Rail: Transforming a booking experience

"How do you redesign the booking process for a complex travel product?"

STA Travel is the world's leading travel company for students and young adults. Employing nearly 2,000 employees across 12 countries they have more than 35 years of experience as the 'youth travel expert' - enabling students and young adults to explore the world by facilitating value-for-money adventures globally. Their Rail product line, integrated into the business as a white label product was in great need of modernisation in order to better facilitate the online booking process and drive revenue.

14.2% Increase to new visits to site YOY

600% UYOY increase in direct traffic to site

72% Uplift in revenue per user

141% Increase in transactions

Project Summary

The key elements of the project included

  • New online booking experience for the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand
  • In-depth UX discovery with key stakeholders to architect the best experience for STA Travel customers
  • Simplified design, in keeping with existing creative look and feel - ensuring the white label seamlessly fitted into the main STA Travel experience
  • Re-architected product discovery and booking/ check-out process
  • Considerably increased bookings for comparable time frame in the previous year


STA Travel asked us to re-design their online experience for their Rail product line across four key markets - UK, US, Australia and New Zealand - in order provide customers with a better experience for discovering and booking rail tickets and passes.

The previous rail experience was a white-labelled website which had been embedded into STA Travel's main .com, it utilised some of STA Travel's brand colours but appeared outdated and not part of the main STA Travel online experience.


The solution was a brand new online experience for STA Travel's Rail product. The site allows users to easily search for products by location, as well as quickly see which countries they can travel to.

Rail passes and tickets are displayed in a tabbed view to allow users to view types of tickets available in a glance. Passes are organised by popularity so that users can see commonly purchased tickets - this is based on what is popular for that particular audience based on location.

The experience is fully responsive on desktop and mobile, a factor that is key for STA Travel's audience.