Oneworld Alliance has several around-the-world and similar regional products, and I have purchased perhaps half a dozen in business over the past decade.
I had never previously considered issuing one ex-Japan, but the recent Yen slide has made the fares competitive, and I don’t need to take any extra flights, as the first segment is my departure flight from the country.
You can access the Oneworld alliance here.
- Flexibility (fully flexible)
- High Booking Class (good availability)
- Changes (you can make changes within the rules after starting the trip – several times)
- Miles Earnings (reasonable earnings rate)
- Maximum 16-segments
- Rules Complicated (you need to know what you are doing)
- Difficult To Book (you need to use a travel agent or the airline’s RTW desk)
- Strict Limits What Can Be Done
- Some Airlines Don’t Want To Touch Them (theoretically, all Oneworld airlines should be able to issue and service these)
- Oneworld Alliance Weak In Select Markets (South America huge hole)
- Maximum 16-segments
- Surface Segments Count As Sector
Oneworld Fares Ex-Japan
I chose to display the American Airlines published RTW-fares ex-Japan, but most alliance airlines have them available.
Oneworld Explorer Fare Rules:
Things to note:
- Pay attention to the regions
- Only two stopovers in the continent of origin
- Maximum number of flights within each region
I generally have a good idea of the various routes these airlines operate.
The most helpful tool is airline route maps (remember the ones you could find in every in-flight magazine), and I tend to have a few open in browser tabs.
I then start plugging airports into the Great Circle Map:
- My first step: Tokyo to Male (TYO-CMB-MLE)
- Second step: Male – London (CMB-LHR)
- Third step: London – Helsinki (LHR-HEL)
These are the set of flights that I would have needed even without issuing a DONE4. I estimated that these would probably cost around $3K, and there might have been a possibility to use miles on some parts.
I then made the rest of the itinerary for the second half of 2023 and tried to ensure that I was within the rules:
TYO-CMB ASIA FLIGHT #1
CMB-MLE ASIA FLIGHT #2 & ASIA STOPOVER #1
MLE-LHR (intercontinental flight)
LHR-HEL EUROPE/ME FLIGHT #1
HEL-DXB EUROPE/ME FLIGHT #2
DXB-CMN EUROPE/ME FLIGHT #3
CMN-LHR EUROPE/ME FLIGHT #4
LHR-GRU OR EZE (intercontinental flight)
GRU OR EZE -SCL SURFACE SEGMENT
SCL-SYD (intercontinental flight)
SYD-NAN SWP FLIGHT #1
NAN-SYD SWP FLIGHT #2
SYD-PER SWP FLIGHT #3
PER-HKG (intercontinental flight)
HKG-DEL ASIA FLIGHT #3 & ASIA STOPOVER 2
DEL-TYO ASIA FLIGHT #4
I hadn’t checked any flight availability at this point and had to make two changes.
Finnair doesn’t operate HEL-DXB during the time frame I would take the flight. I was able to change this to HEL-DOH.
There was no availability for the LHR-EZE, and my agent suggested that I would take Iberia’s flight instead (CMN-MAD-EZE), but I am not a fan of their product or service. We were able to find BA availability to GRU.
My Ticketed Itinerary:
The price came to 7469 euros + travel agent fee. The ticket can be issued on the stock of any of the airlines that markets one of the flights between different regions (British Airways, Qantas, or Cathay Pacific on this itinerary), and mine was on BA.
The problem I have in the South West Pacific (SWP) is that those Qantas flights to/from Fiji only earn 40 BA Tier Points (TP) each, while shorter European flights earn 80.
Also, if the flights are a few miles longer, they would earn 140 TPs. So why do I like Perth so much? 140 TPs, of course.
If my calculations are correct, this earns 1,700 TPs and quite a few Avios. However, from a pure miles earnings perspective, I would likely be better off if I credited the entire ticket to American Airlines AAdvantage.
I will probably need to reconsider my crediting strategy once I hit 35,000 lifetime TPs with BA, which earns me a lifetime Gold (Oneworld Emerald).
I did several DGLOB34s that allow Qantas codeshares on non-Oneworld airline Air Tahiti Nui to/from Papeete (French Polynesia).
This was very beneficial when LATAM was part of the alliance and when they flew from Easter Island to Papeete once a week, creating a direct connection between French Polynesia and South America, and you could have a stopover in Easter Island as well.
The exit of LATAM has made traveling within South America practically impossible on Oneworld.
The price of these Oneworld products fluctuates depending on currency moves. For example, when the pandemic started, I was on the tail end of a Karachi-issued DGLOB34. So it pays to check what origin makes sense for you if you consider issuing one.
Some prefer using a travel agent, while others rather deal directly with the airline. I use an agent that has issued several of these for me (and many others, too), and I can do everything by email/chat/Whatsapp. There is a fee for this service, but I value my time enough to make it worthwhile.
Have you ever issued an around-the-world ticket, and would you ever consider one?