A round-the-world fare would have cost me $1,600 more
Bargain flights aren't always as cheap as they look.
Last week, I had to book a flight travelling Sydney to New York to London and then back to Sydney again. That sounded like a potential candidate for a round-the-world fare, given the neatly circular itinerary.
I was keen to travel on Qantas, both to meet my frequent flyer goal and because the direct QF11 service to New York is a less stressful option than having to change to a different airline once I hit Los Angeles.
So I dived into Qantas' round-the-world booking tool, and added in my itinerary. The total fare was around $4,300 in economy.
Though it was a last-minute booking, that seemed a little on the high side, so I decided to check out what would happen if I booked a multi-city itinerary instead. The result? A fare of just $2,700. That's $1,600 less than I would have paid for the round-the-world option, and I was offered a broader variety of flights as well.
This isn't altogether surprising. Previous analysis by Finder suggests that booking round-the-world isn't always the cheapest option.
Where round-the-world might come back into its own is if I wanted to fit in more destinations. I could probably have stopped over elsewhere in Europe and somewhere in Asia on the way back without paying any more.
It might also be a better choice if I wanted a more flexible itinerary. In that case, though, I'd want to be very clear on the change fees involved.
The key lesson is simple: always shop around for flights. Even when you have a very fixed idea of the services you want to take, there are big savings to be had.
- Why I paid $10 more to earn credit card points on a Qantas flight
- Exclusive: Get 15,000 extra Qantas Points on top of existing card offers
- Earn free Qantas or Velocity Points at JB Hi-Fi: Get in quick!
- Should I take my Qantas Loyalty Bonus as points or Status Credits?
- When do frequent flyer reward seats become available?
Picture: Getty Images
Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears regularly on Finder.