We bought the round-the-world tickets back in October. We bought them with OneWorld, which is an airline alliance including Qantas, BA, JAL, Cathay Pacific, American, Finnair and (importantly for us) LAN from Chile. We wanted to go to Brazil and if your route includes South America, then your options are definitely reduced. The other airline alliances, Star Alliance and SkyTeam, don’t include a South American airline, so they weren’t any good for us.
Initially we went to the local Trailfinders shop in Oxford – they were the ones who pointed us at the OneWorld Explorer ticket. But on our second visit it was mentioned that they would be charging us £125 fee per ticket. Which would be £500 on top of the ticket cost. Gulp! If it had been £10 per ticket it wouldn’t have been a big problem, but sorry, that is an awful lot of money for something you can book yourself.
So we decided that we’d book it online using the interactive booking tool. I spent countless hours building the itinerary. When it came to the moment of booking though, availability had disappeared for our flight from Auckland to Santiago. It seems that there are limited seats on certain planes for RTW ticket holders and this was one of the ones that fills up early (10 months ahead in this case!) In a panic we made a new itinerary, including longer in South America, so that we could catch a flight one week earlier. Then we pressed the button and bought the tickets. We really were doing it.