The LCC Round the World Challenge

AirTran, ATA

All this talk about the launch of Air Asia X, the new long haul low cost carrier got me thinking. With the proliferation of low cost carriers (LCCs) in the last few years, you probably could get around the world flying only LCCs these days.

With that idea, I decided to see what I could come up with. I used our site at PriceGrabber Travel as well as individual airline sites to do the planning. As I went, I realized it could definitely be done but I created some rules to make it a little tougher:

  • All fares must be one way fares
  • Connections are allowed as long as the LCC allows it (ie AirTran sells connections but easyJet does not)
  • Each airline can only be used once (a connection counts as one as long as it’s one fare)
  • You must start and end at your home airport (any airport in your area is ok but you can’t start from one and land at the other)
  • The entire trip cannot take more than one week
  • The total fare must be US$2,000 or less

As you can imagine, with all these restrictions, it made it tougher. But, I was able to put this together from my home airport of LAX.


(Thank you Great Circle Mapper)

25MAY AirTran 60 Lv LAX 940p Arr Atlanta 445a 737-700
26MAY AirTran 279 Lv Atlanta 920a Arr Boston 1150a 717-200
One Way Fare US$183.80

26MAY flyglobespan 736 Lv Boston 630p Arr Glasgow 630a 757-200 (?)
One Way Fare US$259

27MAY easyJet 686 Lv Glasgow 840a Arr London/Gatwick 1010a A319
One Way Fare GBP24.99 (US$48.22)

27MAY OasisHK 707 Lv London/Gatwick 810p Arr Hong Kong 230p 747-400
One Way Fare GBP179.52 (US$346.40)

28MAY Jetstar Asia 692 Lv Hong Kong 815p Arr Singapore 1150p A320
One Way Fare HK$806 (US$103.44)

30MAY Tiger Air 702 Lv Singapore 820p Arr Darwin 235a A320
One Way Fare SG$185.23 (US$120.50)

01JUN Virgin Blue 442 Lv Darwin 140a Arr Brisbane 550a 737-700
01JUN Virgin Blue 306 Lv Brisbane 715a Arr Melbourne 940a 737-700
One Way Fare AU$199 (US$155.18)

01JUN Jetstar 1 Lv Melbourne 515p Arr Honolulu 745a A330-200
One Way Fare AU$598.42 (US$466.64)

01JUN ATA 4754 Lv Honolulu 110p Arr LAX 930p 737-800
One Way Fare US$212.71

There it is, and all for a grand total of US$1,895.89.

I picked random dates in May to start the trip since I figured all the heightened summer schedules would be well in place by then. That flyglobespan trip across the Pond didn’t start until the end of May either, so that was a constraint.

I guess you could call it cheating that I have one segment on Jetstar and one on Jetstar Asia, but they are technically different airlines. I would have preferred another segment on Jetstar from Darwin to Melbourne nonstop, but I had to settle for a connection on Virgin Blue for AU$20 more instead. I also would have liked to have flown nonstop from Long Beach to Boston on JetBlue on the first leg for US$20 less but then I wouldn’t have ended at the same point from which I departed.

It’s amazing that you can fly around the world for under $2,000 and stop in so many places. The next step is to see if someone actually flies it . . .

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2 comments on “The LCC Round the World Challenge

  1. And flyglobespan is on life support. I suppose you could do this:

    SAN-LGW on Zoom
    LTN-SAW on easyJet
    SAW-SHJ on Air Arabia

    And actually, now I’m a little stuck. I can get into India, but I can’t seem to get from India to Southeast Asia. Anyone?

    Then it’s easy to get to Australia and you can just now fly V Australia (in December) from SYD to LAX.

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