The Star Alliance network is making member airlines' flights more affordable, with the introduction of additional fare levels for the Economy Class.
While there are 3 Round the World (RTW) fare levels for travel in First Class and four for Business Class, there will be 7 levels for Economy Class.
In a statement, the alliance with over 25 member airlines said that the Economy Class fares will now be determined through a combination of total number of stops and total mileage used. The best price option is the one which allows customers to travel for a maximum of 26,000 miles and make anywhere between three and five stops. Up to now, the higher mileage levels in Economy Class – 29,000, 34,000 or 39,000 miles – allowed a maximum of 15 stops. With the introduction of the new fare levels, customers can now select fewer stops in return for a lower price.
For example, a traveller using a 29,000 mileage RTW ticket can now opt to make only seven stops and hence save 10 per cent on average, it said
"Customers can build their own routings within the mileage limits of the different fare levels. Travel needs to commence and end in the same country and in general be in one direction, either going East or West, although some limited zigzagging is permitted within a single continent," the alliance announced.
The introduction followed fierce competition against low-cost airlines which has hurt premium airlines' balance sheets. Among big members of the alliance, which offers more than 18,000 daily flights to 1,269 airports in 193 countries, is Thai Airways International.
Supporting the launch of the new fares, Star Alliance is running a multi-channel online marketing campaign.
More prominence has been given to the fares on www.staralliance.com, where a banner, displaying various globetrotting related items and souvenirs, allows customers to directly reach the “Book and Fly” section. This will be mirrored by the Star Alliance member airline websites, which now also feature the new imagery and link to “Book and Fly”.
Furthermore, travel relevant internet sites such asTripadvisor.com, Linkedin.com, Expedia.com, CNN.com and Seat Guru.com will also carry the Star Alliance campaign in selected markets.
Further information can be found at: www.staralliance.com/en/fares/round-the-world-fare.