Alliance-based RTW tickets are through airline alliances like Oneworld, Star Alliance, or Skyteam. These tickets offer great flexibility by allowing for many stopovers. Oneworld has a RTW ticket that allows for up to 16 stopovers for around $6600 NZD. While that is a lot of money, that does buy 16 flights anywhere in the world. These flights are of any distance, as long as the total distance is less than 35,000 miles.
So what’s the big advantage? Flexibility in destinations. Travel anywhere there’s a scheduled flight, for 16 times, for $6600 NZD, or $400 a flight. These include flights that are a lot more expensive than $400 each. Auckland to Santiago, or Dallas to Anchorage, or Hong Kong to Male, or London to Mauritius. There’s also flexibility with times, with the ability to change dates and destinations.
Other alliances have different tickets, with different fare conditions. Oneworld have tickets based on continents visited, and others based on miles travelled. Star Alliance have ones based on miles travelled. One important thing to note is that each alliance has regions with good and poor coverage. Star Alliance has pretty poor Australian coverage. Oneworld has pretty poor New Zealand coverage.
Where not to use alliance based round the world tickets
Because of this, these tickets are great if you’re visiting expensive exotic destinations. If you’re doing a typical flight to London, this type of ticket is not the cheapest, and I would recommend a simple RTW ticket. But there’s no better way to have a single ticket that gets you to Easter Island, Tenerife, Mauritius, and Maldives. Just remember to choose an airline alliance that has a strong presence in the regions you wish to fly.
Also consider which one has a frequent flyer programme that you’re likely to use. If you’re in New Zealand, it makes more sense to use Air New Zealand Airpoints than United, unless you do a lot of travel to the United States of America.