flights to SA

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Jul 23rd, 2001, 11:34 AM
  #1
frank
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flights to SA

Best rates/airline/trave agent to get from Dublin to SA ??
 
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Jul 26th, 2001, 04:52 AM
  #2
tracy
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The Europe/SA route has been over traded and a number of European airlines have recently pulled out because it was just no longer profitable. The most direct route from Dublin would be to London and then onto JHB on SAA, BA or Virgin. If you don't mind a bit of a detour you could get a cheaper fare with a stopover in continental Europe (eg Iberia) but as mentioned there are very few carriers left on the route. Most of the European airlines (Sebena, Lufthansa, Air France etc) code share with SAA or BA. For the cheapest London/Jhb you could try one of the other African or mid Eastern carriers like Emirates or EgyptAir. However, this will mean a stopover in places like Dubai, Nairobi or Cairo. As a starting point try SAA. Their rates are quoted in ZAR - so once you divide by 11 you get quite a reduced figure and it really is a very good ariline. Most flights from Europe are into JHB, but a few are to Cape Town.
 
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Jul 26th, 2001, 01:43 PM
  #3
USFlyer
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I agreee. SAA are excellent. Far better than European/US airlines I've flown on
 
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Jul 31st, 2001, 11:22 AM
  #4
james
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BA usually aren't the cheapest but they are CERTAINLY the best of the bunch flying from LHR to JNB or CPT. Forget SAA, everytime I fly with them it's because I can't get a seat on BA, and I dread it. If cost is important try Air Namibia or KLM. Trailfinders in London are helpful.
 
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Aug 2nd, 2001, 08:51 AM
  #5
Celia
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For many years we flew SAA and loved them. But our last flight with them was such a bad experience that we vowed never to fly SAA again. However, reading these posts had almost convinced me our bad experience was a one-off. Now I don't know.

The specifics mentioned here make me think maybe they're more organized at the check-in desks. How about dealing with problems like theft from luggage, lost luggage, and that kind of thing? Does anyone have more recent experience than my 1999 one?
 
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Aug 3rd, 2001, 07:29 AM
  #6
USFlyer
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James-what don't you like about SAA? The service is friendly, the planes modern and clean, the flights normally on time, the food is far better than that serves by BA.
POn the other hand, BA are terrible if you are not flying in one of the premium cabins. If you are in business they are good-I flew LAX to LHR with them in club and they were great. On the other hand, I have flown LHR-CPT on BA in economy and they were terrible-with that British arrogance from the flight attendants. I flew SAA from Miami-CPT and back from JNB and they were great. Far better than BA would be on an 18 hour plus flight.
 
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Aug 3rd, 2001, 09:30 AM
  #7
frank
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anyone ever fly virgin ? ...i hear they are pretty good
 
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Sep 4th, 2001, 12:26 PM
  #8
james
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Just picked up this thread again. USFlyer, I haven't ever had a good experience in 15 years of SAA. Older planes, inferior food (not that food is of any real importance) lack of on-time departure and/or arrival. BA aren't perfect, but they are better equipped to get it right more often. Never been on Virgin, but am travelling to CPT in a few weeks, so I'll report back then!
 
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Jan 10th, 2002, 08:47 AM
  #9
james
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Just been on Virgin to Cape Town - pretty good overall. Very poor food selection/quality, superb wines. Arrived early - excellant. The bar in Upper Class is a fun idea, although it got busy with lots of us treating it like a pub. For the money though, BA still get my vote anyday - even if they haven't got an on-board boozer.
 
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Jan 11th, 2002, 08:37 AM
  #10
Celia
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James, can you go to the bar if your seat is in coach, or is it only for Upper Class passengers?

We have a voucher for half off on anywhere Virgin flies, and have been wondering whether to use it to go to SA...
 
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Jan 12th, 2002, 11:23 PM
  #11
james
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Celia, it's for Upper Class passengers.
 
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Jan 13th, 2002, 08:25 AM
  #12
Celia
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Ok, thanks, James.
 
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Jan 17th, 2002, 07:08 PM
  #13
sandy
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I just flew to S. Africa from JFK on South African Airways. I was lucky to be in Business Class, but even so, it was no great shakes. The seats are small compared with every other airlines in which I have flown Business Class. The food was not very good, and the service was abominable. They were friendly enough, but they just didn't have any idea! I have heard from others that BA and Virgin were a lot better. it's such an awfully long flight, you want to be as comfortable as possible. maybe the best thing to do is check which airline has the most seats. if you can get a couple together in the middle, you could even sleep!
 
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Jan 19th, 2002, 09:34 AM
  #14
Celia
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In 22 years of flying between SA and the US, I have never been on a flight that wasn't full. Don't expect to be able to stretch out over an empty seat; they don't exist. Your best bet to avoid feeling like a sardine for 16 hours is to get a seat up in the "bubble" if it's a 747. There are fewer people for the flight attendants to deal with, and fewer people going to the loo, and making noise, and so on.

I sometimes think it would be kinder if the airlines would just chloroform us for the duration of these long flights!
 
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Jan 20th, 2002, 09:00 AM
  #15
james
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Celia, the flight between UK and Cape Town are always full in (SA) summer. But there is an exception, the 2 SAA flights from J'burg to LOndon are close together in departure time. They often invite you to take the earlier flight if booked on the later flight. On 3 recent occasions I've not done this, and for various reasons, our later flight has been empty (60 on a 747-400) AND we've departed later and bizzarly arrived before the earlier flight - how flukey is that?!
 
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Jan 25th, 2002, 10:50 PM
  #16
StevieB
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I always fly Virgin Atlantic (Upper Class) to JNB or CPT. IMO it's the best business class in the air. Though I agree with James the food selection could be better but the wines are good and the bar is great, you'll always find me there! And what can I say about the Virgin Club Lounge at Heathrow? Is that superb or is that superb?. The best thing about flying Virgin to CPT is the return leg to LHR is a daylight flight. I believe BA & SAA both fly overnight. Can't wait for my next trip,I fly out on Sunday Feb. 24th. If any of you are in CPT at the same time, I'll buy you a drink in the Ferrymans on the V&A Waterfront
Steve
 
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