Best agent/site to book a round-the-world flight?
June 16, 2016 5:18 AM   Subscribe

What websites/travel agents have you used to get the best price for a round-the-world flight?

I'm trying to book a trip for two people this December, starting in Sweden and passing through Chile, New Zealand, and Australia before returning to Sweden. Have you used a travel agent that was able to find you a good price for a round-the-world ticket? So far I've found some pretty outrageous prices, and I'm hoping there's something cheaper if a decent travel agent can fiddle with the dates/places a bit.
posted by twirlypen to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I do it myself on itasoftware

It's the same system travel agents use. A bit hard to use at first, but a little reading and some learning (maybe 20 minutes to an hour) will reap a lot of rewards. You can use it to basically do any itinerary and any routing pattern you want.
posted by moiraine at 6:04 AM on June 16, 2016

The last time I looked into this, there were a few online tools that you can use; based on different airline alliances. The tickets are usually valid for once year, and have criteria based on how many continents you visit, mileage covered, stops you take and assume you are constantly heading either west or east. I have never found it cost effective to buy round the world tickets.

For just 3 stops, it may not be worth getting around the world tickets, and may actually be cheaper to use Kayak to link up a bunch of one way tickets. (RTW tickets priced out for $4k usd, while I'm seeing roughly $3k usd for flights using Kayak spread out over Dec/Jan) However, if you want to travel within Australia and NZ, those little short flights add up and may end up being worth getting the round the trip tickets.

Keep in mind that to get from Chile to either NZ or Australia, you will have to fly through the US via Los Angeles. To the best of my knowledge that's going to be the cheapest route across the pacific.

the One World alliance (American, british, cathay pacific, quantas)
Star Alliance (Luftanza, Scandinavian Airlines, SWISS, United, Air New Zealand)
Sky Team (Delta, Air france, KLM, Korea Air)
posted by larthegreat at 6:12 AM on June 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

did you look at
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:48 AM on June 16, 2016

For the trip they want to do (west to east, only three stops) it's probably better to just buy an open-jaw or "multi-city" ticket rather than a specific Round The World ticket. Most of the RTW schemes assume you're departing from the east coast of the US or Western Europe and traveling east toward Asia. (So for example Stockholm to St. Petersburg to Istanbul to New Delhi to Tokyo to Los Angeles or what have you.) Traveling in a westerly direction, and especially anything involving South America, tend not to be as cost effective for that style of ticket as just buying the flights.

Any good flight search engine will have a "multi-city" option.

It may be most cost effective to buy each flight as a one-way ticket.
posted by Sara C. at 8:58 AM on June 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

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