An Analogy of Delta RTW Award

Recently we had a request for a Round The World (RTW) request for two people in Business Class using Delta Miles. As we all know, Delta will discontinue RTW awards beginning January 1st, 2015.
In my opinion it’s not as great as AA RTW award which I miss but still a good deal if you have enough Delta Miles.
I will go over some details which may help anyone who is interested in RTW Award before the Jan 1st deadline.

Basic Rules

  • One direction. (East or West)
  • Maximum 16 segments
  • All the destinations must be in longitudinal direction whether traveling eastward or westward
  • Must cross both Atlantic and Pacific oceans
  • Open Jaws must be in the same direction of travel
  • Economy: 180,000 Miles
  • Business: 280,000 Miles
  • Cannot use some Delta partners such as Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic etc

Our client wanted the following itinerary:

  • Atlanta
  • Sydney
  • Bangkok
  • Khatmundu
  • Moscow
  • St Petersburg. Open Jaw
  • Cairo
  • Reykjavík. Open Jaw
  • Atlanta

Trip Map

In order to get to Sydney, we had to get to LAX. It was an easy find via Delta.com. Our goal was to find the direct flight on Delta to Sydney but of course Delta did not have any Saver award seats. The other route was on Korean Air through ICN. Availability was searched on ExpertFlyer.com. Korean Air has one of the best availability in Business and First Class. Do remember that we cannot book First Class awards using Delta miles.
Sydney to Bangkok via Jakarta was on Garuda Airways which was searched on AirFrance.com
The next hurdle was from Bangkok to Kathmandu as there is no direct Sky Team flight from BKK to KTM. We had to route through CAN on China Southern.
China Southern Availability was also searched on Expert Flyer.com

expert_flyer

From Khatmandu, we had to route again through CAN on China Southern to catch the flight to SVO. Do remember that all the destinations are in the westward direction. The connections are going back and forth, but it’s the destination that matters.
Our customer had requested an open jaw from St. Petersburg to Cairo, which was achieved on AirItalia and the award space was again searched on Expert Flyer.
There is no direct or connecting flight from Cairo to Reykjavík on Sky Team so the client agreed to purchase a revenue ticket on the route.
And the last segment was on Delta via JFK.

In whole, the process took 2 hours to book via the RTW desk. There is no direct number to the RTW desk. You will have to go through the regular desk which will connect you to the RTW desk. The agents on the RTW desk are very courteous and do help you out as much as possible. The best approach is to have all the flight numbers and details handy to feed the agent one by one. Sometimes they do not find the respective flights. Feed them flight number, airport codes and even departure and arrival times and you will see magic happen on the other end.

At the end, our client was happy and so were we. Remember, a happy customer is a long time customer.

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