HOW STELLA GOES WEST
I first researched the countries I wanted to visit and then I read up the round the world ticket options
To book a Round the world ticket, there are 3 general rules
1) You have to start and end in the same country, not necessarily the same City
2) You have to fly only 1 direction, East or West and fly past 2 oceans, small zigzags are possible within the continent
2) You are limited to a number of stopovers based on the price you pay. Stopovers are 24 hours or more.
You can check the validity of your destinations by using the Staralliance website
FLYING FOR FREE – Well, Almost!
I was going to book a round the world ticket with cash, or book one way flights on the miles that I had, until I realised how much better it was to just redeem a round the world (RTW) ticket with my miles.
1 way air ticket to Moscow on economy S$1,912 or 70,000 miles
1 way air ticket to Moscow on business class 120,000 miles
A round the world ticket on Star Alliance based on 8 cities will cost about S$8,700.
I then researched on the Singapore Airlines Krisflyer page and I realised that you only need 180,000 miles for the economy RTW ticket or 240,000 miles for the business RTW ticket!
Having been in a job that required travelling for the past 5 years and the lust for travel gifted me with a lot of miles, lots of Krisflyer miles. It was a very deliberate process to ensure that whenever I plan a flight for work or play, I plan it with our National Airline and in absence, Star Alliance partners. It was easy because Star Alliance does run one of the biggest network of airlines.
Having 2 credit card that are solely for the purpose of collecting miles also contributed to my rather massive mile count – 250,000 worth!!! Its not an easy feat but you have to ensure that almost every purchase you make is done on one of the 2 cards. It also helped that I’ve held the said cards for the past 7 years and now, I heard there are more cards in the market now that can earn you more than my current 2. So, please do your research before signing up and try not to change them midway. I’ve been on my UOB PriviMiles Amex Card and the Citi Premier Miles Visa card since their launch.
Thus, how hard was it to make my decision to redeem all the miles I had for the business class RTW ticket? It was just a matter of filling up the form and then emailing it to Singapore Airlines to make everything work like magic. But of course, you will have to have all your routes planned out and you can only fly one direction and you are limited to 7 cities on this redemption.
This is my itinerary
Singapore – Moscow – Zurich – Lisbon – Rio De Janeiro – Lima – Costa Rica – Mexico – Singapore
What was my damage? 240,000 miles and $1400 worth in taxes and other surcharges.
I’ve saved about $7000 if I’ve booked my flights with cash.
Verdict? if you’re planning to go to Europe and South America and have 3-4 weeks to spare off work, it may be worthwhile to look at mile redemption and do Europe and South America and back to Singapore on a RTW ticket.
Stay tuned to this blog for my adventures as I share more tips and 4toegraphs of my Journey WEST!!!!