In continuing the previous post on Aeroplan mini-RTW information, it’s time to discuss how this whole thing works. It’s a bit of a complex undertaking, and probably won’t quite cover everything (and will be a bit of a difficult read), but the end result is well worth it.
First off, what is the difference between a true round-the-world trip (RTW) and a “mini-RTW”? Mini-RTW is a term coined by FlyerTalkers to differentiate from the official term used by airline alliances to describe the type of ticket which starts in a certain city, routes around the world in a single direction and allows a number of stops along the route. This allows one to truly explore a number of countries and spend a good amount of time doing it. A great thing to do when one is older and has plenty of free time (or a student who plays the points game well), this is far from the best use of points.
The mini-RTW, by contrast, allows two stops plus a destination, where the destination can be open-jawed if wanted (ie arrive to Beijing but return out of Shanghai). Because of the 2008 changes, returns over different oceans are permitted, so one can find some pretty interesting stopover points.
So what rules govern the mini-RTW? I’ll put them into a separate post, for easier reference.