This post shows how low cost carriers and major alliance airlines can be ticketed using Icelandair, Scoot, China Southern, Air France and Aegean Airlines to fly around the world (RTW) twice from Los Angeles LAX or San Francisco SFO to Europe, Asia, Australia and back to California for about $1,709 leaving in October 2018 for the first trip and March 2019 for the second RTW trip.
The itinerary below is only one of many possibilities.
$364 Ticket #1: Icelandair San Francisco SFO – Reykjavik, Iceland KEF – Paris CDG round trip
$90 Ticket #2: Air France Paris CDG – Athens ATH one way
$260 Ticket #3: Scoot Airlines Athens ATH – Gold Coast, Australia OOL one way
$564 Ticket #4: China Southern Brisbane BNE – Guangzhou CAN – San Francisco SFO round trip
$75 Ticket #5: Virgin Australia Brisbane BNE – Sydney SYD one way
$276 Ticket #6: Scoot Airlines Sydney SYD – Athens ATH one way
$80 Ticket #7: Aegean Airlines Athens ATH – Paris CDG one way
Round the World twice $1,709
California to Europe
Many airlines will fly you to Europe for under $500 round trip. I use Icelandair $364 round trip for San Francisco to Paris CDG in my sample itinerary. Norwegian Airlines operates from Oakland, Las Vegas and LAX. WOW flies from LAX and SFO. These airlines provide discount ticket prices around $200 one way. There are plenty of major alliance airlines matching low fares of low cost carriers for round trip tickets California to Europe.
Scoot on to Australia
The two airfare deals making round the world ticketing inexpensive are Singapore-based Scoot Airlines and China Southern.
Scoot Airlines flies Athens-Singapore nonstop with low ticket prices around $200 one way. Scoot is also a major low cost carrier airline for Singapore to Australia flights with several destination airports starting around $100 one way. Flights from Athens to cities like Perth PER, Brisbane BNE and Gold Coast OOL price around $260 one way.
The cost to ticket Athens-Australia on Scoot is about $50 to $100 less than to book separate Athens-Singapore and Singapore-Australia one way tickets, if you want a Singapore stopover. In my sample itinerary there is a 24-hour layover on the second Scoot transit through Singapore.
Australia to California via China
Australia to California round trip is a cheaper ticket ($564 China Southern) than any airline offers for one way ($589 China Southern) ticket prices Australia to California.
All the other tickets for a similarly routed low cost round-the-world trip can be purchased as one-way tickets on low cost carriers like Norwegian and Scoot.
Knock out Australia to California from the itinerary and you can drop the total ticket price to around $1,000 to travel California-Europe-Asia-Australia and back Australia-Asia-Europe-California.
Ticket Plan: RTW #1 October 2018, RTW #2 March 2019
Since these are round trip tickets, the first RTW trip takes you from LAX/SFO to Europe, Asia, Australia to California in Oct 10-Nov 11 and the return portions of these round trip tickets take you from LAX/SFO to Australia to Asia to Europe and back to LAX March 10-March 27 for two round the world trips. These two RTW trips can be scheduled several months apart and there are many different date adjustments for many different potential itineraries.
A round-the-world trip limiting factor for many travelers is more about time than cost. Unless you are focused primarily on flying without spending much time in different places, then you need about one month minimum to make the trip worthwhile, in my opinion. Since these are round trip tickets, you can divide your time in different places between two trips.
California to Europe this ticket is the most flexible for airline choice. There are many European airports with ticket prices under $500 round trip. The objective is get to Athens for a cheap Scoot Airlines one way ticket to Gold Coast, Australia OOL or some other destination in Australia, like Perth PER, Brisbane BNE, Sydney SYD and Melbourne MEL.
Since one way airline tickets are inexpensive from many cities in Europe to Athens, there is a tremendous amount of flexibility for where you choose to fly for the California to Europe ticket.
Ticket #1: Icelandair San Francisco SFO – Paris CDG
Cumulative Flight Itinerary: San Francisco, California SFO – Reykjavik, Iceland KEF – Paris, France CDG
Cumulative Trip: 2 days, $364 for one airline ticket.
Note: You can plan Iceland flights with stopover in one or both directions at low additional cost.
Itinerary: SFO-KEF (Iceland)-CDG $364 cumulative cost
The dates I used create a long time in Europe before the flight to Australia. There are many dates that could be used to create a round-the-world itinerary. In an ideal lifestyle, traveling for 5 or 6 weeks at a time would be feasible. But not for me at this time.
Ticket #2: Air France Paris CDG – Athens ATH
Cumulative Trip: 15 days, $454 for 2 airline tickets.
Ticket 3: Scoot Airlines Athens ATH – Gold Coast, Australia OOL
$260 one way Sat Nov 3 arrive Nov 5
Cumulative Flight Itinerary: SFO-Iceland-Paris-Athens-Singapore-Gold Coast, Australia-
Cumulative Trip: 27 days, $814 for 3 airline tickets.
Ticket #4: China Southern Brisbane BNE – Guangzhou CAN – San Francisco SFO
Cumulative Flight Itinerary: San Francisco-Iceland-Paris-Athens-Singapore-Gold Coast, Australia-Guangzhou, China-San Francisco
Cumulative RTW Trip SFO-SFO : 33 days, $1,378 for 4 airline tickets.
Round the World Trip #2 In Reverse in March 2019
For the reverse trip there is only a need to buy 2 tickets for Australia to Athens and Athens to Paris with March 12 to 25 available for Australia.
China Southern Airlines San Francisco – Brisbane, Australia BNE
Sun March 10 SFO – Guangzhou, China CAN (16 hour 5:15am-9:10pm layover) – Brisbane, Australia BNE
Arrive Brisbane, Queensland Wed March 13.
This is return portion of $564 Brisbane-San Francisco round trip ticket flown in October.
Ticket #5: $75 Virgin Australia Brisbane BNE – Sydney SYD one way.
While Brisbane has Scoot flights to Singapore, I included Sydney-Singapore for connecting leg simply to change up the return itinerary with some days in Brisbane, Queensland with some days in Sydney, New South Wales. Add another $75 for flight from Brisbane to Sydney.
Ticket #6: Scoot Airlines Sydney SYD – Singapore SIN (24 hour layover) – Athens, Greece ATH
This one way ticket from Sydney has a 24 hour layover in Singapore from 3am Friday to 3am Saturday. Leave Sydney Thursday evening and arrive in Athens, Greece Saturday morning March 23.
Cumulative Flight Itinerary: San Francisco-Guangzhou, China CAN – Brisbane, Australia BNE – Sydney, SYD – Singapore SIN (23hr 50m layover 3:10am-3:00am) – Athens, Greece ATH.
Cumulative RTW2 Trip: 14 days, $1,654 for 5 airline tickets.
Ticket #7: Aegean Airlines Athens ATH – Paris CDG
Cumulative Flight Itinerary: San Francisco-Guangzhou, China CAN – Brisbane, Australia BNE – Sydney, SYD – Singapore SIN (23hr 50m layover 3:10am-3:00am) – Athens, Greece ATH – Paris CDG
Cumulative RTW2 Trip: 15 days, $1,734 for 7 airline tickets.
Icelandair Paris CDG – Reykjavik, Iceland KEF – San Francisco SFO
Wed March 27, 2019 (return portion of October 10, 2018 ticket).
RTW2 Trip: 18 days.
Combined cost for two round-the-world trips: $1,734 with 7 airline tickets.
Cumulative Flight Itinerary over 51 days: San Francisco-Reykjavik, Iceland-Paris-Athens-Singapore-Gold Coast, Australia-Guangzhou, China-San Francisco-Guangzhou-Brisbane-Sydney-Singapore-Athens-Paris-Reykjavik-San Francisco 55,825 flight miles.