little more flexibility during your global travels? A Round the World ticket could be a more cost effective and hassle-free way to travel. Buckle-up and pad your frequent flyer account by booking your around the world ticket with Flight Centre Canada.
How Do Round the World (RTW) Tickets Work?
Round the World tickets are basically airline alliance air passes, priced either by the amount of miles travelled, by the number of segments (flights) flown or the number of stops made in certain geographic regions, depending on the alliance and fare used.
There are currently three major airline alliances offering these types of fares, Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam. All flights on a Round the World ticket must be booked with airlines in the same alliance (no mixing alliance airlines) and qualify for frequent flyer points with any airline member of that alliance.
Round the World tickets generally have a 1-year validity, meaning you must return within a year from the date you leave. Most RTW tickets require the traveller to return to the continent they started from (not necessarily the same city), and must continue in a forward motion (no backtracking) around the world.
How Much is a Round the World Plane Ticket?
Although sales on Round the World tickets do sometimes happen, they are rare and not the norm. As a basic rule, the more stops, continents visited or miles flown, the more expensive the ticket. Generally, the lead-in rate for the most basic RTW ticket departing from Canada is around $2400-$2500CAD in Economy Class (RTW tickets are also available in Business Class or First Class).
Once purchased, changes to dates and times are usually allowed (sometimes for free) and can be made with the airline directly anywhere in the world. Re-routing (changing destinations or stopping points) your ticketed itinerary incurs a change fee and must be done with the airline directly if abroad.
How and When to Start Planning Your RTW Trip
This is the fun part! Planning your Round the World journey shouldn’t be an overwhelming task, and if begins to feel that way, visit a travel agent for help. Even once you’ve decided on the stops you want to make and the length of time you’d like to spend at each, booking this type of fare cannot be done online, and you’ll need to visit a travel agent eventually anyway.
To start, figure out how much time you have to work with, taking into consideration that most RTW tickets are valid for a full year. There are various RTW tickets out there, all priced differently based on how much you travel and in which class of service. If flying from Canada, keep your trip moving in one direction, either via the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean, with no backtracking (within a continent is sometimes okay but no backtracking between continents).
Some RTW fares are based on travelled miles, which your agent will calculate for you to determine the cost of your itinerary. From there, you can add or remove stops to fit your budget.
Tips for Your Trip Around the World
- Passport and visas. Having a valid Canadian passport (with at least 1.5 years validity for RTW tickets) and any necessary visas to enter a country on your itinerary are probably the most important parts of your trip. Passport and visa information is always the responsibility of the traveller but your Flight Centre agent will be able to assist you wherever possible.
- Travel insurance. The longer away you are from your home country, the higher the chances are of falling ill abroad. Your provincial health plan doesn’t cover you overseas so sufficient medical coverage is always recommended. In addition, trip cancellation, trip interruption and baggage coverage is always a good idea too, and all of the aforementioned components, including medical coverage, can and should be purchased in a more cost-effective insurance package. Ask your travel agent for details and don’t leave home without it.
- Do you collect frequent flyer points with a particular airline? If so, it would be advantageous to keep with your airline and its partners for your RTW trip. Certain lower-tier RTW tickets may not incur any frequent flyer points so it’s best to ask your agent and make sure before booking (it may be worthwhile to upgrade your fare in order to get points). If you don’t currently subscribe to any airline’s frequent flyer program, sort out your itinerary to determine the airline alliance you’ll be using, and sign up. Your RTW ticket could reward you with a free flight when you get back!
- Remember, RTW tickets aren’t always the best value for your itinerary, even though you may be going around the world. Check with your travel agent to make sure that your trip isn’t possible at a better price by using a combination of tickets rather than a proper RTW ticket. By using a combination of point-to-point or stopover fares, you can sometimes save cash by using low-cost carriers that aren’t a part of any scheduled airline alliance.
- Use your Round the World ticket for major stops only. If you are planning on travelling around Europe, a good idea may be to fly into London and leave from Athens, leaving your inter-Europe travels to trains, buses, cars or cheap charter flights. Please note that in some cases, the ’overland’ portion of the above itinerary (between London and Athens) may be counted towards your ’travelled miles’, even if they are done separately from your RTW ticket.
- Read more about Round the World tickets for trip ideas, tips and about how to get the most out of this sometimes once-in-a-lifetime experience. Happy travels!