Flying Around The World On Low Cost Carriers In Economy

Filed Under: Media

On Tuesday I wrote about Richard Quest’s new book about MH370, which is now available in bookstores or on Amazon.


While everyone knows Quest for his coverage of air crashes, I’ve always enjoyed his monthly travel show, CNN Business Traveller. It’s the only show about business travel which I happen to think is also interesting to those of us who are knowledgable on this stuff.

For example, in the last episode he covered the transformation of airport lounges, including visits to some of the world’s best lounges, including the Turkish Business Class Lounge Istanbul, Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt, and the brand new Swiss First Class Lounge Zurich.

However, for next month’s episode, Quest is doing something which makes him very brave. He’s going where no man has gone before.

I’ve made a New Year’s resolution of reviewing as many new first & business class products as possible, but he’s doing something completely next level which puts that to shame. Richard Quest will be flying around the world in economy on low cost carriers over just eight days. Per the press release:

Richard Quest, CNN’s aviation correspondent and anchor of Quest Means Business, is embarking on an 8 day round the world marathon using only low cost airlines.  The journey will take in 10 airlines, 9 countries, 12 cities and 13 airports.

Quest, who was recently appointed CNNMoney’s Editor at Large, said: ‎”These airlines have democratised flying, and are now the backbone of short-haul travel in Europe, Asia and America. They’re used for business as well as leisure and are often the only way to get between certain towns and cities. But now they’re changing too, with more perks, benefits and the addition of new long-haul routes.”

Quest added: “We’re being very strict about it.  The rules are that the trip has to start and end in the same place, we can only travel in one direction, and we can’t backtrack between continents.  We’re only using low cost carriers and we’re not allowed to take premium class tickets – it’s economy all the way.  There’s a serious point though. We want to show just how far you can go in low cost, and see which airlines are offering the best service for those on business and on a budget.”

He has also shared the routing, which will be as follows:

London – Brussels – Prague – Dubai – Sharjah – Colombo – Kuala Lumpur – Singapore – Sydney – Honolulu – Los Angeles – New York- London


The trip kicks off on March 12, and the episode will air on April 14, 2016. However, in the meantime you can follow along on social media, including through his Twitter handle and using the hashtag #FlywithQuest.

Bottom line

I can’t wait to follow along with this adventure. Richard Quest is a very frequent flyer who is used to flying business class, so I give him huge props for not only sampling a few low cost carriers, but actually flying around the world on them in quick succession.


  1. for the most part, all the carriers I can imagine he’d be flying on with that itinerary are either regarded as totally fine or in my experience represent great value for the price paid and a significantly better experience than predicted. I think he’ll be fine

  2. London – Brussels – Prague – Dubai – Sharjah – Colombo – Kuala Lumpur – Singapore – Sydney – Honolulu – Los Angeles – New York- London

    From the routing, sounds like Ryanair, Wizz Air, Travel Service, Air Arabia, Air Asia, Scoot, Jetstar, Allegiant, Jetblue, Norwegian


  3. Very cool! I did something similar years ago (albeit on regular airlines in economy) for JFK-LAX-SYD-LAX-EZE-LHR-CAI-TLV – with actual marathon runs in 5 of those locations in 5 days. 🙂 The hardest part was not necessarily the running but having to sit in coach on those long flights after having run 26 miles.
    I wonder what the overall cost is?

  4. Most of the world flies economy and has no problem. I think a fun episode would be a business passenger being downgraded to economy and their travails in the economy. Haha!

  5. I did a round the world trip in economy only on narrowbody aircraft. It took me to some places I would never have gone. Really fun.

  6. His trip would be much more comfortable if he did those flights in the opposite order/direction. There would be much fewer overnight flights in economy. Anyways, his body clock will be all over the place so I guess it doesn’t matter.

  7. Lucky. Am I the only one who seems something strange? Dubai to Sharjah? That’s only 15 miles apart. It’s like driving from Miami to Fort Lauderdale only stopping halfway. Pretty sure no one flies that. What gives?

  8. The fact that you think that what Quest is doing is “brave” just shows how out of touch you are.
    And Quest is flying short 6-8hr trips. It’s not that hard to fly economy – you guys make it sound like its similar to living off scraps, eating garbage to survive.

  9. @Keith I would agree for the most part expect the first leg of london to brussels is probably going to be easy jet and prague to dubai should be flydubai.

    Pretty cool trip though!

  10. Going to watch this one. LCCs have really changed traveling the last 20 years, and I wonder what the total cost of the trip will be in $$s. Just the fact you can now circumnavigate the globe in affordable economy (LCCs) demonstrates how the world has really opened up.

    @keith In will be interesting to see the final choice of airline(s).

  11. There are a lot of travel bloggers and I think there is a niche that is untapped, economic.
    I have never seen a review of the economy class products. I think it is interesting. We all end up in the back sooner or later, no matter how savvy we think we are doing this mileage game. Which by the way is changing. I hope Quest really talks about the difference between carriers and products. I hope some blogger picks up on the idea as they would probably have a huge amount or readers, the majority of people do experience the back…

  12. He is probably not doing this all at once. He will recover in 5* hotels between Y flights, and maybe even fly home in between, like Michael Palin did. Those trips will be in F/J. They won’t show the hotels or the trips home, of course. It’s like any reality show, it is manipulated for best effect.

  13. In 2006 I was going to fly United RTW for $3100 in 3 days in Cheap class paid the $100 ins got $3000 back lost JOB .

  14. I just looked my $3100 trip (2006) was 3 non stops NOW 4 flts BUT $2300 this May got to love the cheap gas ..I wonder what his cost is and a whole more rubbish then my 3 day quick y just to DO IT !!!!


  15. You should disclose your relationship with them. You appeared on his show before Christmas, looking as awkward as ever. And brought no value to the program.
    It’s too bad you would never do anything like this.

  16. Well, he did it! But he could have flown with oneworld and paid just US$ 800 more than he did for a similar trip around the world, flying all the way with the alliance’s collection of world-class airlines, with the ticket price including free baggage, free in-flight food and drinks, free date changes, simple itinerary changes, frequent flyer miles and tier points, access to airport lounges for top tier frequent flyers, and much more – none of which is offered by the low-cost carriers.

  17. I agree maybe he likes pain or cheap airlines that crash . I was there in the EU when the cheap person went to check in they stated NO FLIGHTS TODAY SIR now how much did that cost .

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