Most airline alliances offer around the world tickets, either based on the number of continents you plan to travel or based on mileage.
We opted to buy a ticket based on six continents through One World alliance, which includes American Airlines, British Airways, Lan and Quantas to name a few members. This alliance seemed to have carriers with more flights to our preferred destinations.
A few things we learned....
- The same ticket costs different amounts depending on where in the world you buy the ticket. This information is on their website. Just click a different start point to determine the best price and option for you.
- You must physically be in the country of choice to buy the ticket with their cost. We used frequent flier miles to get to Argentina to buy our ticket. By doing so, we save $1000 US dollars each, compared to buying the ticket in the US. The catch is that travel must now start and end in South America since this is where the ticket was purchased. We hope to build up enough frequent flier miles to be able to get back home : )
- You can book travel one year in advance, but can only do so when the around the world ticket is purchased. Our advice is to book sooner than later as flights fill up. We think there are only a few seats on every flight given to ATW ticket holders.
- You can change the dates of travel for free, but will be charged if you change locations. When you first buy your ticket, you must give all airport locations, so do your research first, and try to get as many direct flights as possible as to not use up your segments. The One World alliance website has a nifty tool to help you map out your trip. Also keep in mind that land segments will count as a flight, so plan accordingly. For example, we fly into Bankok, but will travel by foot and bus to Hanoi for our next flight. We lost one segment, because we did not depart from Bankok, however, it was the best option since other flights included several legs.