Is recommended?

Apr 29th, 2013, 12:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 37
Is recommended?


After having no response from Santa Maria I am going with travel. I LOVE that I can pay by credit card since a charge can be disputed, I am NOT worried financially, I am concerned that the AIR BAGAN flight is legit.

I called "Ney" the Oway agent at a CA. tele phone number he was courteous, and promised results in 24 hours and I am now waiting for the flight info. The price was approx. $200 dollars compared to $300 with Shun Yuma travel for a Yangon Bagan r/t in Jan. 2014. also their Old Bagan hotel prices are darn good too.

Bottom Line: Are they reliable, real and reputable?

Tthank you all.
TedStell is offline  
Apr 29th, 2013, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,978
I don't know this company, but I am concerned that it is located in California. To get confirmed flights and hotels in Burma, you are best advised to use a company in Burma. They have contract prices with hotels and can assure you a seat on a flight. Foreign (to Burma) companies have difficulty getting confirmed flight tickets. And what will the company do when the airline changes the flight time and you are already in Burma? (This happens with great frequency) The local agencies will call your hotel and let them know of the flight changes.

In your other post, there was confusion about the $250 price quote for Yangon to Bagan. If this is a roundtrip price, that is very good. It means the airfares have barely budged in two years.

You may feel reassured by dealing with a US company, but having taken two trips to Burma, I would feel less secure making arrangements with a company outside of Burma. Yes, getting the logistics set up through the unreliable email system and the language barrier can be cumbersome, but in the end, you have reliable reservations and a travel agency who will help out should anything go wrong.

Also, the US agency will not know when the flights will be in January. The local agents will know. The flight schedules on the airlines' websites are mostly fantasy.
Kathie is offline  
Apr 29th, 2013, 02:59 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 105
I found this company to be a bit sketchy, and I didn't feel comfortable using them. I can't say I had a bad experience with them because I didn't use them, but I just felt something was fishy about them.

I exchanged emails with them about having them book the 5 internal flights I wanted, and I couldn't get a straight answer out of them about whether the flights I wanted were available and what flights they were actually selling me a ticket for. It felt like they were just going to take our money and buy tickets on some airline at some later time, without any guarantees that the flights I wanted were available. In contrast, the travel agent we ended up using (Myanmar Shalom) was able to tell us exactly what flights were and weren't available. Something just felt really fishy about Oway's operations.

OP: Try contacting Myanmar Shalom. I had a good experience using them to book my flights and hotels, and I found them to be cheap, reliable and professional. Santa Maria would have been my second choice, and they seemed professional as well. It's very frustrating that these companies are all so flaky about responding.
LAX_Esq is online now  
Apr 29th, 2013, 08:08 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 37
Hey Fellow Travelers:

TY you both for your insights.

I contacted Oway eight hours ago and got this message just now. They seem to be in top of things. They were honest about the schedule of Air Bagan not coming until Sept. And the price is $25 cheaper than Shun Yuma ($250 r/t + $50 booking fee.)

Still confused.


PS: They query about my weight to see if I have to buy an extra ticket for Balloon Over Bagan ---> (NO MORE BIG MACS!)

Dear Sir.

Thank you for your booking with

The returned ticket for Yangon-Bagan-Yangon is confirmed with Air Bagan.The price is 275 USD.
The flight schedule is to come out just after September 2013 as usual from every domestic airlines.

Ballon Over Bagan,the price is 325 USD per person .Kinldy give us exact weight to check with them.If you need to buy 2nd ticket,
we will definitely offer discount price of 310 USD.

If you agreed the prices, we can send you a payment link to settle by Visa card on line.

Best Regards

Thet Naing Winn
TedStell is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 05:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,978
I have never heard of any agency charging a booking fee for flights. Maybe an agency would do do if you contacted them for a flight only and didn't get accommodations, etc. from them.

It is your choice - this is your trip. Bus as I said before I wouldn't book with an agency outside of Burma.

Also, all of the travel agencies can get you discounts on BoB. The discounts do vary.

PS Your auto-correct keeps changing the name of the agency in Burma - it is Shan Yoma.
Kathie is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 07:21 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 37
Thank you,Kathie. You're very generous with your time!

Shan Yoma -- got it!!!
TedStell is offline  
May 1st, 2013, 08:02 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 35
@TedStell - I agree with @Kathie; you definitely want to go with a Burmese on-the-ground tour agency. I like several, but really recommend Myanmar Damsel. Nwe Nwe [email protected] was super on top of everything and charged no fees (I assume they take a cut from service providers). Have a wonderful trip!
sophiefriedman is offline  
May 2nd, 2013, 06:29 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 37
Thank you, Sophie!
TedStell is offline  
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