Myself and my Girlfriend booked a year long trip around the world last March (2004) with STA Travel, Cardiff. When we booked we were told that because the trip would last 12 months, we wouldn't be able to put in the correct dates the the last three flights (Sydney-Perth
Perth-Singapore and Bangkok-London) as they're system couldn't confirm dates further than 9 months ahead (stupid or what???) Anyway we we're assured that we wouldn't have to pay anything to change our flights with Quantas, but since phoning them, we found out we need to pay $25 dollers each. I don't think it's fair that we should have to pay for these changes as it was STA's system that couldn't put in the correct dates in the first place.
Has anyone else had a similar problem, or are able to tell me how to get around paying the $25?
Have been to STA in Melbourne, but they weren't much help at all.
We booked a RTW with STA and had to change the dates for one of our flights. No charges were incurred. It was with Austrian Airlines though, not Qantas. I'm not sure what type of ticket you're on though, because ours was Star Alliance and Qantas isn't part of that. With Qantas I do know that sometimes you can use Frequent Flyer points to pay for date changes - maybe that's an option.
Well, the booking dates in advance thing is normal, crazy, but normal. It's the same for all travel agencies so not a particular STA thing. I am not quite sure why it is the case and it's incredibly backward especially in this day and age when people want to travel for longer and longer periods but hey....
It normally depends on your ticket whether you need to pay for a date change. I have changed before for free, also Qantas tickets. If STA told you it would be free, then basically it should be and there should be some code on your ticket which shows there is one or two free date changes allowed on that ticket to the people at Qantas (I think roughly that is how it works). The only way to check on this would be to go into an STA office in Australia again and explain the situation and ask them to check your ticket to see if there is a free date change allowed. If they say yes, then it's a Qantas thing. If they say no, then you'll have to probably pay for the change and hassle your STA back home for a refund of that money.
Hope that helps...
I used Star Alliance (via Wexas) and was told that they too couldn't book 12 months in advance, so we waited.
I think they were wrong to say that the price would be fixed, as fuel surcharges etc go up and down. DO you have their offer in writing?
Once booked, date changes should be free, subject to availability, but route changes do incur a hefty charge - more like $75 each.