Qatar/CX or Etihad/SAA to South Africa?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Flyerdad, Jul 31, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. Flyerdad

    Flyerdad Silver Member

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    I realize there is no "right" answer, but I'd love to hear opinions. We (father and son) are going to South Africa next summer. We can either:

    (1) Fly Qatar in business from SF-LA-DOH-CPT, and then CX Business (1 first class seat open now, will try to score a second) from JNB-HKG-SF. Total miles is 275,000 (or 290,000 if CX in F)

    (2) Fly Etihad in business from SF-AUH and SAA in business from AUH-JNB-CPT, and the same on return. Total miles is 204,000.

    Also,

    (3) There will be no fuel charges for either itinerary.

    (4) For me, getting there is half (or some) of the fun, so I really do like a premium product and lounge.

    Given all that, is it worth the extra 68,000-86,000 miles to fly Qatar and Cathay (and the Qatar lounge) over Etihad and South Africa Airways (and Etihad lounge)?

    Thanks for any thoughts on this.
     
  2. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Why not etep up to etihad F?
     
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  3. Flyerdad

    Flyerdad Silver Member

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    I believe using ANA miles it jumps from 208,000 (for two) to 390,000 miles. I don't think the premium is worth it.
     
  4. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

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    Qatar + CX combination will always beat out any combo that includes SAA so I think is worth the extra miles :eek:

    furthermore the lounge at Doha is far nicer than at Abu Dhabi and Etihad service at airports outside the UAE goes downhill fast

    I am not crazy about CX but it would be difficult to fault their overall service

    SAA (or Kenya Airways) will always get my business for flights within Africa, otherwise I would find them useless

    sounds like a fun trip either way :cool:
     
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  5. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Depends on how much you want to spend (or save ) and how much time you really want to spend getting on plane as opposed to a nice hotel) or airport lounges.
    For me AA it would be:
    SFO/DFW and AA 963 - DFW/GRU which is a 77W in F or C (the 77W has one the best C class seats going)
    Arrive in the morning get a day room at the Marriott and the fly out that PM SAA GRU/JNB/CPT
     
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  6. Flyerdad

    Flyerdad Silver Member

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    Thanks NewBlueSea: I hadn't thought about flying through South America--that's why MP is so helpful. Unfortunately, American has no saver award tickets at all for the entire month of June! I have been able to find space on the two itineraries going to CPT (too early to book the return).

    Thanks JonSpencer!
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2015
  7. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    LAN and TAM can be options to S. America as well. Keep in mind if you're a US passport holder, you need a visa if you leave the secured area of the airport in Brazil.

    Honestly, it's too hard to say which options is best since it's dependent on availability. If every option were available, I'd just do QR via JFK/PHL and DOH so it's B787s for all the int'l segments.
     
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  8. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Personally the way awards go these days I would grab anything that works.
    In the case of AA and assuming you have the inclination to that way I would check back in a few weeks I don't believe they have loaded their awards for June 2016 just yet (its rarely the 330 days out, at least for some routes recently)

    On a side note keep an eye on the weather lt can be pretty cool in the Cape region in June.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
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  9. Flyerdad

    Flyerdad Silver Member

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    Thanks all. I am going to go with the Qatar/CX combination. I'm booking it as two one-ways, so I can book the outbound using AA miles right now and use my Alaska miles on CX for the return when they open up the schedule. I appreciate everyone's help.
     
  10. Flyerdad

    Flyerdad Silver Member

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    OP again. Thanks again for the suggestion to book as two one-ways--outbound with Qatar and the return on CX. We were able to travel in F (at least from HKG) on the way back on CX. Total round trip is 145,000 each (roundtrip between SF and South Africa), which I think is pretty good considering the airlines. Really appreciated the help on this.
     
  11. Mikus33

    Mikus33 Silver Member

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    What did you end up with as your final routing? Note that if you're flying through PHL next year on the way out you will probably be flying the A350 which would be a huge win. You might keep checking availability for that PHL routing as you can change routing for free with AA miles as long as the departure location and arrival location remain the same. Dates can change for free too.

    http://atwonline.com/airframes/qatar-airways-announces-first-a350-xwb-routes-us

    I just flew the PHL-DOH-JNB on QR, and loved it. It was nice to check out both of QR's Biz class types (777 and 787) on the flight, and I absolutely love the business class lounge in DOH.
     
  12. Flyerdad

    Flyerdad Silver Member

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    Hello Mikus: We are flying QR from LAX-DOH-CPT in J, and then JNB-HKG-LAX back (J on first segment, F on the second segment). Very excited. We aren't going to go through PHL to avoid a stopover, although 350 sounds great. But would rather get their sooner. I've read that QR plans to introduce new, "super" business class seating in 2016 on the 777, but no idea if it will be out yet when we fly. Hoping . . .
     
  13. Mikus33

    Mikus33 Silver Member

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    I didn't even know QR was going to start a LAX-DOH flight, but that's great. Looks like they're also starting BOS-DOH and ATL-DOH as well. Learning all kinds of things today. Hopefully they come through with their 'super' business class. That Akbar Al Baker is one crazy dude, so if it actually comes to fruition it will most likely be pretty awesome.
     

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