Discounted business class to Nairobi

Reply

Mar 1st, 2005, 12:51 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,824
Discounted business class to Nairobi

I'm exploring the flight options for our next trip which will hopefully take place sometime late this year. We redeemed Delta Skymiles for business class tickets last time but will not have enough miles for this time. I'm considering buying the rest of the miles we need but as of right now there are no award seats on KLM (which is the only Skyteam carrier that serves NBO) to return from NBO for any date in Oct/Nov/Dec. I will of course keep checking from time to time as I think this is still our best option if seats become available on KLM. Redemption on South African Airways would require an additional 50,000 miles each for the 2 of us which is too much.

I've been looking into the cost of purchasing discounted business class air from LAX to NBO. So far the best options that I've found for tickets which are NOT brokered mileage awards are:

1. $5093pp on KLM/Kenya Airways from LAX to NBO through www.travelbeyond.com, these are full mileage earning tickets.

2. $9584 for the 1st pax and $91 for the 2nd pax on Emirates from JFK to NBO through the Amex Platinum 2 for 1 program. There would be the additional cost of the domestic tickets from LAX to JFK and only the full fare pax earns miles.

Both options are still more than what we want to spend. Does anyone have other sources for discounted business class air to Africa that might be less but are not mileage awards?

If all else fails, we may go with BA World Traveller Plus for $2450pp and make a stopover in London to break up the flights. I've only flown Virgin's premium economy product. For anyone who has flown both PE and WT+, how does seat comfort compare?

Any suggestions or ideas appreciated. Thanks!
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2005, 01:25 PM
  #2
sandi
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
There were some threads a few months back regarding consolidators who handle BC and FC tickets. Try a search on this board and see what comes up.

If not on this board, check the Airlines Board - I don't believe it was the Europe Board.

In all my trips on this route, I must be the only person quite content to fly (NYC/NBO/JRO/NYC) steerage for $1,200 (or less), so I can't provide personal experience. But have to admit, and for some unknown reason, I've been upgraded to BC (without asking) on a few of these trips. Since airline meals don't impress me, what size screen or where it's located and what entertainment is available doesn't interest me (I've never watched a movie on a flight) - I'm off to dreamland as soon as, so there's not much difference.
 
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2005, 01:50 PM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,824
Hi sandi,
Yes I remember the posts from late last year and did try some of the ones listed there but no luck. The cheaper ones were mileage brokers and some like 2afrika.com do not sell air only.

Food and entertainment are of minimal importance to us as well. We're primarily looking for seat comfort and legroom on long haul flights. Neither of us can sleep in economy which makes for a miserable experience for the 20+ hours of travel from the west coast.
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2005, 04:39 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 504
You might want to look into AMEX. On their web site I saw something about buy one business class ticket, get one free.
mpkp is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2005, 05:19 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 592
Patty:

Have your local travel agent contact Mill Run Tours out of Boston. I have always gotten an excellent rate from them, admittedly coach. Have saved hundreds of dollars using them over KLM's own prices.

Jan
JanGoss is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2005, 05:48 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,751
Cipied from Airlines Board:

If you are in LAX your options are somewhjat limited. If you were flying ex East Coast there are options with Ethiopian Airlines from NYC flying via Addis Ababa ( JFK-ROMM-ADD connect to NBO ), it's Business Class might not be on par with the 'tops' but it actually has a very good overall reputation, recently we checked on some fares for someone flying Coach NYC-East Africa and their fares were in the S 1,5000 return price area.

Now, there has been talk of Kenya Airways doing a tie-up tith CO, the plan is that CO will launch JFK-Lagos non stop to direct connect with a KQ flight Lagos to Nairobi, they have had talks and this could be another option but you need to keep a close check on airline news to see if this is on it's way to being reality.
JamesA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2005, 08:19 PM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,824
Thanks, Jan and James. I will look into those additional options.
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2005, 09:00 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 83
That AMEX Platinum Card deal is amazing! You buy one get one free in business or first (depending on the airline -- there are a lot to choose from). If you travel a lot, this is a wonderful bargain. The promotion is good until August 2006.
travelwmn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 1st, 2005, 09:34 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,751
Sadly it doesn't help much on the Kenya Airways website when it shows '2004' Winter and promotions for last Christmas and New Year !!
Nothing about the CO tie up on their site but CO opened an office already in Nairobi.
JamesA is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 10th, 2005, 10:34 AM
  #10
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,824
This message is for Leely: What month are you traveling and which country? Is the $3000 for 2 people or just one? I've been checking fares from LAX-NBO for late Oct/Nov/early Dec and they've been consistently in the range of $1600-$1700 per person in economy and $2300-$2400 in WT+ (premium economy). I also priced out an open jaw LAX-DAR/NBO-LAX which was about $275 more per person in WT+ so it seems that fares to Tanzania do run a little higher (I don't think BA flies to JRO, just DAR).

Somak Safaris has an ad in the LA Times every Sunday with airfare specials to Africa. If I recall correctly, they were offering fares of about $1500+tax to East Africa for Jul/Aug travel and less for Apr/May/Jun travel from LAX. You might want to give them a call and see what they can do from SFO.
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 10th, 2005, 11:06 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222
Thanks, Patty, I will check all this out.

I was originally looking for July, thinking TZ So. circuit, but I may have to hold off b/c I'd really like to link safari w/gorilla trekking. So...the planning is becoming more complicated. I guess that's only natural.

FYI last summer we flew Virgin/Kenya Airways SFO-LHR-NBO. Total was $1800 through a consolidator. (Had a long layover in London on our way out; think we spent more $$ sightseeing and eating in London in a day than we did in 3 weeks in Africa!)

I hope you and your husband are able to get back soon. Your determination has really been an inspiration to me.
Leely is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 10th, 2005, 12:35 PM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,824
Thanks, I really hope we can return soon too

If you're going to southern Tanzania, BA flies to DAR 3x a week. M/Th/Sa LHR-DAR and Tu/F/Su DAR-LHR.

Was the $1800 for VS/KQ total for 2 of you or per person? If total, wow!

I completely understand wanting to add to your trip after reading the recent trip reports. And with such long flights to get there, I always think 'well, we might as well add this too...'. We're going back and forth ourselves between spending a little time in both southern Tanzania and Kenya (probably a week each) or a more extensive itinerary in Kenya only. Sometimes I think I need to stop reading trip reports for fear that I'll see somewhere else I want to go
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 10th, 2005, 01:05 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,222

Oh, Patty $1800 for 2 people? I wish! If that were the case I'd go twice a year...

I'm torn, too. I'd like to see Kenya, but there's more in Tanzania to explore. And then of course Uganda or Rwanda.

We asked our guide all kinds of questions, one of which was along the lines of his favorite parks/reserves to take visitors. He was waaaayy too polite to suggest we were anywhere but the best places, but I did get the impression he very much likes Selous, Ruaha and anything involving chimps (Gombe Stream, I'm guessing).
Leely is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 10th, 2005, 02:11 PM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,824
I didn't think so, but just thought I'd check I was going to say if it was then I need the phone number of that consolidator!

BTW BA does have a few dates in July priced around $2200 SFO-DAR but not many. Guess it's a combination of it being high season in both East Africa and Europe. Good luck with your plans!
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 16th, 2005, 01:03 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2
Not sure if any of you have considered this but I travel quite a bit and have used the fact that flights ex BKK are priced really low.

SO, from North America, buy a 1-way flight to BKK (this will be your last coach flight or wait for a good J fare to come up)

Next, buy the Africa ticket from BKK.
Using Emirates, the fare is US$1800 BKK/NBO/BKK in Business Class.

Then, buy your round trip back to the States (Originating BKK). Most tickets are good for a year and I have been paying around $1800 for a roundtrip on Asiana/Air Canada/ANA BKK/YVR/BKK. Most of them will allow you to change the return date within a year.

I have used this strategy to get to Turkey, $1500 ok TK- BKK/IST/BKK etc..
outexploring is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 19th, 2005, 01:22 PM
  #16
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,824
outexploring,
I was eventually able to use my Skymiles for this trip after all, but thanks very much for the tip about fares ex-BKK.

I just priced BKK-NBO-BKK on Emirates for Oct/Nov and it was slightly under $1800 RT in J.

I try to redeem miles for most of my leisure travel, at least internationally. Domestically I'll buy the tickets as I'm reluctant to spend my miles unless it's a last minute thing.

This strategy seems to work best if you can keep the rotation going. Something to keep in mind if I find myself paying for tickets more often. Thanks again.
Patty 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


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:56 AM.