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Difference between Air Botswana and South African Air

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May 22nd, 2013, 10:11 AM
  #1
TC
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Difference between Air Botswana and South African Air

Flying Johannasburg to Maun. Big price difference between the two airlines. Flight times are almost identical. 2 people on AB $8396 USD. 2 people on SAA $1112. USD. Why such a big difference? Have you used either? both?

Thanks.
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May 22nd, 2013, 10:12 AM
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Ooops....Air Botswana is $839 USD SAA is $1112 USD.
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May 22nd, 2013, 11:28 AM
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I have used both. SAA is much more reliable (less last minute cancels and breakdowns) and worth the extra money. Also, the SAA plane usually begins the day at Jo'burg at their hub airport and HQ. The Air Botswana plane starts the day in Botswana so its first challenge is getting to Jo'burg without a breakdown or crew no-show.

My advice is don't "go cheap" on more reliable logistics to start your safari.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond
2011 & 2012 Travel & Leisure A-List agent for Botswana and South Africa.
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May 22nd, 2013, 11:48 AM
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Air Botswana "cancelled" reservations of about 2/3 of our group for a flight from JNB to MUB. This was NOT what we wanted to hear when we tried to check in. Fortunately, they restored the reservations and we were able to get on our flight. In the past, I've had them say that the morning flight was full and routed me to Maun via Gabarone, only to hear from passengers on the morning flight that it was half empty. AB does have its challenges! Perhaps some competition from SAA will put them on their toes.
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May 23rd, 2013, 07:38 AM
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Easy choice. South African despite higher cost. I am doing this in July.
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Dec 13th, 2013, 08:57 PM
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No compromise. Although a slightly higher price you have about a 99% more chance of making connecting flights if you fly Airlink. Flying into Maun you will also have a higher chance to make it into camp in time for a game drive rather than spend your first night in Maun as opposed to the expensive camp that you have paid for. I have flown Air Botswana twice and on both occasions the flight left late, on the first instance 30 minutes, as crew turned up late and then the next flight was just over an hour late due to a fueling delay at Kasane. I don't have a choice staying in Gabarone of who I use to fly to Maun as there is only Air Botswana. Already for my Christmas trip the flight returning to Gabs in the new year the departure time has changed to a morning flight instead of the mid afternoon flight that I booked.
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