Star Alliance has enhanced the ability for customers to purchase round-the-world fares and is now also selling this alliance product through www.staralliance.com. The new “Star Alliance Book and Fly” allows customers to plan, book, and buy round-the-world tickets via the Internet, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Up till now, only planning a round-the-world journey on the website was possible, with pricing and ticketing having to be handled at airline call centers, ticket offices, or travel agents. These sales channels will continue to offer the Star Alliance Round the World fare, in addition to the website.
“Star Alliance Book and Fly has transformed our website into a sales channel for the Star Alliance Round-the-World fare. Customers can now plan, book, and buy through the web at their convenience,” said Christopher Korenke, vice president commercial, Star Alliance. “On the technological side, the implementation of an automated tool to process very complex routings is truly an outstanding achievement.”
Customers can choose from an endless number of options when planning a multiple city round the world trip on the Star Alliance network. Hence, the tool has been designed to assist the user in creating a routing, which corresponds 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 color 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 from real-time availability. Additional service options, such as travel in premium economy class cabins, can be selected at the applicable surcharge.
Once flights for the entire journey have been chosen, the final price including all taxes, surcharges, and fees is displayed. 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 centers around the globe will be able to help the customer.
The Star Alliance Round-the-World fare is one of 12 Star Alliance fare products. Compared to one-way or return tickets, the Round-the-World fare is attractively priced. 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. Additionally, the Star Alliance network also offers a Round-the-World special fare, which is only available for travel in economy class; has a maximum mileage of 26,000; must be purchased seven days prior to departure; and permits three to five stopovers.