The First Call to Delta’s RTW Desk

After mapping out our RTW (Around the World) trip, and after much back and forth with my family members about the priorities or purpose of the trip, it was time to be calling Delta’s RTW Desk.

I set aside Sunday morning, had my record locator in hand from the RTW booking tool, and dialed Delta.

Ask for the Correct RTW Desk

It was a 47-minute hold to ask for a transfer. I pressed 1 so they would call me back.

52 minutes later, they called. I asked for a transfer, held for another 10 minutes, then found out I was at the wrong RTW desk. I was at the revenue desk, and because I needed to book our two free non-rev (rewards) tickets and one revenue tickets, I needed the non-rev desk. I held another 10 minutes.

Finally, Marva answered the phone. She pre-qualified me to confirm I had the miles I needed, and I explained that I would transfer them once we had a booked itinerary. She said I’d have 48 hours to book. And so, we started. First up, DEN-UIO.

The First Attempt at Multiple Legs

To my surprise, this leg booked very easily. We got our first choice (and please note, I was calling 315 days before departure.) Next, we went for UIO to DUB. The natural routing on Delta was UIO-ATL-DUB. Not thrilled about having to return to the US via ATL, after much attempt at routing through Portugal, we accepted ATL.

Next leg: DUB to CPT. This leg would route through AMS or CDG and then to CPT. I found out we could also go directly to JNB. This made sense to me, and it would keep us from having to figure out ground transportation between CPT and JNB. We booked it.

And then, the trip started to fall apart. We could not get to SYD from JNB or CPT to save our lives. So, I asked Marva for suggestions. She flat out said that she could not suggest, it was just her job to book.

If West to East Doesn’t Work…

We tried routing through TKO, ICN, SIN, HKG–nothing worked. I frankly don’t remember what we tried to route after that, but ultimately, I asked if she could make the trip go from East to West, rather than West to East. So, we tried again. First stop was SYD, last stop was UIO. I’m not sure how we did it, but by the time we were done, we actually had 3 confirmed tickets. Six hours had passed.

The Price Is What?

And then I asked the price for the revenue ticket. It was north of $9000 without adding the taxes in. I said, “whoa, what???” I thought the tickets were $2999 plus tax. And she replied.

Next up, her reply.


  1. eatwal5_wp

    You make great points–but since it was a RTW and a non-REV RTW, we really didn't have much choice. None the less, despite the 2 calls to Delta and the long booking time, we ended up with three RTW tix for around $5K. That was worth the time. thanks for the comment!

  2. Dani Blanchette

    WOW! This is why i won't do alliances. I looked into it years ago and it was such a hassle, and more recently it seems not to have changed. I prefer multi-leg tickets (I use JetBlue to get back & forth from USA to colombia, and things like BootsnAll's Indie ticket system if Im going on a wider area trip).

    I can't wait to read the reply!



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handsome hiking couple

Chris and Steve, the empty-nesting nomads, travel the world, one month at a time, housesitting and Airbnbing along the way. We uncover urban walks, great hikes, and vegan/vegetarian eats that other guide books miss. And we throw in a bit about Forex trading along the way.

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