Need some basic understanding SAA

Old Jul 30, 16, 4:22 pm
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Need some basic understanding SAA

Senior couple, recently eye surgery beneficiaries, can finally do a Safari. Have a few questions on SAA/UA? I checked out website of SAA and ended up giving a travel planner with them info to put "something together" for us. As to flights, we originally planned to do something to somewhere and then spend a couple days, then resume to JNB. She tells me I can do JFK to JNB in 15+- hrs. As we live in SAN, we can go a couple days early...then fly on. We have points to do SAN-JNB on Alaska (partner flight).

Checking flights on SAA website JFK to JNB the rates are Priority 38xx and Premium 6100 (pp), as I asked for business...what are the differences? Are these prices RT or OW?

A couple flights have technical stops? What are they?

We will be flying in (2017) March/April or Sept/Oct. if that matters. Don't really sleep on the plane, so we need to break up our trip if it gets to 20 or more hours.

We have 110,00+ each ff miles on UA. Any use for these flights? (note, I have not run the trip on UA website yet). Was 1kG, now nothing.

If we pay for the flight and SAA is not there still, any experience or knowledge if we can protect ourselves?

I assume JNB is the best AP for us? We are looking to do up to 2+-3 wks, VicFalls, Jo for a couple days and a couple safari camps for a few days each.

Thank you for any help you can offer.
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Old Jul 31, 16, 1:20 am
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Originally Posted by ranles View Post
Checking flights on SAA website JFK to JNB the rates are Priority 38xx and Premium 6100 (pp), as I asked for business...what are the differences? Are these prices RT or OW?
I'm assuming you're looking at J fares here.

Those are OW flights. The RT is somewhere close to 8kUSD per person, and it does not include your positioning SAN-JFK. I would not pay that kind of money to fly on SA honestly.

LH charges similar amounts leaving from SAN, but with two connections (one in the US and one in FRA/MUC). If you can fly from LAX, LX has excellent rates at about 4.5kUSD RT with only one connection in ZRH (which is an excellent airport to connect in).

Shop around.

A couple flights have technical stops? What are they?
The aircraft lands somewhere to refuel, drop some passengers off, let some passengers on.

If we pay for the flight and SAA is not there still, any experience or knowledge if we can protect ourselves?
Depends. If it's close to travel they might have to rebook you on other carriers, but it's a possibility I wouldn't even want to entertain. Get a solid travel insurance.

I assume JNB is the best AP for us? We are looking to do up to 2+-3 wks, VicFalls, Jo for a couple days and a couple safari camps for a few days each.
Yes, JNB is the easiest port to arrive in South Africa. From there you have plenty of connections to everywhere.
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Old Jul 31, 16, 12:52 pm
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If you are wanting to stay on Star Alliance, you should check out the premium fares thread for some great full business deals from YYZ-JNB for under $3000 CAD. These seem to come up annually and may co-incide with your travel schedule. It would be much cheaper to buy a ticket to Toronto, then travel onward from there in discounted business class, than to fly on a regular business class fare from New York to SA.
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Old Aug 1, 16, 2:18 pm
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Thank you Malmostosot and worldtraveller73

We only popped onto SAA, with our first try at finding something that would not be too long a flight. We are more than willing to split the flight into two parts.

With SAA we though we would likely do a stay over in NY for one or two nights before resuming our flight (two different tickets). It makes the longest leg about 15 hrs flight time, same as to Australia, which we have done many times from LAX.

UA does not seem to allow stops, with stays anymore, with a single ticket. Fly from x to y, stay a few days and then resume y to z. Does LH allow that? IE, fly from SAN to FRA/MUC, stay a few days and then fly on to JNB?
Then reverse the process on the way back?

The Swiss Air flights, like a lot of them involve lots of connections making the total travel too long without a few days stop over. Is that allowed on them?

We are not stuck on the Star Alliance, just thought we might be able to use our mileage at least one direction for the business flight. We actually have a bit more mileage on Alaska. We are working on a cruise out of Amsterdam for next year too, so between the two trips we would like to get some "saver rates" if possible.

The YYZ to JNB again would be great, if we could stay for a few days in between. The flight to YYZ from SAN that we have for Sept is only $200 and that includes flying on to Quebec City the same day. We will miss staying in Toronto, as they are having the music festival at the time of our travel so we decided not to stay over (to hard to get a room without paying massive premiums). Again, don't know what the stops, if any are in that flight.

When I visited, and read, many of the posts with SAA it seemed to be somewhat shaky financially. Then again we flew Fiji, last year to Australia, and it was just fine. Their price was really cheap compared to the majors. We go $7500 RT, bus, total for both of us!
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Old Aug 1, 16, 11:05 pm
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From Johannesburg to the West Coast in J cabin I always look at Cathay/Qatar, usually the cheapest.
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Old Aug 2, 16, 3:26 am
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However you do it from the West Coast, you are looking at at least one stop and two long legs. From SAN, you can do one stop on BA via LHR - good but not sensational product, but would allow you to fly into CPT and out of JNB or vice versa, and may include a CPT-JNB segment in the price. Or one stop via JFK on whatever plus SAA - two separate tickets, which is far from ideal and you will pick up an extra stop on the return for SAA to refuel. SAA is acceptable but not great.

From LAX, you have many more one stop options. Cathay, Qatar and Swiss probably have the best products in J. Also consider Air France and Lufthansa. The best easy way to look for fares is to use kayak.com.

Finally, one way fares will be staggeringly expensive. I would suggest that, if you want to use miles but don't have enough for two of you, use miles for one and buy a return ticket for the other.
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Old Aug 3, 16, 1:31 pm
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In terms of non-stop and one-stop, SAA flies to both JFK and IAD from JNB. JFK is non-stop in both directions, while IAD stops in either ACC or DKR (depending on the day of the week) in both directions.

Keep in mind that any transits through Europe are likely to result in very long layovers on the outbound leg in Europe (except KLM through AMS).

In terms of their onboard product, I find SAA's business class comparable, and sometimes even better than some European airlines, but not up to Middle Easter or Asian standards.

Don't forget Delta, they have a non-stop ATL to JNB.
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Old Aug 8, 16, 7:04 am
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you can find long connections on ua very easily, probably not defined as a stop but i sometimes like having 20 hours in ord or something

saa's business is not very good, i'd do what others are suggesting and go the lh or lx route out of lax. i would not pay for sa business, it's really mediocre.

be careful with that sa jfk flight, every so often the flight sked reverts to a different equipment which makes a stop over in dkr or acc. used to be during northern summer only, then northern winter, then ???. so keep track of that. the stop over is annoying and saa is a really irritating airline to fly with (you can't have blankets on during takeoff or landing, they play the same repetitive announcements, same slow service, etc).

also there's turkish airlines which i love flying on, i know they fly out of sfo and iah for cheap. and i'm pretty sure you can get a stopover on a business ticket. also you have long connections in istanbul so you can wander out if you're keen enough.

for schedule especially out of san ba is hard to beat.
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Old Aug 8, 16, 10:13 pm
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Originally Posted by cur View Post
be careful with that sa jfk flight, every so often the flight sked reverts to a different equipment which makes a stop over in dkr or acc. used to be during northern summer only, then northern winter, then ???. so keep track of that.
They did not do this last year. In some past years between Dec and Feb (peak summer season in South Africa) the A340-600 on JFK was substituted with an A340-300 which required a stop on DKR on the west bound leg. They didn't do it last year and won't be doing it again this year (with the A330-300s arriving).

Originally Posted by cur View Post
also there's turkish airlines which i love flying on, i know they fly out of sfo and iah for cheap. and i'm pretty sure you can get a stopover on a business ticket. also you have long connections in istanbul so you can wander out if you're keen enough.
Agreed, Turkish is great and they also fly into CPT and DUR in addition to JNB.

Originally Posted by cur View Post
for schedule especially out of san ba is hard to beat.
Well, they have a lot of capacity, but the schedule lacks diversity, all overnight flights in both directions meaning long layovers in Europe on the return journey.
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Old Aug 8, 16, 11:31 pm
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Originally Posted by ranles View Post
..We are not stuck on the Star Alliance, just thought we might be able to use our mileage at least one direction for the business flight. We actually have a bit more mileage on Alaska. We are working on a cruise out of Amsterdam for next year too, so between the two trips we would like to get some "saver rates" if possible.
USA South Africa award can be hard to get. Many will involve via Eu or the middle east or Asia.
Cathay, Delta & Emirates are AS partners. But the AS award cost on EK increased dramatically no that long ago

The most expensive cash flight is likely to be to/from an airlines home base. A captive market and people do not look for alternatives.
Usually flying an airline that is not to/from home base will be cheaper.
examples'
EK NYC-DXB-JNB expect to be cheaper than SAA NYC-JNB (have not checked)
QR LHR-DOH-DXB expect to be cheaper than EK LHR-DXB

http://www.johannesburg-airport.com/flights.html
http://www.johannesburg-airport.com/airlines.html

http://www.airports.co.za/airports/o...rport/airlines

A technical stop is a stop for fuel. Not to embark or disembark passengers or cargo.

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Aug 8, 16 at 11:44 pm Reason: more links
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Old Aug 10, 16, 7:28 pm
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Thank you all...I have some homework! Will also be working on timing (month) and where to go. I will try posting "Africa" in destinations for that.

Need to try main ? again.

We do not want to do any flying over 20 hours without a stay somewhere for a nights sleep, or even a day or two visit.

Do any airlines, that might fit what we are looking to accomplish, allow flying on one ticket to a (SAN to London or..., then get off for a couple days
and then continue on the same ticket to JNB. We have many times done this on UA in the past. ie fly to Oahu, stay 5 days, continue to another island and stay again. That is the first 1/2 of a RT ticket. Then come home that way or another on the second 1/2 of the RT...NOT multiple tickets. It is called something, but I forgot. We did that in Australia too. Flew on UA to SYD, stayed a few days and then went (on partner) to Perth. Or on UA to Melbourne. These we all one RT ticket for point or money. We understand that may require to "start" somewhere other that SAN>
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Old Aug 10, 16, 8:59 pm
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Now days very few award flights allow a stopover on the way to the destination.
If a cash ticket more options (talk face to face with a real living travel agent)
If flying business class a stopover in UK will result in paying the APD.
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Old Aug 13, 16, 3:04 am
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Originally Posted by ranles View Post
We do not want to do any flying over 20 hours without a stay somewhere for a nights sleep, or even a day or two visit.
long cnx routing suggestion:

cpt-muc on lh (arrives muc 1900hrs)
muc-usa on lh or ua (departs muc following day in late am)

24hr luggage storage at muc airport and convenient s bahn connections
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Old Aug 15, 16, 9:55 pm
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Originally Posted by ranles View Post

Do any airlines, that might fit what we are looking to accomplish, allow flying on one ticket to a (SAN to London or..., then get off for a couple days
and then continue on the same ticket to JNB. We have many times done this on UA in the past. ie fly to Oahu, stay 5 days, continue to another island and stay again. That is the first 1/2 of a RT ticket. Then come home that way or another on the second 1/2 of the RT...NOT multiple tickets. It is called something, but I forgot. We did that in Australia too. Flew on UA to SYD, stayed a few days and then went (on partner) to Perth. Or on UA to Melbourne. These we all one RT ticket for point or money. We understand that may require to "start" somewhere other that SAN>
If you are on a paid ticket for both of you, and not looking at the limitations of award travel, I would suggest you look into the "rules" section for any ticket on ITA software. Search your preferred routing / carrier on ITA software and if you pull up the rules, there should be some instructions in the rules about stopovers (ie: $100 each at XXX, YYY, ZZZ). Finding a travel agent may allow you to book it, or using google flights or similar will be the way to go, since you can't always easily book it on the airlines websites. Best of luck!
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