With Australian international borders opening, now’s a great time to start contemplating overseas travel in 2022 and beyond. KrisFlyer is the frequent flyer program of Singapore Airlines and a round the world (RTW) award booking is one of the best uses of KrisFlyer miles. Especially if you’re looking to visit a number of cities in one trip.

In fact, instead of just flying return to New York in Business Class, you can trek across the globe and stop in up to seven cities in Business with Star Alliance partner airlines, while saving 18,000 KrisFlyer miles! You could even do the trip in First Class for a reasonable rate. Today, we’re going to teach you how.

Of course, even if you’re not quite ready to venture abroad yet for whatever reason, all the info in our guide will still be relevant for when you’re ready to plan the trip of a lifetime.

Singapore Airlines Boeing 737-8 Business
Singapore Airlines Business Class on the Boeing 737 MAX 8.

How much does the Star Alliance RTW cost?

With a KrisFlyer Star Alliance RTW Award, you can circle the globe – visiting a maximum of seven cities up to 35,000 miles over a 12-month period. The cost? Just 240,000 KrisFlyer miles in Business Class and 360,000 KrisFlyer miles in First Class.

That’s actually insanely cheap. Here’s a cost comparison of flying to New York or Europe return versus doing a RTW trip. Figures are for Business or First Class, in KrisFlyer miles (excluding tax).

 To New York returnTo Europe returnRTW Award
From Sydney, Melbourne,
Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide,
New Zealand
258,000 Business
334,000 First
232,000 Business
296,000 First
240,000 Business
360,000 First
From Perth, Darwin242,000 Business
320,000 First
212,000 Business
285,000 First
240,000 Business
360,000 First

While it may seem too good to be true, the numbers don’t lie. It costs fewer KrisFlyer miles to fly around the world in Business Class than it does to fly from Australia to New York return. For First Class, there is a moderate increase in miles needed, but it’s still amazing value.

Fuel surcharges

Since March 2017, KrisFlyer no longer imposes fuel surcharges on Singapore Airlines award flights. However, we’ll be mixing other Star Alliance airlines on a RTW booking, so some surcharges may apply. You’ll still have to pay airport taxes for each leg.

Here are some approximate taxes and surcharges examples:

  • Sydney to Frankfurt in Singapore Airlines First Class: $365
  • Frankfurt to New York in Lufthansa Business: $272
  • Tokyo to Los Angeles in ANA Business: $41.50
  • Seoul to Chicago in Asiana Business: $7

You will need to pay the combined taxes and surcharges of each individual flight when booking your round the world adventure. 

Why is the Star Alliance RTW award good value?

A cash round the world ticket on Singapore Airlines and Star Alliance partners for a similar journey booked with a travel agent will start from around $16,000 per person in Business Class. That jumps to a whopping $26,000 in First Class! That’s a huge wad of cash – which you can save with KrisFlyer miles.

This RTW award is also better value than a simple award redemption with KrisFlyer miles, in terms of the distance travelled and the number of flights you can take.

Singapore Airlines A380 First Class Suite
Singapore Airlines Suites is an aspirational product.

An alternative miles-saving option is to maximise simple KrisFlyer redemptions by using free or additional stopovers.

What about KrisFlyer RTW redemptions in Economy?

A KrisFlyer RTW award in Economy Class costs 180,000 miles. In comparison, an Australia to New York return ticket is 120,000 miles from most cities, or 110,000 KrisFlyer miles from Perth or Darwin.

Generally, you will get the maximum value out of your points by using them for premium cabin travel.

Singapore Airlines A350-787 Economy | Point Hacks
Singapore Airlines Economy Class is one of the best out there.

What are the rules of the KrisFlyer RTW?

Unlike the Qantas Oneworld Classic Flight Reward, which lets you travel in all sorts of directions, the KrisFlyer RTW award follows more traditional rules. It goes without saying that you need to find award availability on all flights.

  • You must travel in a continuous eastbound or westbound direction. That means no backtracking – and the journey must begin and end in the same country. However, you are allowed an origin open-jaw in the same country, so you can depart from Melbourne and return to Sydney, for example.
  • You must make only one crossing of the Atlantic Ocean and only one crossing of the Pacific Ocean.
  • Your total travel distance must not exceed 35,000 miles. You are allowed a maximum of 16 segments (meaning individual flights), seven city stopovers, and you cannot purchase additional stopovers.
  • You may stopover only once in each city and no more than twice in any one country.
  • Surface sectors are permitted but will count as stopovers. So if you land in Paris and take the train to London and fly from there, that is counted as two stopovers – be careful.
  • No change of flight/date is allowed once your journey has started.

See all the rules with the Star Alliance Round the World Award here →

Where can I fly with the Star Alliance RTW?

Of course, there are a ton of different combinations possible – depending on where you want to travel. But here are two examples that keep to the 35,000-mile maximum for your inspiration:

Example 1

Sydney – Los Angeles on United // Los Angeles – Toronto on Air Canada // Toronto – New York on Air Canada or United // New York – Rio de Janeiro on United // Rio de Janeiro – Lisbon on TAP Portugal // Lisbon – Istanbul on Turkish // Istanbul – Bangkok on Turkish Airlines // Bangkok – Sydney on THAI

KF RTW Example | Point Hacks

Example 2

Melbourne-Singapore on Singapore Airlines // Singapore-Johannesburg on Singapore Airlines // Johannesburg-Istanbul – Johannesburg on Turkish // Istanbul-Vienna on Turkish Airlines // Vienna-Los Angeles on Austrian // Los Angeles-Honolulu on United // Honolulu-Sydney on United

KF RTW Example | Point Hacks

You can use the excellent Great Circle Mapper tool to calculate the total distance for your trip.

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Which airlines can I fly on?

You can choose from more than 1300 destinations in over 190 countries covered by the Star Alliance network, which is made up of 26 partner airlines. These include Singapore Airlines, Air Canada, ANA, SAS and United.

All of the airlines have Business Class but only six have First Class, notably Air China, Air India, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Singapore Airlines and THAI.

We’re leaving Lufthansa and SWISS out of that list because they only release First Class award seats to their partners 14 days before departure. For this award, you’ll need to book further in advance.

Also, note that Air New Zealand is notorious for having poor award availability, so don’t count on them for any long Business Class legs in your planning.

How do I book a KrisFlyer Star Alliance RTW Award?

You can’t book this award online, but you can certainly get all the research done in advance.

  1. Search for award seat availability. If you want to fly on Singapore Airlines, especially in First Class Suites, search on the KrisFlyer website. For all other partners, use United’s search engine.
  2. Write down the dates, flight number and cabin class for any award seat availability that fits your itinerary.
  3. Call KrisFlyer or fill in this Partner Reservation Request Form [PDF], as a RTW ticket cannot be booked online. Staff will check your routing to ensure it fits within the published rules.

We have further details in our guide on how to search for award space most efficiently.

Like other award redemptions, seats are subject to availability. There’s a chance you won’t be able to fly on the date you desire, so you need to be flexible. Because you are flying RTW, you don’t need to search for all the flights at the same time.

It is best to search one flight at a time as if it were a one-way journey, e.g. Sydney to Singapore, Singapore to Tokyo, Tokyo to Toronto.

Note that in order to redeem the award for the purpose of the RTW redemption, the availability must be classified as a Saver Award. Seat availability under Advantage Award categories cannot be booked under RTW.

Singapore Airlines Saver Award seat - Sydney to Singapore
Only Saver seats can be included. In this example, there are no Saver seats left on SQ212 because it is under ‘Waitlist’. You can only add SQ242 to your RTW itinerary.

Details to tell the agent when booking a KrisFlyer RTW

Have a notepad handy because when you find the available flights, you have to provide the information to the Singapore Airlines agent on the phone. Not all agents are knowledgeable about this award, so you may have to hold their hand through this process.

Speaking from personal experience, these five handy tips will save you a lot of hassle. So write down the following (taken from the example screenshot above):

  • Date/s with available seats: e.g. 9 Sep 2022
  • Origin and destination airports: e.g. Sydney to Singapore
  • Operating airline: e.g. Singapore Airlines
  • Flight number: e.g. SQ242
  • Departure and arrival times: e.g. 18:05 to 00:20 the next morning

You could also try filling in the Partner Airline Reservation Request Form online, which is a PDF you enter with your desired flight details and then email or fax off. However, it only has room for six flight legs, so it’s probably not useful for most people booking a RTW trip.

How do I contact KrisFlyer?

To get in touch with KrisFlyer about a membership enquiry or flight redemption, try:

While the Call Centre might be the quickest way to resolve your issue, try the social media channels if the line is busy. During this coronavirus pandemic, which is heavily affecting Singapore Airlines, it may not be possible to book your RTW trip in a timely manner.

How do I earn KrisFlyer miles?

The great news for Aussies? KrisFlyer miles can be earned relatively easily, as it is a transfer partner of several credit cards including American Express Membership Rewards.

Transferring Velocity Points to KrisFlyer miles

Many Virgin Australia Velocity readers asked us how they can use their Velocity Points to make a similar round the world award redemption. The answer is not quite.

Velocity doesn’t have its own round the world award. But later in 2022, we expect you can once again transfer your Velocity points to KrisFlyer miles. Unfortunately, this transfer process is currently suspended.

Previously, you could transfer 372,000 Velocity Points to fly Business Class or 558,000 to fly First Class round the world, booked through Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. Let’s hope that this transfer opportunity will be opened up soon.

Back in 2019, 1.55 Velocity Points could be swapped for 1 KrisFlyer mile.

Summing up

The KrisFlyer Star Alliance round the world award represents great value compared to both cash tickets and simple one-way or return routings. In some cases, it’s even cheaper than a simple return ticket from Australia to New York!

You will need to put in quite a bit of work to get this plan off the ground. Collect enough miles for the number of people travelling, find the right award seat availability on the dates you want, then call up Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer to book the journey one leg at a time.

But ultimately, it’s all worth it. Go ahead and relax during your extended trip, knowing you’ve successfully pulled off one of the hardest awards to book in the frequent flyer world.

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Fly around the world in Business Class for 240,000 KrisFlyer miles was last modified: May 31st, 2022 by Brandon Loo