Where to find the most affordable airfare to JRO?

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Feb 7th, 2006, 08:10 AM
  #1
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Where to find the most affordable airfare to JRO?

Morning (well here in CA),

We are trying to plan a safari to Tanzania with EASTCO. For convenience we would like to fly into JRO, but the prices (from CA) are almost double that of flying into NBO.

Why is this? Is JRO a much smaller airport?

Any advice on finding more affordable air travel to JRO? Websites? Air consolidators? Etc.?

Thanks so much!
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Feb 7th, 2006, 08:33 AM
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As far as I am aware KLM are the only carrier flying into Kilimanjaro directly. When I flew from London Heathrow (Air Kenya) I had to change at Nairobi and take a local flight with Precision air to Kili - which was great as we did a flypast of the mountain's summit. But that combination was the cheapest available - the same flight now +/- £462.76.

I know this doesn't help directly but I cannot see the reason for such a difference in price. KLM are +/- the same cost direct.

Kilimanjaro is a small airport but takes international flights.

I flew in last Jan, (2005) and will have no hesitation in flying Air Kenya again in Sept this year. There was something special in flying in a small twin turbo prop plane past Kilimanjaro.

I'm sure there are more knowledgable here than I, but if I can be of any more assistance let me know.

Have a great trip,

Matt
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Feb 7th, 2006, 08:35 AM
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Lack of competition keeps airfare into JRO generally higher than airfare into NBO. Only KLM flies nonstop from Europe (AMS). Your alternatives would be connecting through other African cities. JRO is a very small airport. The KLM flight actually serves both DAR and JRO on the same run. Otherwise I don't think there would be enough passenger demand to justify a daily flight.

Compare that to NBO which is served by KLM, Kenya Airways, BA, Emirates, SN Brussels, SWISS, and others.

When are you traveling and from where? What are getting for fares to JRO vs fares to NBO? If you're planning to travel soon, it may just be too late to get a good fare into JRO.
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Feb 7th, 2006, 08:43 AM
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Airfares from the East Coast USA for travel this coming summer are running about $1700+ to NBO and/or JRO. And the closer you get to your departure date, the higher they will go. For those using FF miles as least part of the way, are paying close to $900 for AMS/JRO (but realize that many prices have gone up to include extra security fees and fuel surcharges). Wouldn't surprise me if prices will be higher from California.

You may want to check out the following consolidation who also has an 800# on their site... if you wish to talk to a person:

http://www.consolidatorwebfares.com/afspecials.htm

also check www.kayak.com who will provide info on all air carriers flying the route, show prices and then direct you to the individual airline sites.

Of course, there is always the "call after midnight on Tuesday or Wednesday when the computers are reloaded with ticket on hold that weren't purchased.

But if you can get a better fare into NBO, stay at a hotel near the airport - the Pananeri, recently opened is nice, 10-minutes from JKIA and take the Precision Air flight to JRO next morning. This single leg runs about $270 o/w and your transfer by tour operator or taxi. If this comes out to be less costly than direct into JRO, it's an option.

Work all your options!

 
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Feb 7th, 2006, 08:44 AM
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For instance Ruby Sage (And I know you are flying from the US, but bear with me), lastminute.com are showing a typical fare from (for example) March 7th returning March 21st to JRO from Heathrow for £445.90 with Air France/KLM or £462.76 with Air Kenya. So flights, at least from UK are available for fairly short notice.

I don't know if you have anything like lastminute.com in the US but worth checking. It may be worth noting also that on the transfer flight with Precision there was no first/business class as the plane is too small. You just squeeze in as seats aren't reserved - it's first come first served.

Matt
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Feb 7th, 2006, 08:56 AM
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I take back what I said about it being possibly too late to get a good fare into JRO if you're traveling soon. I just checked some random dates with departures starting this month and through the next 3 months and am getting fares all in the range of $1600-$1800 from LAX. That's about the best you can do into JRO from the west coast.
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Feb 7th, 2006, 08:58 AM
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I fly from CA too, and yes, the flights are very expensive. If your dates are somewhat flexible (ours were not this time but were last time), I recommend doing as Sandi suggested and flying to NBO if you can get a significant deal.

The least pricey flights to JRO involved crazy routing and in the end we decided that was just too much to deal with for a savings of a couple of hundred dollars.

You can also see what's going on pricewise on itasoftware.com, but you can't buy tickets from that site. Have a look at farefox.com as well; you can buy from them. Of course check the NWA/KLM site as well; we missed a sale when we hesitated once and it would have been the easiest routing/layover schedule.

What are the fares you're seeing? Sometimes they're scary/unreal, and then the next day still expensive but viable.

Good luck.
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Feb 7th, 2006, 09:06 AM
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Also meant to say we're flying in June.
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Feb 7th, 2006, 09:55 AM
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We will be traveling Dec. 27, 2006 thru Jan. 11th, 2007. I'm guessing that is a peak time b/c the airfare seems very expensive. Or could I just looking too early?

Would it be best to book our safari, and wait a while to see if the prices change?

Here is what I have found:

SFO to NBO (with a stop over in LHR) round trip for 2 people is $2600. That is with British Airways. I think that is really reasonable.

SFO to JRO (with multiple stops in various countries) round trip for two people is $6247 total using kayak.com!

Thanks for your help. This is (obviously) our first safari and trip to Africa. There is so much to think about
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Feb 7th, 2006, 10:02 AM
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I should add that we can only travel in the late Dec/early Jan timeframe. Sounds like prices are better during other times of the year, but that won't work with our jobs. I might just be stuck paying a lot to fly.
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Feb 7th, 2006, 10:46 AM
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Ruby Sage, of course I can't predict airfare (I wish!), but if I read that correctly and you can fly 2 people SFO-NBO for 2600 total, OMG, jump on it! 1300 each??? I would be surprised if you were to regret that price.

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Feb 7th, 2006, 11:07 AM
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Hi ruby sage,
I totally agree with Leely - we are flying from Boston this Feb. for around that same price - I would as Leely suggests, jump on that rate.
Good luck!
Sherry
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Feb 7th, 2006, 11:47 AM
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sandi
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Current prices to NBO and JRO will stay reasonable until about May 26th or 28th, then they shoot up. Come down somewhat for October, lower for November till early Decembr and they back up for holiday travel.

But if someone is giving (yes) at $1,300 per person (that's your Christmas gift) - grab it. The longer you wait any advantage will disappear.

Note: Kayak doesn't write/issue tickets, they just let you know what is out there... then it's up to you.
 
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Feb 7th, 2006, 11:58 AM
  #14
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Great advice everyone

FYI: British Airways is having some great online specials right now!
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Feb 7th, 2006, 02:51 PM
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Hello,

I always check Sidestep.com -- it's the best fare comparison site I've found, and it can sometimes find fares for routes which turn up blanks on other sites -- I was even able to price Air Botswana flights through Sidestep, which is very, very hard to do!

Cheers,
Julian
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Feb 8th, 2006, 10:50 PM
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Ruby SAge,

I can confirm what others have said...and I WILL be very envious if you can book that flight at $1300 per person. Just two weeks ago I booked a June 2006 flight from San Francisco to Nairobi for $2,070 per person on British Air.

From there we catch a flight on Coastal Air to JRO...I don't recall the exact price but I think it is around $120 one way.

Yes, KLM is the only carrier flying directly to JRO. They have just a few seats at a low price...I was to slow to grab them.
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Feb 9th, 2006, 12:12 PM
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Just to throw my 2 cents in...

I had to book SFO-JRO for mid-June, and what we ended up doing was booking two flights: SFO-LHR and LHR-JRO. Kenya Air was selling LHR-JRO for about $1000 including taxes. We used frequent flier miles to get to LHR from SFO. If we weren't flying during the summer, I'm sure the fares to LHR would be considerably cheaper and we'd probably have just bought the tickets.

You may be a bit early in finding good fares with KLM. I had trouble pulling up the AMS-JRO segments on their website. You're on the far edge of their scheduling calendar at this point. Also, Kenya Air is showing $2000 for the LHR-JRO segment during your dates, which I think is too high. As Sandi notes, AMS-JRO is around $900 if you book early enough, and I got LHR-JRO for $925 including taxes a few months back.

However, the $1300 fare to NBO is pretty good. Just be sure to add in the RT air between NBO-JRO, overnight hotel, transfers, and the Kenyan visa to the costs. I considered doing the same for our June safari, but when I added up the costs it came to about $2000, which is what I was getting for going SFO-LHR-JRO. So, for me, it was a wash price-wise.
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