Star Alliance has launched the new “Star Alliance Book and Fly” tool, allowing customers the convenience of planning, booking and buying round-the-world (RTW) tickets through the internet.
Up until now, the pricing and ticketing of such trips have had to be handled at airline call centres, ticketing offices or through travel agents. Now, the Star Alliance website (www.staralliance.com) has been transformed into a sales channel as well.
This makes it possible to book the Star Alliance RTW fare on all of the network’s 21 airline members and that customers have access to more than 17,000 daily flights to 916 airports in 160 countries.
The easy-to-use and interactive tool allows them to choose from an endless number of options when planning a multiple city, RTW journey on Star Alliance. Hence, it has been designed to assist users to create a routing corresponding to their travel needs. The itinerary can be created by either typing in the appropriate city or by clicking on the destinations displayed on an interactive world map.
The destinations are colour-coded in order to distinguish between those to which direct flights are offered and those which can only be reached by transfer connections. Once a valid itinerary is created, the system displays an estimated fare in the currency of the country of residence for the selected class of travel.
Flight options for each leg of their journey are displayed on real-time availability. Additional service options, such as travel in Premium Economy Class cabins, can be selected at an applicable surcharge. Once flights for the entire journey have been chosen, the final price including all taxes, surcharges and fees are shown.
After entering the personal data necessary to process the booking, the corresponding flights are reserved. Tickets are paid for online via credit card and customers are emailed their electronic ticket. In case further assistance is required, various call centres worldwide can be contacted.
The Star Alliance RTW fare is one of 12 Star Alliance fare products. The fare levels are set according to distance and class of travel. Customers can choose between three mileage levels: 29,000, 34,000 or 39,000 miles. The fare is available for travel in First, Business or Economy Class. Tickets are valid for one year.
The Star Alliance network also offers a RTW special fare, which is only available for travel in Economy Class for a maximum mileage of 26,000. It permits three to five stopovers and must be purchased seven days before departure.
The airline grouping currently consists of 21 full (such as Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and ANA) and 3 regional members, with another expected to become three full members this year.
Margie T Logarta