Sticker Shock at the Delta Round the World Ticket Window

(Note: This blog was updated in January 2019. Delta has made many changes to its RTW ticketing, but the basic guidance here still applies, despite what’s different.)

Sticker shock at the Delta RTW window slammed us during our first call to Delta to book our 2 free and 1 paid RTW tickets.

The fine print kicked in.

Free Doesn’t Mean Free

I was on the phone with Delta’s RTW (Round the World) desk, and we had our first itinerary booked for 2 non-rev (reward) travel tickets and 1 revenue ticket. The itinerary was roughly DEN-SYD-CPT-DUB-UIO-DEN…something like that…and I asked the agent how much the revenue ticket would be.

Four RTW Pricing Levels

North of $9000. A bit shocked that it wasn’t the $2999 I was expecting, I learned about the fine print. Delta has 4 types of RTW tickets. If you are flying non-rev, the type doesn’t matter. But if you are flying revenue, there are 4 types based on the total mileage of the trip. As of 7/1/13, the types went like this and are based on total RTW mileage:

Mileage     Price
26,000       $2999
29,000       $3500
33,000       $5000
38,000       $6500

or something like that…I am sorry I don’t remember the exact prices, I was just shocked and realized immediately that we’d have to reconvene as a family and really think through the purpose of our trip.

Time to Regroup

Our favored itinerary logged out at more that 38,000 miles due to the 4+ times we crossed the equator. Since our budget for these 3 tickets was $5000, we would have to seriously regroup. Exhausted from our 6-hour call, I said thank you to Marva and planned to call another day.



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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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