September 1, 2014

STA Travel RTW Ticket Review

In the latest version of the Around the World Airfare Report, we shopped prices for RTW plane tickets from nine different companies and rated each company based on three criteria:

  • Price: How much does it cost?
  • Service speed: How long does it take to get a bookable price?
  • Frustration factor: How frustrating is the process of building and pricing a multi-stop route?


Here is how the cost of searching these routes on STA Travel compared to other companies for each of the three routes we searched:

  • Route 1: 5th lowest price out of 9 options
  • Route 2: 6th lowest price out of 7 options
  • Route 3: 4th lowest price out of 5 options

Service speed

Here is how the speed of searches compared to other companies we searched.

  • Route 1: 6th fastest out of 9
  • Route 2: Slowest out of 7
  • Route 3: 3rd fastest out of 5

Frustration Factor

When searching, customers can send in an enquiry using their Request a Round the World Flight Quote page. There are also chat options and a toll free phone number if you want to go either of those routes. There are no rules on stops or mileage, travelers can begin and end their trip anywhere, and they can travel in whichever direction they want.

The process for making changes once you book your ticket is similar to all other companies specializing in multi-stop fares outside of the airline alliances, but if you are a student and qualify for their Student Exclusive Tickets, there are special date change and refund rules. Each customer will have their own travel expert to work with, and the travel expert can help with any changes customers may need to make after booking a ticket.

If you have used STA Travel for your round the world trip, we want to hear from you. Leave a review below in the comments.

STA Travel RTW Ticket Review
  • Overall
  • Price
  • Customer Service
  • Date Flexibility
  • Route Flexibility
  • Search Options

2 Responses to STA Travel RTW Ticket Review

  1. says:

    I used STA to book my RTW trip. I had limited time and didn’t want to frequently spend time during my trip looking for cheap flights for where to go next. Decided sorting it all out beforehand was more suitable for me.

    Applied for it online and they called me and handled everything over the phone. Frequent followup calls to check if I had any questions or route/date changes. I did go into a store to have a chat and pick up some brochures. Was nice but not necessary.

    All I had to do was give them the route and dates, tell them which ones were fixed or flexible, and they done the rest.

    They even came up with trip suggestions like 3 days in XY is not enough to see the place, my flight from Japan to Hong Kong, I could have a stop over in Shanghi and Auckland to LA, I could have a stop over in Fiji with no increase to flight costs. All I needed was the time and living expenses to take them up on their suggestions.

    On buying, they explained everything like what flights are flexible, which are non refundable, what countries need visas, etc

    I also compared the same route on other sites and agents (including Indie RTW travel, Star Alliance/ Oneworld/ Skyteam RTW tickets, Trailfinders) and STA were either cheaper or similar priced.

    If I done it a DIY route, I might have gotten it a little cheaper but with much more manual effort. Since my route was flexible to begin with, STA tweaked where and when I visit places to minimize cost vs travel time.

    Overall, it took about 2 months to get it completed. Largely my fault since I went on a 3 week vacation in between and during that, I changed all the dates and half the route. Once I told them, they were fine with it, reworked the dates and got it sorted.

    I think if I didn’t do that, 2 weeks would have been ample time to get it all sorted. If I were to do it again, I would still go with STA. Cost was good, they were very helpful, and minimal effort allowing me to sort out other stuff.

  2. says:

    I think STA, like many other big companies have lost the personal service on which they based their business. We had an issue, which they acknowledged fault, but they had no interest in making good afterward. They actually suggested we went to ABTA, a small reasonable offer would have made the difference.

    They are like all, big companies. Just don’t believe the “we care” hype, it’s just marketing speak. When push comes to shove they are all about money.

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