We are planning to leave just before my youngest turns 2 so it is possible that he could sit on my lap (though this might be pure hell). Does anyone know if he will need to pay for his own seat once he turns 2 with an RTW ticket? I would be willing to put up with him on my lap if it meant that we could get away with three tickets instead of four.
General opinions on the RTW tickets are welcome.
"If an infant reaches two years of age after travel has commenced but before travel is complete, a full child fare ticket must be purchased for the entire journey."
Infants under 2 are charged 10% of the full adult fare, while children from 2-11 pay 75%. So it looks like you'd have to pay the higher rate for your youngest... (Exactly the same rules apply for Star Alliance, I have just found.)
We looked into buying separate tickets versus RTW fares, and it worked out about 4 times more expensive to buy separate tickets - although this may be because we are including South America and Easter Island in our itinerary. We also like the flexibility of being able to change dates for free if necessary (with a RTW ticket).
Anyway, good luck with your planning, and might see you out there next year...
Another thing I've read in a Rough Guide somewhere recently is that in many places, the rules have changed since 9/11 so that you can't enter a country without an onward or return ticket. I suppose each country has its own policies on this, but I would be worried about showing up with my whole family and no onward ticket and then being given a hard time by immigration officials.
As for prices...I've been looking into this a bit lately myself and my impression is that it's significantly cheaper to buy a RTW ticket (or some variation of one, such as an existing pass/circuit sold by one of the alliances) than to try to string your own route together independently. Our plan now is to buy a RTW pass "off the shelf" and then add 1-2 flights to it as needed so we can get where we need to go.
But equally, trips that focus on North America, Europe & Asia can work out cheaper buying individual tickets, and often do.
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