Star Alliance recently launched its newest booking tool, which allows passengers to travel around the world in premium economy on its 28 partner airlines.
An around-the-world trip by air is the kind of travel splurge many people reserve for their bucketlist, but often time and money restrictions cause to remain there.
But the Star Alliance, with its membership of 28 airlines, is aiming to make it easier and more affordable to circle the globe in style. Travelers can now build an itinerary crossing both the Atlantic and Pacific, flying every leg in Premium Economy rather than cramped in coach. (Of course, you can opt to fly in business or first class, but that may bring this kind of trip back to fantasy-only.)
A booking tool to enable this premium economy version is now live on Star Alliance's website. It was inspired, in part, by the growth in premium economy offerings throughout the industry, with more carriers opting to carve out cabins space for the roomier seats. A cross between coach and business class, it’s got more legroom, improved amenities, and more comfort overall. Lufthansa and Singapore, both members of the Star Alliance, have added premium economy classes within the past year. Other Star airlines that offer this class include Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, EVA, LOT, SAS, Thai, and Turkish.
If you want to avoid coach at all costs, it’s possible—you’ll just have to do some careful planning. A Star Alliance spokesperson came up with the following itinerary: Chicago – Frankfurt – Copenhagen – Istanbul – Tokyo – San Francisco – Chicago, at a fare of around $7,000.
The rules for these fares are as follows: There are three levels of pricing, depending on how many miles you're logging, with the lowest fares for jaunts of 29,000 and the highest at 39,000 miles. (The above example is for the 29,000 mile zone.) In general, you must travel in one direction—east or west—although you may take some detours on a single continent. Both major oceans must be crossed, and stops lasting at least 24 hours have to be made in at least three cities—up to a maximum of 15. While you can’t change your itinerary once you’ve departed, you can change your dates without penalty. Regardless of the rules, the best part is the duration of the trip; it can be as few as seven days or as long as up to a full year.