Trip Introduction: Around the World in Star Alliance First Class via China, Thailand and Spain on Asiana, Thai and Lufthansa First Class

A Star Alliance Around the World Trip in First Class is a journey that you’ll never forget. We set on this journey starting off with Air Canada’s Frequent Flyer program Aeroplan.


Trip Introduction: Around the World #1 via China, Thailand & Spain on Asiana, Thai and Lufthansa First Class


Trip Planning:

In the summer of July 2011, I had been, err “involved” with an electronic affair with frequent forum Flyertalk for about 7 months now. I had read about all of these wonderful trips and seen hundreds of reports about those that were able to cash in on the mini RTW award offered by Aeroplan. This was simply an Aeroplan Asia One reward that allowed routing via both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, hence completing a “Round the World” trip. These trips were available for only 120,000 Aeroplan Miles for a good number of years.Then without surprise, Aeroplan announced that they would shortly be increasing the mileage for these trips from 120,000 to 175,000. 

With this news, I hastily threw together a trip for two, with the full plans on changing the trip with a change fee to be saved for a honeymoon later on. I booked the tickets at 300+ days out, and I still had difficulty finding reward availability on Lufthansa and Air Canada. These were also before the days of fuel surcharge additions on Aeroplan Reward tickets as well. The total taxes and fees for the RTW portion of this trip was $201.71 CAD per person plus a $30 booking fee and 120,000 Aeroplan miles. The same trip booked by segment on Star Alliance through their website was valued at over $21,000 CAD for a paid ticket. I was over the moon with joy. 

Over Christmas of 2011, I called in to change my ticket to arrange it for after our wedding which was set for the fall of September 2012. I reached a friendly agent who kindly reminded me of the fact that I only had one year from the date of ticketing in which to start my travels. 

Crap.

Since I had booked the ticket in June of 2011, I had to start traveling by June of 2012. Our wedding was set for September 2012. I wasn’t super keen on the trip anymore. How do you plan or fund an even bigger event for your honeymoon than a Round the World trip in First? Realization sunk in that we had booked an offer that was too good to pass up. It became more an more apparent that we would have to fly the original ticket on the original ITIN or have the miles re-credited to our account after paying a fee.

Over the weeks after hearing this news, I actually didn’t have much motivation to take the trip. I sank into travellers depression. It became known to me as the Timeshare Presentation – the presentation and obligation and commitment to sit through some nasty presentation, all to get a reward of some kind. I thought of this trip as THAT nasty presentation. Why did I want to go to Thailand? Or stop in China again? Or visit overpriced Europe? Ewww!! Despite this, as time passed on, I started changing my tune. We ended up taking the travel and never looked back. With 10 great flights, we were instantly hooked. 

The Routing:

The routing ended up looking like this. I pieced together reward availability by checking each segment individually and phoning in to give the call centre the exact flights I wanted. There were no issues with this when I booked and we were confirmed after some manual ticketing labour.

The routing was travelling westward and looked like

  • YVR-LAX-ICN-PVG (Aeroplan Award)
  • PVG-PEK-PVG (paid)
  • PVG-BKK (Aeroplan Award)
  • BKK-HKT-BKK (paid)
  • BKK-MAD (Aeroplan Award)
  • MAD-FRA-SEA-YVR (Aeroplan Award)
The routing taken for this trip; heading in a westward direction.

I hope you’ll join us on another terrific adventure!

Read more from this trip:


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