For 180,000 miles in Economy, just 240,000 miles in Business or 360,000 miles in First class, you can fly around the world on Star Alliance airlines with up to 7 stopovers! The “Star Alliance Round the World Award” offered by KrisFlyer is an especially great deal for Business class travel.
There are several rules to be aware of. Firstly, travel must be in one continuous direction. You would need to travel either east or west, and “backtracking” is not allowed. You’re also allowed a maximum of two stopovers in any single country, and the maximum distance you can travel is 35,000 miles over no more than 16 flight segments. Surface sectors (where you make your own way from one city to the next) are permitted, and count towards your stopover allowance.
Numerous AFF members have been successful in using their KrisFlyer miles to travel around the world. One member’s booking experience was largely positive, although they warn that relatively strict routing rules apply.
I have booked with SQ for Sep 2017 SIN-BKK-VIE-xFRA-xMAN-IAH//YVR-TPE-DPS-SIN. The SQ ticket allows seven stops but is highly restrictive in terms of routing rules – including only allowing continuous travel in the same direction. In my experience with the SQ call centre, this applies to transit points too. So, for example, if you were travelling westwards from SYD, you could not travel to Japan via SIN as it would involve changing from westbound to eastbound. This was never explicitly stated but the segments I was permitted to book seemed to be afflicted by this very strict ‘continuous direction’ limitation. Otherwise, excellent seat availability at the opening of the booking window, especially with Turkish, SQ and ANA. I used Expert Flyer and ANA website to track down seats.
Booking a year in advance is generally advisable as award availability can sell out quickly. This can be problematic if some flights in your itinerary have not yet been released. But in one member’s experience, it is possible to add flights (for a fee) after making the original booking. This member also experienced some difficulty with finding award availability, but was eventually successful.
I have just booked a Star Alliance RTW in J for 2 passengers using Singapore Airlines. 240,000 points each as stated before gets you J all the way.
Booking was a pain as I wanted to book as each leg became available (i.e. max days) but this was near impossible because a) you have to call to get the booking changed to add flights ($20USD per ticket/change) and b) even though I could search other airlines award inventory I found Singapore could not see it frequently (e.g. I could search for 2 seats, they could only see 1).
Several other frequent flyer programs offer round-the-world tickets. Qantas Frequent Flyer offers a “oneworld award” that costs 140,000 Qantas points in Economy, 280,000 points in Business or 420,000 points for First class. This is not technically a round-the-world ticket (as you don’t actually need to circumnavigate the globe), but is most commonly used for this purpose.
Other frequent flyer programs to offer round-the-world award tickets include Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Lufthansa Miles&More and Air Canada Aeroplan. While Virgin Australia does not offer its own round-the-world award, Velocity points can be transferred to and redeemed through Singapore’s KrisFlyer program.
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