Your best bet to book a SkyTeam around the world award ticket with points…
Let’s be honest, when is the last time you considered booking an award ticket with Aeromexico Club Premier miles — sorry, “kilometers”. If you tell me you have recently, you’re either lying or a super points nerd to which I say, “kudos!”
If you asked me a couple of years ago — even most of 2018 — which program you should use to book an around the world ticket with SkyTeam, I probably would have said Korean Air SkyPass.
Unfortunately, Korean Air and Chase had a tragic breakup.
If you need a minute, I’ll wait.
With the split, we lost not only a great partner of the Ultimate Rewards program but a useful avenue to earn Korean SkyPass miles.
That’s where Aeromexico comes into play. They’re a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards and, thanks to numerous options to earn Amex points, quite possibly the best way to book SkyTeam around the world awards now.
Since Aeromexico isn’t exactly a well-known program, let’s dig into how you can book one of these awards.
Aeromexico SkyTeam Go Round The World Award Pass Rules
Let’s start with the basics of Aeromexico’s SkyTeam Round The World rules.
- The trip must be east-west or west-east — backtracking is a no-no
- Only flights on SkyTeam partners may be included
- You must begin and end your trip in the same country
- You may start the trip from any city as long as you can fly a SkyTeam partner
- 3 stopovers are required but you can include up to 15 stopovers
- Stopovers may last as long as you choose
- Your origin and final destination (often the same as your origin) do not count as stopovers
- You can include connecting flights with layovers of less than 24 hours that will not count as stopovers
- May include travel to Africa, Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, North America and South America
- All flights must be booked in the same class of service — you must choose business class or economy class
- Go Round The World Passes are valid for one year from the date of issue
Just in case you weren’t paying attention, that’s 15 stopovers! If you can find award space, you’ll be able to see multiple cities across 6 continents — if only a couple of SkyTeam partners flew to Antarctica.
As with ANA’s Round The World awards, you’ll want to make sure your trip continues in the same direction. Sure, not backtracking can be a pain but there’s still some awesome stuff you can do with this.
Finally, while this is not a “rule”, it’s important to remember that you will be responsible for carrier-imposed (“fuel”) surcharges which can be pretty steep. This is the case with Korean SkyPass around the world awards so it’s just going to be part of booking these awards with SkyTeam partners.
Still, with 15 stopovers, you can see a ton of fun destinations around the world.
Aeromexico Round The World Award Rates
If you want to book a business class round the world award, you’ll need 352,000 kilometers while economy class will cost you 224,000 kilometers. Personally, I have my eye on a business class adventure.
How To Search For SkyTeam Award Space
Aeromexico won’t work for searching SkyTeam partner award space so I’d suggest turning to Air France or KLM — either will work just fine.
The only caveat is if you’re looking for award space on Air France or KLM. If so, I’d turn to Delta or Korean Air — though, they’ll require you to search round-trip.
When you find flights that work for you, make sure you write down the following info:
- Flight numbers
- Flight times
- Class of service
How To Book An Aeromexico Around The World Award
Why do you need to write down this info? Well, you’re going to have to call Aeromexico to book this award. Even if you have a great memory, just write down the info.
Even if you have an otherworldly memory, you’ll want this info to reference as you could run into a couple issues with Aeromexico agents.
First, English is a second language and some won’t be fluent. This isn’t a knock on them. They work at a Mexican airline so we can’t really expect fluency from everyone. If you speak Spanish — I wish I did, this won’t be an issue for you.
Second, some agents aren’t very well versed in booking these awards. Of course, I can’t imagine they receive many requests for around the world award bookings.
I share this not so much as a warning but just so that you’ll be prepared to hang up and call again (HUCA). If you can’t communicate with a phone agent, move on. If they don’t seem to understand what they’re doing, move on.
As with many fun award bookings, you sometimes have to be willing to stick with it for a bit.
You can reach the U.S. call center at (855-412-2650).
Aeromexico Around The World Example
Now that you know the rules, how to search and how to book, let’s take a look at a practical (sort of) example of an Aeromexico around the world award.
Since we get 15 stopovers and can hit 6 continents, here’s one that popped into my head:
- Atlanta (ATL) to Mexico City (MEX) — stopover
- MEX to Los Angeles (LAX) — stopover
- LAX to Sydney (SYD) — stopover
- SYD to Seoul (ICN) — stopover
- ICN to Shanghai (PVG) — stopover
- PVG to Taipei (TPE) — stopover
- TPE to Bali (DPS) — stopover
- DPS to Guangzhou (CAN) — layover
- CAN to Delhi (DEL) — stopover
- DEL to Moscow (SVO) — stopover
- SVO to Cairo (CAI) — stopover
- CAI to Rome (FCO) — stopover
- FCO to Amsterdam (AMS) — stopover
- AMS to Brussels (BRU) — stopover
- BRU to Paris (CDG) — stopover
- CDG to São Paulo (GRU) — stopover
- GRU to ATL
If you think finding Delta One (business class) between LAX and SYD is impossible, I just sent out an Award Alert with 61 dates that have at minimum 2 seats — many with 4 to 9 seats.
Tell me you wouldn’t want to book this. Just try. We all know you’ll be lying.
Just for kicks, I used ITA Matrix to estimate the taxes/fees (including surcharges) on each segment and the total came to about $1,690.
Surcharges be damned. This is a fun way to see the world.
How To Earn More Amex Membership Rewards Points
If I have you thinking about booking one of these but you don’t have Aeromexico Club Premier kilometers, here’s how you can get your hands on some.
Your best bet is earning Amex Membership Rewards points and transferring to your Aeromexico account. Unlike Marriott Rewards points which transfers at a 3:1 ratio, Membership Rewards transfer at a 1:1.6 ratio.
Basically, 1 Amex point is worth 1 mile which is worth 1.6 kilometers. Pretty simple.
This means you’ll need to transfer 220,000 Membership Rewards points to your Aeromexico account to get the necessary 352,000 kilometers for an around the world business class award.
Additionally, U.S. Bank issues a co-branded Aeromexico card that earns Club Premier kilometers directly.
Amex 25% Transfer Bonus to Aeromexico
As I write this, American Express (US) is currently running a transfer bonus of 25% when you transfer Membership Rewards points to Aeromexico.
Until February 14, 2019, you can transfer 1 Amex Membership Rewards point and receive 2 Aeromexico kilometers.
This means you can book an around the world award in business class for only 176,000 American Express Membership Rewards points.
While I know the surcharges are annoying, that’s 176,000 Amex points to see 15 cities across 6 continents in business class. It’s hard to top that.
Look, I realize that plenty of people aren’t going to take off work to hop around the world and see 15 destinations. That totally makes sense.
However, this is a great option if you’re looking to book an extended trip and really want to see places all over the world.
There are tons of combinations to book so don’t feel locked into my example or any other option. Book what excites you so that you can get the most out of your around the world adventure.
Just curious if you have a ballpark on what the fees for something like this? A good deal regardless but just wondering.
What are the fuel surcharges likely to be? I imagine it could be steep.
Very interesting idea. Might try this once I retire from my day job.
What would you guesstimate the surcharges for your proposed itinerary would be?
This itinerary cost you 176k amex mr and how many $$$?
This is a great trip. One year of honeymoon.
I just updated the post to include an estimate from ITA Matrix. Looking at about $1,690 for taxes/fees.
What airline would you use for the intra-South America segments?
Off the top of my head, pretty much limited to Aerolineas Argentinas and KLM’s fifth freedom route between Buenos Aires and Santiago.
Anyone though of an even better routing ?
Any idea of what the surcharges would be on your example routing ?
Just updated the post with an estimate of the surcharges — about $1,690.
I live in Atlanta in this trip sounds perfect for me it has some of my bucket list destinations and some I would like to go back to. How much would surcharges be?
Great post. Would love to do this. Thanks as always for the detailed information and humor.
Thanks, Laura! So glad you enjoyed the piece.
I love this! I especially love that with the stopovers being as long as possible, it’s easy to jump around on cheap regional flights in the interim. For instance, I was looking at routes yesterday that include Phuket, Thailand and Shanghai. But I really want to visit Singapore and maybe Malaysia and a whole bunch of other places nearby while I’m there….
The flights from Phuket to Singapore round-trip were $85. Mixing this regional travel in with a big RTW trip like this gives a ton of flexibility.
Now just to find the time to jet off around the world…..
My wife and I have done this on with Delta/skyteam twice in Business class. Once in 2011 and the second time in 2015. Then Delta stopped the program, we have enough miles to do this again but thought the program was gone. My question is can we do this with Delta points through a skyteam partner?
Incidently, the first trip was 37 days the second 56 days. This is an unbelievable way to travel. In both cases our taxes and fees were not more than $1000 for both of us, both times. In both trips we did six continents.
Delta doesn’t offer RTW awards. You’d have to book each segment separately and that would end up costing you a TON of SkyMiles.
Try doing this with an Indian passport. You’ll spend more than the time of your actual travel getting a visa to each of these countries 😜
Any suggestion on if someone can assist booking this way(of course with a fee).
I do some award booking. Feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Emailed you yesterday.
You can put a note at the top…I just called AM and the agent said the Round the World award ticket has been suspended. She spoke excellent english. Maybe somebody wants to call to double check.
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