A globetrotting trip, stopping only at two destinations for at least 24 hours, is now possible using selected Star Alliance Round the World (RTW) fares. Up to now, a minimum of three stopovers was required for all RTW tickets.
“By enabling round-the-world travel with only two stopovers, we are increasing the attractiveness of the Star Alliance Round the World fare product,” said Star Alliance Vice President (Commercial and Communications) Janice Antonson. “Customers will now find it easier to build their bespoke routing choosing from the vast offer provided by our 28 member airlines, operating more than 18,400 daily flights, connecting 1,300 destinations in 191 countries.”
RTW fares can an attractive value-for-money proposition, especially when compared to individual one-way tickets on separate airlines for the same journey. The total price of a RTW ticket is dependent on class of travel, the precise itinerary, mileage and routing selected, as well as currency exchange rate fluctuations.
In terms of distance, customers can create an individual itinerary covering up to 26,000, 29,000, 34,000 or 39,000 miles. To put these levels into perspective, the circumference of the Earth measured at the Equator is approximately 24,901 miles.
Customers can build their own routings within the maximum mileage of the selected fare level. Travel needs to begin and end in the same country and be in one direction, either going east or west, although some zigzagging is permitted within a single continent. Both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean must be crossed once.
In addition to building an itinerary from scratch, customers can also choose from a range of themed RTW journeys, which include World Food, World Wonders, Architecture Hotspots, Nature Trail, Aquatic Wonders, Connecting Cultures, Natural Wonders, Sports Hotspots, Wine Tasting, Romantic Journey and Luxury Lifestyle. In this case, the tool automatically loads a suggested routing, which the customer can adapt to his or her needs. Stopovers of at least 24 hours must be made in a minimum of two cities and the overall itinerary may include up to 15 stops. As part of offering greater choice to RTW travellers, certain RTW special fares are also available, requiring at least three stopovers and allowing a maximum number of stops that range from five to twelve.
The Star Alliance RTW fares are available for travel in First, Business, Premium Economy or Economy Class and are valid for 12 months. Customers travelling on Star Alliance RTW fares may accrue miles in any of the member carrier Frequent Flyer Programmes (FFP). The collected miles may count towards earning Star Alliance Gold or Silver status and can be redeemed for example for free flights, upgrades, or hotel stays (subject to the terms and conditions of the individual FFP).
Up to now, more than half of RTW travellers fly in Business Class, over a third opt for Economy Class and around 8% for First Class.