Any clever redemption for JNB/CPT?

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Old Sep 12, 18, 6:30 pm
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Any clever redemption for JNB/CPT?

I've built up a substantial (well substantial for me) amount of Avios and I'm wanting to book return flights for two to South Africa having never been. I'm looking at going November/Decemeber 2019 so am aware I can't book as of yet just trying to be organised as I know CPT can be especially tricky. I should also mention I have both a Lloyds Upgrade Voucher and a BA Amex 2 for 1 voucher. Having priced up out in F back in J with BA the taxes are well over 1200. So I was just wondering are there any clever tricks for reward bookings to SA. As from what I can see QR is waste of time as its peak price and cost of two long haul flights. Does booking with IB from Madrid save anything? Or should I just stop being tight pay the 1200 and see it as good use of the voucher.
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Old Sep 12, 18, 7:03 pm
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Well, the first thing is to decide whether you want JNB or CPT (or the new Durban?) They are very different areas with completely different highlights and quite far apart (about 2 hours flight). CPT is a lovely city and coastline. By contrast, JNB is a much better access point if you intend to do safaris and even though many may not agree, I sort of like Pretoria too. Johannesburg has some really interesting areas too though that is not the best season to be there.

If you want to use your Lloyds or your Amex that will have to be BA from the UK and that's it. IB, QR or from other countries even on BA and the likes are simply not an option in that case. You may be able to lower the cost a bit by going from INV which avoids APD, but of course, that means adding two flights (assuming that you still return to London) and some uncertainty (you don't want to miss what would now become the first INV-LHR segment of your long haul itinerary and of course, weather in November/December makes problems very possible, including rerouting to other nearby airports.

You are right that CPT in particular can be hard, but it tends to be easier from LGW. Things will be really hard for the end of year but if you book for November/early December, this should be less tricky and it is arguably one of the best seasons in much of South Africa. It's unclear whether upgrading to F on the CPT route is all that worth it as those are not the greatest F cabins whilst the UD 747 from LHR is undoubtedly the best J experience BA has to offer. I'd say F is always nicer than J, but this is one of the "smallest differentials" around (compared to, say, flights operated by 388 or 789 or even 77W).
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Last edited by orbitmic; Sep 13, 18 at 1:41 am
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Old Sep 12, 18, 7:19 pm
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Thanks for such a detailed response. I perhaps should have pointed out my plan was to see both cities knowing internal flights are fairly cheap so I was open to flying to either. I feel trying to do an open jaw booking maybe asking too much of the Avios gods. I'm glad you've mentioned LGW as I had completely forgotten it was an option for CPT. Im assuming its 4 class 777-200 from Gatwick which won't have been refitted then? With the taxes being same in J and F I just fancied a trip to the Concorde Room on the outbound as its been quite a while since I last visited. Though I take your point with regards to the Upper deck perhaps I should take advantage whilst we still have it.
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Old Sep 12, 18, 7:38 pm
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Originally Posted by ThrowingBoeing View Post
Thanks for such a detailed response. I perhaps should have pointed out my plan was to see both cities knowing internal flights are fairly cheap so I was open to flying to either. I feel trying to do an open jaw booking maybe asking too much of the Avios gods. I'm glad you've mentioned LGW as I had completely forgotten it was an option for CPT. Im assuming its 4 class 777-200 from Gatwick which won't have been refitted then? With the taxes being same in J and F I just fancied a trip to the Concorde Room on the outbound as its been quite a while since I last visited. Though I take your point with regards to the Upper deck perhaps I should take advantage whilst we still have it.
What you say is important here: CPT flights from LHR leave from terminal 3 so if your idea is to go to the CCR that won't work! I don't think open jaw actually needs to be all that complicated as long as you book on the phone. So you could fly ex-LHR to JNB if you want to use the CCR and then back from CPT into either LHR or LGW depending on availability. Note that for the Jo'burg area this is not a particularly good season as it can be quite hot and humid, but again, if you stick to the earlier part of your period it will probably be quite a bit better.

Last edited by orbitmic; Sep 14, 18 at 5:47 am
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Old Sep 12, 18, 11:08 pm
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Originally Posted by ThrowingBoeing View Post
I've built up a substantial (well substantial for me) amount of Avios and I'm wanting to book return flights for two to South Africa having never been. I'm looking at going November/Decemeber 2019 so am aware I can't book as of yet just trying to be organised as I know CPT can be especially tricky. I should also mention I have both a Lloyds Upgrade Voucher and a BA Amex 2 for 1 voucher. Having priced up out in F back in J with BA the taxes are well over 1200. So I was just wondering are there any clever tricks for reward bookings to SA. As from what I can see QR is waste of time as its peak price and cost of two long haul flights. Does booking with IB from Madrid save anything? Or should I just stop being tight pay the 1200 and see it as good use of the voucher.
You can fly AMS-CPT via JNB for 1400 at present... if that's of any interest.

BA is cramming its F cabins with Dream Ticket promos, however, so I highly doubt there'll be much reward availability for Avios upgrading.
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Old Sep 13, 18, 12:40 am
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Durban?

Or paying cash from AMS. Booked a few weeks ago but got peak season tickets for 1700 or so.

BA does make some sense on SA routes as the flight times and convenience help balance out the dismal CW product.
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Old Sep 13, 18, 12:46 am
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
Well, the first thing is to decide whether you want JNB or CPT (or the new Durban?) They are very different areas with completely different highlights and quite far apart (about 2 hours flight). CPT is a lovely city and coastline. By contrast, JNB is a much better access point if you intend to do safaris and even though many may not agree, I sort of like Pretoria too. Johannesburg has some really interesting areas too though that is not the best season to be there.

If you want to use your Lloyds or your Amex that will have to be BA from the UK and that's it. IB, QR or from other countries even on BA and the likes are simply not an option in that case. You may be able to lower the cost a bit by going from ABZ which avoids APD, but of course, that means adding two flights (assuming that you still return to London) and some uncertainty (you don't want to miss what would now become the first ABZ-LHR segment of your long haul itinerary and of course, weather in November/December makes problems very possible, including rerouting to other nearby airports.

You are right that CPT in particular can be hard, but it tends to be easier from LGW. Things will be really hard for the end of year but if you book for November/early December, this should be less tricky and it is arguably one of the best seasons in much of South Africa. It's unclear whether upgrading to F on the CPT route is all that worth it as those are not the greatest F cabins whilst the UD 747 from LHR is undoubtedly the best J experience BA has to offer. I'd say F is always nicer than J, but this is one of the "smallest differentials" around (compared to, say, flights operated by 388 or 789 or even 77W).
ABZ pays full APD. To avoid you must fly from INV.
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Old Sep 13, 18, 1:41 am
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Originally Posted by rapidex View Post
ABZ pays full APD. To avoid you must fly from INV.
oops sorry, total slip of the... mind!! duly corrected now!
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Old Sep 13, 18, 3:11 am
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
Yep four class. But what you say is important here: CPT flights from LHR leave from terminal 3 so if your idea is to go to the CCR that won't work! I don't think open jaw actually needs to be all that complicated as long as you book on the phone. So you could fly ex-LHR to JNB if you want to use the CCR and then back from CPT into either LHR or LGW depending on availability. Note that for the Jo'burg area this is not a particularly good season as it can be quite hot and humid, but again, if you stick to the earlier part of your period it will probably be quite a bit better.
Amateur Hour again from me forgetting CPT was a T3 destination. On that subject were BA constrained by physical space or number of gates they could build ?Seems strange building T5 to not to be capable of housing all BA's operations ?

Last edited by ThrowingBoeing; Sep 13, 18 at 3:26 am
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Old Sep 13, 18, 3:19 am
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Originally Posted by ThrowingBoeing View Post
Amateur Hour again from me forgetting CPT was a T3 destination. On that subject were BA constrained by physical space or number of gates they could build ?Seems strange building T5 was in the not to be capable of housing all BA's operations so soon after opening?
Lounges you can access in T3 are far superior to those in T5. Go T3 if you can! CX First and Business lounges are wonderful, Qantas is lovely if you like gin (gin bar), AA has some decent little snackettes and then of course you still have BA lounge to play with. Can most definitely make a day of it in T3. I know, I have!
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Old Sep 13, 18, 3:25 am
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Originally Posted by Scallywag72 View Post
Lounges you can access in T3 are far superior to those in T5. Go T3 if you can! CX First and Business lounges are wonderful, Qantas is lovely if you like gin (gin bar), AA has some decent little snackettes and then of course you still have BA lounge to play with. Can most definitely make a day of it in T3. I know, I have!
I fly to Denver reasonably often so I'm aware of the far superior lounge offering in Terminal 3. The CX noodle bar just after CX departures is just great. When you think its quite embarrassing BA even bother with a lounge in T3. I genuinely feel sorry for those flying CW who are unaware they can use one of the other OW lounges. I assume most FF are aware they can? Though I'm yet to try the new QF lounge so if I don't book F to JNB that is at least something new to try.
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Old Sep 13, 18, 3:49 am
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If you have 'substantial' avios pool, you should just travel on QR and be end of it.
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Old Sep 13, 18, 4:04 am
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Originally Posted by chongcao View Post
If you have 'substantial' avios pool, you should just travel on QR and be end of it.
Any other destination I would agree but BA actually has an advantage here due to time zones. And could only get Q suites on the LHR-DOH sector (not that I'm suggesting QR other J seats are not miles ahead of CW)
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Old Sep 13, 18, 4:52 am
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Originally Posted by ThrowingBoeing View Post
Any other destination I would agree but BA actually has an advantage here due to time zones. And could only get Q suites on the LHR-DOH sector (not that I'm suggesting QR other J seats are not miles ahead of CW)
Yes, and to be honest, I'd stick to nonstop here.

Indeed, T5 is not big enough for all of BA flights! BA used to mostly fly some of their short haul destinations from T3, but I think they made a deal with HAL to transfer some long haul (and fewer short hauls as a result) and in exchange got significantly better gates for the short haul. It's true that some T3 lounges are very nice, but then the CCR is nice too especially if you are not a frequent user so I'd stick to JNB out and CPT back. The other advantage of that is that the weather in CPT will remain tolerable later than in JNB where your dates are already not ideal so it makes more sense in terms of the trip organisation. Again, Durban is a very nice area too if you want to be by the sea and it may be easier to get awards seats as it is a newer flight and has a slightly smaller market.
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Old Sep 13, 18, 5:02 am
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Originally Posted by ThrowingBoeing View Post
Any other destination I would agree but BA actually has an advantage here due to time zones. And could only get Q suites on the LHR-DOH sector (not that I'm suggesting QR other J seats are not miles ahead of CW)
Well, you could try CDG/ARN-DOH-JNB/CPT-LHR with combination of QR and BA. Save on APD then enjoy all sorts of product and write a review when you are back. I know I would do that just for the sake of trying a different product rather than CW.
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