Interesting First Class Airfare to J'burg

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Dec 18th, 2003, 08:52 AM
  #1
LizFrazier
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Interesting First Class Airfare to J'burg

Just stopped by and want to share this.
Anyone interested in flying first class to J'burg,(i.e., Roccco) may find this interesting. After our last trip to Africa, my husband and I swore "no more coach class". In checking for 2005, maybe, could we fly direct from Las Vegas to LHR nonstop and then LHR to J'burg nonstop. Well Virgin Atlantic came up so I checked www.Virgin-Atlantic.com. In seeing the beautiful set up in their premium class, I called to price the trip. Right now it would cost $10,000 to fly from Vegas to London rt. However we could fly from Vegas to J'burg for $7,362 rt, or for a senior, which we are, $6,640 rt for each person. This includes getting picked up in a limo, massages on the airplane, full bar, eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and use their luxurious lounges in London, or wherever, for layovers. We were astounded when you see what all you get. I have talked to them twice and J'burg is a 'special destination' right now with no expiration date. Can be booked anytime for the next year, but they only book a year ahead. We are in the process of moving to Utah, and they will even have the limo pick us up in Utah and bring us to Vegas AP. In case anyone else hates coach class. Liz
 
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Dec 18th, 2003, 01:22 PM
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sandi
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Liz -

That's a great deal, but you won't get me spending more for the air than the land - no way.

Guess it comes down to individual comfort levels, and I've yet been so uncomfortable in "steerage" that I'd pay that much for a flight. When I can get the flight for less than $1,000, why pay more. Maybe being only 5'3", it just doesn't bother me. I get up and walk around often, I manage to sleep for a few hours in-between walkabouts, drink plenty of water - and am raring to go once I deplane.

I might, though, consider using miles to upgrade, but not pay the cash upfront.

So when are you going to SA? Do tell, when you start working on your itinerary.
 
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Dec 18th, 2003, 02:07 PM
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If I were a multi-millionaire, maybe. But even then, I think I'd quail at paying $5000 for a massage, a limo ride, and all the food I could eat in 14 hours.

Now, if there were some sort of intermediate class -- just a comfortable seat with leg room -- for a few hundred dollars more than steerage -- THAT, I would consider!
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Dec 18th, 2003, 05:36 PM
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Liz,

I agree. While I would LOVE to fly first class, I would NEVER pay that kind of money, at least not until I have about $1 Million in liquid assets.

Despite whatever image I may conjure to others, ultimately, I am the biggest bargain hunter of them all. I will splurge on a place that I really like, but in most cases I will try to substitute it with an equivalent place.

Singita $1,800+ per night per room (for couple sharing) or Djuma Vuyatela for under $600 per night?

Robin Pope Safaris for $750 per night per room or $400 per night for Kafunta?

Cape Grace for $600 per night for a suite in low season or Twelve Apostles for $150 per night for a suite in low season on Luxury Link?

Grace in Joburg for $600 per night for a suite or Michelangelo for $300 per night for a suite on Luxury Link.

When I am able to make deals like this, my arm tires from patting myself on the back. Really, besides Singita, where have I really sacrificed on the above places? I still had extended lunches and then desserts in the library at the Cape Grace a couple times before returning and equally enjoying the exclusivity of the Twelve Apostles.

Okay, I am just going to stop talking about South Africa right now before I do something stupid like scrap my Tanzania plans and return to South Africa!

Not to worry, unless I am able to book an entire package on Luxury Link, I will likely not return to South Africa until either the Rand is back to 8 ZAR to 1 USD or until the good people of South Africa are compassionate enough to charge me the same prices that South Africans pay for the exact same lodging.

For now, I will just have to keep putting my American Express Membership Rewards Points in the piggy bank. I already have enough points for two business class seats to South Africa and by 2005, I am sure that I will have enough for four business class seats to South Africa. Now if only I had enough Membership Rewards Points to buy that nice beachfront villa in Hout Bay that I have been eyeing!!!
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Dec 19th, 2003, 07:28 AM
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That's fare is still a joke, and part of the myth that first class travel justifies such a substantial multiple. Coach is not prison, and I can certainly tolerate a smaller seat and zero caviar and champagne to save that large some of money. I do have the financial resources to pay for first class, but I think the extra $5,000 can be put to much better use. For example, on each trip to Africa I have made donations to local institutions, and I'd feel financially strapped to do so had I wasted $5,000 for caviar and leg room. Is it really so burdensome to fly in coach? First class should be a reward to for those with miles to upgrade, but I would classify myself as a foolish spendthrift had I flushed those funds down the larger first class toilet. For me, better to spend on better lodging, meals and artwork, and be able to share with a local school or gamepark, than donate $5,000 (or $10,000 in the case of a couple) to Richard Branson. But, to each his or her own.
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Dec 19th, 2003, 08:03 AM
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I recently read something about the luxuries for first class patrons including the massages, the lounge-wear (your own special pair of PJs) etc.. Sounds like it would be an incredible treat, but I don't dare ever splurge or I'd risk not being able to go back to coach ;-)

You know, everything is relative. Plenty of our friends were aghast that we'd spend $350 a night at a Tanzanian lodge. And that's on the low end! We didn't even want to tell them how high the rates could have been. Liz - enjoy! And let me know how wonderful it is so I may live vicariously If it's such a special destination according to Virgin, maybe they'll have some discounted coach fares in the future too.
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Dec 19th, 2003, 11:45 AM
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Whilst I personally wouldn't spend that amount on business fare (I'd rather save it for the land trip) I still want to thank Liz for taking the time to post it, incase it could be of help to someone who reads here.

Some of the responses are pretty judgemental and a somewhat rude way of stating a contrasting opinion/ saying "no thanks".

Liz I've really missed you here, hope you don't take the tone of this thread as the norm and make a decision to post a little more soon.
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Dec 19th, 2003, 06:12 PM
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LizFrazier
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Thanks, Kavey, but if I knew this had turned into such a flaming board I wouldn't have stopped by. Good luck to you all, but thats it for me.
 
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Dec 19th, 2003, 06:25 PM
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Oh come on...nearly everyone on this board knows everyone, at least in that cyber sort of way...I have not seen anything said during this thread that should be construed as flaming.

We are all appreciative of the information offered up in the original post, we are just stating our opinons on paying such an extraordinary price for a few hours of comfort. We are not a disadvantaged group on this board, yet few, if any of us, can imagine paying such a hefty price, and this coming from a group that often doesn't hesitiate to spend over $700 per night per room on lodging.

I, for one, do apologize if my original post, or this one for that matter, was construed as a flame.
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Dec 19th, 2003, 08:36 PM
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DJE
 
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Thanks Liz for taking the time to post this information. As someone who does fly business class on long hauls, I find it well worth the cost to be comfortable especially when I reach my destination in relatively good shape.

On our trip to Africa we paid for business class tickets to Europe from North America and then were fortunate to have gotten a pretty good deal on S. A. Airines using points to fly First Class, London to Jo'Burg. This was a real treat and I enjoyed every minute. Business class is good but F.C. was fabulous with great sleeper seats, duvet covers and yes, PJ's. No rumpled clothing at your destination. It was the first time I have ever slept quite well on a flight as generally I have great difficulty in this regard. If I could do it again I would in a heartbeat.

I have been reading a lot about many of the airlines upgrading their business class sections and fitting them with new sleeper type seats. Similar comfort at a price considerably less than F.C.


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Dec 20th, 2003, 09:13 AM
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Liz,

I flew Virgin in September from LAX-LHR-J'burg and the flight costs then were as you described (cheaper to J'burg then to London). I did fly Upper Class using Delta Frequent flyer miles.

If you are planning on flying on them I can tell you what I thought was great and just ok.

I'm new to this board, but have enjoyed your posts that I have read.
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Dec 20th, 2003, 02:08 PM
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Actually Rocco to be fairer on my part, it was only one post that got my back up, that was written in a bit of a patronising and insulting tone, not yours.

And it's certainly anyone's right to post their opinion as they see fit, and not my position to question it.

I'm just sad that it means losing a contributor who has helped me greatly with her posts here in the past.
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Dec 20th, 2003, 02:53 PM
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Everything is always relative to what your feelings are at the moment. Would I want to spend $12,000 on a humongous screened home entertainment system (especially if I'd gotten rid of this old 5 bedroom 3 bath house in the 'burbs for something more compact) OR on 1st class tickets to Africa (having paid my dues with multiple trips in coach)....I'd get much more joy out of the FC flights. As a matter of fact, I think it would make coming home a WHOLE lot easier...maybe I'd even get more out of it coming home than going over! Jammies? Oh Wow. The older I get, the faster the months and years fly past...but the LONGER the hours confined in an airliner on a transcontinental or transatlantic flight seem. I can see seriously contemplating those kinds of fares one day in the not too distant future.
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Dec 20th, 2003, 03:49 PM
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This is probably the best first class cabin at the moment:

www.emirates.com

click on the big picture in the middle and enjoy the show.

I'm going first class on Cathay Pacific to J'burg in about 7 weeks. Can't wait. 7 days in Kenya, 7 days in SA and 7 days shopping.
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Dec 20th, 2003, 04:50 PM
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Shopping in Hong Kong that is!
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Dec 21st, 2003, 06:15 PM
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Liz, thank you for this info. All my life I was in the camp of "I'd rather spend the money on something else," but things have changed. I seem to be suffering from some serious back problems as well as other problems and I believe that sitting upright in an airline seat for some 14 hours was partly the cause of it. For what I've spent on doctors, etc. I would gladly pay to fly first class and not have the pain.
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Dec 22nd, 2003, 08:12 AM
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If my response was taken as rude or flaming, I deeply apologize. I didn't mean it that way, and I'm sincerely sorry if I offended.

Celia
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Dec 22nd, 2003, 08:48 AM
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Actually, perhaps it was my post that was a bit obnoxious, and I apologize for the tone.
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