Round the World Ticket

Most of the people think a round the world ticket is too expensive. But they are wrong… There are global alliances specialised in round the world tickets (called RTW) and the cost of these tickets is a great deal. A RTW ticket with 16 legs, going through 5 continents, costs around 4,000.00 USD per person.

Currently there are 3 global alliances that offer RTW tickets, but of course there are rules and some limitations. So, before you choose your alliance try to understand what they offer, the rules, fines and etc. In the table below you find a summary of the main characteristics for each.

One WorldStar AllianceSky Team
Ticket expiration10 to 365 days10 to 365 days10 to 365 days
basis for priceBased on the number of continents visited, divided into six geographical areas.As the total of the ticket distance traveled in miles: 26,000, 29,000, 34,000 and 39,000 miles.As the total of the ticket distance traveled in miles: 26,000, 29,000, 34,000 and 39,000 miles.
Average price
(Economic class)
3.000 to 5.100 USD3.100 to 5.400 USD3.800 to 6.700 USD
Number of flights3 to 163 to163 to16
ConditionsStarts and ends in the same country, the route can be set before departure or you can leave it open. The itinerary can be changed during the trip with a fee. The flight dates can be changed during the trip without any fee. Maximum of 4 flights per geographical area and two flights in the area of departure. Surface sectors and connections count as legs.Start and end in the same country, the itinerary should be issued before departure and it can be changed during the trip with a fee. Connections count as legs and surface sectors count as legs and in the miles calculation. You can change dates without any fee.Start and end in the same country, only the first flight must be scheduled before departure and the other can be made along the journey. Surface sectors are included in the mileage account and itinerary changes can be done with a fee.
LinkOne WorldStar AllianceSky team

Use the RTW tickets simulators offered by One world and Star Alliance. There you can play around before you make your final decision.

Attention to:

  • Watch-out when you choose your flights. E.g.: flights with connection will count as 2 legs.
  • In RTW tickets you always have to fly in the same direction, but this applies only when you are travelling between continents. In the flights inside the continents you can have flights in both directions.
  • The air company of your first leg will be the one responsible for your whole trip. So it’s better to choose a company that is well represented worldwide.
  • You always have to get your next flight leaving the same place you arrived. If you decide to do a surface sector it will be considered as a leg or miles. E.g.: if you arrived in Los Angeles and you want to get the next flight in San Francisco, the surface sector between Los Angeles and San Francisco will count as a leg/miles.

How to issue the RTW ticket:

  • Travel agency – but many of them apply extra rates on top
  • In the global alliances site – usually the RTW simulators allows to buy the ticket on the internet
  • Directly with the air company responsible for your first leg – in this case we recommend you first choose all your flights in the simulator of the website. Then call the air company with this information in hand. This will make your life easier.

In our case we decided to buy with One World because our ticket had more than 39,000 miles. In the end we had flights with connections and surface sectors because we were going to some alternative destinations. See below our ticket itinerary:

2BrazilRio de JaneiroUSASan Francisco1 stopDallas
2USASan FranciscoJakartaIndonesia1 stopHong Kong
1JakartaIndonesiaNepalKathmanduSurface sector
2NepalKathmanduJapanTokyo1 stopHong Kong
1JapanTokyoHong KongHong KongDirect
1Hong KongHong KongSouth AfricaJohannesburgDirect
1South AfricaJohannesburgTanzaniaDar Es SalaamSurface sector
1TanzaniaDar Es SalaamEnglandLondonDirect
1SpainMadridBrazilRio de JaneiroDirect
Low cost tickets

Probably just the RTW ticket will not be enough. Once you are on the other side of the world you want to use this opportunity to see and do as much as you can. There are many low cost air companies in the world and you can find flights for 50 USD or even less.

In this link you find a list of low cost air companies around the world.

For those who are going to Japan, here is an important tip. The train system in Japan is the best option to travel around but the cost is very high. There is a tourist pass for weekly periods, but you have to buy it before you enter Japan. There are options of 7, 14 or 21 days. You will still think the price is high, but believe me, buying individual tickets is much worst. You can buy through the internet in this link.