I am trying outsmart these tragic systems designed in hell knows when. I managed to nail this last year, but this year Lufthansa seems to killed it. Allow me to explain.

I have to get pretty much all across the world from Lithuania to New Zealand. Last year I managed to book this in one lump via Lufthansa with 1 week layover in Singapore and months later with a week long layover in Tokyo (both legs stopping in Frankfurt).

This year I am trying to replicate something similar but stop in Malaysia, Bangkok or Singapore, but looks like Lufthansa site claims The selected route cannot be booked online or is not served by Lufthansa. Although booking flight straight from Vilnius to Auckland works (but obviously I do not want 33hr long journey with no break).

Booking thru Thai Airways site could almost work, but then they do not even recognise Vilnius as a city. Booking from Air New Zealand does not allow to start your multi-part journey from Europe. Epic fail.

I have tried using these awful, awful world-the-globe pages from both alliances which seem to be broken (would never complete the journey). Sites like Skyscanner or Kayak suggest flying via Russia (lol).

Is there a site that I am missing, perhaps some more advanced alliance search tool? Please help me tackle this problem. I do not want to pay thousands of dollars for what is worth around €1.5k.

Edit: David asked for more information why I think that sites are awful. Well, first of all, none of them allow to search actual multipart flights. One World round the world tool only lets you fly one direction (literally round the world! haha, you get it guys!). Star Alliance doesn't even work without Flash player. In year 2015, trillion dollar business is using web technology that is decade old (the rest looks like its build on IBM's WebSphere, so theres another few hundred million of expenditures).

Star alliance is not working without Flash One World alliance only take bookings one way

  • 2
    Can you see the flights you are looking for on matrix.itasoftware.com (using the multi-city option to set up the stopovers as you like)? If yes, you can go through a travel agent or look up questions on this site on how to book flights found on ITA Matrix. If no, it's possible that the fares available for the regular journey do not allow stopovers and therefore that the trip you envision really is worth more than €1.5k.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 8:57
  • Alternatively, both Skyscanner and Kayak also have a “multi-city” option that should allow you to forgo Russia and specify your route exactly. Not sure they will find the flights and fares you are hoping for but you should at least be able to book whatever stopover you like.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 8:58
  • 3
    Most of this seems to be a rant against what you perceive to be the inadequacies of various airlines' web interfaces. "Why are these websites so awful?" is not an answerable question. Please edit your question to be specific and answerable. Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 9:01
  • 3
    See e.g. travel.stackexchange.com/questions/2952/… for the basics on fare buckets, travel.stackexchange.com/questions/11501/… for a more technical explanation and travel.stackexchange.com/questions/26780/… for some pointers on how to search/book complex flights.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 9:42
  • 1
    Your second image looks like a Round The World fare error AND most Round The World fares have the same restriction, you have to go forward from one stop to the next, you can not backtrack inside a zone.
    – user13044
    Commented Sep 21, 2015 at 10:07

1 Answer 1


I am not entirely sure what your question is, but I think the answer is that you need to use an arsenal of tools, particularly http://matrix.itasoftware.com (but note that no tool is comprehensive due to the enormous complexity of multi city journeys). I have found Google Flights of some use as well, and ExpertFlyer ($100 / year) is essential for me to evaluate fare routing rules and booking code override tables, which the Matrix doesn't reveal. You also need to acquire some "feeling" or I should say, proper understanding, of how fares actually work

If you are a oneworld fan, AA.com is quite good at booking code shares and prime codes on their partners (I am sitting on a BA-numbered flight booked on AA 001-numbered ticket stock right now, just waiting to depart Bergen!). Delta.com used to be good for intra-European sectors on Air France / KLM because you could get an identical itinerary (even with no Delta flights) minus the American Express fee. I would presume therefore it can handle multiparty journeys at least between Europe and the Americas.

Once I have an itinerary I am happy with on the Matrix, if I cannot set it up myself on BA.com or AA.com, I usually call BA and ask them to ticket it by phone, or I'll print it out and drop it on the ticket desk next time I'm at an airport. (Actually, I also have a contact at BA who will setup itineraries for me by email, but I am not willing to share who he is publicly.) But my point is that to do anything complicated, you need to talk to a person.

The websites of every carrier (and travel agent) are extremely restricted in what they will sell you.

http://RTW.oneworld.com does actually work quite well provided you know the rules on the oneworld explorer fare (which is an enormous topic).

Please note that round the world fares continue to be priced by hand by dedicated back office staff and therefore, with the exception of the special alliance tools (which only provide an estimate) you will not see RTW fares on booking sites. I am aware Amadeus is looking to bring full auto pricing to RTW fares very shortly.

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