Mystery Shopper: Norwich, round-the-world flights

Mystery Shopper: Norwich, round-the-world flights

Location: Norwich
Wanted: A solo traveller wants round-the-world flights via Asia and Australia and would like to come back via South America if possible. They want as much flexibility as and hotels in stopover destinations.
Budget: £3,000

STA Travel
54 London St
87%

The agent had a real ‘can do’ attitude but the shop was a little scruffy. I was suggested a Multiflex ticket so I could change all flight times. I was to depart Gatwick for Dubai with Emirates on April 11 stay three nights then fly to Singapore via Hong Kong on Emirates and Tiger Airways.

After four nights I’d continue to Sydney with Tiger Airways and could spend a couple of months in Australia before flying LATAM to Santiago from Sydney. I was expected to make my own way to Rio de Janeiro from Chile then return to Gatwick via Dubai on August 8. It cost £2,294 and I was told to avoid hotels to keep costs down. The agent was a good listener and answered all my questions.

Trailfinders
24 Castle Meadow
82%

The agent could not have been more helpful and the store was clean with eye-catching posters. My trip included flights from Heathrow to Singapore via Dubai on April 10 with Emirates, but I was then expected to make my own way to Hong Kong where I would get a Qantas flight to Sydney on April 20.

After two months in Australia it would be on to Santiago, Chile, with LATAM and return to Heathrow from the same airport with British Airways on August 14. It was £1,896 and insurance was offered for a further £260. The agent said flexible dates could be discussed once we had firm dates established and said hotel options would come via email, but didn’t arrive.

Oyster Travel
65 Catton Chase
55%

Staff at the tidy shop were friendly but didn’t seem used to this sort of booking. The agent didn’t think they could fly from Sydney to South America so quoted me two tickets. First departing Heathrow to Singapore via Helsinki on April 16, a three-night stay at the Furama Riverfront in Singapore then on to Sydney via Hong Kong and three nights at the Regal Oriental Kowloon.

After a month in Australia, I’d return to Heathrow via Hong Kong and Helsinki. That was £2,343 but she then added a £607 ticket to Lima, Peru, via Madrid on May 24 with BA and LATAM returning on June 14.

Winning agent

owen-gregory
Owen Gregory, travel expert
We get a lot of around-the-world requests so I’m used to it. South America can be tricky, there’s a lot you have to run through and explain as the bookings are complex.

 

Verdict

STA and Trailfinders both got the brief but came up short on hotel additions. Oyster Travel perhaps lacked product knowledge in this area but it was a valiant effort to hit all the destinations within budget on two tickets.


Elite resorts caribbean

Top-scoring agent each month will win use of a car for 10 days.

The winning agent must be at least 25, for insurance reasons. Winners under 25 will win a week’s all-inclusive holiday at an Elite Islands Resorts property. The prize is non-transferable and the car must be driven only by the winning agent. The winner must not have any serious driving convictions. Elite Island Resorts will endeavour to supply the car to the agency but reserves the right to request the winning agent to collect and return the car from Essex or a central location

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