When you start looking for a RTW ticket, you come to find out that many of the big airlines you know about already have a round the world ticket option – it’s just not something they advertise heavily to their average customers. One of the most popular RTW tickets that comes from an airline alliance is through oneworld, and it’s called the oneworld Explorer.
Unlike some other RTW tickets, the oneworld Explorer ticket is based on the number of continents you visit during your trip – not the number of miles you travel. And although there’s technically no backtracking penalty with the oneworld Explorer ticket, you can only re-enter a continent you’ve already left if you’re changing planes there but not stopping over.
Be sure to read our oneworld alliance RTW plane ticket review. If you’ve used oneworld for your RTW ticket, you can leave your own review, too.
Here’s what you need to know about the oneworld Explorer ticket when you’re comparing it against other RTW tickets options.
- What kind of traveler is this ticket best for? – The oneworld Explorer ticket is best for travelers who want a little bit more flexibility in terms of how many miles they can cover, but who are still prepared to keep going in essentially one direction – and who don’t mind paying for the flexibility they’re getting. The oneworld coverage in some parts of Africa, Russia, India, and the South Pacific is spotty, so if you want your itinerary to be heavy on those areas check the oneworld destination list carefully (and this ticket may not be ideal for you). This ticket also appeals to First Class or Business Class RTW travelers.
- What airlines can I fly with this ticket? – You can fly any oneworld airline with the oneworld Explorer ticket, but only full members of the oneworld alliance (not code-share airlines). At the moment, that list includes: American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN, Malev Hungarian, Mexicana, Qantas, and Royal Jordanian.
- How long is the ticket valid once I start my trip? – A oneworld Explorer ticket is good for 12 months from the date of your first flight on the ticket.
- How many flight segments are on this ticket? – You can fly up to 16 flight segments on a oneworld Explorer ticket, and you can buy up to two more segments per continent up to a grand total of 20 segments.
- Are there any required stops? – No, but you must visit at least three continents (as defined by oneworld), or four continents if you’re starting in Africa or the Southern Hemisphere. Your continent of origin counts as one, as does any continent where you land even if you just change planes.
- What’s the maximum flight mileage I can accumulate on this ticket? – There is no maximum mileage limit to the oneworld Explorer ticket.
- What are the restrictions on this ticket? – Once you leave a continent, you can’t re-enter it with a oneworld Explorer ticket (unless it’s a transfer point on a flight between two places and you’re not staying). You must also cross both the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean once each during your itinerary.
- Are there any bonuses that come with this ticket? – Business Class and First Class tickets are available for RTW travelers on the oneworld Explorer ticket, and you can upgrade to premium classes on some segments as well. There’s also a partnership between oneworld and Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s train network, so if you’ll be traveling Europe by train be sure to ask about that.
- Anything else in the fine print I should know about? – If you travel from one airport to another by ground transportation, that still counts as one “flight segment” on this ticket.
- How can I book this ticket? – You need to book your oneworld Explorer ticket with the oneworld airline you’ll fly for the first international segment on the ticket.
photo by Pylon757