-→ Low Level Seats ←-

Delta’s round the world Award Ticket a good deal?

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr
Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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


Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card
Click here for more information


Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.


  1. I’ve used SkyMiles for an around-the-world trip in Business Class twice, once heading east and once heading west. Both trips were pretty remarkable. It is interesting to circumnavigate the globe on a single trip; it makes the world seem smaller and more connected. I want to compare it to the around-the-world options on American, though. If I am reading their award charts correctly, certain trips could be done in Business Class for only 180,000 AAdvantage miles.

    • @Chris – 1 million thanks for the great feedback (don’t know about the AA for sure maybe other readers can confirm). I and DP readers really appreciate it! – Rene

  2. Probably also works for husband and husband or wife and wife. Personally I enjoy traveling by myself 😉 I’ll take him along a couple times a year, but he prefers to not travel – his loss.

  3. We just completed a mini-RTW on Star Alliance in Business Class that cost us net of 60k miles…even though we didn’t have any Star miles. Last December Aeroplan had an unadvertised promotion where you could book Business Class at Economy points. At the same time, Amex offered a 25% rebate for transferring points to Aeroplan. So we transferred 80,000 Amex points and booked JFK-SYD in Business (normally 120k), taking advantage of the rule allowing 1 stop over in each direction. We flew west, stopping in Seoul for a few days first. Then flew south to SYD. Spent a week in OZ. then flew northwest to Bangkok, spending a few days in BKK before flying home westbound. So it was RTW, albeit in only 3 countries. We did get our Amex rebate of 20,000 Aeroplan miles (still sitting in our accounts), making our net cost 60,000 miles…all in Business Class! Oh, while in OZ we flew Qantas to Cairns, Ayers Rock, and back to SYD on British Air which cost us about 15,000 Avios points (Business Class). So keep a careful eye on unadvertised promotions and on rules allowing stopovers…and then book an all-1-direction trip to create a cheap RTW.

  4. Instead of one stopover plus one open jaw, can I get 2 stopovers on a single Delta award ticket?

    • Hi Kate, you could but only one each way. So, let’s say ATL-CDG (stop) CDG-AMS end. Then on the way back AMS-LHR (stop) LHR-ATL end.

  5. worldtraveller2 Reply

    No earning miles? no way! what a bummer, and I noticed they changed the RTW Groupon offer as compared from the one from last week.

  6. @Delta Points: Any evidence of a stopover each direction being allowed? I’ve certainly never seen it price out without a fare break. The rules say stopover or open jaw because in theory the open jaw counts as a stopover. However, the system isn’t programmed to treat it that way, and thus you get a stopover and an open jaw. This does not translate into getting two stopovers.

  7. @mitch – always remember that anything more than 4 hours with counts as a stopover. that may be what is busting your itinerary. there is no problem having to stop over each way with delta points tickets.

  8. @Delta Points: Sorry, but you’ve got some things seriously mixed up. I appreciate your enthusiasm, but it seems you’ve got some of the basics far too wrong for someone who puts himself out as very serious/expert on using SkyMiles.

    For *domestic* tickets, anything over four hours is a stopover. For *international* tickets, you have up to 24 hours with it remaining a connection. If you’re so convinced that you can have two stopovers on an award ticket, please provide a screenshot of one. I’ll start by providing my evidence that it doesn’t work that way.

    FAR-MSP(stop)-DTW(overnight layover)-LHR(destination)-MSP-FAR prices out at 100K. By your definition of “stopover”, this would have two stopovers outbound. http://screencast.com/t/IrflkWoe5Ew

    Now let’s see what happens when we turn that second MSP transit into a stopover, keeping everything else the same: http://screencast.com/t/nn1ALS89c Huh, 145K. Well, let’s make sure there’s no shenanigans regarding the MSP-FAR flight after the stopover. http://screencast.com/t/qf22bc8jTpP Yup, I guess it is available at low, so the second stopover is breaking things.

    (I leave it as an exercise to the reader to show that my example can be modified so as to remove the overnight layover in DTW, but this should not be necessary, as the claim being debunked is one stopover each direction, not two stopovers in total with both being consumable on the same direction.)

    • @Mitch – first off I never claim I am an expert at anything! 😉


      Next, correct, 4 hrs is domestic not International for stopover. I should have been more clear.

      Lastly, also correct, you can only have one stopover each way and I don’t think I have ever said or posted you can do more than that as you can only have one stopover AND open jaw each, each way.

      Thanks for the comment! – Rene

      PS – now you/we are talking about std award ticket – NOT about this post, round the world, that has totally different rules than a std award ticket

  9. @DeltaPoints: Please show me an example of a standard award ticket with one stopover each way that prices out at low. (Let’s say US-Europe for 60K in economy or 100K in business.) I’ve given example of a ticket having one stopover each direction that is forced up to 145K since you can’t have two stopovers on a standard award. Yes, this is mildly off-topic, but you gave Kate incorrect advice above and I think it’s important to get things right for those who find this post down the road.. Heck, just give a screenshot of the itinerary you suggest in post 8 pricing out at 60K/100K. I’m quite happy to be proven wrong, as I’d love to get a stopover in each direction on a DL award. However, barring a schedule change that takes a sub-24-hour connection over 24 hours, it won’t work without paying more miles.

    • @Mitch – I have shown you my blog is not a place for personal attacks and for pointless banter. There are other places for that on the web. But just so you can understand, I will make it simple.
      Start with this post HERE
      Next look at this upload HERE for a current example ( I made it very simple math – ORD-AMS [DESTINATION – STOP HERE] AMS-ORD [YOU STOP HERE] ORD-MIA [YOU OPEN JAW HERE] end ticket one all business class low level)
      So I am NOT WRONG or giving INCORRECT ADVICE as you can clearly see (I could maybe have worded things better, sure). Then, you do the same thing with ticket two from MIA to where ever you want to go. You can get more complicated but I do not run an award booking service. I show the concept and you can do that or hire others who do complex award bookings for a fee.
      Please e-mail me if you want more help as I will not be posting more of this back and forth in the blog! – Rene

  10. Pingback: 10% off Round the World Skyteam tickets [in coach]! - Delta Points

Write A Comment