RTW Tickets: Experience with World Traveller's Club?
We're leaving January 2011 (revision from our earlier plans), and I'm beginning to get firm pricing for our tickets. I'm pleasantly surprised by a recent bid from the World Traveller's Club, but I'm wary of taking the plunge just yet.
Have any of you heard of/worked with them before?
The only previous posting here at BnA is from several years ago, and the issue mentioned about credit cards has changed. (It's possible to pay via credit card and forgo the cash discount.)
They're a small operation out of San Francisco (their listing on the Better Business Bureau says three employees total). They've been around since 1993, but there are only four reviews on Yelp (and those reviews quite honestly seem to leave a lot to be desired...but then again, they're only four reviews out of 18 years of business?).
This is my quote in US$ for a January 2012 departure:
Portland > Lima + Buenos Aires > Rio + Madrid > Beirut > Capetown > Dar es Salaam > Colombo > Bangkok > Sydney > Auckland > Fiji > Los Angeles > Portland = $5,277
No transportation is included between Lima and Buenos Aires, and between Rio and Madrid (we've booked a ship from Rio to Barcelona).
The fare without cash discount would be $5,525 per person incl. airline fuel surcharges/airport taxes.
A flight from La Paz due Buenos Aires will be around $200 per person. If you would like to fly Portland > Denver > Lima, you would have to add approx. $180 per person. Flying from Casablanca to Beirut will be approx. the same as flying from Madrid to Beirut.
The airlines involved in your itinerary would be Delta, Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Pacific, Alaska Air, Qatar Airways, Air India, Kingfisher Airlines etc. A detailed itinerary showing travel times will of course be provided once we actually book your flights.
They provide electronic tickets. They book specific dates (i.e., they can't be left open) - we are responsible for making changes with airlines directly should we want to alter flight dates while en route. The woman I've been working with seems to be very responsive and helpful thus far.
So help me, friends? Is this this sounding risky (poor airlines, poor pricing?), or reasonable?
This itinerary gets us both around the world for $11,000 of our $40,000+/- travel budget.
I'd love for your input to help cover my blind spots.
Thanks so much!
RTW tickets are easier, generally aimed at newer travelers, allow for more flexibility in date changes, and will be significantly more expensive than point to point tickets.
Point to point tickets are cheaper, don't allow for date changes, generally, but you don't have to buy them all at the beginning of your trip and so, for that reason, really allow for MORE freedom in changing your trip along the way overall. As long as you buy the ticket for one step ahead of where you're going, your "proof of onward travel", if required, will be met.
I did a RTW for about 1/3 the cost of your quoted price. It's true I didn't go to South America on mine, which WILL add to the costs, but I think if cost is an issue with your tickets (and who WOULDN'T want some more money in the traveling fund?!) you'd be better off doing point to point tickets on your own.
Have a great trip!
I know that it's possible to piece together routes around the globe for 1400-2000 pretty reasonably, but these types of itineraries don't seem to truly allow us to reach the specific destinations we have in mind. By the time we've factored in S. America, the Mediterranean, South Africa, back up to Sri Lanka, and over to SEA before New Zealand and then home to the Pacific Northwest, I feel like we've stacked up a pretty tall order.
I've put together basic point to point prices, and I think that this particular RTW quote is a fair trade off between expense and ease. We'll just need to decide about the typical cost savings versus flexibility issue.
My main concern/question with World Traveller's Club is their reputability. (Um, they don't even spell "Traveler's" correctly?) There is relatively little feedback floating around on the www (from what I can tell), and I'm hoping that some other BnA members may have experience and feedback from working with them (or hearing stories - horror or otherwise?).
Anyway, thank you, truly, for your helpful info. I'm so grateful to have such a terrific travel community available through the screen and keyboard!
So here's my thought:
There are a few rigid destinations that are very difficult to get to and from for a reasonable price. Since you want to travel and all, how would you feel about changing where you fly to and from and do a little more overland travel? For example:
Beirut. If you could fly into Istanbul or Cairo or even Amman, you could save a lot both on the way there from Madrid directly and from there down to South Africa.
Colombo. It would be a lot easier and cheaper to fly into somewhere in India and get there a different way.
South Africa in general is going to be a large drain... especially if you only plan to get to one area? And if not, why not try to overland it with a tour from South Africa to Tanzania? Couldn't cost much more than flying and would be a great experience.
Anyway, not trying to hijack your thread, I'm just bored and wanted to help out with some ideas.
Hopefully somebody else out there has some experience with RTW tickets and can help with your actual question.
My main concern/question with World Traveller's Club is their reputability. (Um, they don't even spell "Traveler's" correctly?)
In English everywhere outside the USA, travelers is spelled "travellers". Just like color is colour, aluminum is aluminium and so on.
Another option is to find a different RTW ticket provider. http://www.airtreks.com seems to return similar price estimates and they are a member of the Better Business Bureau.
However as I said, all trips are different.
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