1. Is it cheaper to purchase the flights separately yourself? – In most cases purchasing the fights separately will work out more expensive, but make sure you check this out.
2. What level of flexibility do you need? If you need to add or remove a country from your RTW flight itinerary, or change departure/arrival airports after purchase you will incur significant admin charges.
3. Read the small print – even though date changes may be free, it is likely that you will only be able to change your flight dates within the certain price band in which you booked – therefore the flights on some routes may be booked up months in advance. This means you need to think carefully about your flight dates before you book and ask your booking agent for advice on the likely busy periods for the flights you have booked. In most cases you will be able to change flight dates problem free, but occasionally if you have not planned carefully you could be essentially be stranded in a country for months because fights get booked up months in advance. Tip: Australasia to South America flights in March / April experience limited availability.
Our experience of purchasing a RTW ticket
Before buying a RTW ticket we had a rough itinerary in mind and we collected quotes from many travel companies, as well as looking at purchasing the flights separately ourselves.
Our itinerary included stops in the following countries before returning to the UK:
India – South East Asia – New Zealand – South America
All of the quotes we received ranged from £1,800 – £2,000 per ticket, and we ended up settling for a ticket costing £1,900 which included free date changes. After booking our ticket we felt pretty happy we had got a good deal, however during our trip we encountered a couple of problems.
During our trip we had to pay £250 each for a re-route as we needed to change our departure airport for the South America leg of our trip from Rio de Janeiro to Lima as we realised we were unable to cover as much distance as we first anticipated in South America due to time constraints.
Secondly, for one reason or another, the travel company we booked with was unable to perform a date change for us free of charge so we had to pay the airline £40 each to make the date change.
However, even after taking into consideration these additional costs we were still better off with our round the world ticket. If we had booked all our flights separately it would have cost around £3,140, with the majority of the cost being attributed to the flights between New Zealand and Santiago, and then from Lima to the UK.