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Avios availability on Comair (South Africa)

Avios availability on Comair (South Africa)

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Old Jan 25, 13, 4:28 am
  #1  
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Avios availability on Comair (South Africa)

Hi!

I'm off to Zimbabwe next month. I've booked flights into JNB, and want to book a connection JNB-HRE (Harare), then either VFA (Victoria Falls) or LVI (Livingstone) - JNB on the BA South African franchisee Comair on Avios.

Every time I log on to check availbilty for Avios, it changes drastically:

Wed am, JNB-HRE has +9 seats for the Friday, and nothing for Saturday
Thu am, Friday had 0 seats, Saturday 4 seats
Fri am, Friday 0 seats, Saturday 6 seats

(this is checking approx 3 weeks out)

The same daily variance is showing on the VFA and LVI routes too. Is this standard on Comair? I'm hoping that seats on my preferred flights will evenutally pop up...i'm kicking myself for not booking then when I had the chance, but I had no idea it'd change so much every day.

Avios seems to be a great deal on these routes. Just 9,000 return + about 40, rather than a cash fare of over 300.

Thanks for any help/advice!

And slightly OT, does Comair do the same catering as BA? G&T and some biscuits?
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Old Jan 25, 13, 5:29 am
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Originally Posted by shefgab View Post
And slightly OT, does Comair do the same catering as BA? G&T and some biscuits?
No, better! To answer your most important question first! I only ever fly Club with Comair, where the food is much better than mainline BA. From the announcements I have heard and food I have seen Traveller is more like a proper meal than a biscuit (although could be sandwiches on short flights).

I am not sure about the bouncing availability, that will be down to Comair's revenue management. What I would say is that you are now in the height of the Southern Hemisphere's summer and both LVI and VIC are very popular holiday destinations (HRE less so). SA press is full of stories about how good Zim is nowadays.

My advice would be to book what you can if you can fit your schedule around it. I wanted a CPT-PLZ flight Christmas week. All looked fine but I didn't book it. Went back two days later and no (revenue fare) availability at all for the whole of Christmas week. It never reappeared.

On your destinations, I presume you intend to go back and forth from HRE to JNB then VIC or LVI? Otherwise how do you get from HRE to VIC/LVI (not on Comair).

Finally Comair rewards are indeed excellent value. Hope you have a nice trip.
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Old Jan 25, 13, 7:58 am
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Thanks FrancisA for your reply. A seat just popped up on the LVI-JNB leg on the day I wanted, so just bought that in Club. I just checked the seat map, and it's 5 seats across. Does Comair have proper 2x3 seating (like on SA), or is it the old style CE with the mini B seat, and DEF for sale as normal? Do you have any pictures you could share?

As for getting from Harare over to Vic Falls, that'll be overland...somehow. Hopefully the correct JNB-HRE flight will appear at some stage in Y.
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Old Jan 25, 13, 8:19 am
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The old style CE with the mini B seat, and DEF for sale as normal

We were the only pax in CE on our JNB-LVI. We got a "you know the safety demo routine dont you" before she moved on for a manual demo in front of Y.

I did volunter to do the demo to my other half. Must add that this was a few years agos.
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Old Jan 25, 13, 9:56 am
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Unless something has changed recently, Comair serve a hot meal in economy JNB-VFA, and it's much better than the brunch BA serve in CE

Availabilty for Avios is really difficult on that route, it is much better on JNB-LVI.
Fly to one place and home from the other.
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Old Jan 27, 13, 4:36 am
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Thanks for the help guys. I booked my flights now, got JNB-HRE in Y, and LVI-JNB in J (no Y availabilty), nearly on the dates I wanted. Looking forward to trying out the Comair service and comparing it to their British daddy.
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Old Feb 13, 13, 11:12 am
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A short update; having followed the Avios options on Comair, indeed it seems like they keep changing widly day to day. My preferred JNB-HRE flight had no seats on my chosen date, but plenty either side. Yesterday I checked and it had +9 seats available for Avios. Today it's dropped right down again. SO, the moral is, when using Comair, check every day, as availabilty seems to have little bearing on anything. 0 one day, +9 the next, then back down to 0.
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Old Aug 13, 16, 5:50 am
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trying to book 9 months out but no luck on comair, any updates on rewards availability?
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Old Aug 13, 16, 6:42 am
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Originally Posted by tboons View Post
trying to book 9 months out but no luck on comair, any updates on rewards availability?
That far out, I have found the Comair availability very consistent and generally wide open, but it depends on the route. Especially once-a-day flights and popular safari destinations in winter will not show availability at the weekend (influx of long-haul tourists) or during South African school holidays. Nearer to the date, it can be more flexible, i.e. more seats are released, as discussed up-thread from a few years ago.
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Old Feb 9, 18, 12:31 pm
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It's quite annoying that I can find Comair availability for intra-South Africa flights, but it would be incredibly stupid to use my points because there's a $44 "fee" for BA award travel. The ticket I was looking at was only US$78, so paying 4000 points and $44 is ridiculous. And, of course, most major markets have Kalula and Mango flights that are sometimes even cheaper. I guess BA doesn't care. But doesn't this make the Avios program pretty much worthless to South Africans?
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Old Feb 10, 18, 11:20 am
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It's not too bad on certain routes

There are indeed some routes that doesn't make any sense on avios but there are some other cases too. What about flying to Mauritius? You could pay about 350+ or you just spend a few points and that little bit of taxes.
JNB-MRU one way would be 32 + 8500 Avios.
JNB-CPT one way would be 32 + 6500 Avios.
If I was based in JNB or got a cheap flight to there and wanted to go on to MRU it would make indeed a lot of sense to use avios. It's always case dependent.
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Old Feb 10, 18, 10:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Nils21 View Post
There are indeed some routes that doesn't make any sense on avios but there are some other cases too. What about flying to Mauritius? You could pay about 350+ or you just spend a few points and that little bit of taxes.
JNB-MRU one way would be 32 + 8500 Avios.
JNB-CPT one way would be 32 + 6500 Avios.
If I was based in JNB or got a cheap flight to there and wanted to go on to MRU it would make indeed a lot of sense to use avios. It's always case dependent.
Yeah, I was wondering if the Comair int'l routes out of JNB "made sense." I guess they can -- if you can find availability. I recall that impossible a year or two ago when I was looking at Windhoek.
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