With airfares around Micronesia and the western Pacific notoriously high, a new multiple-journey air pass from the Star Alliance is a useful way for frequent flyers to the region to keep costs down.
The Micronesia Airpass is designed around the network developed by Continental Micronesia, now part of US airline United, with feeding flights on other Star Alliance airlines from Australia and elsewhere.
The fare structure is also beneficial for Australians travelling to Manila. You'd need to connect through Guam, but the price is right if costs are the crucial consideration for your travel.
One-way economy fares excluding taxes, fees and surcharges range from US$75 for flights under 150 miles, up to US$325 for flights of between 2000 and 2250 miles.
Here's the full fare table (V fares generally have less availability than Q fares):
You'll need to start off with an international Star Alliance flight into Cairns, Guam, Hong Kong, Manila, Nadi, Palau or Saipan. United's Continental subsidiary flies from Cairns to Guam, and that could be a useful international flight.
From each of the gateways, the airpass covers flights to:
- Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia
- Kwajalein Atoll and Majuro in the Marshall Islands
- Rota and Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands
The airpass covers economy class travel on United and Continental, plus selected flights to link up to the network, and can last up to three months.
You'll need to purchase between three and ten flights, and will need to include at least two 24 hour stopovers -- at different destinations.
Tickets are available via United Airlines or Continental Airlines.
Mileage hounds will be able to accumulate frequent flyer miles and points on any Star Alliance carrier: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Egyptair, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, SAS, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, Swiss, TAM, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, Thai Airways, United Airlines and US Airways
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.