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Delta Flights 200 & 201 to Johannesburg

Delta Flights 200 & 201 to Johannesburg

Old Jul 25, 17, 2:26 pm
  #1  
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Delta Flights 200 & 201 to Johannesburg

I'm flying on Flights 200 and 201 from Atlanta to Johannesburg in August. Being that both flights are 16 hours in length, can I get any suggestions as to a time to sleep in either direction? How long does it typically take to get through customs in Johannesburg? Any other pointers for this flight would be appreciated. I have upgraded to Delta Comfort.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 4:33 pm
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Originally Posted by DeltaBlueHen View Post
I'm flying on Flights 200 and 201 from Atlanta to Johannesburg in August. Being that both flights are 16 hours in length, can I get any suggestions as to a time to sleep in either direction? How long does it typically take to get through customs in Johannesburg? Any other pointers for this flight would be appreciated. I have upgraded to Delta Comfort.
I slept whenever I was tired on the flight out (200), which ended up working out just fine. You leave in the evening ET and land evening local time. We had a flight the next morning to Skukuza but still ended up with enough time to drop our bags off at our hotel (Westcliff), grab a bite and still sleep at a reasonable hour.

J'burg customs was pretty quick, nothing noteworthy there. Being in C+ you'll obviously be towards the front. F is usually packed on the flight but we were still able to grab an entire C+ row as somebody used a GUC freeing up the seat. I would avoid the first row of C+ as legroom seemed a little restricted (we were in second)
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Old Jul 25, 17, 4:41 pm
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FYI the flight there is under 15 hours, its about 14.30->14.45 depending.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 4:57 pm
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I admire anybody who can do those flights in Y (main cabin or C+).
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Old Jul 25, 17, 5:32 pm
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Originally Posted by FSUnole03 View Post
I admire anybody who can do those flights in Y (main cabin or C+).
I could not agree more. I am EXTREMELY lucky in that my company pays for D1 on all international flights. I have made the DTW-ICN trip a few times and even on the upper deck of the 747 its a crazy long time to be on a plane. I tell my friends that D1 is fun for about the first 20 minutes. Then, imagine being in a small room with all of the amenities that you can imagine, but you can't leave for 14 hours. Its a lot.

Mad respect to those who are not as lucky as I am.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 7:54 pm
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Originally Posted by DeltaBlueHen View Post
I'm flying on Flights 200 and 201 from Atlanta to Johannesburg in August. Being that both flights are 16 hours in length, can I get any suggestions as to a time to sleep in either direction? How long does it typically take to get through customs in Johannesburg? Any other pointers for this flight would be appreciated. I have upgraded to Delta Comfort.
The outbound would not be a problem as the flight leaves in the evening and you can take a nap after "dinner". The problem usually is coming back. The headwinds are quite strong and you feel like the aircraft is stationary. Either way prepare yourself by:
1. Skipping sleep for 1 or 2 nights before the flight so that you are physically tired and will nap right away upon boarding the flight. Sleeping the entire duration is the only way to get over this flight.
2. Bring adequate amount of water for the ATL-JNB portion as Delta will usually run out of liquids on this flight. The JNB-ATL, drink plenty of water before you board the flight as they will confiscate all your water before boarding.
3. JNB immigration is a breeze when Delta lands. At the stated time of arrival you dont have the European bank of flights arriving (usually mornings) which makes it an extremely long wait. Same goes for departure. The European flights leave after Delta so exit immigration is also quick.
4. JNB customs is also quite friendly. Your bags normally show up by the time you finish immigration.

For folks who wonder how people do this in Economy, I would take an exit row or bulk head seat anytime over a Delta "coffin" seat. The "coffin" class seat does not fit me nor allows me to roll onto my side. It does feel like sleeping in a coffin with god awful service from the FAs. If it is SQ business class then it is a no brainer. With Delta, you are better off with the exit row or bulk head seat.

P.S. Yes, I have flown DL 200/201 in business so have I tried their other aircraft like the 767 in business. It sucks!
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Old Jul 25, 17, 8:01 pm
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I am lucky that sleeping on a plane is no problem for me. In Y or anywhere else. Last year I did JFK-PVG and back in Y on MU. It was a trip with friends.

Going I slept 11 of 14ish hours. Return I slept 90% of the flight. If I am on a plane I can just sleep.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 8:09 pm
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Originally Posted by dinanm3atl View Post
I am lucky that sleeping on a plane is no problem for me. In Y or anywhere else. Last year I did JFK-PVG and back in Y on MU. It was a trip with friends.

Going I slept 11 of 14ish hours. Return I slept 90% of the flight. If I am on a plane I can just sleep.
Great skill to have. I once slept through the entire JNB-ATL flight that people around me were jealous when we landed. All it took was spending the days prior to that in Kruger with early morning safaris and evening/night safaris.
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Old Jul 25, 17, 8:58 pm
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Originally Posted by TravellingMan View Post
For folks who wonder how people do this in Economy, I would take an exit row or bulk head seat anytime over a Delta "coffin" seat. The "coffin" class seat does not fit me nor allows me to roll onto my side. It does feel like sleeping in a coffin with god awful service from the FAs. If it is SQ business class then it is a no brainer. With Delta, you are better off with the exit row or bulk head seat.
Just gotta disagree with you on all of these points. Give me the lie-flat anytime, even if it doesn't fit perfectly. Sitting upright for 15-16-17 hours is not for me, bulkhead/exit or not.

And, for goodness sakes, the service from the FAs is not "god awful." Not Singapore, for sure, but it's several levels above your declaration.

As to other comments on this route, the customs and immigration on arrival seems fine, but on departure there is a long winding Disneyesque line (whether in coach or business) to go through passport control in a room with poor ventilation and low ceilings. It was sort of miserable. And since a number of flights leave for Europe in the evening around the same time (including some A380 aircraft), it is a rush hour of sorts. It was not nice getting all sweaty just before getting on a plane for almost 18 hours going westbound.

Last edited by Robert Leach; Jul 26, 17 at 7:22 am
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Old Jul 25, 17, 9:20 pm
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Originally Posted by TravellingMan View Post
The outbound would not be a problem as the flight leaves in the evening and you can take a nap after "dinner". The problem usually is coming back. The headwinds are quite strong and you feel like the aircraft is stationary. Either way prepare yourself by:
1. Skipping sleep for 1 or 2 nights before the flight so that you are physically tired and will nap right away upon boarding the flight. Sleeping the entire duration is the only way to get over this flight.
2. Bring adequate amount of water for the ATL-JNB portion as Delta will usually run out of liquids on this flight. The JNB-ATL, drink plenty of water before you board the flight as they will confiscate all your water before boarding.
3. JNB immigration is a breeze when Delta lands. At the stated time of arrival you dont have the European bank of flights arriving (usually mornings) which makes it an extremely long wait. Same goes for departure. The European flights leave after Delta so exit immigration is also quick.
4. JNB customs is also quite friendly. Your bags normally show up by the time you finish immigration.

For folks who wonder how people do this in Economy, I would take an exit row or bulk head seat anytime over a Delta "coffin" seat. The "coffin" class seat does not fit me nor allows me to roll onto my side. It does feel like sleeping in a coffin with god awful service from the FAs. If it is SQ business class then it is a no brainer. With Delta, you are better off with the exit row or bulk head seat.

P.S. Yes, I have flown DL 200/201 in business so have I tried their other aircraft like the 767 in business. It sucks!
Bit prone to hyperbole...
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Old Jul 26, 17, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by TravellingMan View Post
For folks who wonder how people do this in Economy, I would take an exit row or bulk head seat anytime over a Delta "coffin" seat. The "coffin" class seat does not fit me nor allows me to roll onto my side. It does feel like sleeping in a coffin with god awful service from the FAs. If it is SQ business class then it is a no brainer. With Delta, you are better off with the exit row or bulk head seat.
I couldn't possibly disagree more!
I don't know how someone who is too big to fit comfortably into the lie-flats doesn't have a problem with shoulder space in economy. Unless perhaps you're just really tall and skinny.
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Old Jul 26, 17, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by TravellingMan View Post
For folks who wonder how people do this in Economy, I would take an exit row or bulk head seat anytime over a Delta "coffin" seat. The "coffin" class seat does not fit me nor allows me to roll onto my side. It does feel like sleeping in a coffin with god awful service from the FAs. If it is SQ business class then it is a no brainer. With Delta, you are better off with the exit row or bulk head seat.

P.S. Yes, I have flown DL 200/201 in business so have I tried their other aircraft like the 767 in business. It sucks!
I will take a lie flat seat (that includes 767 and even BA) over exit/bulkhead economy seat for a long flight, especially overnight. Economy seats seats don't recline far enough for me to get much sleep no matter how tired I am.

Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
I couldn't possibly disagree more!
I don't know how someone who is too big to fit comfortably into the lie-flats doesn't have a problem with shoulder space in economy. Unless perhaps you're just really tall and skinny.
Or maybe someone is lucky enough to have an empty adjacent seat - extremely rare these days.
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Old Jul 26, 17, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by TravellingMan View Post
The JNB-ATL, drink plenty of water before you board the flight as they will confiscate all your water before boarding.
At the risk of sounding naive (as someone who has never been to SA), is this some kind of customs rule? Why would they take your water before boarding? The post sounds like someone with a chip on their shoulder so I am taking it with a fistful of salt.
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Old Jul 26, 17, 9:43 am
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Originally Posted by SlimpyJones View Post
At the risk of sounding naive (as someone who has never been to SA), is this some kind of customs rule? Why would they take your water before boarding? The post sounds like someone with a chip on their shoulder so I am taking it with a fistful of salt.
PVG->JFK - All water was confiscated as well. Had no idea it would happen. My party lost 8-10 large bottles of water.
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Old Jul 26, 17, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by SlimpyJones View Post
At the risk of sounding naive (as someone who has never been to SA), is this some kind of customs rule? Why would they take your water before boarding? The post sounds like someone with a chip on their shoulder so I am taking it with a fistful of salt.
All international flights bound for the USA are subject to extra screening at the gate. All carry on bags thoroughly searched and all liquids over 3 ounces confiscated. Sometimes people even receive a patdown.

I have seen the gate checks done at NRT, DME, TLV, LHR, CDG, PEK, and BRU.
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