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Air Passes

AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST
Star Alliance Africa Airpass
giraffe africa safariThe Star Alliance Africa Airpass serves more than 55 cities in 23 African countries, including Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. You must purchase at least three but no more than 10 flight coupons. Travel is good in economy class on South African Airways, EGYPTAIR and Brussels Airlines, and the pass must be booked in conjunction with an intercontinental ticket to/from Africa on a Star Alliance member airline. The pass is good for a minimum of three days and a maximum of three months, and may be booked through a travel agent or any Star Alliance member airline.

Arabian Airpass
The Arabian Airpass from Emirates is good for travel between 13 Middle Eastern cities including Cairo, Dubai and Muscat. To qualify, you must fly into the Middle East on an Emirates flight costing at least $500, and purchase at least two but no more than four coupons. The first segment of your air pass must be confirmed and reserved in advance. The air pass must be booked at the same time as your international ticket, through an Emirates office outside the Middle East.

Star Alliance Middle East Airpass
The Star Alliance Middle East Airpass covers more than 70 destinations in 16 countries, including Egypt, Jordan, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. You may purchase three to 10 flight coupons and travel for up to three months. The pass is available in conjunction with a Star Alliance Round the World Fare or an international roundtrip ticket to the Middle East on a Star Alliance member airline. Your first flight must be reserved in advance, but all other flights may be booked any time before departure. To purchase, contact a Star Alliance airline or call your local travel agent.

Visit Africa
Oneworld's Visit Africa pass is best for travelers looking to concentrate on southern Africa, with its focus on destinations like Johannesburg, Cape Town and Victoria Falls. You must book a minimum of two sectors, but you need only confirm the first sector at the time of booking, giving you flexibility with the rest of your trip as long as you ask for your flights to be "open dated." The Visit Africa pass flies with British Airways and its affiliate Comair, and can be booked through a travel agent or by calling any airline in the Oneworld alliance.

Editor's Note: If you're planning to travel only in North Africa, you may be better served by a Europe air pass.

ASIA
southeast asia monk red robe All Asia Pass
Though a tad restrictive, as flights must be booked in advance and the first sector must depart from one of its Japan airports, Cathay Pacific's All Asia Pass offers a choice of 33 cities throughout Asia, including Beijing, Bangkok, Seoul and more, in six to eight tickets. Travel for a minimum of four nights or up to a month. Call the airline or your travel agent to book.

Star Alliance Asia Airpass
You may travel throughout Asia for up to three months with the Asia Airpass from Star Alliance. Coupon prices vary by length of segment; you must purchase at least three and no more than 10. All segments must be planned in advance. The pass must be purchased in conjunction with a flight to Asia from outside the region on a Star Alliance carrier. Book the pass through a travel agent or any Star Alliance member airline.

Editor's Note: Star Alliance also offers air passes for China, Japan and Thailand. Its Circle Asia Fare covers Australia/New Zealand as well as Asia, and its Circle North Asia Fare focuses on China, Japan and Korea.

Go Asia and South West Pacific
SkyTeam's offering has a wider scope than many other passes in this region, covering not only Asia but also Australia, New Zealand and a variety of Pacific islands. In total, 18 countries are offered. Travel is good for up to 60 days, with no minimum stay. You may purchase anywhere from three to 16 coupons. You may combine your Asia Pass purchase with either a SkyTeam Round the World Pass or an intercontinental ticket on a SkyTeam member airline. The pass may be purchased through a travel agent or by calling any SkyTeam member airline.

Editor's Note: SkyTeam also offers a Go Greater China pass.

Visit Asia
Oneworld's Visit Asia pass covers 50 different cities in 18 countries, including Delhi, Seoul, Bangkok and Tokyo. As long as you book a minimum of two flights, you can travel as long as you like within the validity of your qualifying international ticket on Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines or their affiliates. Flights between each city pairing are priced at flat rates based on geographic zones. You must make confirmed reservations for your first flight, but other flights may be booked later as long as you ask for these segments to be "open dated." You may purchase the pass through a travel agent or a Oneworld member airline.

Editor's Note: Oneworld also offers a Visit Japan pass.

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