SAA flights/stops/etc

Jun 4th, 2003, 11:06 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 251
SAA flights/stops/etc

Although there have been a number of questions about this topic in another thread, I decided to start a new thread - it's just easier to find.
Go to the SAA website:, there is a flight schedules link which gives you all the information you could want: local departure & arrival times, equipment, stops, days of the week the service operates, elapsed travelling time and any effective or discontinued date information. Under the aircraft specifications link you can see the exact seating layout - great if you are like me and fussy about where you sit.
Personally, I've done the JNB/JFK route, there is one stop to refuel (at 2am for less than one hour, barely worth getting off the aircraft, but the crew has to wake everyone up for the landing and take off so I was not in a good mood ) at Sol Island when travelling west and the flight is non-stop when travelling east. Please also remember that there is a twice weekly (I think) SAA service on the New York-Johannesburg route which stops in Lagos. But again, just briefly for fuel and some passengers.
You cannot do Jnb/Atlanta without a stop of some sort - usually via Cape Town. When in Cape Town you are not permitted to leave the aircraft, once again only stop for fuel and passengers.
And now for some useless information, anyone interested in why there is the stop on westward but not on eastward? There is one reason common to the Johannesburg and Cape Town and then a second peculiar to Johannesburg. The common reason is that the prevailing winds make the flight time shorter when going eastward. The singular reason for JIA is that it requires a lot more fuel to take off at high altitude than it does at sea level. Don't forget that JIA is over 2000m above sea level - the second highest international airport in the world.
traci_local_in_sa is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 05:21 AM
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Traci - just love "useless" information. You never know when it's going to be the "answer" to a Jeopardy question. Thanks.
Jun 5th, 2003, 07:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 987
Traci, does the SAA website show the USA-SA schedule somewhere, or do you have to type in specific days when you want to travel? I can only find a page where you do the latter. I'd like to know, for example, if they fly every day from the US, or only certain days of the week, and it's a pain to have to type in seven different dates to find out which ones they fly.

(This is my pet peeve with most airline websites, by the way. Why don't they cater to the tight-fisted low roller like me who will arrange my plans to go when they fly cheap, rather than the high-roller business traveler who will pay the price to go when he wants!?!?! *Smile*)
Celia is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 12:07 PM
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SAA's data can be a bit confusing. As an alternative, their agents are very helpful - 1-800-722-9675.

I know SAA has offered #210 out of Atlanta Fridays and Saturdays. I have vague memories of trying for JFK-JNB, but could never find a compatible travel day.

If you obtain definitive info. on SAA's schedule from Atl. and JFK, please post it. I have arrangements to make with SAA this fall. Thank you.
Jun 5th, 2003, 12:22 PM
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Celia - if you want good prices contact Premier Tours - a tour operator that also has an air consolidator department and they have some of the best prices from the States. They've been in business for years, are very reputable, the flights are on SAA from either JFK or ATL, so no need to connect thru Europe, nor keep plugging in dates hoping to hit upon the correct ones. I too hate having to pick dates till you get the info you need.


They also have an 800#, located in Phila, PA.-just ask for their Air Dept.

Of course, depending on time of year even their prices change, but check them out. Our last trip in '01 was $990+tax JFK/JNB/CPT/JFK. They also did our air to/fr Vic Falls, Hoedspruit and Nelspruit.

SAA prices direct are way up this year, but Premier had good quotes for our Namibia trip in Nov'03 (we've since postponed till '04) of $1250+tax to WDH via JNB; and with the Maun, Botswana (MUB) connection from JNB to WDH was about $1500+tax.

Premier also has good fares to other countries in Africa, Middle East and Europe, so if anyone is going to any of these destinations, contact them.

And if there is anyone out there that has a another link to good fares to Africa, please let us know.

Check with them.
Jun 6th, 2003, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 987
Sandi, I have heard of Premier Tours, and am on their mailing list, but have never used them. Their prices always look good. I am glad to have your endorsement of them, thanks!
Celia is offline  
Jun 6th, 2003, 01:16 PM
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Celia - Since I've used the same tour operator for all my trips to Africa, I have checked Premier Tours (as well as other operators) for comparisons w/ their scheduled tours (which aren't necessarily groups, rather independent) - wouldn't think to ask an operator to work up an estimate for a specific itinerary just for comparison if I knew I wasn't going to use them. It's not in my nature to do so.

That said, I have used Premier for the airfares. Contact them and have them put you on their "email" list and they'll send updates and special fares. On their site you can get a list of fares to areas they do book, but I dont believe it is current, w/ caveat "prices not firm till booked".

I did, however, check Premier's scheduled trip to Namibia and though it was nice, it wasn't what I was looking for. Having no idea what you paid for the Namibia portion of your trip, I think you did better by going direct with Cardboard.

Keep their name handy for future "air" and do give them your email address.
Jun 8th, 2003, 09:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Will do, Sandi, thanks!
Celia is offline  
Jun 16th, 2003, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 23
I know that SAA flies to/from SA every day from Atlanta since I pass Hartsfield Airport every morning and I usually see it at the gate or landing. The plane flies ATL-CPT-JHB one day and ATL-JHB-CPT the next both nonstop.
stepmoore is offline  
Jun 17th, 2003, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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That is not entirely correct about the flight going from Atlanta-Cape Town non-stop.

We just took that flight two weeks ago and due to weather conditions, we were informed before the flight that we would have to stop in Cape Verde for refueling. While it was only a one hour stopover during which all passengers remained onboard, it was still a stopver that interrupted the directness of the flight.

Roccco is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 04:23 AM
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SAA appears to be the only airline from the States that flies to Cape Verdes Islands (SAL/SID), so there are a few flights a week that stops there - either from JFK or ATL.

Returning from either CPT or JNB, all flights whether going to JFK or ATL stop at Cape Verdes Is.

Apparently some carrier has to serve these islands and it seems SAA is the one.

As to which day of the week SAA stops on the outbound from the States appears to have changed especially since 9/11.

Prior 9/11 the flights from JFK stopped on Tues to JNB, from ATL they stopped 2- or 3-times a week depending on whether going to CPT or JNB.

Whether flying to or from passengers either boarded or deplanned at Cape Verde.

Nowadays, the day-of-week stops outbound might have changed as SAA has modified some of their flight schedules.

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