10 Questions & 10 Answers – FAQ Fridays

Welcome to another edition of Travelstart’s FAQ Fridays with me, Nick Paul.

Today is actually our 10th episode – thank you to all of you for asking your questions. We are going to answer 10 questions that we have been asked recently.

Video Transcription:

1. “Why are return flights less expensive in many cases than one way?” – Ken Ensor-Smith

The first part of your question was answered in a previous episode. To answer the second part: This is down to the fact that travel agents in SA will have negotiated fares with departures from their own country.  Often websites and agents in other countries won’t have the same deals for here.

2. “Compare the cost of living in Africa to Europe?” – Fazilit Shaboodien

We could probably make a whole video out of this, but to give you an overview:

Northern Europe tends to be much more expensive, for example the UK, Norway and Sweden.  Weirdly enough a number of African cities are very expensive to live in; Luanda in Angola is actually the most expensive city in the world to live in. Other African cities such as Libreville in Gabon and N’Djamena in Chad are in the top 20 most expensive cities. The reason for this is that there is not a lot of infrastructure, and all your basic needs are flown in, therefore pushing up the cost of living.

3. “What do you recommend for sending luggage overseas?” – M.Schollasch

 You can use the airlines excess baggage facility but this is often very expensive. There are a number of companies  that do specilise in excess baggage, we recommend U-bag.

4. “Does travelstart have an app for android phones?” –  Anele Mapipa

 The answer is currently no. There is a possibility of one being released in the future. Our site however is optimised for mobiles.

5. “Do you have a branch in Port Elizabeth” – Leonie Herd

This a common question which we get asked throughout the countries in which we operate. The answer is we only have one office in each country in which we operate. This helps us cut down operating costs, which helps us keep the cost of our tickets low. We are also able to service all of our customers via telephone or email and most of our customers make bookings online, so there is no real need for us to have multiple offices in different cities. You are welcome to contact our agents on travelbar@travelstart.com or 0861 878 278 and select option 2. You can also book directly through our website.

6. “Why is airport tax more expensive than the actual plane ticket?” – Marika Rogge

 This is a question we answered in a previous video. Click here for the answer

7. “Why are the tickets so expensive from ORT to Kenya?” – Anonymous

Again – another question which has been answered in a previous video, click here to see the answer.  As for what the cheapest airline to use is: that would depend on when you are flying and what is available at the time of booking. It could be a direct flight with SAA or Kenya Airways if they have a special on. One will often find that the cheaper flights are with Rwanda Air, which go via Kigali to Nairobi.

There are currently some good specials on the Travelstart website. I suggest you use the Travelstart site as it will compare all the airlines which fly to Nairobi.

8. “I am interested in a round-the-world ticket including Singapore, New Zealand, and the USA.” – Sanchia

We do assist in booking around the world tickets. Contact our agents on Travelbar@travelstart.com or 0861 878 278 and select option 2.  To give you a rough idea, these types of tickets can cost a +- R40 000 per person. This will greatly depend on what time of the year you plan on flying.

9. “How do you counter online agents like Hipmunk & Skyscanner where you can get significant savings by being flexible?” – Laurence Cohen

This is a really great question. To start I want to point out that Travelstart do offer flexible date options. It is a +- 3 day option which allows you to find the best deal 3 days before/after your departure and return.

If you are departing from South Africa  it is often better to book with an agent which is locally based, as they will negotiate fairs with the airlines concerned. The overseas based agents will often only have good flight prices for departures from their countries (in most cases UK or US).

Travelstart’s fares are updated very regularly, where as sites like Sky Scanner (who serve a massive range of flights) are not able to keep as up to date.

Travelstart is however on site’s like Sky Scanner – so our prices do feature there.

10. “What is the most affordable overseas trip for a South African family?” – Almene

This is a very big question and it is quite difficult to answer without knowing more about you. If you are looking at simply getting out of the country a flight from JHB to Gaborone would be your cheapest option, but probably not the greatest family holiday destination. If you are looking at beach holidays places like Zanzibar can be reasonably priced. If you are looking at going to other continents I can suggest you look into flying into:

  • South America – Sao Paulo/ Rio
  • America – New York
  • Asia – India
  • South East Asia – Bangkok
  • Europe – Malan/Rome or Athens
  • Australia – Sydney

That’s it – 10 questions for our 10th episode! Thank you very much for your comments and questions. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel for more.

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