Need airline strategy to South Africa

Discussion in 'Africa' started by Sagegal, Feb 8, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Sagegal

    Sagegal Silver Member

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    Please help....I need 3 business class seats to South Africa I currently have

    85K US Airways
    110K Membership rewards
    30K Ultimate Rewards
    49K Delta

    I know this isn't enough points but I need to know what airline I'll travel so I can acquire the points needed. I'm due for a churn. I'd leave from Washington DC area but can accommodate JFK departures. I'm thinking US airways alliance carriers might be best.

    Can someone suggest links or best routing options. Not going til 2014.

    Thanks.
     
  2. kiwi
    Original Member

    kiwi Gold Member

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    South African Airways is a star alliance member, and flies from IAD and JFK to JNB.
     
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  3. Sagegal

    Sagegal Silver Member

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    Thanks. I'll stick with concentrating my earning on US Airways points then. I applied and was accepted for my second US Airways Mastercard . In addition I read a post from "the points guy" and saw his itinerary closely matched mine except I'll depart from IAD where he departed from JFK. Each RT is 110K for business, 70K for coach. I'll wait for transfer, shopping portal and various other bonus opportunities, and should be able to acquire the remaining 225k quickly. I just needed a focus point. These forums have my head racing in all directions at times.
     
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  4. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    When I redeemed US miles for JNB I had to leave from IAD and return to JFK on SAA booked one tix 6 months ahead so be flexible as there are limited flights on SAA. I had also considered going via Europe to find flights -JNB was key and I did cash flights to Botswana, nelspruit and Capetown
     
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  5. Sagegal

    Sagegal Silver Member

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    Just an update, I'll be booking in Oct, since the trip isn't until August 2014. Since I first posted I've acquired 180,000 Dividend miles for 1 coach and 1 biz class seat and 80K United miles for another economy seat as a Star Alliance partner. I pre-booked my hotels using my over abundance of Club Carlson and Hyatt points in order to perhaps shield me from future devaluations and was able to manage 11 award nights out of 14. The biggest surprise of all was the Hyatt Regency properties in Oubaai and Johannesburg were Cat 3 &2 requiring far fewer points than anticipated but if I were to pay out of pocket the rooms ran upwards of $300 per night US.
     
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  6. Sagegal

    Sagegal Silver Member

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    Has anyone notice it is now extremely difficult to book an award ticket; either economy or business class from the east coast to South Africa on Star Alliance partners? I have made at least 4 attempts with various routings through European cities or directly from IAD and if there is a seat to get me to South Africa there are no seats to get me out. I initially planned for all of August (nothing available) and have tried for July and even June without success. So thanks to all of the bloggers who created the demand with the endless posts about the US Air sweet spot to South Africa going away - it's actually almost extinct. Perhaps I should hold my hotel bookings which escaped the devaluations due to early bookings as hostage. I certainly won't call on the bloggers with award booking services to crank out a bookable itinerary (which is most likely why the frenzy was created to begin with). Really?
     
  7. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

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    I agree its rough, but I think you can find something that works.

    How are you doing these attempts? Mid last month I did the same thing, I settled on an AA award, but I did find some limited Star Alliance space outbound by searching on the UA site.

    It was right around labor day, not much available but I was able to find some. This was searching by random segments and piecing together something that worked. For Star I think I found, some sort of flight WAS - Montreal, Business Montreal to Zurich on Swiss!, Business Swiss to JNB around August 26th. Return had to be on Monday the 8th JNB to JFK via Cairo in Egyptian Business, then a dumpy layover and then JFK - Charlotte - WAS.

    I ended up figuring out we could do Qatar on a One World distance award and went with that. The Star route I had pieced together was round about, and other than the Swiss on the outbound not the most high end type of business class.

    For this type of award you have to do your own research (that takes a lot of time on the UA site) and be very creative on how you search for ANY flight from N. America to Europe, and then ANY flight down into Africa and build connections to get to each.

    If you are willing to fly a lot I'd also try doing some sort of route via Asia - it looked like you could do that in about 34 hours of flying and get good airlines like Thai or Asiana, but I don't know if US would allow that (you could try) and my wife wanted direct as possible.
     

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