Star Alliance RTW Ticket: Version 1
I have to say that trying to book an around the world ticket is not easy. After a lot of research and talking to others who had done around the world trips themselves, we decided to go with the Star Alliance Around the World Fare. With 27 different partner airlines and over 181 different destinations to choose from, it seemed to give the most flexibility and freedom. Plus, since we already have a lot of Aeroplan points collected anyway, we might as well keep adding to the collection!
You would think that this part of the planning would be nothing but fun. Get a map of the world. Pick your dream destinations. Route them on your ticket. Purchase. Yeah, not so easy. There are actually a lot of limitations and rules that make booking the ticket a lot more complicated. For example, you are only allowed a maximum of 16 segments (or one-way flights) on your ticket, to a total of 39,000 miles, which is, of course, the most expensive level. It should be simple, but it’s simply not. Things don’t make logical sense.
Our first routing went something like this: Seoul – Sydney – Buenos Aires – Sao Paulo – Cairo – Rome – Delhi – Bangkok – Seoul. Using 13 segments and 33,000 miles, the estimated cost for this itinerary is approximately $9,500 for 1 business class ticket (I’ll go into why we’re considering business class tickets on another post – I’m telling you, it’s actually more cost effective!!!) The super annoying thing is that what works on the first page of the Star Alliance Book and Fly interactive tool, doesn’t work when you proceed to booking. At this step, you actually choose the flights that you want to book, and the tool calculates your actual mileage.
To illustrate: On our initial planned routing
Seoul to Sydney: 1 segment, 10 hours, 5200 miles
Sydney to Buenos Aires: 2 segments (through LA), 33 hours, 13,000 miles
Woah, wait a minute. 33 hours! Why do I have to go all the way up to North America, and Los Angeles no less, to go back down to Argentina? Isn’t there a more direct route from Australia to South America? Surely, one of these 27 partner airlines has a flight that doesn’t demand that we enter the no man’s land of American airports. Continue with choosing the flights for the rest of segments, and we end up with a whopping 38,312 miles and a $11,000 price tag.
Guess it’s back to the drawing board for us.