Fly around the World on Low Cost Airlines
Replies: 28 - Last Post: Sep 12, 2013 8:20 AM Last Post By: alen_82
Oct 2, 2012 5:18 AM
Fly around the World on Low Cost AirlinesYou can now actually fly RTW with low cost airlines giving wider and more interesting route choices and cheaper fares.
Rather than using traditional BA/QF or Star Alliance routes and tariffs
LON>KUL>SYD>HNL>YVR>LON (Using: Pegasus,Air Asia,Jetstar,Westjet and Canadian Affair) Cost is <GBP900. RTW "Specialists" in the market all tried to offer BA/QF RTW fares at GBP1700.00 + - none of which considered using Low Cost Airlines - even with prompting.. OR LON>FRA>GOI//CCU>KUL>PER//SYD>HNL>NYC//YYZ>LON (Using: Ryanair or Easyjet,Condor,Air Asia,Jetstar,Hawaiin Airlines,Canadian Affair) You could also fly into LAX from HNL as a variation to the above - overland or fly cheap into YVR and pick up Canadian Affair from YVR>LON.
Using Low cost airlines i have managed to get prices into KUL Asia hub for less than GBP250.00...and all the way to Sydney from London for less than GBP350.00
LON>IST>MAA>KUL>SYD>HNL>YYC>LON (Using: Easyjet,Air Arabia,Air Asia,Jetstar,Westjet,Canadian Affair)
Has anyone else actually flown RTW using Low Cost Airlines? Was it cheaper, better, did it offer flexibility.
Would be good to get a thread going on this subject if anyone is interested. Thanks, Matt
Oct 2, 2012 9:11 AM
1I didn't use all low-cost airlines but we used bits and pieces of cheap fares and some low-cost airlines for our RTW.
LAX to Christchurch NZ via Fiji on Fijian Airlines ($700--not low cost but I don't think there's a discount airlines that can get from the west coast to anything west.)
Then we took a bunch of Air Asia, a Jet Star, Vietnam Airlines around Australia and Asia. We got some cheap flights on Emirates, Gulf Air, Aegean Air and US Air. We took whatever was the cheapest flight at the time. In total about $2200 per person.
It's an interesting idea about doing discount airlines all the way around the world but I'm not sure it's possible. If you book really far in advance you might be able to come up with something really, really cheap. If I have some extra time, I'll try to come up with some super cheap itinerary. That's a cool challenge.
Oct 2, 2012 9:36 AM
2Hi Bohemiana - agree, is a bit of a challenge getting from OZ/NZ to West Coast America, but is possible...you just need to get to HNL, which is possible from Sydney for GBP240.00. Then Hawaiian Arlines to LAX for about GBP120.00 or do what you did.
As per my suggested itineraries, it is totally possible to go from UK/Europe RTW with Low Cost Airlines - you just need to book in advance and be pretty flexible with dates etc..
Do you know if its possible to get to South America from OZ/NZ with Low Cost ? thats my challenge right now.! then will truly give BA/QF and Star Alliance a run for their money!
Oct 2, 2012 11:02 AM
3In the US we don't consider Hawaiian Airlines a "discount" airlines like Ryan or Asia Air. They sometimes have deals but they are usually similar fares to American Airlines. (Actually Hawaiian and American are in the same alliance.) Unfortunately, the U.S. doesn't have any airlines that are truly discount. Jet Blue and Southwest used to be but now they are just slightly less than the big airlines.
Oct 2, 2012 11:31 AM
4With Hawaiian airlines, as they are non GDS participating airline (other than the 'codeshare' alliance with AA - which if you book via GDS will always be operated by AA) is why i would consider them as low cost. But i agree with you in the fact that some US scheduled airlines on occassion may be comprable to low cost.
Just wish there was more presence (any presence of low cost) from OZ/NZ into South America...still searching..!
Oct 2, 2012 4:10 PM
5What about Spirit Airlines?
Do the math: http://www.spirit.com/optionalfees.aspx
Hint: "Optional" means...?
Oct 2, 2012 4:34 PM
6Every time I check flights on Spirit, including checking this morning with the news that they have increased their baggage fees, I never find any deals. I checked a direct flight from Los Angeles to Detroit and it was more than $450 RT. Not what I call cheap--not Ryan Air kind of cheap. I know they have limited $9 deals if you join their club but I have read lots of bad reviews about it.
Oct 3, 2012 5:32 AM
7"Nothing new there.
I already posted a possible RTW itinerary only with Low Cost Airlines last year. You can consult it in post #2 in this thread. Of course, there are many more options available. "
Actually, the 1st sector you mention in post #2 does not exist anymore.. as Air Asia do not fly from UK to KUL..so would argue my observation is new.
I stand corrected on Hawaiian Airlines as correct, they are GDS participating. I think the lines get blurred when using the term 'Low Cost' ..as essentially this is 'no frills' and more and more - especially in US market, even scheduled airlines are operating this way, (even Delta who you can book via GDS for US internals come with no baggae and is a paid for extra online on their website) and like you say, African 'Low Cost' airlines can be pricey, so perhaps the term 'Low Cost' airline is bounded about too much.
Has anyone found a resource online that promotes the use of 'Low Cost Airlines' or promotes proposed routes using these 'no frills' airlines?
Oct 3, 2012 7:11 AM
8Actually, the 1st sector you mention in post #2 does not exist anymore.. as Air Asia do not fly from UK to KUL..so would argue my observation is new.
The point of my post was that it has been possible to fly RTW using only low cost airlines since years ago so there's nothing new when you said: You can now actually fly RTW with low cost airlines.
It's true the example I quoted a year ago isn't possible at the moment but there are alternatives in order to go from London to Kuala Lumpur using low cost airlines (e.g.: London-Amman with Easyjet; Amman-Dubai with FlyDubai, Dubai-Kathmandu with Flydubai and Kathmandu-Kuala Lumpur with Air Asia or London-Amman with Easyjet, Amman-Sharjah with Air Arabia, Sharjah Chennai with Air Arabia and Chennai-Kuala Lumpur with Air Asia). The point is that routes change, some end but other start and you have to plan accodingly with the routes available on your travel dates.
Oct 4, 2012 12:46 AM
Oct 4, 2012 1:05 PM
Oct 5, 2012 8:29 AM
11OK, time for some hard facts.
RTW itinerary based on a departure 5 months from now – which is fairly realistic for a RTW booking.
All airlines will allow changes at a fee and some will allow name changes (more flexible than traditional scheduled/legacy airlines) – change fees are comparable to BA/QF and Star Alliance change fees.
4th March – Luton to Istanbul (SAW) £62 including 20kg bag (Easyjet)
11th March – Istanbul (SAW) to Chennai (India) £217 including 20kg bag (Air Arabia)
18th March – Chennai to Kuala Lumpur £78 including 20kg bag (Air Asia)
25th March – Kuala Lumpur to Sydney £147 including 20kg bag (Air Asia)
2nd April – Sydney to Honolulu £314 including 20kg bag (Jet star)
9th April – Honolulu to Toronto £276 including 23kg bag (West Jet)
16th April – Toronto to London (LGW) £284 including 23kg bag (Air Transat)
I did not ‘cherry pick’ these dates for the best possible fares.
I gave a week in each destination .
TOTAL COST = £1378
Quite an interesting itinerary, with option to do side trips pretty much at each destination using low cost airlines too.
I challenge any legacy airline/ BA/QF , Star Alliance tariff to come anywhere close to this.
There are other routes to go RTW with Low Cost, I just chose the above as was fairly straight forward.
Oct 5, 2012 9:49 AM
Oct 5, 2012 12:25 PM
13I challenge any legacy airline/ BA/QF , Star Alliance tariff to come anywhere close to this.
Well, let's look at it this way.
7 flights, total cost £1378, average £196.85 per flight. Actually, I suspect your route involves some intermediate plane changes (Istanbul to Chennai stops at Sharjah, Honolulu to Toronto stops at Vancouver) so actually 9 sectors, thus an average of around £153 per flight.
Oneworld Explorer, four continents, purchased in UK, base price £2131 plus taxes and fees, plug 25% (this will vary based on choice of stops and carriers, could be less) so call it £2664 all in (includes 2 pieces of luggage, generally 20kg each max. RTW tickets use the "piece" system for luggage, not weight.)
The Oneworld Explorer allows up to 16 segments, so if fully used, that's £166 per flight.
(Actually, if you started the OWE in Denmark instead of the UK, you'd save on UK departure taxes, and the base price is around £200 cheaper, so the math shows £154 per flight, right at £1 per flight more.)
Obviously the route would be slightly different as you'd have to use the routes flown by the member airlines, but in this particular case the changes would be minor. In some cases the £13 differential per flight would be covered by surface costs, for example SAW is a hell of a lot farther away from Istanbul than IST.
Using your itinerary as a "base line" and just to illustrate how things might be different, one conceivable version of this using the OWE would be London - Istanbul - Amman - Delhi - Hong Kong - Kuala Lumpur - Tokyo - Bangkok - Sydney - Perth - Darwin - Sydney - Honolulu - Los Angeles - New York - Toronto - London. Or, if you wanted, you could drop Asia and substitute Africa, or drop North America and add South America... same price, although the airport taxes etc. will shift slightly up or down.
I'd also mention that - if it's of interest - the above route would earn enough frequent flyer miles for a return trip from, say, London to Canada. So whatever cost that trip would be could be added into the calculations.
Now I'm NOT advocating this approach over the pay-as-you-go one, and your research does indeed show that one can do RTWs using "low cost" airlines. But if cost is the measurement one chooses to use in comparisons, then indeed the comparative costs need to be looked at. A very limited RTW itinerary (in terms of flights) can be cheaper, for sure. But if one wants to travel more extensively in a region, or especially if one wants to include real off-the-beaten track destinations, which are seldom served by the low cost carriers, then the cost metric becomes strained.
Oct 5, 2012 1:44 PM
14Based on my experience, using the discount airlines is great when you can and want to book far in advance. However, I was able to find some excellent deals on the legacy carriers booking fairly close to the dates I wanted to travel. In fact, we ended up changing our itinerary when we could get a great deal. For example, we originally planned to fly from TelAviv to Madrid but the fares were too expensive. I found a great deal from Tel Aviv to Athens (for a nice visit to Naxos and Santorini), and another great flight from Athens to Madrid that combined were cheaper than Tel Aviv to Madrid.
I think its best to keep all options open and use internet cafes while traveling to see what kind of deals you can get and maybe change your plans to take advantage of them. But the original post brings up a good point that many travelers, particularly in the US where we don't have very discounted airlines, don't think about what's available in other countries.
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