This could be a trip of a lifetime. You can go east to west or west to east. You can make up to 6 stops. You have a full year to complete the trip. You can travel on any Skyteam airline. There is even an interactive travel planner on Skyteam.com where you can, after you install Microsoft Silverlight, explore all the possibilities of where you want to go!
If you are going to do this, I sure would look at the business class option. The cost in Skymiles for coach is 180,000 and for business is 280,000 per person.
You will want to call Delta for this type of ticket and will want to ask for the Around the World Award Desk to begin the process once you have looked at all the places you want to go from the Skyteam planner. Now is where the real fun begins. This will take a while to do and you will get to know your Around the World Award Desk rep very well as all the seats, all of them, must be available in low level space. If you want this to go fast, and make the around the world rep very happy, you can do all the work ahead of time and search segment by segment one way and when you see space for each leg write down all the info and then just plug them in with the rep!
But back to the value. For the cost of 2 low level seats to Australia or South Africa, you can go around the planet. With the option of the stopover and open jaw on these two tickets you could get very creative and see many of the same places.
So is it a good deal? It absolutely can be since you get up to 6 stops and 3 per continent Plus, you can also go in one airport and continue out of another. It is all about degrees of longitude. As long as your next airport is 1º farther east (if you are going east), it is OK. For example, you could go into London. Take the train to Paris. Then fly on to Rome. Then go on you way to the next zone east after that.
½ a million Skymiles is not an insubstantial amount of points. I have shown how you can get 200,000 miles in just one year. If a husband and wife both did this you would only be 80,000 short of this award so this is not as unattainable as it may seem at first glance! Now you may be able to find more valuable ways to burn the miles ticket by ticket, but the flexible rules with this kind of award make this a different animal and a way to take a trip of a lifetime! – René