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Oneworld Explorer

Star

Skyteam

Virgin Atlantic

Emirates

Comment

Oneworld offer an excellent website that tells you everything you need to know to understand their pass.

Star offer a dreadful website that hides as much information as possible.

A trip calculator function is nice and clever, but takes a long time to work through and requires you to give personal details and email address before it will cost out the fare.

Unhelpful website

Due to the limited number of participating airlines, these fares are not as flexible with many fewer options.  But the pricing is considerably lower, too, and if you're just thinking of going to a few different places, this might be a good option.

The multiple airline fare is flexible and comparably priced to the Star product.

Seasonality

Mainly year round, some high/low season rates for coach class if travel commences in UK or Australia

None

None

Prices vary by season (details not known), by a few hundred dollars.

No

Minimum Stay

10 days

10 days

10 days

Saturday night

10 days for the UA product

No minimum for the multiple airline product

Maximum Stay

12 months

12 months

12 months

12 months

12 months

Open sectors

Yes but not first flight

Probably yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

How far in advance to book flights

Must book first flight at least seven days in advance.

It seems no minimum advance booking time applies, 'local service fees may apply'

Must book first flight seven days in advance if on the 26,000 mile fare, otherwise no advance booking on first flight

No advance booking requirement on other flights for business and first class fares, at least a day for coach class fares.

First flight and ticket issuance at least seven days prior to departure

No charge to confirm open sectors, but $100 charge to change flight details

Seven days advance purchase, or 14 days with the Eva Air combination

Both products require 7 days advance for reservations/ticketing

Change itinerary

Yes, doesn't say how much notice, and 'a charge may be payable' - typically $125

Yes, but details not known

$100 per change

$100 to change prior to departure, no charge for changes subsequently

Yes, $125 fee applies

Earns miles

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Participating airlines

10 member airlines plus their regional affiliates

19 airlines

11 airlines and 3 associate airlines

Has several different RTW fare types, variously in association with :

Air New Zealand (NZ) and Singapore Airlines (SQ)
All Nippon Airlines (NH); or
Eva Airways (BR); or
Malaysian Airlines (MH); or
Singapore Airlines (SQ); or
Thai Airways (TG)

One RTW fare with UA only

One other RTW fare with multiple other carriers :

Jet Airways (9W)
Alaska Airlines (AS)
Continental (CO)
Air Pacific (FJ)
KLM (KL)
Kenya Airways (KQ)
Malev (MA)
Malaysian Airlines (MH)
Northwest Airlines (NW)
South African Airways (SA)
Air Caledonie (SB)
Air Tahiti Nui (TN)
Sri Lankan Airlines (UL)
Copa Airlines (CM)

Method of charging

You pay so much per continent you visit, and can have up to four flights in each continent (and six in the US).  Two extra flights per continent can be purchased.

The world is divided into seven continents, and the fare allows for travel to up to six of them.

Mileage based, with choices between 26,000 (coach class only), 29,000, 34,000 or 39,000 miles.

Even though the earth has a circumference of a maximum 25,000 miles, it is surprisingly difficult to have a varied itinerary fit within 26,000 miles, and more detailed itineraries can readily go over 34,000 miles.

Mileage based, with four different mileage levels :  26,000, 29,000, 34,000 and 39,000 miles.

Presumably if you exceed 39,000 miles, you then need to buy some separate tickets for part of the journey to keep the distance on the RTW ticket within 39,000 miles.

The fare with both NZ and SQ is mileage based, all the others are restricted to specific and fairly limited route options

Fare with UA = anywhere the two airlines fly, but with some limits on backtracking

Fare with multiple airlines is mileage based, with pricing for 30,000, 35,000 and 40,000 miles of travel.

Max number of flights

A maximum of 20 flights per ticket.

Maximum of 15 stops, except for the 26,000 mile fare which has a maximum of 5 stops.

15 stops maximum

Mileage based restrictions, and can buy some extra miles if needed.

No limit on UA fare

10 stops maximum and 24 tickets maximum for combo fare.

Open jaws

Yes, but it is counted as if it were a flight for calculating max flights.

Don't know

   

Yes

Backtracking

Allowed within each continent, but not allowed between continents

Don't know

 

Backtracking is allowed when moving to a new location. However passengers can not re-visit a location unless just traveling through to a new location.

Some backtracking allowed

Lowest season coach fare and dates for travel from US

$3900 all year for three continents
$4100 for four continents
$4900 for five continents
$5300 for six continents

Extra flights are $150 each

Book in L class

$4069 for presumably 26,000 miles

$5511 for 39,000 miles

€2099 for 26,000 miles
(ie about $3150 @ 1.5)

€3049 for 34,000 miles
(ie about $4600 @ 1.5)

$5511 for 39,000 miles

$3149 with NZ/SQ
$3800 with NH
$2570 with BR
$3089 with MH
$3600 with SQ
$2647 with TG

$4119 with UA

$4069 for 30,000 mile fare
$4687 for 35,000 mile fare
$5511 for 40,000 mile fare

Highest season coach fare and dates

No seasonal rates, same price all year

No seasonal rates, same price all year

 

$2609 high season 10 - 23 Dec

No seasonal rates, same price all year

Premium economy

Yes - applies to BA World Traveler Plus only, $300 extra per flight, or $450 if flying between LON and MEL or SYD

No

No

sometimes, extra cost per flight

No

Business

$7500 all year for three continents
$8300 for four continents
$9500 for five continents
$11100 for six continents

Extra flights are $400 each

Book in D class except for JL domestic in Y and AA flights 3000-5599 in Y and sometimes US domestic upgraded to A

$7880 for 29,000 miles

$10,558 for 39,000 miles

€6562 for 34,000 miles
(ie about $9850 @ 1.5)

$10,558 for 39,000 miles

$6800 with NZ/SQ
$7400 with NH
$3618 with BR
$4850 with MH
$6660 with SQ
$3727 with TG

 

$7930 with UA

$7880 for 30,000 mile fare
$9013 for 35,000 mile fare
$10558 for 40,000 mile fare

First Class

$10600 all year for three continents
$11400 for four continents
$13100 for five continents
$15400 for six continents

Extra flights are $550 each

Book in A or D class, sometimes Y, depending on airline

$11,440 for 29,000 miles

$15,400 for 39,000 miles

€12,127 for 34,000 miles
(ie about $18,200 @ 1.5)

Note - VS doesn't have first class on its planes

$5170 with TG

$11490 with UA

Not offered on multiple airline fare

Child and Infant Fares

Children are 75% of adult fare, infants are 10%

Discounts apply, but details not provided.

 

Children are 75% of adult fare, infants are 10%

75% of adult fare for children, 10% for infants

Notes

Taxes are extra

Travel - even with no stops - between Australia and Europe is counted as going through three continents (Australia, Asia and Europe).

Taxes are extra

 

Single crossing of the Atlantic and Pacific.

Taxes are extra

General information

link

link

link

link

Nothing published online

Detailed fare sheet

link

       
 

Note :  The information above is incomplete and may not be fully accurate, due to the limited sources of information available and the summary nature by which a lot of this material is presented.  Use the information above with caution and double check everything with the airlines involved before making any important decisions.

Originally published 13 Mar 2008, last update 18 Mar 2011

You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.

 

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