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Separate airline tickets feasability

Separate airline tickets feasability

Old Oct 24, 2023, 9:53 am
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Separate airline tickets feasability

I tried to find a more appropriate place for this but this was the best I found. I am looking at flights between DSM and either DAR or VFA/HRE. What I am finding is that I can fly premium econ much cheaper to NBO (for DAR) or JNB (for VFA/HRE). My plan would be to book the Premium Econ tickets to either NBO or JNB and then buy separate RT tickets to the final destination in coach. I know we will have to clear customs, have a visa, recheck baggage, etc. I'm trying to figure out if it is a feasible plan or not. On the way in we would probably stay a day or two to adjust in NBO or JNB but on the way out, ideally we would have a short layover and fly out immediately. Does anyone have any experience doing something similar?
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Old Oct 26, 2023, 3:12 am
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Originally Posted by helicooper
I tried to find a more appropriate place for this but this was the best I found. I am looking at flights between DSM and either DAR or VFA/HRE. What I am finding is that I can fly premium econ much cheaper to NBO (for DAR) or JNB (for VFA/HRE). My plan would be to book the Premium Econ tickets to either NBO or JNB and then buy separate RT tickets to the final destination in coach. I know we will have to clear customs, have a visa, recheck baggage, etc. I'm trying to figure out if it is a feasible plan or not. On the way in we would probably stay a day or two to adjust in NBO or JNB but on the way out, ideally we would have a short layover and fly out immediately. Does anyone have any experience doing something similar?
This certainly seems like a feasible plan in JNB, as long as you leave enough time to get through immigration, collect your bags and then check back in. Which airline would you be flying back out of JNB on? (There could be a fair amount of walking involved!) I couldn't comment on NBO as I have only ever transited airside there.
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Old Oct 26, 2023, 4:53 am
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JNB would probably be BA to either Airline or SA. Both are about equal, schedule will probably decide.

NBO would be BA to KQ.
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Old Oct 26, 2023, 6:14 am
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All perfectly doable. Personally I like to make a virtue out of the stopover and see something by staying overnight. Obviously the risk with a short connection is that a delay means you miss your onward flight. That could come with a significant additional cost so please do the maths before committing!
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Old Nov 1, 2023, 7:52 am
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I have done this several times in JNB connecting onto or from BA, ET, TK or QR. I actually did it yesterday from Airlink to ET. Yesterday they had a lack of power in the arrivals hall, the queue became insanely long, there was no heating, no announcements or WiFi. I actually had about seven hours and was going to get a hotel for a few hours shut-eye but ended up spending several hours waiting for immigration to sort themselves out. I would be inclined to spend a night in JNB on way in and/or way out. You may find CPT is s similar price and can open jaws the intercontinental section.
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Old Nov 1, 2023, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by Swanhunter
All perfectly doable. Personally I like to make a virtue out of the stopover and see something by staying overnight. Obviously the risk with a short connection is that a delay means you miss your onward flight. That could come with a significant additional cost so please do the maths before committing!
Originally Posted by cargueiro
I have done this several times in JNB connecting onto or from BA, ET, TK or QR. I actually did it yesterday from Airlink to ET. Yesterday they had a lack of power in the arrivals hall, the queue became insanely long, there was no heating, no announcements or WiFi. I actually had about seven hours and was going to get a hotel for a few hours shut-eye but ended up spending several hours waiting for immigration to sort themselves out. I would be inclined to spend a night in JNB on way in and/or way out. You may find CPT is s similar price and can open jaws the intercontinental section.
+1 for both of you. We have been traveling to southern Africa (South Africa, Zambia, etc) about once a year since 2016. And we are always taking smaller domestic carriers, lodge/camp shuttles, etc. on just about every trip. Always on separate tickets. I have seen even the most dependable carriers (like Airlink and FlySafAir) have issues that can impact anyone's schedule. Not being critical of any carrier. Just that most of these trips involve a significant amount of effort and budget. At least that is the way it has been for us. So don't try to cut short a trip by 12 - 24 hours and save < $100 or so on a hotel and put several $1000s at risk.

We saw this very thing occur to other people this past July. We were flying back from a Sabi Sands safari camp on a lodge/camp shuttle. This is a charter/shuttle operator who I have used before, multiple times. I would certainly use them again. Our shuttle flight was supposed to depart from the lodge airstrip between 12:30 and 13:00 and arrive at JNB no later than 14:30. The carrier's website indicates that passengers should not book a departing flight form JNB no earlier than 17:00. Well, on our departure the carrier had some sort of issue. We were never told why. But the aircraft arrived at 14:30 and then departed immediately after dropping passengers off and then made another stop or stops and returned sometime after 15:00. There were other issues (they couldn't find a passenger) and the plane did not take off until 15:40. We didn't arrive, get off the plane and get our luggage until after 17:00. There were passengers that had reservations on the 17:40 QF departure for SYD. Those folks were sick with worry. They weren't dropped off at the departures level of the terminal until 17:15.

I personally would not book this kind of connection without at least a 4 hour interval between the scheduled arrival and subsequent departure. And preferably a little longer.
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Old Nov 1, 2023, 6:22 pm
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Thank you all for the information. Sounds like a day in between flights is the best bet. I appreciate the insights.
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Old Nov 2, 2023, 8:14 am
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Originally Posted by helicooper
Thank you all for the information. Sounds like a day in between flights is the best bet. I appreciate the insights.
There are some really decent values in hotels within walking distance (or a 5 minute shuttle ride) of the terminals at JNB. If you have a bunch of IHG points, you can stay at the Intercontinental (across the street from the terminal) and it has a very good breakfast buffet. Great meal to have before leaving for another destination.
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Old Nov 2, 2023, 9:08 am
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There are also some interesting things to do in JNB - the Apartheid museum, Soweto, a tour of the CBD (if you like Mad Max vibes), Cradle of Humankind at Sterkfontein, Cullinan Diamond Mine, Pretoria or a night out in Maboneng. Johannesburg has a very bad reputation and it certainly isn't Dubai, but with some sensible precautions it's a fascinating place well removed from the western cliches of southern Africa.
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Old Nov 9, 2023, 10:43 am
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We will definitely be looking for something low key to do we may even spend two nights there on arrival just to rest a little more.

​​​​​​Help me with something else please. What would you choose? 1 stop 24hr/20hr return in economy on DL or 2 stop 32hr/28hr return in premium economy on BA for 3700 more for 5 people? Is the extra time and money worth it for premium economy? A 15 hr flight in economy may kill my 6'6" body...
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