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Around the World Airfares

          

           
  fretrabutton.gif (1325 bytes) Around the World Airfares

 
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Economical Fares

 

Around the world airfares offered by ticket brokers are some of the least expensive RTW packages available. Consolidators are adept at purchasing a series of one-way tickets from different airlines at deep discounts to construct Around the World, Circle the Pacific and quite recently have even introduced Circle Region itineraries for individual continents. Some of the better known companies advertise on these pages and offer some amazing routings at incredible prices. Surprisingly many of these itineraries include travel on some of the highest regarded airlines in the world.

 

These fares are not sold by airlines directly but offer outstanding values over some other fares. These tickets are different than other programs on this site and you should familiarize yourself with the information presented below before purchasing one of these fares.

 

How do they sell so Cheap?

 

When an airline is not selling enough space in a particular market, they sell the unoccupied seats to a ticket broker by offering a generous discount. Either the airlines sell the seats at a bulk rate, or a deeply discounted price to an agency, or the airlines offer a very high commissions for the sale of tickets to the broker.  A second tier of travel agents then resell the tickets to the general public; and these tickets have become known as “Consolidated Fares” or "Consolidator Fares".

 

Fare Structure

 

 Individual consolidators have exclusive contracts with certain airlines and all travel will be restricted to only the airlines working with a particular agency. One company may have a more favorable relationship with a particular airline than another and be able to offer significant savings on the same routing.

Fares can fluctuate significantly from one broker to another for the same itinerary. Shopping around can result in significant savings with consolidator fares.

 

Routings

Itinerary possibilities will fluctuate from one company to another.  Depending on the airlines associated with the individual agency many options are possible. You may not have the flexibility of alliance fares but the savings are usually enough to offset any advantage an alliance fare may offer.

 

Credit Card Charges

Consolidators operate on a thin margin, and therefore most will hesitate to accept credit cards as payment.  Many agencies have recently relaxed this requirement, but they will add a surcharge of anywhere form three to six percent, to the price quoted for the ticket for the convenience of using a charge card.

Caution: it is always best to use a credit card for payment of any airline ticket. Credit cards offer some protection against fraud and the possible default of an airline. Each credit card company has different policies and consulting with your credit card company about what protections are offered is a good idea.

 

Taxes

Taxes are a big part of any airline ticket and you will not know the true cost of the ticket until all the taxes have been added.  Taxes generally add in excess of one hundred dollars to the price of an international ticket; but if you are visiting several different countries, this figure can grow significantly. On around the world routings it is common to have taxes of $300 to $500 dollars added to tickets with multiple stops.  The taxes are controlled by the governments of the nations you visit and consolidators have no control of these fees.

Seasonal Surcharges

The fares offered by these agencies change with the time of year. Summer is usually the most expensive time, but summer changes from Northern to Southern Hemisphere. Be certain you are being quoted a fare for the time you wish to travel.

Changes and Cancellations

Be certain you understand the refund policy before you purchase the ticket, and do some serious investigation into Travel Insurance policies.  In most cases, once the ticket has been issued, you will not be able to make any changes to it. You may be told it is changeable but several conditions may have to be met before this is true.

Most consolidator around the world fares allow changes to the return date, or onward travel, but this change will be on a stand-by, space available basis.  Travel will only be permitted on the airline that issued the ticket.  Be aware airlines are in the business of selling every seat and no seats may be available. 

Some airlines schedule service to destinations as infrequently as once a week, and the flights are frequently completely full.  If you do not travel on the date you have a reservation, you may have a very long wait for the next available flight.

Get a detailed Receipt

Get a detailed bill of what you paid . The cost of the ticket, the taxes, and the credit card charges, should be outlined individually.  If there is a shipping, handling, or other fee, have that detailed as well.

Frequent Flyer Miles

The awarding of frequent flyer miles really depends on the individual airline and the type of fare issued, some fares allow frequent flyer mileage accumulation and some don't. Frequent flyer miles have a significant value to many customers and if you are concerned; determine if the tickets will allow for mileage accumulation.  Sometimes paying just a few more dollars or changing airlines will result in mileage being awarded.

 

Travel Insurance

 

Many articles have been written that deflate the value of travel insurance but for Around the World travel this type of indemnity can be invaluable. Different companies offer a variety of benefits, including, flight delay, flight cancellation, airline default, lost luggage, lost documents and a host of other benefits.  Travel insurance is a good idea when you purchase one of these fares as most protect you against an airline defaulting.

 

The primary benefit of travel insurance however may be the medical and evacuation assistance.  Most medical insurance policies do not cover you when you travel beyond your home nation. If you get sick or have an accident in a foreign county you will be required to pay the expenses.  Around the World travelers tend to be very adventurous and one helicopter medical evacuation because you break a leg in a remote area can cost as much as $20,000.  A good site to compare prices of the major travel insurance carriers is located here.

 

 Special Considerations

 

The vast majority of consolidators are sincere upstanding travel professionals, offering an invaluable service. These are very complicated tickets sometimes purchased from agents in other countries; consideration should be given to agencies with a great deal of experience selling these tickets.  Brokers who have been around a long time tend to live on reputation and these are the type of agents you will need.  These tickets like all airline fares have many rules and you should make yourself aware of all the restrictions.

 

 Additional Tools

 

Mileage calculator: This is a great link to determine mileages between principal cities

Airline Schedules: For detailed schedule information of the airlines participating in these programs please use the above link.

Airline Maps: For detailed route network maps of the primary airlines in this group use this link

 

 

 
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