Among the airline alliances offering round the world ticket options, the Star Alliance Round the World Fare is probably the easiest to use because of the number of destinations it covers. This is partly due, of course, to the number of airlines that are in the Star Alliance, so the wide reach of the alliance is always going to be subject to change and adjustment – but for the time being, a RTW ticket with Star Alliance grants you access to a long list of destinations.
The Star Alliance Round the World Fare is a mileage-based ticket, and you can buy it at three different mileage levels. As is the case with most RTW tickets, backtracking is limited pretty strictly and not allowed at all over oceans, so although there’s plenty of flexibility in terms of places you can go there’s much less in terms of which way you can get there.
Be sure to read our Star alliance round the world ticket review. If you’ve used Star Alliance for your RTW ticket, you can leave your own review, too.
Here’s what you need to know about the Star Alliance Round the World Fare when you’re comparing it against other RTW ticket options.
- What kind of traveler is this ticket best for? – The Star Alliance Round the World Fare is best for travelers who want the least amount of hassle with routing their trip, but who don’t mind more restrictions in terms of the routing itself. The Star Alliance’s wide reach means getting from place to place throughout pretty much the whole world is relatively easy (there’s the less hassle part), but there’s far less flexibility with routing this ticket than some other RTW tickets. Travelers whose RTW trips will be dominated by flights rather than ground transport are likely to be well-served by this ticket.
- What airlines can I fly with this ticket? – You can fly any airline in the Star Alliance network, plus any of their affiliate airlines. At the moment, that list includes Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, bmi, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, THAI, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, Adria Airways, Blue 1 and Croatia Airlines.
- How long is the ticket valid once I start my trip? – A Star Alliance Round the World Fare is good for 12 months from the date of your first flight on the ticket.
- How many flight segments are on this ticket? – With a Star Alliance Round the World Fare you typically are required to make at least 3 stopovers during your trip, and there’s a maximum of 15 stopovers total. There’s also a maximum of 3 stopovers per country, except in the US where there’s a maximum of 5 stopovers permitted. If you book the special Star Alliance Round the World “Starlite Economy” Fare, however, there’s a maximum of 5 stopovers for the entire trip.
- Are there any required stops? – No.
- What’s the maximum flight mileage I can accumulate on this ticket? – The maximum miles you can travel on a Star Alliance Round the World Fare depend on the ticket you buy. You can buy a ticket in the following increments: 29,000 miles, 34,000 miles, and 39,000 miles. There’s also a special Star Alliance Round the World “Starlite Economy” Fare of 26,000 miles, but you’re much more limited in terms of how many stopovers you can make.
- What are the restrictions on this ticket? – Your trip has to start and end in the same country, but your start and end points can be two different cities within that country. Mileage traveled in what’s called a “surface sector” (AKA ground transportation from one airport to another) does count toward the mileage maximum for your ticket. Once you leave a continent, you can’t re-enter it unless it’s part of a flight transfer and you’re not stopping over. You have to cross both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans during your trip, but only once each. Most backtracking is not allowed. If you change your route along the way you’ll pay a fee for doing so.
- Are there any bonuses that come with this ticket? – Business Class and First Class tickets are available for RTW travelers on a Star Alliance Round the World Fare, and you can upgrade to premium classes on some segments as well. Childrens’ fares are available at a 25% discount of the adult fare, so long as the child is between the ages of 2-11 for the duration of the journey and will accompany a ticket-holding adult on all flights.
- Anything else in the fine print I should know about? – Your trip must follow “one global direction only,” meaning you must continue in whatever direction you start in (east or west). There are three world “zones” the Star Alliance Round the World Fare looks at when determining the direction of your travel, so within each zone you can change direction and zigzag – but you can’t go from one zone to another and then backtrack to the first one.
- How can I book this ticket? – You can book your Star Alliance Round the World Fare directly from the Star Alliance website via their Book and Fly online system (see link below).
photo by Hong Kong dear Edward