STA travel reviews please!

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STA travel reviews please!

Avatar for Georgiem
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So I went a bit mental and spent a loooottt of money today! Bought a return ticket to Bangkok as well as premier insurance, the STA travel card and the multi-flex pass. It was very well sold by very knowledgeable staff but after reading the many reviews on here I am now considering banging my head against the wall!
So what I’m asking is, after reading the reviews, should i buy a different pre-paid card instead of the STA travel card or take it alongside another?

As gutting as reading bad STA travel reviews are, I’m still stoked about four months in Asia ! :D
Thanks Everyone

     
Avatar for Andrea13
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I have gradually grown a dislike of STA Travel over the past year or so. I think the trendy knowledgable staff are a facade upon a very expensive business. Their prices are hugely inflated compared to what you find on the internet. But I do think theyre worth going to for advice and a bit of face to face expertise. The cards not the best deal out there, I use a Caxton fx card which is a really good deal. And when I looked for insurance I found it online for 30% of the price.

Having said all that, congrats on booking your trip, youll have the time of your life!

     
Avatar for Rollingcrock
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Don’t stress man. I did the same. Just be excited for your trip.

Before my first ever trip, I walked into STA to talk to someone about going to China. I ended up booking flights, Insurance and three group trips around China, Cambodia and Vietnam costing around 5 grand.

I now know better.

However, I wouldn’t change what I did as I had the time of my life on those trips and met some of my favourite people in the world that turned into my best friends.

You will learn from your mistakes/experiences and for as much as a hard time that STA get at times, i think a lot of it is is unfair.

Just remember they are a travel agent not your best mate. They have targets to meet.

     
Avatar for m.garratt
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Was this in a shop or on the phone? If by phone/online you’re covered by the distance selling regulations that means you have a 7 day cooling off period when they must allow you to return unwanted goods like the pre-paid card.

Travel Insurance has a 14 day cooling off period, so you can cancel this anyway. The card may also have a cooling off period under consumer credit or financial services regulations, it’s worth checking if you’re reconsidering.

Anything you’re having second thoughts about, it’s worth checking the terms & conditions and/or contact STA as you may find you can cancel.

But as others have said, you’ve taken the first step towards a fantastic trip, so don’t get too worked up about it you’re bound to have a brilliant time regardless.

     
Avatar for Bomson
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I hope you’re not mental, because I booked my RTW ticket with them a few weeks back.

I did shop around, including RTWE (as endorsed by GapYear) and it was definitely the best offer I received. Plus as you say, the guy seemed to know his shit and was quite sound - which while not being a validation of their integrity as a company, still made it a pleasant experience booking.

I don’t leave until December so can’t comment on their integrity, though I remember reading bad reviews about all the companies I received quotes from. Suffice to say people seldom take time write good reviews.

I’m sure you’ll be safe man, all part of the experience anyway if shit does happen wink

¡Buena suerte!

     
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I’ve also booked some flights to South America with STA this week. I did shop around but this was a better quote. However, i’m debating whether to buy a flexi ticket, as at the moment my flights are un-changeable.
I have my mind pretty set on a route but I don’t know if this will change once I start travelling. Does anyone have any advice on this?
Thanks

     
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I don’t know if things have changed since my rtw trip in 2005, but my experience was that BA/Qantas allowed me to change my flight dates with them directly for free. They often asked me to get the tickets ‘revalidated’ at a sales desk/office but this just involved a sticker with the new time & date on, which the check-in staff never required. I always just asked them to email me confirmation of the change and this was enough.

I certainly would say always going directly to the airline is a lot cheaper than going to the agent.

     
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m.garratt - 19 May 2012 09:00 PM

I don’t know if things have changed since my rtw trip in 2005, but my experience was that BA/Qantas allowed me to change my flight dates with them directly for free. They often asked me to get the tickets ‘revalidated’ at a sales desk/office but this just involved a sticker with the new time & date on, which the check-in staff never required. I always just asked them to email me confirmation of the change and this was enough.

I certainly would say always going directly to the airline is a lot cheaper than going to the agent.

We did this in 2010 with Qantas too and it was free- we had to change our dummy dates to the ones we wanted about 2 months into our trip and it was all free. We changed our flight home in april 2011 about 2 weeks before we were due to fly- they managed it and we just paid £30 each, so in all it was a really helpful and a bargain.

     
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*nikki180188* - 19 May 2012 11:41 PM

...We changed our flight home in april 2011 about 2 weeks before we were due to fly- they managed it and we just paid £30 each, so in all it was a really helpful and a bargain.

Did they charge you the £30 over the phone or when you got your tickets ‘revalidated’ at a sales office/desk? If the latter I would suggest people try just checking in at the airport (make sure you arrive in plenty of time for your flight. If they say you have to get the tickets re-validated you can then pop across to the sales desk and pay the fee, but hopefully you’ll get away fee-free.

     
Avatar for Georgiem
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oh thank you guys! If I ever have worries about travelling, 10 minutes on here usually calms me down! haha,

yeah i went in to just get some advice, three hours later i was handing over my debit card. Buy hey, I think spontaneity is an advantage for travelling!

Phew, I’m glad I booked my flights with them as they could talk through baggage allowance etc. I think the multi-flex pass is a good idea for first time travelling just in case the budget goes out the window! wink

Aaaahh now I just have to wait until my friends get sick of my constant chattering about going!

I was tempted to cancel the insurance for £180 however it does cover EVERYTHING, and I don’t have the nickname calamity for nothing!

Cheers guys smile

     
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blighty - 19 May 2012 08:07 PM

I’ve also booked some flights to South America with STA this week. I did shop around but this was a better quote. However, i’m debating whether to buy a flexi ticket, as at the moment my flights are un-changeable.
I have my mind pretty set on a route but I don’t know if this will change once I start travelling. Does anyone have any advice on this?
Thanks

If you change them cheaply, then do it. Flexi tickets are a great idea on a RTW.

     
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blighty - 19 May 2012 08:07 PM

I’ve also booked some flights to South America with STA this week. I did shop around but this was a better quote. However, i’m debating whether to buy a flexi ticket, as at the moment my flights are un-changeable.
I have my mind pretty set on a route but I don’t know if this will change once I start travelling. Does anyone have any advice on this?
Thanks

It’s worth researching and looking into as I did the same in 2009. I had all my flights booked and for set dates, but like you say, plans change and I ended up having to swap a couple around and it cost me to do it. You don’t know who you’re going to meet until you’re out there or if you fall in love with a certain place. At least with an open ticket you have the option. I know the security is nice to have, but it’s just as comforting to know that if you change your mind its not gonna to me a hassle having to re-arrange it all or costing you more in the long run.

Happy travels regardless. You’ll have an amazing time.

     
Avatar for KMJH
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I went into my local STA for the first time today and all I went in for was to pick up a couple of their books to get ideas from.

In their Aus book they say the WHV starts from £230+ which is a bit steep considering I did mine online (securely- an electronica visa) and it cost me £180.

Either way, they have everything planned for you and you’ve booked the trip you’ve been searching for. Go out and enjoy yourself and treat this as a learning curve. smile

     
Avatar for Nslee
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Re STA Flex tickets date changes - i paid for one of these and when i did need to change the date on a ticket in America the service was SHOCKING everything has to be online through emails and it took them a minimum of 3 days to reply to emails!! First stating yes you can change your dates the following dates are available, then on replying to select a date it took them another 3 days to reply by which point none of the original dates were available. As a result i sent a rather harsh email of complaint and finally got a reply to emails within 24 hours. However it took me 2 WEEKS to change the date on 1 flight ticket. Ironic thing being if you dont buy the flexi date change you can change flights over the phone in 5 minutes for only an extra few quid, mine would of been extra £20 ontop of the price for date change flexi money i would of been happy to part with having the peace of mind knowing my flight was changed and i could fly home. STA NEVER AGAIN

     
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m.garratt - 20 May 2012 08:58 AM
*nikki180188* - 19 May 2012 11:41 PM

...We changed our flight home in april 2011 about 2 weeks before we were due to fly- they managed it and we just paid £30 each, so in all it was a really helpful and a bargain.

Did they charge you the £30 over the phone or when you got your tickets ‘revalidated’ at a sales office/desk? If the latter I would suggest people try just checking in at the airport (make sure you arrive in plenty of time for your flight. If they say you have to get the tickets re-validated you can then pop across to the sales desk and pay the fee, but hopefully you’ll get away fee-free.

Clearly this reply is several months late. Apologies.
Yeah I had to pay there and then over the phone with my credit card.
First time we did it, it was all free but very far in advance. With only a weeks notice, we didn’t think they’d even do it, so £30 was fine with me!
But of course, I’d rather it was free wink

     
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I’ve never posted on here before but I feel so angry and let down by STA travel that I figured people deserve to know and be warned before thinking about handing over their money to them…..
I purchased a round- the- world ticket from STA and was sold the multi-flex pass for an extra £100, which the agent said would mean that I could make unlimited changes to my flight dates, for free. This seemed like a great idea to me as I was travelling for a year and would no doubt need to change the dates of some of my flights. Low and behold a few weeks into my trip I decided that I wanted to bring my flight onwards, forward by a couple of weeks, and also the subsequent flight. I emailed STA and was told that to change the 2 flights would cost myself and my partner £660!! We were absolutely disgusted by this but really needed to change the flights and so followed the link in the email to change the dates. I entered my credit card details and as far as I was aware the transaction had been completed. I however received no confirmation email and so a few days later emailed them again to find that the transaction had not gone through. STA said that there was a cheaper flight available (would only cost us £500!) but it would mean cutting our stay in California even shorter which was not ideal but money is short and so we said we’d go for this new flight instead. Next thing I know the flights have been changed and the credit card I had previously used to try and change the flights had been charged. I found this rather worrying as they clearly had my credit card details (different card to the one I used to buy the rtw ticket) but had not bothered to book me on the first flight.
My sister is also currently travelling with an STA rtw ticket and has also had problems. She was charged £200 to change one of her flights from Fiji to NZ. She followed the online link to change her flight but never received a confirmation email. Luckily she went to the airport anyway in the hope that it had been changed and it had. If she had not then she would’ve missed her flight!
I have emailed a complaint to STA which I was told has been forwarded onto their complaints department. 3 weeks later I still haven’t heard anything, or even had confirmation that they received my email. Now that STA have my money they don’t care about my trip and their customer service is appalling. Anyone thinking of going with STA- DON’T!!