When planning RTW travel, one of the most complicated matters to settle is whether to purchase RTW tickets through one of the large airline alliances (OneWorld or Star) or piece together one-way tickets all on your own. Ticketing through one of the alliances is a crazy, complicated endeavor. I am still dumbfounded at how anyone manages to compile a successful itinerary. Many people choose this option though, so I was bound and determined to try and make it work. Like many times in my life, I set off certain I could make the alliances yield to my will.

I finally admitted the other day that we would either need to yield to their conditions or go it on our own. Restrictions caused huge issues for us because of our desire to travel from Russia to Egypt to Tanzania. One would think such travel would not entangle us in restrictions, but oh no … nothing is that simple. To fly from Egypt to Tanzania with OneWorld (a mere 4 hr direct flight), we would need to travel all the way to London. What?!? Yes, London. And, since London is part of Europe (at least the last time I checked) we would break the cardinal rule of entering back into a region after we departed it (i.e. Moscow to Egypt). We would break the rules again when we tried to return to the US (because yet again, we would need to cross through Europe).

The OneWorld operator working with us was a very friendly chap who tried desperately to make it all work–as long as we completely changed our trip.

Traveling through Siberia in the dead of winter was not our idea of great adventure on the Trans-Mongolian railway, nor was taking safaris during the rainy season. Thus, we are going it alone and piecing together our tickets as we go. Hopefully this works out and we do not get stranded in Timbuktu (which would be pretty hard to do since we are not traveling to Mali, but you get the drift).

6 Responses to “The traveler’s dilemna”

  1. Emily Ruth Cannon says:

    I love reading yall’s blog. Good luck booking all of your flights. We have some friend that spent 7 weeks in Asia and ran into some problems in Vietnam. I’ll try to ask some more about it in case it helps you guys!

    Can I use the link on the left to purchase on amazon with it benefiting you guys?

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Jodi, be glad you’re not using the alliance. I have been cursing them for the last 24 hours! Trying to get our ticket “rewritten” in Istanbul to incorporate changes to our itinerary has been a hair-pulling experience. We are the last group of people with paper tickets, so nothing can be done electronically. So we will spent the whole day running all over Istanbul trying to get this figured out once and for all.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    PS: Noticed you got a question posted on The Lost Girls’ website — nicely done!

  4. chris says:

    Hi Emily –

    Yea, if you buy anything on Amazon and go through our site we will get about 4% of the purchase price. You just have to click on the Amazon logo to go to their homepage and start shopping from there.

  5. Jamie says:

    Chris and Jodi, I just found your blog, and I am very excited for you!! My boyfriend and I are currently in our 2nd of 6 months in Southeast Asia, so we can relate to all of the pre-trip planning. We are buying our flight tickets as we go, but I just finished purchasing a month’s worth of train tickets in India, and it was exhausting.

    Best of luck with your travels, and I will definitely check in every once in a while!

  6. Jodi says:

    Hello Jodi – another Jodi here (also spelled without the “e” at the end – yay for us!). I’m in the middle of my RTW trip and found you guys via the Lost Girls. I’ll be heading to the Trans-Sib railway starting tomorrow, via Lake Baikal (BAM) route, and I look forward to hearing your take on it as well.

    Best NOT go with Star Alliance or One World – it has been so great to just plan as I go, and change country plans on a whim if I’ve met people heading somewhere interesting. While it’s nice to have cheaper ticket, there are great low cost airlines in Asia and Oceania and in the end, your freedom to just go where the wind takes you makes up for the cost differential. At least that’s my opinion on the matter!

    Travel safe!