Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Africa > Africa
Reload this Page >

Flights to South Africa from the Midwest (USA)

Flights to South Africa from the Midwest (USA)

Old Mar 1, 19, 4:40 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4
Flights to South Africa from the Midwest (USA)

Greetings. Iíve been reading these forums for a few months trying to research a trip and learn the lingo here. Unfortunately, I must not be a quick study because I think Iím still a bit lost!

We will be traveling to South Africa for 3 weeks later this year. I do not enjoy flying and do a lot of research before I go anywhere. Domestically, I try to fly first class or some kind of premium so I can control where I sit and have a bit of extra space. I usually only fly North America/Caribbean and have only been to Europe once. I got a premium economy seat for that flight on BA and enjoyed the extra space very much.

I definitely canít afford first class to South Africa, so my question is What airlines do you recommend for best flights to South Africa? Best meaning shortest, best options for some kind of upgraded seat thatís not first class (if that even exists), comfortable seating. I donít need the cheapest. My husband and I are both very tall and I canít sit near the back of plane without being overly anxious.

We are likely flying into Capetown and out of Johannesburg. I can fly out of Detroit or Chicago or any Midwest. Many flights I see go to Europe first, which just hurts my geography-challenged brain!

Thanks for sharing your expertise!
BrinkOllie is offline  
Old Mar 1, 19, 8:09 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 14,216
BrinkOllie Welcome to FT

International airlines can have
  1. First Class
  2. Business Class
  3. Premium Economy
  4. Economy

Not all airlines/aircraft/routes will have first and/or premium economy.
Most long haul international aircraft will have at least business & economy class. And more are having PE
Note real premium economy is not the same as "economy plus" sold by some airlines

You may be better flying in/out of Jo'berg JNB ---> more options
A lot of flights JNB CPT by various airlines
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O._R._...tional_Airport
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_T...tional_Airport

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detroi...olitan_Airport

There is likely to be a big difference between the shortest (by time) and best value (cost).
There will be a lot of different airline-route combinations with varying prices

SAA fly from NYC & Wash DC. Probably the shortest time, but may be pricey
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Airways
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...s_destinations

Routes http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=DTW-JNB...T&MS=wls&DU=mi
BrinkOllie likes this.

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Mar 1, 19 at 8:28 pm
Mwenenzi is offline  
Old Mar 2, 19, 1:26 am
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Mandarin Oriental Contributor BadgeFour Seasons Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Seat 1A, Juice pretty much everywhere, Mucci des Coins Exotiques
Posts: 31,355
You can think about Kenya Airways JFK-NBO flight. Maybe enjoy Kenya for a day or two before you continue on the shorter flight to South Africa. KQ has lie-flat seats in business class. So you'd have one really long flight, followed by a short 4 hour flight to JNB.

But is in JNB where you are going? South Africa is a big country with many airports.
stimpy is offline  
Old Mar 2, 19, 5:44 am
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4
Thank you for all the information! I will be doing a lot of reading and research!
BrinkOllie is offline  
Old Mar 2, 19, 5:46 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by stimpy View Post
You can think about Kenya Airways JFK-NBO flight. Maybe enjoy Kenya for a day or two before you continue on the shorter flight to South Africa. KQ has lie-flat seats in business class. So you'd have one really long flight, followed by a short 4 hour flight to JNB.

But is in JNB where you are going? South Africa is a big country with many airports.

We have a lot of traveling we are doing. We are also taking a few days in Zimbabwe and will be at Kruger, Capetown and Johannesburg. We have a travel agent helping us with getting around once we are there, but I want to be armed with information before I decide if Iím using them for my main flights also.

Thank you!!
BrinkOllie is offline  
Old Mar 2, 19, 7:37 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: ORD
Programs: AA, UA, GE
Posts: 3,645
If you will be flying from ORD, you can get PE on several major airlines to South Africa (BA, LH, and AF). If you depart out of DTW, you will need to fly on DL's A359 or AF (DTW-CDG-JNB) to get PE to South Africa.

As @Mwenenzi stated, if you fly any of the nonstop flights from the US to either JNB or CPT you will likely pay a premium for it. And I do not think there is a PE product available on either of the carriers flying these routes (DL or SA).

So if you want to fly in PE, I'd fly one of the carriers out of ORD or DTW. Easy connections from Michigan and very convenient connections to South Africa. If your budget will allow business class, the options are almost too many to discuss. It then comes down to what fits your schedule the best and what business class product you prefer.
BrinkOllie likes this.
cheltzel is offline  
Old Mar 2, 19, 10:11 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Michigan
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by cheltzel View Post
If you will be flying from ORD, you can get PE on several major airlines to South Africa (BA, LH, and AF). If you depart out of DTW, you will need to fly on DL's A359 or AF (DTW-CDG-JNB) to get PE to South Africa.

As @Mwenenzi stated, if you fly any of the nonstop flights from the US to either JNB or CPT you will likely pay a premium for it. And I do not think there is a PE product available on either of the carriers flying these routes (DL or SA).

So if you want to fly in PE, I'd fly one of the carriers out of ORD or DTW. Easy connections from Michigan and very convenient connections to South Africa. If your budget will allow business class, the options are almost too many to discuss. It then comes down to what fits your schedule the best and what business class product you prefer.
Thank you! This is helping me narrow down my search a lot.
BrinkOllie is offline  
Old Mar 2, 19, 11:18 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: ORD
Programs: AA, UA, GE
Posts: 3,645
Originally Posted by BrinkOllie View Post


Thank you! This is helping me narrow down my search a lot.
I would advise you to be careful especially when booking PE trips that involve code share flights (flights booked as all on one carrier but have segments operated by other airlines). If you are booking a BA or a LH PE flight you need to make sure that all segments are operated by BA or LH (or whoever) and that you are getting a real PE seat/service all the way.

Once you do you will find it fairly expensive (maybe as high as $3000) for a 21 day all PE trip from ORD to South Africa. At that point in time you might want to look at starting your travels at YUL as you can get QR business class seats from YUL to JNB for about $3100 (USD). Or from YYZ as you can get an AC ticket from YYZ-LHR-JNB on a combination of AC and SA business class seats for $3100 (USD).
BrinkOllie likes this.
cheltzel is offline  
Old Mar 2, 19, 11:29 am
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: JER
Programs: BA Gold/OWE, several MUCCI, and assorted Pensions!
Posts: 28,659
Without me doing any research, can you get easily to either of the London (UK) airports? Both LHR and LGW have flights to CPT, for example, as well as DUR (Durban) ... 4 class from LHR, 3-class from LGW (we use LGW to CPT annually).
T8191 is online now  
Old Mar 2, 19, 11:55 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 14,216
Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
Without me doing any research, can you get easily to either of the London (UK) airports? Both LHR and LGW have flights to CPT, for example, as well as DUR (Durban) ... 4 class from LHR, 3-class from LGW (we use LGW to CPT annually).
Delta fly DTW LHR. But that may mean having separate tickets USA Eu/UK and Eu/UK SA which brings with it more risk & complications.

The YYZ-LHR-JNB on a combination of AC and SA business class seats for $3100 (USD) may be a good option.
Great Circle Mapper
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toront...tional_Airport

Will be a near endless possible combinations of price, schedule & class of travel

And ensure you have a good travel insurance/medical insurance for this trip
T8191, BrinkOllie and roadwarrier like this.
Mwenenzi is offline  
Old Mar 6, 19, 8:14 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Cape Town
Programs: TK E+ *G, AA Gold, A7 *S
Posts: 26
As a St. Louis boy who's been living in Cape Town for the past 7 years, I've had a lot of flights back and forth.

I often prefer the shortest flight options, even if that means having to fly economy. There are only 2 direct flights from the US to SA: Delta from ATL-JNB or South African Airways from JFK-JNB. Both are decent options with good economy space and amenities. And really nice to avoid having to go through Europe or the Middle East. Flight times are long (15-17 hours), but overall travel time is the quickest. Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from the US to Cape Town (although rumors about a Miami route have been floating around recently).

In terms of other options, I often fly Turkish Airlines. Can fly direct to IST from many US cities (ORD included) and then it's a direct flight from IST to CPT. Likewise, on the return, there would be direct flights from JNB to IST. Many times I've seen them offering upgrades to Biz Class at the airport for around $1000 per segment. I've used miles to upgrade to biz on Turkish many times and the product is top notch!

Have never tried PE, but other posters seem to have you covered on those options. My guess would be the shortest options through Europe are going to either be on British or KLM, which have direct flights both into CPT and out of JNB.
ttapps is offline  
Old Mar 11, 19, 9:46 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: JNB
Programs: Flying Blue, Miles and Smiles, Hhonors, ICHotels
Posts: 1,095
Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
Without me doing any research, can you get easily to either of the London (UK) airports? Both LHR and LGW have flights to CPT, for example, as well as DUR (Durban) ... 4 class from LHR, 3-class from LGW (we use LGW to CPT annually).
And BA has also put on several daylight flights weekly out of either DUR or JNB on a 787, and from I can see, the pricing looks very good and pax loads tend to be low.
So,, OP can fly into CPT, then use Comair around to various destinations and return on the (currently cheaper) daylight flight out of JNB / DUB.
T8191 and BrinkOllie like this.
roadwarrier is offline  
Old Apr 9, 19, 6:22 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 3
Thank you very much!!! for that great information.
Oliver George is offline  
Old Apr 9, 19, 2:27 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Toronto
Posts: 150
Yea this is appreciated as we are flying fro TO next winter to Cape Town and returning from Johannesburg
LillianJ is offline  
Old Apr 9, 19, 4:26 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: ORD
Programs: AA, UA, GE
Posts: 3,645
Originally Posted by LillianJ View Post
Yea this is appreciated as we are flying fro TO next winter to Cape Town and returning from Johannesburg
If you would consider flying MS via CAI (and some lengthy layovers), you can get fares in the range $2500 - $2800 (USD) from YYZ to JNB. Unfortunately MS does not fly to CPT. But it earns at least 100% miles on UA and 125% on AC.

https://www.wheretocredit.com/egyptair/j
cheltzel is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread