Business Class Travel to Johannesburg

Reply

Aug 3rd, 2005, 08:36 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3
Business Class Travel to Johannesburg

I need help planning a trip. I am going to Swaziland on a medical mission, and it is my first time traveling to Africa. Can anyone give me tips on how to travel by Business Class for the best price? usairways ff miles, but I'm willing to foot the cost.
drwillow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 3rd, 2005, 08:43 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,727
Rocco might have some suggestions. I think he mentioned finding a business class fare from LAX to JNB on Lufthansa for $3750. I think that's about as good as it gets. Where are you flying from?
Patty is online now  
Reply With Quote
Aug 3rd, 2005, 08:49 PM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3
I am currently in Los Angeles, but will be traveling to the Washington, DC just before the trip. I plan to travel from the Washington area (BWI or IAD) from September 4-6th returning September 20-24th.
drwillow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 3rd, 2005, 09:16 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
DrWillow,

If you are an American Express Platinum Card member, you may get a flight from LAX - Cincinnati - Frankfurt - Johannesburg for under $4000. More than likely you would be able to have a stopover in Cincinnati, and it would still be worth your while to fly at an additional expense, separately, from Cincinnati to Washington DC.

I do believe that Business Class air from DC to Joburg will be double the cost on SAA.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 3rd, 2005, 09:42 PM
  #5
Lin
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 330
drwillow: Two points: If you are a Platinum American Express card holder (you can do this by paying $400) they have a buy one get one free benefit for business class - you don't say whether you are traveling alone? My second point is, why are you so set on going business class? I can tell you after three trips, SAA is really pretty comfortable in economy class and with all the movies you will get through the trip just fine.
Lin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 3rd, 2005, 09:52 PM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3
Lin,
I primarily am looking for comfort. It's been a while since I've been on a plane longer than 5 hours. I am traveling alone . A friend just returned on SAA and was almost stranded. Would you chose SAA over other airlines economy?
drwillow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 3rd, 2005, 10:03 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
Lin,

Those 2 for 1 fares are a sham. There are other (non SAA) fares out there that actually come in less for 1 ticket than 2 tickets on the 2 for 1 specials.
Roccco is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 4th, 2005, 06:54 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 973
If you're looking primarily for comfort, you might consider flying to Europe, staying over a night, and then flying on to Jo'burg. Having a day in Europe helps to get accustomed to the time change, and breaks up the long flight.
Celia is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 4th, 2005, 08:15 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,297
If you can use ff miles and find availability, it is a great use of them (120K for business).

The idea to stop over in Europe on the way is a good one.

Another thing to think about -- some airlines have something with more room than regular coach but less than business -- e.g. Economy Plus on UA, I think it's called World Traveller Plus or something like that on BA, maybe Virgin/others have something comparable.

In addition to the usual websites like orbitz.com etc., also check with consolidators and maybe even a travel agent to see what they can turn up.

Good luck.
lisa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 4th, 2005, 09:22 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,766
Virgin has economy plus.
napamatt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 4th, 2005, 09:23 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,766
Doh! Premium economy.
napamatt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 4th, 2005, 01:05 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 150
I just flew BA Premium Economy to London connecting onto SAA. Make no mistake-premium economy isn't even close to business and not really worth more than about $100-200 over regular coach. Same terrible food, a little bit more space but not much and a quieter cabin. I also flew upper deck economy on SAA and this was much better than BA premium economy. Came back from JNB to LHR in SAA business which was among the best I have flown-better than BA, UA etc, but not quite up to the new upper class suite on Virgin
laguna92688 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 4th, 2005, 01:30 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,727
What anything is worth is really such a personal decision. For me, PE (or WT+) is worth more than $100-$200 extra. I'd pay up to $500 more for a transatlantic flight (from the west coast) and $800 more for flights to Africa. Of course if the airlines want to sell me the same flights for only $200 more, I won't complain

Virgin PE, while nothing like business class, is actually pretty decent if you can get upper deck seating on the 747.

I sometimes find it so utterly bizarre that people will spend $1000's of dollars per night on luxury accomodations, yet fly in economy. But I'm sure people find my preferences equally strange

Why question if someone else prefers to spend the extra money on business or even PE? Everyone has their own value system.
Patty is online now  
Reply With Quote
Aug 4th, 2005, 05:30 PM
  #14
Lin
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 330
drwillow, I agree that a stopover in Europe will make your trip most comfortable. You can get out, stretch your legs, and if you're flying business class you get the use of the airline's lounge, even take a shower. We got stranded by SAA on the 24th of July, and instead flew home business class on Swiss Air via Zurich, then business class on Air Canada via Toronto. Swiss Air's fully reclined seats tilt at an awkward angle so that you can't lie flat, your head is higher than your feet and you keep sliding downwards, -very strange and hard to sleep! and Air Canada's plane was old so the business class seats were wide but barely reclined at all. What European airline do others recommend for comfort in business class? British Air, Alitalia, Air France, Virgin, who? I'd like to know in case I'm ever stranded again gt;
Lin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 4th, 2005, 05:35 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,297
NW/KLM's newer seats recline almost 180 degrees but they too are on a downslope so I tend to slide down toward the footrest. Lots of airlines advertise "flat" beds but what they neglect to mention is that flat does not necessarily mean horizontal! Still it's hard to complain since anything is better than coach.

Best venue for finding out about this stuff is www.flyertalk.com and also www.seatguru.com (along with each airline's own webiste).
lisa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 5th, 2005, 02:03 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,501
Hello,

I highly recommend Virgin if you can get the Upper Class Suite (unfortunately not available on all flights to Africa). The seats have a leather seat on one side and a real mattress on the other, and you get down comforters and pyjamas...

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 5th, 2005, 07:07 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,766
The question has been asked so here goes, I am lucky enough to travel this way and so have some experience

Business Class
BA - lie flat, some face backwards, not very wide, no sleep suit, regular blanket. Good lounge.
Lufthansa - old style cradle seat, not the lie flat bed, uses SAA lounge.

1ST Class
SAA - very comfortable lie flat bed, see last trip report. Lounge at LHR was nothing special. Lounge at JNB better.

Virgin - eve the old bed, while not horizontal was very comfortable. Best lounge. Looking forward to suite next year.

Lufthansa (I got upgraded )
Lie flat bed was very comfortable. Lounge at Frankfurt was excellent. Service was good, though they take for ever to serve the meals. Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 1997 makes most things bearable - sigh!

napamatt is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:25 PM.