Help with routing to CPT or JNB

Old Jun 14, 11, 3:56 am
  #1  
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Help with routing to CPT or JNB

I'm planning a birthday trip in November with husband and daughter to South Africa. We will visit both JNB and CPT, and the order doesn't matter. We can leave from IAD or DCA. Husband and I are CO elites (Gold/Plat respectively) so our miles are all OnePass. We'd like to upgrade, but SAA doesn't upgrade on *A miles, CO is not likely to launch LOS before November, and there are no *A direct flights from ACC.

Any recommendations?

Last edited by Jade_BR; Jun 14, 11 at 4:29 am
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Old Jun 14, 11, 5:12 am
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You buying a Y ticket and trying to UG or just looking for award availability?

If you can't get the SA n/s, can transit via LHR (SA), FRA/MUC (LH and maybe SA on one, can't remember), ZRH (LX), or even TK (IST)...coming back via the latter in the spring.
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Old Jun 14, 11, 6:02 am
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Originally Posted by UA-NYC View Post
You buying a Y ticket and trying to UG or just looking for award availability?

If you can't get the SA n/s, can transit via LHR (SA), FRA/MUC (LH and maybe SA on one, can't remember), ZRH (LX), or even TK (IST)...coming back via the latter in the spring.
Yes, looking to buy Y and upgrade with miles. The issue with *A is that a) I've never once cleared on any partner flights, and I'd be looking to clear 3 passengers... fat chance and b) upgrades are per segment AFAIK so I'm in the back to Europe, or to Africa
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Old Jun 14, 11, 6:12 am
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Hi,

I make the trip from NYC to JNB twice a month (yes, I now have more miles than know what to do with).

Anyway, despite being *A gold, I always have trouble booking a full fare business class fare on SAA - it is a very heavily traveled route for business. The same goes for the DCA routing.

What I will tell you is that you may be able to fly through Munich or Frankfurt, Lufthansa flys to JNB, but this requires a double overnight. The other option is CO or UA through London and connect with SAA, but again, this requires a double overnight and long layover.

Other than that, it is not easy to get to, hence the issues you are having.

Sorry I couldn't help more... if you need any recommendations while in SA, let me know, I can help.

Nyr2299
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Old Jun 14, 11, 6:33 am
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last year for the world cup, i got a First class award with routing of IAD-NRT-SIN-JNB.....it was all UA other than SIN-JNB-SIN which was on SQ.
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Old Jun 14, 11, 6:41 am
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Going out via Europe you will face the issue that the flights to JNB and CPT are overnight flights, so you will have to kill a day in your European hub - but that's not too difficult with a little bit of well-planned tourism.

Returning, the flights are also overnight, but connect well with the flights to the USA. For example the CPT-LHR non-stop gets into LHR at 0620, giving an easy connection onto UA's early flight to IAD.

Do look for reward space in business - I've twice managed to get C awards on South African (but only to JNB).
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Old Jun 14, 11, 6:46 am
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
Going out via Europe you will face the issue that the flights to JNB and CPT are overnight flights, so you will have to kill a day in your European hub - but that's not too difficult with a little bit of well-planned tourism.

Returning, the flights are also overnight, but connect well with the flights to the USA. For example the CPT-LHR non-stop gets into LHR at 0620, giving an easy connection onto UA's early flight to IAD.

Do look for reward space in business - I've twice managed to get C awards on South African (but only to JNB).
Unfortunately, reward tickets are not an option for us. Not only we wouldn't have enough for all 3 passengers, but we need the miles for elite status so if we use miles it's for upgrades only - leaving SAA out of the equation completely
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Old Jun 14, 11, 10:49 am
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I believe there is also a route via Sao Paolo on SAA.
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Old Jun 14, 11, 4:31 pm
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Are you from Brasil?

SAA flies GRU-JNB 11x weekly now.

and EZE-JNB 3x weekly.

They pretty much have a MONOPOLY on South Atlantic flights in addition to MH's EZE-CPT-KUL route 2x weekly.
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Old Jun 14, 11, 8:27 pm
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Don't want to hijack the thread but I have a similar question to OP.

We are heading from CA to CPT/JNB in Sept 12 and looking ideally for Y to C UG or (if necessary) C award seats for 2 UA 1K pax.

We have family in Australia and were thinking of going that direction rather than via Europe. Are we crazy? What flights/airlines/routes do the experts recommend?

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Old Jun 15, 11, 10:48 am
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The South Atlantic/Pacific routes to Africa are EXTREMELY expensive because of lack of competition though sometimes you can get deals:

Southern hemisphere flights:
South Atlantic flights:
MH 744 2x weekly EZE-CPT (continuation of EZE-CPT-KUL, the point of this flight it between South America and SE-Asia, the South Africa stop is just gravy and for CARGO.)
*A: SA 346/343/342 11x weekly GRU-JNB
*A: SA 343/342 3x weekly EZE-JNB
TAAG Angola (newly delivered 77W and 77E's): LAD-GRU 4x, LAD-GIG 3x (they fly this route due to European colonial history, Luanda speaks Portuguese and obviously the much more developed Brasil in South America does too!).

South Pacific flights:
QF 744 7x weekly (daily) SYD-JNB
*A: SA 6x/sometimes 7x/daily PER-JNB (343, 346, 342)
*A: SQ 7x weekly (daily, 772) SIN-JNB
MH 2x weekly 744 (as said above on the South Atlantic part): KUL-CPT
MH 3x weekly 772 KUL-JNB
*A: TG 4x weekly 772 BKK-JNB
*A: SA 3x weekly 343/342 BOM-JNB (code-shared with AI)
*A: 9W (Jet Airways India) 332 3-4x weekly BOM-JNB

The obvious EK 2x dailies to both JNB, CPT and somewhere else from their superhub in DXB (Dubai) and similar with QR (Qatar, DOH-Doha) and EY (Etihad, Abu Dhabi).

If you don't want to take a traditional European/SE Atlantic routing.

If you WANT a really cool route that is growing in ....-load of traffic is between Oceania (Australia, New Zealand) & South America (with connecting traffic from Asia):

LAN: SCL-AKL-SYD 6x soon daily
AR: EZE-AKL-SYD 3x soon when they get more planes more capacity
QF: EZE-SYD 3x soon when they get more planes more capacity
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Old May 19, 13, 12:29 am
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Hey everyone,

I tried to post a little bit about this in another thread but realized later it was in the "pre-merger" forum which I figure gets little traffic now so will try with this thread.

Curious if anyone has more updated info on the best options using United miles to CPT. I am considering an August 2014 trip - but searches even a year out (looking in April '14 obviously, just for an idea of what award availability looks like a year out) show very limited saver availability, with the only option being LH via MUC. I know I have to be missing something here since I see all the posts of various different available routes. Is there a lot of "hidden" availability / routing on partners available only via phone-booking? What other programs should I be searching in? We would also be considering a stop-over of a couple nights (which would obviously help break up the length of the trip), and we'd be pretty flexible re: where that stopover could be.

Specifically I would be leaving from SAN, though obviously I could take a drive up to LAX or a positioning flight if necessary.

Much thanks to anyone who can merely help point me in the right direction.
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Old May 19, 13, 10:36 am
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Hi,

We go to SA every couple of years (from SFO) on UA miles. Not sure if you want Y or C tickets. Y has a lot more availability than C. That being said, you can easily get saver award tickets if you book a year out.

I have always had to do this by phone (but am 1K so it does not cost anything). Look at LHR there are a couple of flights a day onward to JNB (via SAA). We like to spend a couple of days in London on the way over. We have also done the stopover in FRA and MUC. We have come back on Swiss, but I can't remember the routing, it invloved a couple of stops.

I (personally) have never been sucessful in going all the way to CPT on the Y saver 80K miles or the C saver at 120K, there is never availablility on the JNB-CPT flights when I want to travel. Others have posted success with that. I usually just need to go to JNB. But the JNB-CPT flights are not very expensive.

Last week I just booked SFO-JNB-SFO on miles, there are 3 of us traveling this Sept. Had to book in Y to get saver awards, but all 3 of us are together on SFO-LHR-JNB and JNB-JFK-SFO, with the wanted 2 day layover in LHR on the outbound.

I hope this is helpful to you.
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Old May 19, 13, 11:14 am
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I would very definitely recommend C, it's possibly one of the best value C awards available if you can get it. You will be exhausted after the trip anyway but being able to lie down makes a big difference and basically adds a day or 2 to your vacation. Otherwise a layover on the way there will help.

I have booked a few US-CPT award trips over the years. My favorite routing (since SA cancelled LHR-CPT) from the west coast is through MUC and on to the direct flight to CPT. You get to skip having to navigate JNB. But it only operates half the year or so and only on a few days of the week.

My general advice is to search from the gateways. JFK, IAD, MUC, FRA to JNB.
One other question, why August? Cape Town weather can be pretty miserable then, you can also have clear days, but if you can delay a month the end of September is generally much nicer weather.

Last edited by escapefromphl; May 19, 13 at 11:20 am
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Old May 19, 13, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by LongingForORD View Post
Hi,

We go to SA every couple of years (from SFO) on UA miles. Not sure if you want Y or C tickets. Y has a lot more availability than C. That being said, you can easily get saver award tickets if you book a year out.

I have always had to do this by phone (but am 1K so it does not cost anything). Look at LHR there are a couple of flights a day onward to JNB (via SAA). We like to spend a couple of days in London on the way over. We have also done the stopover in FRA and MUC. We have come back on Swiss, but I can't remember the routing, it invloved a couple of stops.

I (personally) have never been sucessful in going all the way to CPT on the Y saver 80K miles or the C saver at 120K, there is never availablility on the JNB-CPT flights when I want to travel. Others have posted success with that. I usually just need to go to JNB. But the JNB-CPT flights are not very expensive.

Last week I just booked SFO-JNB-SFO on miles, there are 3 of us traveling this Sept. Had to book in Y to get saver awards, but all 3 of us are together on SFO-LHR-JNB and JNB-JFK-SFO, with the wanted 2 day layover in LHR on the outbound.

I hope this is helpful to you.
This is extremely helpful. I appreciate your insights.

I think I would be ok with Y for a flight with a stopover, but would prefer business or first for the flight without the stopover (assuming I can find the seats and have the points for it). Where are you searching for award availability? Are you using ANA or Expertflyer, or does it show up properly on UA? That is the biggest issue I am having - UA only shows one routing 330day out (via MUC). Is there a "secret" here I am missing? Or is this because I was searching directly to CPT and should be searching to JNB?

Thanks again! Certainly helpful to get insight from someone that has navigated these waters before.
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