Groupon Amazes With a Terrible Deal on an RTW Ticket

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In my inbox yesterday I saw the most recent potboiler from Groupon: two around the world tickets  for $10,000* USD offered up by the Sky Team Alliance. This of course came as a surprise to me since my experience with Groupon has only been for offers of a banal assortment of spa treatments, wine tastings and hair salons.

I had no idea Groupon was ready to break into the plane ticket game. And, so it seems, they’re not quite ready to.

I’ll say right up front that, in my opinion, this is not a great deal. As a matter of fact, it’s even possible to save $1000 on a RTW ticket simply by NOT taking this deal.

Leave it up to the airlines to make a grand opening statement then kill it with stipulations. They are as follows:

  • Tax is not included (this can be $750 per person or more for a 10-stop RTW ticket).
  • You can only use Delta, KLM, Air France and Alitalia (there are 15 Sky Team Alliance airlines).
  • You can only fly to cities in the northern hemisphere.
  • You have a maximum of 10 stops.
  • Oh, and they’re giving you a steamer trunk and some funny hats to take with you. Hilarious!

I’ll cut to the chase: if AirTreks were to book a RTW ticket using the carriers the Groupon deal specifies, we could do it for around $3950 including tax and insurance, that’s more than a thousand dollars less after tax, and we throw in a post departure travel insurance policy. That trip would look something like this:

Chicago – New York – London – Amsterdam – Hong Kong – Tokyo –  San Francisco – Chicago

Using other carriers, we could get as low as $3400, including tax and insurance. You could buy a lot of steamer trucks with that savings, plus you’d have travel insurance should those airlines happen to lose one.

There’s an AirTreks special in our quiver called Around the World by Air and Foot that gives so much more. There are 20 cities on this trip, with 7 overland segments, (you get to travel on your own, through the countryside) and it allows travel in any direction, starting and stopping in different cities should you choose to do so, help with your Australian visa, and one-on-one service during the booking process. This trip starts at $5060 including tax and insurance – still cheaper than Groupon’s Sky Team deal.

What your trip would look like after spending $5000 with AirTreks

There are a lot of reason to jump on a round-the-world-ticket. Because a giant deal service gave you a price isn’t one of them. I do hope people take a second to research their options this before they give their money to Groupon and Sky Team. Options abound!

And in this case, I’m sorry Groupon, but you lose. Trying to convince people on fabricated pretenses that what your offer is worthy is just mean. But of course, when all is said and done, at least they’ll have that steamer trunk.

Have you ever bought a plane ticket through a service like Groupon? How was that experience for you?