Booking SAA award flight using UA miles

    Hide Wikipost
Old Jun 29, 19, 3:53 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: WineCountryUA
Wiki Link
Print Wikipost

Old Sep 23, 14, 9:09 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 53
Booking SAA award flight using UA miles

I'm trying to book a business award flight JFK to Johannesburg using United miles. There are no award tickets for the direct flight, the only option is via Cairo, and I'm not very comfortable about that. Is there any way I can book the award flight directly from the SAA web site? The direct flight is on SAA. Does SAA have the 'saver award' concept? Thanks.
xyz99 is offline  
Old Sep 23, 14, 9:13 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: SJC
Programs: UA 1K, DL Silver
Posts: 1,038
If you are spending UA miles, you can only book from UA. If ual.com shows no availability for that flight, it's not available.
You can book on SA website if you are spending SA miles.
blug is offline  
Old Sep 23, 14, 9:15 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: None - previously UA
Posts: 2,809
There are at least a few other threads on booking award flights to SA. Reading through those will answer your questions
escapefromphl is offline  
Old Sep 23, 14, 9:19 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 1,129
You can only use UA miles through UA.

As someone who has been looking non-stop for JFK-JNB on miles in business i'd say don't get your hopes up that you will find open space.

There has been frequent space IAD-GRU-JNB in business recently, which seems to be the best option if you want to find something reasonably far out. You can always change at the last minute (about two weeks out) if something better opens up. The other alternative is to burn miles to beijing or hong kong then buy a separate miles ticket from one of those two locations to JNB as those routes tend to have a lot of inventory as well. but a long time in the air and a lot of miles...but IMHO better than flying the shorter route in coach.

Good luck.
boolean64 is offline  
Old Sep 24, 14, 7:57 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 53
Thank you all, great info, as usual.
xyz99 is offline  
Old Sep 24, 14, 8:17 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Maryland
Programs: United, Turkish
Posts: 640
Just remember also that SAA is the master of the dreaded "mixed cabin" listing, where the long flight out of JNB is in economy and the short connecting hop at the end is in Business but it appears in Business on the United website

Last edited by morelegroom; Sep 24, 14 at 2:35 pm
morelegroom is offline  
Old Sep 24, 14, 8:57 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 53
morelegroom, thanks - I did not even know that! I need to pay attention to that, too. This is getting more and more complicated
xyz99 is offline  
Old Sep 24, 14, 9:31 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Programs: UA-1Kmm, AA-EX Plt mm-, Hilton Diamond,
Posts: 1,048
Search the other threads on this topic for creative routing options if you want business class. Flights to South Africa in award business class remain as a very challenging route. It's not not easy but not impossible either if you have flexibility and time to search.
FLYDCA is offline  
Old Sep 24, 14, 10:09 am
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 53
I will, thanks a lot for pointing me in the right direction.
xyz99 is offline  
Old Sep 24, 14, 10:43 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Programs: Mileage Plus 1K; Marriott Platinum; Hilton Gold
Posts: 6,288
SA to MRU?

Has anyone out there ever succeeded in booking SA to Mauritius (JNB-MRU) using UA miles?
transportprof is offline  
Old Sep 24, 14, 2:15 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: None - previously UA
Posts: 2,809
Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
Has anyone out there ever succeeded in booking SA to Mauritius (JNB-MRU) using UA miles?
I don't think this is possible (at least not at present), it seems MRU is like MUB and SA just doesn't release *A award inventory. If you had 50K+ SA miles it may be possible but they want +/-$300 in fees as well so not exactly a deal.
escapefromphl is offline  
Old Sep 24, 14, 2:47 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 34
Does anyone else think something is up with award availability on SAA using United Miles? There used to be all sorts of availability to everywhere on the African continent using United Miles but I was looking today and there are absolutely no listings of SAA operated flights... if this is real and not just some temporary glitch it's going to be a major bummer as I live in SA and was planning some sweet trips in African next year using those miles... hoping award availability reappears.
FlyingForever2014 is offline  
Old Sep 24, 14, 2:57 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: None - previously UA
Posts: 2,809
Originally Posted by FlyingForever2014 View Post
Does anyone else think something is up with award availability on SAA using United Miles? There used to be all sorts of availability to everywhere on the African continent using United Miles but I was looking today and there are absolutely no listings of SAA operated flights... if this is real and not just some temporary glitch it's going to be a major bummer as I live in SA and was planning some sweet trips in African next year using those miles... hoping award availability reappears.
Something must be up, I get this every date I search, this route usually has at least decent availability.:

"United does not offer service between Johannesburg ZA (JNB) and Cape Town ZA (CPT). Please modify your search criteria."

Last edited by escapefromphl; Sep 24, 14 at 3:03 pm
escapefromphl is offline  
Old Sep 24, 14, 5:28 pm
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 53
I only started looking a few days ago, and that's all I got - nothing from EWR to either Johannesburg or Cape Town, nothing from JFK to either SA city, only JFK to Johannesburg via Cairo. I thought that was the norm...hopefully not.
xyz99 is offline  
Old Sep 24, 14, 10:59 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 34
Originally Posted by xyz99 View Post
I only started looking a few days ago, and that's all I got - nothing from EWR to either Johannesburg or Cape Town, nothing from JFK to either SA city, only JFK to Johannesburg via Cairo. I thought that was the norm...hopefully not.
I think xyz99 is probably right... something must be up with their system. Hopefully United will have the SAA award flights loaded back in soon.
FlyingForever2014 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread