STA Travel or Round the World Experts????????
Replies: 18 - Last Post: Mar 28, 2012 7:24 AM Last Post By: Redbullet13
Mar 19, 2012 3:59 AM
STA Travel or Round the World Experts????????I was all set this morning for booking my RTW Flights with RTWE untill I read a few BAD reviews. Initially I was going to book with STA Travel but got a cheaper quote from RTWE and thought best to go with them. NOW my head is up my arse and not too sure who to go with.
RTWE - quoted us £1386 for 5 flights. £100 to change no fee.
STA Travel - quoted us (around) £1490. Free to change 3 flights if we pay £59.
I couldnt see us changing any of our flights so thought we should go with RTWE but swaying towards STA now, ok there more but i havnt seen one bad review on them.
Any advise is welcome :o)
Mar 19, 2012 4:10 AM
Mar 19, 2012 5:43 AM
Mar 19, 2012 9:46 AM
3I nearly booked with STA thinking they were going to give the best deal. I ended up booking my RWT with Trailfinders as they've quoted less than most and seemed much more knowledgeable (it could be who you deal with though). It might be worth checking with them-it's only a phonecall and you might be suprised...
Mar 19, 2012 10:11 AM
Mar 19, 2012 1:43 PM
5I believe RTWE are the RTW branch of Flight Centre or is it Trailfinders, one of those.
Make sure you have the option of changing your flights.
Better yet screw the RTW ticket and get flights as you go - of course this depends how long your trip is, if it's 4 flights in 1 month then you probably won't want to change it but if it's over a year then chances are you'll want to change flights at some point.
if RTWE are who I think they are I'd imagine them and STA are similar but I've never bought a RTW ticket so no personal experience on that front.
Mar 20, 2012 6:59 AM
Mar 23, 2012 12:44 AM
7we are presently on an around the world trip and we did NOT buy a rwt ticket. I am so glad. Our itinerary changes on a regular basis: we have already dropped at least 4 countries that had been planned for and picked up 3 others. As well we have decided to stay put in one spot longer than planned. With the internet, it is easy to find flight deals as we go and we travel a lot by bus and train. THe RWT tickets do not include flights from local airlines that are a lot cheaper ie Lion Air in Indonesia or Air Asia. We don't like the lack of flexibility re dates and countries.
Mar 24, 2012 2:55 AM
I am currently on my RTW trip, in the north of Thailand as I'm writing this. I wanted to give you my opinion and experience with both STA and RTW Experts (who, by the way are part of Flight Centre not Trail finders)
I was undecided who to book with last year when planning my trip, and the experience I got from STA was not good, the consultant would not email me the itineary, didnt give a reason, didnt seem to be interested to be honest. However, RTWE were so helpful, they gave me all the info I asked for, I be honest, was a bit frustrating to begin with as the consultant didnt include the continents I wanted but after some talk, he quoted me a price with the continents I wanted. I get free date changes,and he advised me to email him as well as their travel butler, when changing the dates for my flights. They also gave me 5% discount as I booked a trip in China with Intrepid, and later another £45 off (Intrepid reduced their price a few months before the trip started and I mentioned this to RTWE who price matched it !!)
I am 3 months my 10 month RTW trip, and so far so good I have had no problems with airlines or with RTWE. I used the travel butler to change all my remaining flights a few weeks ago, I moved one of them 2 days later, and moved all the ones after that to suitable dates since they were all together atthe time of booking. I got a response from Travel butler within 24 hours of contactting them, on thier web site, and they said to email them back if I want to confirm this. I asked for earlier flights on two of my flights but they replied back, again in 24 hours, to say that thats all they had. I emailed to confirm the changes, they emailed me back confirming the changes, and then logged into my account with British Airways, using my booking reference (where all my flights are detailed) to check the changes. And all changes as quoted in the email have been changed, so there shouldnt be any problems at the airports when flying (I booked a RTW ticket using airlines part of One Wolrd). If I change them again, I assume its the same procedure and hopefuly same turna around response.
I met 2 girls on my travels both from UK and both booked with STA. One of them said they were happy with the service when planning thier trip, shes from Weymoth, though she has hasnt changed her flights yet so cant comment on that. The other girl from Liverpool, had a very different experience.One of her flights from India to Thailand was cancelled, with Kingfisher airlines, though its not entirely STA fault but she felt they were partly responsible. She had to buy another ticket. And now her ticket to come back to Uk from Thailand was cancelled again by Kingfisher, and again had to buy a new ticket. Seems STA put you on any cheap airline just to sell you the ticket?? Not sure.
RTWE did the job for me, got no complaints, totally helpful and quick in their replies, even in the middle of Hanoi, Vietnam and needed to know about chinese visa applciation, the consultant emailed me back the next day with the info I asked for.
Mar 24, 2012 9:05 AM
9My advice is don't book with either.
Those that buy a RTW ticket always seem compelled to justify having bought it. I've never seen anyone post saying they regretted having bought one. Yet, very few people seem to buy a second one when going on another long term trip.
Read #7 for why NOT to buy a RTW ticket.
Mar 24, 2012 2:36 PM
10I spent a lot of time deciding between the two companies a few months ago and in the end I went with RTW experts.
STA would match their price but not their free date changes.
The RTWE staff were a lot friendlier and were a lot more willing to give me the information I needed.
I looked at just buying the tickets as I went but I can't see how it could possibly end up as cheap as the deal I got.
Mar 25, 2012 2:50 AM
11You cant say that booking a RTW ticket has its disadvanges based on the bad luck some people had, its all a matter of personal opinion and preference. Booking a RTW ticket saved me loads of money and the hassle. I am happy with the routes chosen and the main incentive to go with RTWExperts was the free date change. My experience with them from initial consultation, pre departure and post departure has been postive and I am so glad to have booked with them. Some branchs/consultants tend to be better than others, I was lucky I guess.
By the way, why are they charging £100 to change dates? mine were free once I left home(UK).
RTW tickets are not flexible, I admit that, and if things go wrong, you need flexibility, but no one can predict these things. Overall RTW ticket was my best option on the trip I wanted to do, it suited me well but maybe not to everyone. Its down to what you want really
Mar 25, 2012 3:30 AM
12There is alot more reason for flexibility than when things go wrong mate. For example how do you know many days you want to spend at a place until you get there? How do you know you wont meet someone and want to keep traveling with them, get told about a magical place in the next country but your flight is booked the next day? Sure rtw tickets may offer good value to some people who like a rigidly planned trip and are not really interested in adventure.
Mar 25, 2012 3:39 AM
13It reminds me of the guy we met in Panama, he had just arrived and was planning on travelling up to Mexico. When we told him about our plan to catch a boat to Colombia via the San Blas islands and that we were looking for more people to share the boat he thought, that sounds great and instead of heading north towards Mexico headed South towards Colombia and did all his travelling there. He had flexibility which allowed him to do that. And this example is not unique in any way it's very common. As you say, son, different options will suite different people and obviously you were very happy with the RTW ticket option, and, indeed, it can often be cheaper but the reason not to book a RTW ticket has nothing to do with bad luck or unforeseen issues. it's to do with freedom of choice.
Personally I don't really subscribe to RTW travel all together, I much prefer to pick a place a go from there. I may after a few months decide I want some change and fly to a different part of the world and start exploring. (Or at least this was the case in the past when I was able to take more long-term trips and may be the case again the future if I can, once a gain, take such a trip). It also does solve the issue of expensive flights around the world.
Mar 25, 2012 9:02 AM
That is why I opted for the free date changes, so I can extend my stay at whatever place I'm at, and I have done at when I arrived in Laos. And just because I have a rigid plan does not mean there is no adventure, theres been plenty of adventure in my 3 months away and more to come, its down to the individual and not the RTW ticket. When I arrived in Laos, I liked it so much, I wanted to stay longer so I put my flight out of bangkok a few days forward, so that takes care of the "flexibility" aspect if you like..If I decide to head to Malaysia or anywhere else for example, I will have to buy a seperate return flight (Air Asia, Thai airways etc) and change my flight a few days or weeks forward, either way, it gives some flexibilty (still have to backtrack but the options are there at least so its not impossible)
But the point the OP is asking is which of the two agents he/she should book based on the reviews he/she has read. I booked with RTWExperts and so far been happy with them. But some others may not have been for whatever reason. Maybe things might go wrong later in my trip and regret booking a RTW ticket or with RTWExperts, I dont know, I just take it one day at a time and enjoy every minute of it..
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