It’s official… we booked our plane tickets! We are now the proud owners of two LAX-Sydney-Carins-Alice Springs-Perth-Sydney-Bangkok-Mumbai-Hong Kong-Dubai-Cairo-London-Miami-LAX tickets. While we celebrated the purchase with a great Napa cab, it really hasn’t sunk in yet that we are actually committed now to going.
Our decision on what type of tickets to get has been a huge open question for such a long time. We thought about just buying flights as we go so that we wouldn’t be tied to any particular places or times. However, after surfing for prices this really turned out to be the most expensive option. After more research, I found out that American Airlines has a program to use frequent flyer miles to book RTW tickets. Joy!
I have about 250,000 miles that I’ve been saving for just this purpose. After hours on the phone, I soon realized that they are pretty much useless for this type of ticket. There were no flights to any of the places we wanted to go within a month of any of the dates we wanted to go. Frustration! Despair!
Finally we gave up and went back to our first plan, buying a RTW ticket. Note that AA has a great tool for this here: http://www.oneworld.com/ow/flight-info/itinerary-planner
There are lots of rules with this type of ticket. For example, once you leave a continent, you can’t go back to it. There’s also a limit to the number of segments and breaks in the itinerary. So we’ll have to buy a separate ticket (or hopefully my miles will be good for something) to get to New Zealand, as well as some internal flights in India and Europe. The best part of the ticket is that even thought the cities are set, we can change dates.
Anyway, it’s done – paid for and booked. Elation! (and a little anxiety)