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Star Alliance RTW Ticket: Version 2

It appears that there is no end to playing with the Star Alliance Around the World planning tool. Pulling it up on my computer ensures the loss of several hours spent plugging different destinations onto the map. It’s not just that it’s fun to imagine where you could go, but different routes seem to offer drastically different prices, depending not only on the order in which you route the cities, but also, on which flights you choose. While we know we want to spend a chunk of time exploring South America and India, and that a summer in Italy with our respective families is on the agenda, everything else is up for discussion. The world is our oyster. Bear with me, as I’m sure there will be quite a few different versions of this itinerary before we finalize The One.

Routing 1 is here for those of you who are curious. It included stops in Australia and New Zealand before heading to South America and onwards.

Version 2 looks like this:
Seoul – Vancouver – Houston – Bogota – Sao Paulo – Johannesburg – Nairobi – Istanbul – Delhi – Bangkok – Seoul

It’s comprised of 10 flights and totals 28,296 miles, which is just under the 29,000 mile threshold (max is 39,000 miles with prices going up at each of 4 different thresholds). For a business class ticket, this route costs about $8500. In economy, we would be looking at about $5000. The big change on this version is that Africa is IN and Australia and NZ are OUT. We ditched Australia and New Zealand because visiting those countries simply ate up too many miles and dramatically increased our cost, without adding a whole lot to the overall ticket.

Though we had hoped to avoid North America completely, the only way into South America via Star Alliance, is with a stopover in the US or Canada, so we decided to take advantage of this requirement and utilize the goodwill of our friends in different cities to save money on accommodation, and of course to visit! Anyone who’s done an around the world trip will tell you that the generosity of friends in this regard, can be a big budget saver, so to all of our friends that live in different countries all over the world, make room for us…we may be dropping by. 😉

At this point, we haven’t decided if the extra cost of the business class ticket is worth it. On this itinerary, it would cost us each $3500 extra. Combined that’s $7000, and $7000 is an awful lot of money…money that could be used in many other situations on our travels. Safari? Spa? Nicer accommodation? Our initial thinking was that we would gather so many points flying business class that we could purchase whatever extra flights we needed with those points, as well as having the advantage of free food and internet in the airport lounges. And, I think most importantly, to me at least, we would arrive at our destinations rested, stress free and peaceful. It’s a tough decision. Maybe I should ask my mom. She’ll set us straight. 🙂

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