Award Travel, Business Class to JNB

Old Aug 17, 19, 5:55 am
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Award Travel, Business Class to JNB

We are looking to book two business class award seats from PHX to JNB (Johannesburg, SA) for next July. Flights are just opening up for the dates we have in mind. It seems that Business Class availability is not the greatest in the June/July 2020 time frame - mostly BA flights through London. Going back a few months there is pretty good availability on Qatar and Ethiad. I even see availability in the coming weeks of August 2019. Just wondering - should I hold off on booking so that (hopefully) more flights open up on better carriers? Is it typical for EY and QR flights to be added down the road? Or is what I see what I will get and perhaps I should book right away. Thanks!
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Old Aug 17, 19, 7:39 am
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I've done BA on LHR-JNB. It's pretty amazing to fly in BA First on the A380. Those birds' days are numbered, so fly them while you can!
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Old Aug 17, 19, 11:26 am
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I highly recommend checking LAX-JNB, as well.

You'll get more flight options and carriers.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 12:55 pm
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are you aware once you secure an award you can generally change carriers and routing free of charge in most cases?

There are exceptions, notably exceeding maximum permitted miles, attempting a routing not sold by the most significant carrier and switching between on world and non-one world carriers - see

HELP DESK: MileSAAver / SAAver award questions, assistance (Where this might get merged)

and

AA oneworld & Other Airline Partner Award information, rules (master thd)
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Old Aug 17, 19, 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
I've done BA on LHR-JNB. It's pretty amazing to fly in BA First on the A380. Those birds' days are numbered, so fly them while you can!
Only enough points for Business. Is that a good experience on BA? Not sure if the London - JHB flights are on the A380 though. Thanks for the tip!
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Old Aug 17, 19, 1:42 pm
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Originally Posted by 355F1 View Post
I highly recommend checking LAX-JNB, as well.

You'll get more flight options and carriers.
Good idea, thanks. Will add that to my search. Could do a cheap SW flight to LAX if necessary.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 1:43 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
are you aware once you secure an award you can generally change carriers and routing free of charge in most cases?

There are exceptions, notably exceeding maximum permitted miles, attempting a routing not sold by the most significant carrier and switching between on world and non-one world carriers - see

HELP DESK: MileSAAver / SAAver award questions, assistance (Where this might get merged)

and

AA oneworld & Other Airline Partner Award information, rules (master thd)
Will definitely check those threads out. However I thought BA is OneWorld and Ethiad and Qatar are not?
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Old Aug 17, 19, 2:15 pm
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Originally Posted by eel1957 View Post
Only enough points for Business. Is that a good experience on BA?
While not industry leading, BA business is better than any PE or coach. It's especially true for a long journey like that. And many of the less desirable seats are actually not bad when travelling with someone...like the middle honeymoon seats.

If I was in your shoes I'd lock in ANY business class seat you can on that route and spend the next year trying to improve on it.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 2:28 pm
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Originally Posted by eel1957 View Post
Will definitely check those threads out. However I thought BA is OneWorld and Ethiad and Qatar are not?
Qatar is oneworld and has been for several years. Their business class experience makes BA look pedestrian. Etihad is not oneworld but are a partner for AA awards.

Another airport to consider starting from is SAN. With married segment logic it gets different availability than all the LA metro airports. I did SAN-LAX-DOH-CPT last year on QR and doing SAN-LAX-DOH-SEZ next month.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 2:28 pm
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eel1957 Qatar is one world. Eithad is available thru aa on miles.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by eel1957 View Post
Good idea, thanks. Will add that to my search. Could do a cheap SW flight to LAX if necessary.
I live in PHX but I buy most of all my international trips (6-8/year vacations) out of LAX on OW because it is almost always cheaper--even with the miles or dollars I pay to GET TO LAX.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 6:28 pm
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Look at actually purchasing the ticket on BA. Price it out. Fares are pretty inexpensive (comparatively) for J and F. Cheaper to fly from the US to LHR, then to JNB than to stop at LHR and end there in premium cabin. I concur with a comment above. F on the BA A380 is great. And the flight is long enough to really enjoy it.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by ESpen36 View Post
I've done BA on LHR-JNB. It's pretty amazing to fly in BA First on the A380. Those birds' days are numbered, so fly them while you can!
Seriously ? you are suggesting that BA (a) has any amazing 1st class and (b) that the almost new A380s will be gone soon?

Originally Posted by chicago747 View Post
While not industry leading, BA business is better than any PE or coach. It's especially true for a long journey like that. And many of the less desirable seats are actually not bad when travelling with someone...like the middle honeymoon seats.
.
which airlines' business class is worse than economy/premium economy? it being better than economy isn't saying much
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Old Aug 17, 19, 9:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
which airlines' business class is worse than economy/premium economy? it being better than economy isn't saying much
The OP commented he was considering not booking the available BA seats in hope of a better carrier becoming available. My point/advice was if he waits and seats don't open up he could be left stuck in PE or coach. <redacted>
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Last edited by JDiver; Aug 17, 19 at 11:33 pm Reason: Redacted overly personal snarky commentary
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Old Aug 17, 19, 10:13 pm
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Not really at all clear - the person simply stated that there was enough miles for only business class and asked if BA's business is a good experience

A response that BA's business class is better than economy is hardly much help - which economy class is better than business class?

As far as whether BA's business is any good, I would say that the best that can be said about it is that it is mediocre.

Paying $1802 in carrier surcharges plus $163 in taxes plus 150,000 miles for BA business class seems a lousy value when there are fares listed for LAX-JNB on airlines such as Swiss for $3600. Gets about $1635 saving for 150,000 miles. I would value 150,000 miles a lot higher than that

If it is a choice of using the miles on BA vs buying a ticket, I would take buying a ticket
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