Kenya/Tanzania Safari Air options

Old Feb 27th, 2023, 03:51 PM
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Kenya/Tanzania Safari Air options

We've booked a 14 day safari with A&K for September 2023. As the date gets closer, I am getting concerned about the airfare increases we've seen. we don't have enough frequent flier miles (only 1.1m) to cover business class roundtrip for both of us and what we're getting quoted is almost as much as the safari itself. I know that we'd saved money if we grabbed the flights back in November but they non-refundable/non-changeable and our layover/extra days have been in flux. We're settled now into adding 5 days between the return flight from Nairobi to Frankfurt and touring the Ardennes.

Question - we're going from Denver to Nairobi. While first or business would be ideal, has anyone done this in economy plus? I was 'forced' all through my career to go economy regardless of the destination so I know it can be done but at a price to our bodies! We're United flyers - could do BA and AA if necessary.
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Old Feb 28th, 2023, 07:13 AM
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A couple of ideas, ranging from possible to longshot...

1. Assuming your miles are with United (?) do you already have 1.1 million (?) It's hard to imagine that wouldn't be enough for two business class RTs to Africa; I'd expect the "cost" to be under 200K miles each. Otherwise, how much would it cost to purchase enough additional miles from United in order to get to the required amount? For example, today (28 Feb.) is the last day of a sale being held by United in which miles can be purchased for as little as $0.02 or a little less. So if you needed, say, 100,000 miles to get to the required number, that would cost a little under $2K. If the purchased ticket is, say, $5K, but you could fly for 200,000 miles, that's 2.5c per mile, so buying FF miles at 2c would be money in your pocket. United doesn't have award charts anymore (they've gone to so-called "dynamic" pricing, aka "Surprise!") so it's hard to say what the cost in miles would be. It wouldn't be hard to investigate.

2. [Broken record] Where else, if anywhere, do you plan to travel within the next year? You might want to think about a round-the-world ticket (either using Star Alliance or Oneworld airlines) which can be excellent value provided you start and end someplace other than the US. Here's a lengthy (as usual) post I did on the subject last month, for what it's worth. Rtw . You could use your miles to fly one-way to some affordable starting point, fly to Nairobi using the RTW ticket, then fly home. Use the ticket to travel around North America (staying within the rules of the specific RTW product) then, maybe months later (but less than a year from starting) return to the start point via Asia or Australia, whatever. For example, a business class 29,000 mile (maximum flown distance) RTW using Star Alliance members costs US$4142 plus taxes and fees if started in Egypt; a 4-continent Oneworld RTW (Europe/Middle East, Africa, North America, either Asia or Australia/NZ) starting in Egypt costs $4611 with no mileage limit. And so on. Read the thread.
[/Broken record]

3. Us the miles you do have to get to Europe and purchase a round trip to Nairobi starting there. Prices in business class from the likes of Oslo or Stockholm to NBO and back are in the US$1500 range.

Keep looking.

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