Buying two round-the-world tickets is easy enough when you’re paying for them with a single credit card. But when I booked our round-the-world tickets for our honeymoon I wanted to buy one ticket with my card and pay for the second one with air miles.
The end result of booking this way?
When we got to the gate, my husband and I were seated across the plane from each other… this was day 1 of our honeymoon, mind you.
It felt like a scene from some absurd play…
Act 1, Scene 1
** New husband: You take the first class seat dear, I’ll sit in coach.
** Smitten New Wife: No, no, you take it, my legs are shorter, I’ll sit in coach.
** New husband: Oh no, I insist, you take it.
** Smitten New Wife: Absolutely not, I won’t hear of it, you take it.
[A haughty ticketing agent in an uncomfortably-fitted, navy blue suit shoots honeymooning couple a look of disdain] [Fade to Black]
Now, honestly, our story ends well because our gate agents were incredibly nice and accommodating. And when they weren’t, we gave them a little nudge by explaining that we were on our honeymoon.
But it was still frustrating.
Which is what prompted me to try and find a way to eliminate the problems for any future round-the-world travel. And here’s what I found…
THE TCP2 CODE
Turns out, if you pay for two separate tickets, with two different payment methods, your tickets will be issued separate locator codes. And once those codes are separate, there’s nothing you can do to get them on the same record.
So first and foremost, the best thing you can do to ensure you and your companion are seated together (and/or upgraded together) is to book the tickets at the same time and pay for them together.
Now if, like in my situation, that’s not possible — because you’re buying one ticket with miles and another with a credit card, or your company is paying for one ticket and you’re paying for the other — you can still call the airline and tell them to add a TCP2 code to your record.
TCP2 means To Complete a Party of 2. And while the airline computer system won’t recognize this code, your gate agent will. (It’s your fall-back tactic when you can’t bat your eyelashes and tell them you’re on your honeymoon.)
This TCP2 code might also help with upgrades, so long as both of your tickets are in the same full-fare class.
Full-fare tickets are often upgraded to first when a flight is oversold in coach. A TCP2 code will let the gate agent know that you are traveling with someone if there is room for two upgrades.
So, the next time you’re buying separate tickets, remember the TCP2 code and call your airline to see if they can add one to your record.
It’s not a miracle fix-it. But it can help.
And here’s another tip…
I learned SO much about RTW fares and little things like TCP2 codes when we were traveling on our honeymoon that we wrote a report about it.
And what’s really crazy is that when I hired someone to research different RTW fares and restrictions for this report, she actually found our exact honeymoon ticket for $2,000 less than what we paid. (Remember, we flew all the way around the world in first and business class and I didn’t know a thing about RTW fares when I booked the trip.)
RTW fares can save you a lot of money. Even if you’re only going to one destination. If you agree to get there in one direction and come home in the other, you can find tickets at (sometimes) half the price as a regular round-trip.
And it’s cool to stop at other destinations too. You can fly from here to Rome and stop in Thailand on your return.
We found tickets as cheap as $799 if you’re willing to fly in coach. And business-class seats are an amazing value.
Write an article about your trip and you’ll earn money from it too.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]