What defines a stopover on Qantas RTW redemption?

Long time reader, first time poster. Firstly, thanks to everyone for all the valuable information I’ve gained from this site and forum over the past couple of years. Sorry for the big write up but I’m very frustrated and would very much appreciate some help:

I’ve spent the past few weekends putting together a RTW itinerary from my honeymoon, which we’ve been credit card churning for, for the past few years. I booked the first half 2 weeks ago and have spent 6 hours + on the phone to Qantas this weekend trying to book the second half. However, they kept getting errors and couldn’t tell me why. Finally they were able to tell me that I had too many stopovers. They are counting, what the my research seems to suggest is a layover, as a stopover.

I land at HKG at 20:25 and leave the next day at 17:50 (both flights with Cathay). They said this counts as a stopover and not a transfer. I was under the impression that under 24 hours was a transfer. The Qantas staffer clearly wasn’t sure why it wasn’t, but he was mentioning that only under 12 hours is a transfer and also mentioned something about if you have to pick up your bags, then it counts as a stopover.

As I mentioned I fly from HKG with Cahtay, arriving in Washington DC (Dulles Int.) at 21:45. I then leave a the next day at 18:34 from Washington DC (Regan) on an AA flight, arriving at JFK at 20:03. Again they count this as a stopover.

But I’m doing BA2 from JFK, landing in London (City) at 6:50 and leave later that day at 20:35 from London (Heathrow) on a BA flight. This apparently is just a transfer. Despite the fact that it is over 12 hours and I would have to collect my bags to change airports, which goes against the what the Qantas staffer said.

The only thing I can thing of is the first two are over night stops in their respective cities (albeit less than 24 hours) but the last one is a only over the same day. Any ideas?


I believe switching airports counts as a different sector so that would count as a stop over for when you switch from London City to Heathrow and Dulles to Reagan. However, under 24 hours on the same airport should be fine. Ultimately, for round the world trips, I always recommend plotting it out on the OneWorld rtw tool to see if it works before booking with Qantas. Otherwise, sometimes contacting a travel agent like Qflyer is a good bet as well as it saves you from the hassle like you said in your post.

Thanks. That seems logical. However, as I said London City to Heathrow wasn’t considered a stopover.

In the end I figured out a couple of things that were causing it not to work (total distance and transferring through the same city more than twice). However, the too many stopovers reason that I was given on the phone didn’t end up actually being a reason as I didn’t have to change any of those flights.

It would be great if the Qantas customer service people actually knew a thing or two about how RTW tickets worked.

Just for future reference would you be able to link me to the Oneworld RTW tool? I did a couple of searches but can’t find it.

Frustrations with Qantas customer care is why I often just ask people to use a travel agent when planning round the world trips. Its just a PITA to do it yourself.

It’s officially called oneworld explorer. https://rtw.oneworld.com/rtw/