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Hey guys!!!!

Just wanting a bit of advice from anyone who has had any dealings with STA Travel?! 

I decided that my life was far too boring and routine and that I wanted to go travelling by myself and decided on a 12 month working holiday visa in Australia so on the 26th of May 06 I went in to the Manchester branch of STA and booked my return flights to Sydney, leaving on the 27th of Jan 2007, paying £850 there and then in cash. 

Unfortunately a few months later, due to unforeseen circumstances I had to delay my trip so phoned STA up and told some guy there of my situation and he advised me that I would need to come to the branch in person with my tickets and sign something to cancel my flights and that I would then receive a cheque around 5 weeks later for £550.  So the week after, on the 29th August I went in to the shop (bear in mind that it takes me a 40 minute train journey to get there) with my tickets and was told that I was to just leave my tickets with them as they couldn’t do anything due to their computer system being upgraded at that time (wonder how much they would have gone out of their way for me if I showed up with £2000 wanting to book something with them!!!!!) and that they would do whatever was needed either later that day or the day after when the system was back up and running and had it again confirmed to me that I would receive a cheque within the next 5 weeks.

I then phoned them at the end of September as I hadn’t yet received anything and was told ‘not to worry’ as it can usually be delayed!  The week after, still nothing so phoned back, told the same again, the week after - same routine, this carried on for the next 5 weeks!  I was sick of being fobbed off and having people saying that they couldn’t find my details on the system so they would get someone to check and call me back yet 70% of the time I never received a phone call so the next time I phoned I asked to speak to the manager!!! 

I explained to the manager what had happened and she said that after looking on the system at my details my tickets didn’t actually get cancelled until ‘much later’ than I had requested but would not give me the date that the cancellation was actually requested!  She then told me that the cheque would not come direct to me, as originally advised, but would go to the shop who would then ring me and ask me whether I wanted it sending out or to collect it myself!!!!  And I was also told that it would be £535 I was being refunded, not £550. 

A fortnight later I still hadn’t heard anything so rung the shop and spoke to the manager again - she was very rude with me and said ‘I explained all this to you last week!!!!’ and told me that it was Quantas who were holding up the money and it wasn’t only me that was being affected and that the only thing she can do is email them every morning!!!  Well, surely she could do more than that?!  Isn’t there an escalation procedure they can go through in situations like this?!  Shouldn’t we, as their customers, be kept upto date about things like this and be able to ask questions without being made to feel that we are time wasters?!  I have emailed a complaint to STA Head Office though their complaints procedure on the website last Thursday but haven’t heard anything back yet!  I was also going to email Quantas to see from the horses mouth what the problem is but their website is about as much use as a chocolate fireguard!

So guys, it has now been 18 weeks and 2 days since I took my tickets in to the shop and cancelled them and I am now having to take out a loan for £1000 just to get me through until my next pay day as I have been having to use my wages for other things that my refund was supposed to pay!  My boyfriend and I are booking to go travelling soon but there is no way will I go through STA Travel cause god forbid anything happened and we had a problem…….well I just don’t have any faith left in them anymore! 

Is anyone else in the same situation as me or is it just another line she was spinning?!

PS, please all keep your fingers crossed for me and say a little prayer for me before bed tonight cause I think I will need it!!!  8O   :evil:


I’ve got a bit of an update!!!!

After posting this message I was led on my bed thinking it over and decided that it just ain’t right that they ain’t doing more to chase up my cash so I phoned the office at half 3 and asked to speak to someone bout chasing my refund!!  The guy who answered said that the refund manager was on her dinner so he took my mobile number and said that she would ring me back when she returns in next 45 mins…...............

....................2 hours later, still waiting, so phoned office again and spoke to a woman who said that the manager had GONE HOME!!!!!  Let me give ya the convo:

Me: Hi, I left my number with a guy i spoke to about 2 hours ago who said the manager would phone me back within 45 mins about a refund i have been chasing.

STA: Who was it who you spoke too?!

Me: I’m not sure sorry, I didn’t get his name

STA: But i need to know who it was, what was his name?!

Me: Like i just said i don’t know, I didn’t get his name!!

STA:  Well you must know his name.  Was it Jim?! Greg?!........

Me: I didn’t get his name but is irrelevant anyway cause he couldn’t help me which is why I was waiting for a phone call from the manager

STA: Well she has gone home now so we can’t do anything for you.  Phone back tomorrow.

Me:  Well, i’m not being funny but I am always told to phone back but I have been waiting for my refund now for 18 weeks….

STA (after cutting in…wink:  Well refunds do normally take upto 3 months!!!

Me:  Yes, but i have been waiting nearly 5 and it’s just not acceptable anymore

STA: But i have told you to ring back tomorrow

At which point i hung up as her attitude was 100% non customer care!!!!!  So then after having a little moan to my friends I decided to phone back for my booking reference and cancellation dates on their system so that I could email yet another complaint and I spoke to a lady called Claire…...she was a lot more helpful and told me that Quantas had already authorised my refund (which I was told 5 weeks ago!) and that they have sent it today so STA should receive it tomorrow or Mon!!! 

So, yet again i have to call back tomorrow to see if they have my cheque and i tell ya i am gonna be straight on that train doing a 40 min journey just so that i can pick up my cheque and put it straight in the bank cause i don’t trust them to post it!  Really don’t want to be waiting another 18 weeks cause of the ‘postal strikes’ or whatever else they could blame it on!!!!

Will keep ya updated…

Avatar for Chilli-Stu

Total Posts: 745

Joined 2006-11-09

I’ve heard mixed reports about STA. If it makes you feel better Clicky, you’ve just lost them two (very expensive) RTW sales :twisted:

Which probably means I’ll be using trailfinders. I’ve heard good stuff also about Global Village but I’m not based in London. Does anybody reckon you could do this sort of thing easily via Email.

Avatar for 99stacey

Total Posts: 2261

Joined 2006-07-14

VERY easily.

I did most of the planning stages with sanjay from Global Village, and then just went in for a chat, finalised a few things and then paid, also, he would only take the deposit (£75) and not the full amount, coz he wanted us to go off and have a final think and then just call up and he would debit the rest!  How good is that!


Oh thank god someone else has had problems with them. I have been to Sta Travel a few times. Just to check things out, am planning to go to Peru in March for 2 months and Australia in June. I find them rude, unhelpful and if you are not handing over your money there and then, they dont care. I think they have high sales targets.  I was in yesterday and sat down, some guy loudly shouts over “Need help”  :evil: . What has happened to politeness? I sat down and was asked 101 questions, then when we got to booking the trip i wanted to go on i was told in an off the cuff way. ..“Its ₤100 more” (than what was advertised in the book), he phoned to check and his only excuse “Oh we must not have the new books in”. I think he was quite shocked when I didn’t book. And further more, I hate all this “We all are students in here who want to get drink and mess around” attitude most of them are about 40. I have actually found it cheaper to go through a normal travel agent or directly online although you don’t have that middle man blame if things go wrong.
Happy Travels though Clicky!


We used Global Travel too and they were really helpful even though I had a million questions plus they were cheaper than STA Travel


Yup Yup STA are shite. I wish id discovered the global village in my city (York) before id trekked all the way to leeds to buy my ticket with STA Vicar Lane Leeds.

There are 2 in leeds, the first one i went to the people were rude and obnoxious and couldnt have given two shits if they tried. i had a barrage of questions (naturally- ive never been travelling beore) and the bloke just treated me like a dumb ass simple blonde.i upped and left after 10 minutes, feeling ve ry annoyed and disgruntle and stupid, and even more clueless than when i went in. I was advised by someone on the site to try a different branch, which i duly did, and did manage to get hold of someone a little bit more useful and helpful. She will hapilly spend literally hours talking my trip thru with me and helping me book things, but is a bit thick- i.e. tells me all about a trip, gets me fully into it, takes my money, and then tells me its no good for my date range. grrrr. also had problems booking my flights. i paid straight out, only to get a phone call 6 weeks later telling me she hadnt checked that my requested fligt dates were available, and that i had to fly a day earlier, but “luckilly, yo wont have to pay any more money”- errrr, excuse me?! ME pay more money?! you were the one that messed up my booking!

Anyway. Shes a happy chappy and knows a lot about the places im going, shes just very dense and i have very little trust in the company, theyve caused me a fair deal of stress and unnecessary time wasting. unlucky for me, its too late to change me operator. but hey… 2 months 2 go and STA will be behind me!

they ought to get their staff trained PROPERLY and thoroughly in manners and attentiveness. people are spending a lot of money to keep them in business, and getting an unfair deal.


Total Posts: 11379

Joined 2006-06-29

yes, i always left STA feeling stupid, they have a knack of making you feel stupid, small and very naive

Avatar for Wristy

Total Posts: 6019

Joined 2006-12-07

I book my one-off flights through them - no problems to report. However, having seen numerous stories on their sales team, NO WAY I am going anywhere near them for my RTW!


yes, i always left STA feeling stupid, they have a knack of making you feel stupid, small and very naive

I’ve had the same thing… and they have never been any help of me either, they just kind of look bored and uninterested?


I ended up booking my flights to Australia in ‘06 direct with BA and sorted my own accom. when I got there. If you want it done properly…


... do it yourself!

Couldn’t agree more. And it’s so easy on t’internet now who needs STA!

Avatar for Warrick

Total Posts: 6389

Joined 2005-12-31

We booked through them for our RTW and they were ok… no problems.

BUT, when it comes to booking my next set of tickets I will book each flight myself, separately… as it’s looking like i can save about £400 this way.


I booked my RTW with them no problem and they even helped me out once I’d left the UK and was having a problem date changing.

At the end of the day there is no excuse for rudeness, but I found the people in Trailfinders to be pretty rude so i think it just depends on the person you get served by, which i know isnt ideal but you can always take your business else where.

Also the way I do it now is buy a Lonely Planet work out what I want to do and then book it myself on the internet like people are saying. That way if it does go wrong there is nobdy to blame but yourself and you tend to find the best price aswell!!! Although if I had to book through an agent again i’d be happy to use STA!! Surely I can’t be the only one?!?!?!?

Oh and STA let me put down a £75 deposit before finalising my trip, to be fair by giving an agent £75 they have got a commitment from you that your going to book with them so it makes no difference if they take the full amount now or later!!!


ugh i don’t like STA, they have been rubbish. absolute pants. i booked return tickets to sydney, went through their key accounts as im going with ozintro and we are all meant to be on the same flight where possible. the woman was like ‘yeah everyone is on the same flight apart from a couple’. wrong. i am the only one. so then she said i’d receive my tickets, never did had 2 ring 4 times to be told they were e-tickets and so wouldn’t receive anything. then i received a confirmation saying I had a stopover. I hadn’t been told anything about this, had 2 ring a further 2 times to find out when and for how long (bangkok btw). still don’t know whether i get off the plane or not- any question u ask it’s a bit of a durr you didn’t know that idiot answerat doesn’t compel you to ask anymore. grrr. on the other hand ozintro have been fab, incredibly helpful and friendly and they have compensated for sta’s uselessness!!!


I’ve booked my RTW ticket with Sta and have spoken to at least 3 members of staff, in person and on various occasions. In short, 1 member was v. polite, professional,  great, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, etc. another was also polite, patient, enthusiastic, great, but perhaps a little inexperienced and the other was still polite & knowledgeable, but not very professional (see below as to why).

A lot of good has come from the visits and 2 out of 3 staff ain’t bad. However, this is the Internet and the bad get posted, so I will warn people of one particular underhand action.

As I was looking to book 3 overland trips with GAP Adventures, I read in the brochure that I would be entitled to 5% discount.  I mentioned this to Sta and they informed me that this was 5% off the cheapest trip. Which is total rubbish as I spoke to GAP who confirmed to me it is in fact 5% off the total of all 3 trips. When pushed, Sta informed me that the discount was up to the manager’s discretion. I then explained that I would sooner book direct with GAP and gain a larger discount - only then they were happy to price match to   the correct discount! Now this isn’t the end of the world, but if they’ll try it on with this then what else might they try it on with?

However, I would l still use Sta and I would recommend them to others, but I would also recommend that you do your homework beforehand. They have some very good people, but don’t go in there like some lost puppy. Be professional & polite to them, have a plan (albeit jumbled) . Know what things will cost roughly, have a budget and tell them. Now, if you were like me, I wanted to see everything and I wanted to see it cheaply. Obviously this can’t happen, so tell them what is flexible in your trip too.

And remember this can be complicated, so expect more than 1 appointment and expect them to last a long time!

Have fun!