By Mac Jaehnert

As Daft Punk once said... "Around the world, around the world". And then they repeated it 142 more times.

There's no shortage of songs about going around the world, and it's certainly not hard to see why. It's a great way to explore parts of the planet you've never laid eyes on, it's an accomplishment relatively few travelers can claim, and thanks to new budget long-haul routes from carriers like Norwegian, a comfortable global circumnavigation can now be yours for less than the cost of the new iPhone.

The arrival of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner series of fuel-efficient wide body jets have given airlines  the ability to open up "long and skinny" routes between two cities that may not have had enough demand to sustain the passengers needed for a larger jet like a 747 or an a380, for example United's Denver to Tokyo route was only made possible by the arrival of the 787.

 Me in 2012, grinning like a goof in Boeing's Beijing headquarters while learning all about the Dreamliner. 

Me in 2012, grinning like a goof in Boeing's Beijing headquarters while learning all about the Dreamliner. 

These new planes have also set a higher standard for comfort, most notably for economy passengers. The lighting systems have been redesigned to improve the cabin atmosphere as daylight conditions outside shift throughout the flight, aided by clever new windows with built-in tint settings instead of traditional shades. The air filtration and pressurization systems are greatly improved, offering cleaner air quality and cabin pressure that feels like 6,000 feet compared to previous long-haul jets which are pressurized to 8,000 feet. And finally, the cabin is noticeably quieter than traditional jets, hopefully giving weary travelers a better chance to sleep on board.

In the past year, I've been able to fly in business or coach on Dreamliners from United, Japan Airlines, Qatar, and Air Canada, and can personally attest that all of these new features are serious flyer improvements regardless of carrier or class of service, to the point where if I'm flying economy, I will actively seek out flights on the Dreamliner even if it forces me to adjust my schedule. 

DEALS

Given my affinity for this particular plane and its use on lower-cost long haul routes, I wanted to see if it would be possible to fly around the world from Denver and back using only Dreamliners in a cost efficient way. After some creative searching, here's the theoretical routing I came up with:

Leg 1: United 744 // DEN > LAX - $101 

 This short positioning flight will get you swiftly to over to LAX for the LONG long haul. Take it a day or two early and explore all the majesty and gridlock of the City of Angels has to offer. But seriously, get some tacos.

This short positioning flight will get you swiftly to over to LAX for the LONG long haul. Take it a day or two early and explore all the majesty and gridlock of the City of Angels has to offer. But seriously, get some tacos.

Leg 2: United 37 // LAX > SIN - $475

 Here's where things get interesting. This one-way route starts operating daily out of LAX on 10/27/17. It holds the distinction of being the longest single commercial flight in the world by total air travel time, clocking in at bum-numbing 17 hours and 55 minutes. You depart at 9:25p on Friday and arrive at 6:20a on Sunday. If anything would test my contention that the Dreamliner truly is a superior product for comfortable economy travel, this is it.  While in Singapore, check out its sci-fi skyline, superior street food, and incredible urban parks and gardens.

Here's where things get interesting. This one-way route starts operating daily out of LAX on 10/27/17. It holds the distinction of being the longest single commercial flight in the world by total air travel time, clocking in at bum-numbing 17 hours and 55 minutes. You depart at 9:25p on Friday and arrive at 6:20a on Sunday. If anything would test my contention that the Dreamliner truly is a superior product for comfortable economy travel, this is it. While in Singapore, check out its sci-fi skyline, superior street food, and incredible urban parks and gardens.

Leg 2.5 (Optional): Scoot // SIN > SYD > SIN - $286

 If you've ever wanted to go to Australia - this side trip could be your best bet. Scoot airlines is a Singapore-based entrant in the low-cost long haul game in Asia/Oceania using primarily a fleet of 787 Dreamliners. This side trip from SIN to SYD would be an incredibly cost-efficient way to see another of the world's great cities on this journey.

If you've ever wanted to go to Australia - this side trip could be your best bet. Scoot airlines is a Singapore-based entrant in the low-cost long haul game in Asia/Oceania using primarily a fleet of 787 Dreamliners. This side trip from SIN to SYD would be an incredibly cost-efficient way to see another of the world's great cities on this journey.

Leg 3: Norwegian 7410 // SIN > LGW - $215.80

 Carrying on from Southeast Asia, we utilize Norwegian's long-haul service to trek the 14h10m flight from SIN to London Gatwick. I've taken Norwegian as a low cost option to/from Gatwick and had a very pleasant experience with them, although like every low-cost carrier, they continue to find new things to charge you extra for (Checked bag, large carryon bag, seat selection, meals, etc).

Carrying on from Southeast Asia, we utilize Norwegian's long-haul service to trek the 14h10m flight from SIN to London Gatwick. I've taken Norwegian as a low cost option to/from Gatwick and had a very pleasant experience with them, although like every low-cost carrier, they continue to find new things to charge you extra for (Checked bag, large carryon bag, seat selection, meals, etc).

Leg 4: Norwegian 7171 // LGW > DEN - $200.90

 After a 3 day fish and chips cleanse in London (or a few weeks - these fares are currently available into 2018), it's time to return to dear old Denver.

After a 3 day fish and chips cleanse in London (or a few weeks - these fares are currently available into 2018), it's time to return to dear old Denver.

In total, our 4 main legs would cost us 101+475+215.80+200.90, for a whopping grand total of $992.70 including all taxes and surcharges. Not bad for a relatively comfortable trip around the world and over 44 hours of total flight time! (Adding in Australia brings the cost up to $1278.7.)

Who's in? ;)