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KrisFlyer Star Alliance Round-the-World Award Planning

Jacques Vert

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There is a lot of wonderful information about the Qantas Oneworld (Multi-City) Classic Flight Reward on this thread: Oneworld Classic Award

However, I have often wondered why there is no equivalent, dedicated thread where members can share information, tips, booking experiences, etc. for the KrisFlyer Star Alliance RTW Award.

So, I thought I would kick it off!

For starters, here is some information about the KrisFlyer Star Alliance Round-the-World Award that might be useful.

The price for a Star Alliance round-the-world award is:
  • 180,000 KrisFlyer miles for Economy
  • 240,000 KrisFlyer miles for Business
  • 360,000 KrisFlyer miles for First
According to section J.3 of the KrisFlyer terms and conditions, here are the key rules of this award:
  1. Normal Star Alliance Award travel restrictions apply.
  2. You must travel in a continuous eastbound or westbound direction, beginning and ending in the same country. You must make only one crossing of the Atlantic Ocean and only one crossing of the Pacific Ocean. You are allowed an origin open-jaw in the same country.
  3. Your total travel distance must not exceed 35,000 miles. You are allowed a maximum of 16 segments in your itinerary.
  4. You may include a maximum of seven complimentary stopovers in your itinerary. The same stopover restrictions for Star Alliance Awards apply for Round-the-World Awards. In addition, you may stopover only once in each city and no more than twice in any one country. You may not purchase additional stopovers. Surface sectors are permitted but count as stopovers.
If you want to check whether your routing is valid (i.e. there is no backtracking), one method is to plug the full itinerary into the Star Alliance (paid) round-the-world booking tool. If the routing shows as valid, and there is award availability on all flights, it should be allowed as a KrisFlyer Star Alliance Round-the-World Award.

The only way to book is by calling Singapore Airlines.

(With thanks to @Mattg for his assistance in putting this together.)
 

Drakecula

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My experience with this, having booked earlier in the year, is that when you call up to book, they will ask you to have your proposed itinerary in the Star Alliance tool. You can save it and give them the code, so they can look at it from their end.

I did that and they said they'd work through it and call me back if there are issues. We had a few back and forths and some complete changes, but it was a relatively painless process. I definitely recommend scouring for availability before you call up, so you know what is there, and have some options up your sleeve if something just can't happen.
 

RooFlyer

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I did that and they said they'd work through it and call me back if there are issues. We had a few back and forths and some complete changes,
Did the planning tool give you a valid itinerary? If yes, why did KF have to change some sectors?
 

Drakecula

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Did the planning tool give you a valid itinerary? If yes, why did KF have to change some sectors?
It gave a valid itinerary, in terms of layovers and miles and so on, but the connections to get from point A to point B meant we were going through the same airport twice in one instance. Apparently that's not allowed, though I've read other comments on threads where it was allowed, so guess it depends who you have on the other end. So in my case I had to rethink how it was going to work and ended up flying out of a different airport to get a different airport connection.
 

RooFlyer

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the connections to get from point A to point B meant we were going through the same airport twice in one instance.
On the OW RTW, that's allowed, as long as the second time is only a transit. @Jacques Vert, are the rules the same with KF (Dorothy Dixer :) )
 

Steve Lim

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My experience with this, having booked earlier in the year, is that when you call up to book, they will ask you to have your proposed itinerary in the Star Alliance tool. You can save it and give them the code, so they can look at it from their end.

I did that and they said they'd work through it and call me back if there are issues. We had a few back and forths and some complete changes, but it was a relatively painless process. I definitely recommend scouring for availability before you call up, so you know what is there, and have some options up your sleeve if something just can't happen.
With qantas one world, you can book some legs first and add more as the flights become available for 5000 points. Does KrisFlyer allow this too or have to be completed in one go ?
 

Mattg

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The SQ RTW award for 240,000 KrisFlyer miles in J is one of the best sweet spots in the KrisFlyer program. It's only marginally more expensive than booking a return trip to Europe in J, and it's actually fewer miles than flying something like SYD-LAX-SYD.

In general, I don't think Y or F is worth it because Y is 75% of the cost of J (so you might as well book J) and there aren't enough Star Alliance airlines or routes where F is available to make that worthwhile.

Just to give people some inspiration, here are a few different KrisFlyer Star Alliance Round The World routings I've seen booked in the past:

1. SYD-xSIN-xIST-MUC-xWAW-LAX-xYVR-MEL
2. MEL-xSIN-NRT-xYYC-YYZ-YUL-FRA/WAW-xIST-DPS-xSIN-MEL
3. MEL-xSFO-LAX/JFK-xZRH-DEL-BKK-xICN-NGO/KIX-xSIN-MEL

Given the superior network of Star Alliance and generally good award availability, there is quite a lot you can do with one of these awards. I would even say that these are better than the QF Oneworld Awards (and at a significantly lower cost). The only real downside is the actual requirement to fly around the world, which prevents some of the crazier Oneworld Award itineraries which are full of backtracking.

Also, just as a matter of interest, KrisFlyer seems to interpret SQ25 (JFK-xFRA-SIN) as crossing the Pacific Ocean if you don't stop over in Frankfurt. Could be a useful loophole for some (or not).
 

Mattg

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With qantas one world, you can book some legs first and add more as the flights become available for 5000 points. Does KrisFlyer allow this too or have to be completed in one go ?
With KrisFlyer, you have to book it all in one go. Once the booking is finalised, you have to stick with the initial routing and can only change dates or the airlines used on individual segments. Date and airline changes cost USD50 each, last time I checked.

Basically, this means that you'd need to wait until all flights are available before booking, or otherwise use dummy dates for the later flights and try to change them later.

Alternatively, you can cancel the booking for a USD75 fee and receive a refund of the miles & taxes paid.

Changes and cancellations can only be made before taking the first flight on the booking.
 

Bree Stuart

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Hi, thanks for starting this thread it will be great having all the knowledge in one place now.
I was wondering if there is a way to work out what the taxes would be for a rtw j fare. Would it equal all the individual segment taxes added together or is it discounted?
Or if anyone has done one of these trips how much did you pay in taxes?
Thanks in advance
 

Mattg

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Hi, thanks for starting this thread it will be great having all the knowledge in one place now.
I was wondering if there is a way to work out what the taxes would be for a rtw j fare. Would it equal all the individual segment taxes added together or is it discounted?
Or if anyone has done one of these trips how much did you pay in taxes?
Thanks in advance
As a rough guide, it would be the sum of each individual segment. But there will be slight variations based on the Point Of Sale (i.e. country where the first flight departs).

In general, I think around $1,000-$1,500 per passenger is a fair expectation. The taxes will obviously be higher if you use lots of airlines that have fuel surcharges and/or have a long-haul J/F flight departing from the UK.
 

daft009

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excellent idea.
I plan on doing this with our family of 3 in the next 1-2yrs.

How hard would it be to do in J for 3x pax?
 

Mattg

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excellent idea.
I plan on doing this with our family of 3 in the next 1-2yrs.

How hard would it be to do in J for 3x pax?
Getting J seats for 3 pax on the same flights is always difficult, but it's not impossible if you're travelling outside of the peak season. And it's certainly easier doing this with SQ/Star Alliance than it is trying to book anything with QF/Oneworld out of Australia.
 

pgsdiver

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In June I booked an itinerary for May next year as follows:
OZ - SYD-ICN-SFO
(ground sector to BOS then New York)
TP - EWR-LIS
SN - LIS-BRU-CPH
SQ - SIN-SYD

$554.70 in SGD for the fees.
As posted above I checked availability in the SQ and United booking tools, and also made use of Expert Flyer to double check (limited as they don't always seem to have the award flights as far out as the SQ site).
Once I had this I simply read out my planned itinerary to the agent on the phone at SQ's call centre. She checked it out and called me back after suggesting i go and make a cup of coffee (I only got half way through it).
Very easy and efficient and is the perfect itinerary for me.
Only downside is seat selection on non-SQ metal is a bit dodgy - I'll ring closer to the date to try to organise with the airlines concerned.
Regards,
Peter
 

pgsdiver

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One other thing:
Availability for saver J fares (Dom First) on United is all but non-existent, hence my ground sector above.
I'll be flying Dom F to BOS then taking Amtrak down to NY.

I think the US is the only sour point in the KF Star Alliance RTW equation.
 

Samis88

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Great idea to have this discussion. I am about to book a RTW business class for my wife and I between August and October 2020.
The Singapore Airlines call centre is quite helpful although some consultants know more than others.
Is it just the carrier imposed surcharge by other airlines that you need to pay or is it also all the taxes and fees?
I am using the ITA Matrix calculator for each segment, Carrier surcharges total $A624 each but including all taxes and fees comes to $1,457 each. One of the "biggies" here is Colombia Sales tax of $346.90 for our Avianca flight from Bogota (BOG) to Buenos Aires (EZE).
Unfortunately we need to fly to South America first and in August 2020 business class seats for two are virtually non-existent. So I am starting and ending in Singapore and just flying between there and Brisbane separately.
 

Mattg

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Great idea to have this discussion. I am about to book a RTW business class for my wife and I between August and October 2020.
The Singapore Airlines call centre is quite helpful although some consultants know more than others.
Is it just the carrier imposed surcharge by other airlines that you need to pay or is it also all the taxes and fees?
I am using the ITA Matrix calculator for each segment, Carrier surcharges total $A624 each but including all taxes and fees comes to $1,457 each. One of the "biggies" here is Colombia Sales tax of $346.90 for our Avianca flight from Bogota (BOG) to Buenos Aires (EZE).
Unfortunately we need to fly to South America first and in August 2020 business class seats for two are virtually non-existent. So I am starting and ending in Singapore and just flying between there and Brisbane separately.
You would need to pay all taxes that apply to award bookings, plus any carrier charges that may apply. Singapore Airlines does not have carrier/fuel surcharges, but other Star Alliance airlines might. I suspect you would not have to pay the Colombia sales tax as I believe this would only apply to revenue airfares.

Yes, finding Star Alliance award availability between Australia and South America is near impossible. You'd basically need Air New Zealand to release seats, and I've only ever seen them do this once on the AKL-EZE route. The other options would be to fly via the USA or to use South African Airways and fly PER-JNB-GRU.
 

lovetravellingoz

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Singapore Airlines does not have carrier/fuel surcharges, but other Star Alliance airlines might.
I find adding on a LH leg always boosts the $$ paid substantially.

Also on playing around with some flights with legs on Turkish Airlines I have found if two legs were Turkish that $$$ were much larger too.
 
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Gold60

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if you want to try and book an award seat from JFK to BNE via FRA and SIN - i believe the seats, if any, usually open about 355 days prior to travel ?

i presume you set yourself a travel date, and then put a reminder in your calendar, for say, 360 days, and then just wait, and hope for the best ?
 

get me outta here

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Set not only a date, but also a time too. You need to be quick. Look at it for a while to see the pattern.

if you want to try and book an award seat from JFK to BNE via FRA and SIN - i believe the seats, if any, usually open about 355 days prior to travel ?

i presume you set yourself a travel date, and then put a reminder in your calendar, for say, 360 days, and then just wait, and hope for the best ?
 

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