More than a few decades Pam Am which was a true pioneer in civil avaiation, was the first airline to have a route network which connected the globe. Their connections spanned around the world and this spawned the RTW ticket.
The RTW or ‘Round the World Ticket was developed to allow passengers to travel in one direction using airline partners to connect across the globe. As long as you travel in one direction, say East to West, stopovers are allowed, in fact they are required. The key here is that a RTW fare is far less expensive than buying one way or even roundtrips in Economy, Business or First.
About 30 years ago British Airways, Cathay and American charged around $5000 in Business Class for a cross the pond trip. Allowing for inflation you can see how economical a RTW ticket really is these days. Today airlines can more easily accommodate a RTW itinerary if they are a member of an alliance such as oneworld, SkyTeam or Star Alliance.
To demonstrate the value proposition of a RTW ticket, I just priced an itinerary with Delta in Business Class originating in the USA going Chicago/Bangkok/Dubai/London/Chicago. It was $10,000 and you’d still earn miles and base miles toward elite status , clocking up over 24,000 miles on this fare.
There are some rules and regulations however. You must stay away at least 10 days, you must only go in one direction and cannot backtrack, as well you must have at least three stopover destinations. OK that just makes the trip more enjoyable.
I think RTW tickets are a marvelous opportunity to discover a new destination for a day or 2 that you never planned on visiting. If you are flying from Hong Kong to Paris why not stop in Delhi at no extra charge? You know the food would be excellent.
To give you a sense of my travel day dreams here are two RTW scenarios I’d love to experience.
oneworld First Class
- Chicago (ORD) – HKG on Cathay
- HKG – BKK on Cathay
- BKK – LHR on BA
- LHR – ORD on BA
Star Alliance First Class
- San Fran (SFO) – HKG on Singapore Airlines
- HKG – BKK on Thai Airways
- BKK – SIN on Singapore
- SIN –DXB on Singapore
- DXB– FRA on Lufthansa
- FRA – JFK on Lufthansa
- JFK – SFO on United
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.