Travelstart in the news

Kulula has a strong agency doing some hefty advertising with clever placements, but if the competitor in this case, was doing the same thing – I think the domination board might include fewer players and more get out of jail free cards. The Travelstart site is pretty, has brains, and includes week-pertinent banners that grab your attention on the landing page including Valentine’s specials and prizes.  If romance is not what you’re after – you’re still at the right place with a site offering comprehensive coverage from Europe and South America, to the States and Paris.

Travelstart offers a newsletter that contains all their latest specials in one succinct read. To be frank, it is an Emirates Airlines heavy newsletter – but if the information is informative, pertinent and thorough – it doesn’t matter that someone is paying for the space. And when you’ve got an impressive 61 countries over six continents covered – why not brag?  Australia is among that list… but we won’t hold it against them.

Emirates airlines do have a lot to be proud of, as somebody who has both flown and connected with them, in their hub destination of Dubai – I can say so.  Let’s be honest, Paris Hilton wouldn’t touch their hostess uniforms with a barge pole, but they are serious about what they do, how they do it, and they are without doubt an outstanding hospi.jpgtality emporium. Maybe you disagree or have a “trip-from-hell” to share? Let me know.

The Travelstart site quotes in ZAR and includes flights, hotels and car hire options and, best of all – their airline prices include all taxes and surcharges. Many other sites offer you what looks like an amazing bargain, but once you click through you have to tick all sorts of boxes and then pay so much more – for the very same thing.  I know a few other well placed outlets (and websites) who proffer all sorts of cheap deals, until you’re slapped with the ‘final’ invoice.

What’s your worst story on this?

The Travel Bar button offers you my highly rated direct contact with a human being. Not everyone is confident or trusting with a keyboard. I know 2 people personally that would rather deal over the phone – my parents.

The newsletter also includes the top five domestic destinations and good old Durbs is in at #1. Say what you will about a place that has ‘changed’ – nothing beats a beach you can actually lie on – and swim in!
Now let’s talk about the funky kids with a fleet in the sky you can never be forgiven for thinking you expected more, or less from. Kulula.com is a phenomenal organisation that broke the mould (locally) by delivering an airline that gives you what you really need: a seat from one city to the next. Who needs a meal on a 55 minute flight? Seriously.

Their travel web link is no different. Kulula Holidays‘ immediate allure doesn’t seem as bargain filled as Travelstart’s because the prices beaming at you on the landing page specials go into the fourth digit… But!  After a littler investigation you learn that these four (very reasonable) digits include flights, taxes, car and bed.

Testing the two sites on their flight comparisons, I chose Kulula as the preferred airline on the Travelstart site. My findings were most interesting. For a couple going to Cape Town from Joburg over the Easter weekend on Travelstart, you are quoted R6214 per couple. Through Kulula Travel you can do this for R6018. However, if you chose to fly from Lanseria (which we are all lead to believe is the cheaper option) you would be paying R6768.

I’m just saying…

Spend a little time being thorough on your search, or your personal per diem might be grossly cut.

The book a package option is fantastic, though they might consider moving this to the top of the home page instead of hiding it at the bottom.

Two punch-packing sites that I am sure are putting many travel agents out of work, but Travelstart gets my final vote – and should they need an agency to rival Kulula’s – just shout!

by Dylan Balkind
Dylan Balkind currently works in Creative Development as a Copywriter at a Johannesburg based communications agency. Dylan holds an Honours Degree in Dramatic Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand and a working background in Strategic Marketing and Communications, Film Production and Television Commercials.

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