Travellers visiting two far-flung destinations on a single trip can now book their entire journey as a Star Alliance round-the-world ticket – replacing the alliance’s previous minimum of three stopovers, to better-compete with Oneworld’s comparable two-stop tickets.
That means busy business travellers destined for both London and New York on one trip can now spend the bulk of their time in those two cities alone, without needlessly breaking the journey in a third destination en route or on the way home, or booking a series of one-way flights, which can be more costly.
There are other possibilities, too – such as attending meetings in Singapore, before continuing onward to New York or anywhere else in The Americas for a second round of meetings or events, and then returning home to Australia.
For example, that could involve flying from Sydney to Singapore with Star Alliance member Singapore Airlines, flying onwards from Singapore to New York via Frankfurt – again with Singapore Airlines or with Lufthansa – and flying home from New York to Sydney with United via Los Angeles, San Francisco, or now, Houston too.
Because these fares require passengers to cross each of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans once, and only once, itineraries like Sydney-Singapore-Los Angeles-Sydney won’t work here, but could be booked as part of a Star Alliance Circle Pacific ticket.
Passengers must also spend a minimum of 24 hours in their two chosen cities as part of these round-the-world fares, but the overall itinerary can include anywhere from five to 15 stopover cities for added flexibility.
As noted in Star Alliance's fine print, business class and first class journeys beginning in Australia or New Zealand don't have a 'minimum stay' restriction attached, meaning a journey can be as short as needed.
For premium economy travellers, the journey needs to last for at least seven days, however, while for economy, it's a minimum of three days.
More than half of all Star Alliance round-the-world bookings are made in business class, with approximately 8% being for first class travel, and the remainder in premium economy and economy.
Star Alliance round-the-world fares allow travel on all of the alliance’s 28 member airlines, including Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, EVA Air, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Thai Airways and United in Australian skies.
Further afield, connecting flights can also be booked with Adria, Aegean, Austrian, Avianca, Avianca Brazil, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS, Shenzhen Airlines, Swiss, TAP Air Portugal and Turkish Airlines.