Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Riverroad

Flights to Cape Town, South Africa

Recommended Posts

We are looking at a cruise beginning in Cape Town on 2/3/2020. If it were just DH and me, we’d take the non-stop South African Airways flight to Johannesburg, spend a couple of days and go on to Cape Town for embarkation. However, we’re traveling with 2 other couples and they want to find a way to break up this long flight with stopping somewhere along the way. I’ve tried using Ita Matrix but when I add a couple of days in Europe, the price goes up dramatically. We don’t want the cheapest flight. We’re looking for most comfortable way to make this long journey. Advice please.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on a six month trip.  We required air to J'burg and return air from Cape Town.   The most effective air for us at the time was Milan-J'burg on Qatar AIrlines.  Return  CapeTown to Rome on Turkish.  

 

This may or may not be effective for you.  It is still a long flight back for Cape Town.  Many of them seem to stop at J'burg before going on.  Have you tried doing two returns on Matrix?  One to Europe, the other from Europe to S. Africa.

 

Enjoy S. Africa.  We spent a few weeks driving about in a rental car.  Enjoyed it thoroughly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 2 airlines that off the top of my head usually offer a free or low-cost stopover are Turkish Airlines and TAP Portugal. Just checked some random dates around the time of your cruise, and the difference in fare with TK on ITA Matrix for an itinerary with a multi-day stop vs. a direct itinerary was $20. ITA wasn't giving me a price with TAP, but you could play around with their website to see what you can get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We flew Qatar,cattle class last year,Joburg-Doha-LHR.The first leg took a fair bit longer due to the ban on them flying over Dubai and Saudi airspace.If you do decide the Middle East option,Emirates have more spacious seats and a lot better food IMO.If you fly business,thats another story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What does "most comfortable" entail in this case? Comfort in terms of travel time or flight timings (i.e. avoiding overnights wherever possible), first class or business class options? 

 

From NYC to CPT the one stop airlines/stopovers are:

Air France via Paris

Austrian Airlines via Vienna

British Airways via London Heathrow and London Gatwick

Ethiopian via Addis Ababa

Emirates via Dubai

KLM via Amsterdam

Lufthansa via Frankfurt and Munich

Qatar Airways via Doha

Turkish Airlines via Istanbul

 

If you're mad you could also fly Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific through Singapore or Hong Kong respectively. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, fbgd said:

What does "most comfortable" entail in this case? Comfort in terms of travel time or flight timings (i.e. avoiding overnights wherever possible), first class or business class options? 

 

From NYC to CPT the one stop airlines/stopovers are:

Air France via Paris

Austrian Airlines via Vienna

British Airways via London Heathrow and London Gatwick

Ethiopian via Addis Ababa

Emirates via Dubai

KLM via Amsterdam

Lufthansa via Frankfurt and Munich

Qatar Airways via Doha

Turkish Airlines via Istanbul

 

If you're mad you could also fly Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific through Singapore or Hong Kong respectively. 

Business class and a day or two somewhere along the way to break up the flight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, fbgd said:

If you're mad you could also fly Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific through Singapore or Hong Kong respectively. 

Or, a quite cheap fare at the moment is Miami to Joburg via Sao Paulo, Brazil on Latam; it's roughly half the cost of NYC-CPT for the same period. 😉 Of course you'd have to get to Miami in the first place.  Stopovers in Sao Paulo cost $100.   

 

If you use ITA and see a round trip fare that appeals, click on the price and it will bring up a table showing the fare construction, with a link to the rules applying to that fare.  Scroll down the rules to the "stopovers" lines and see what it says.  For example, on most of the Star Alliance fares (Lufthansa, Swiss, etc.) you'll see the fare allows up to two stopovers, one in each direction.  This applies to the "discount" business class fares (for example in the "Z" fare bucket on Lufthansa) as well as the pricier ones.

 

However I'd wait a bit before booking.  It's still the beginning of the booking season for next February, and there might well be some fare sales in the meantime.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Gardyloo. This is very helpful. I posted here because of all the knowledgable folks who frequent this forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somewhat longish post coming here - about the concept of "breaking up a flight".

 

First, some basic information.  When most "fares" are being presented, they are what are known as "through fares".  Meaning that's the fare price from AAA to BBB, even if it transits CCC, DDD or more, and whether on one segment or many.  If more than one segment, that through fare requires a "connection".

 

For international itineraries, a "connection" (or "transfer") must be either a) within 24 hours, or b) on the first onward flight of the applicable routing - whichever is longer.  If the change in flights doesn't fit that definition, then it becomes a "stopover" and the through fare is usually "broken" into two separate fares added together.

 

For example:  If you were to take Lufthansa from JFK to FRA, and then take another flight from FRA to CPT, you would pay the through fare (JFK-CPT) as long as you had a "connection".   Stay a few days in FRA and you now have "broken" the fare and are paying JFK-FRA plus FRA-CPT.

 

So, how do you manage to work the connection/stopover rules to help you get that break.  Three methods are available to you.

 

First, you can look to carriers that offer free or discounted stopovers at their hub locations.  Of the airlines offering this, ones serving CPT include Qatar, Ethiopian, Emirates, and KLM.  Airline stopover offerings are always subject to change, with new offers coming and old ones going.  So check and check.

 

Second, you can see if you can maximize the "connection" period by timing your arrival flight.  Just pulling hypothetical times out of the air - if an airline had a flight that left for CPT at 10am, you could time to arrive at that connection point a bit after that departure.  You could then take the outbound the next day, since you are within the 24 hour window.  This will take research into when flights leave for CPT.

 

Third, you can use the "next onward flight" part of the connection rule.  A great example of this would be using Cathay Pacific into CPT.  Why?  Because they only operate the flight three days a week.  And so, you could land in HKG and have to wait for their next flight in two days.  You get a few days to enjoy Hong Kong and it is still a through fare because there is NO flight out for several days. 

 

To detail out the CX option -- start with the flight HKG-CPT.  Departs at 00:10 in the morning, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Thus, you could arrive from JFK at 09:00 on Friday morning and be able to stay Friday, Saturday and Sunday, only leaving very early on Monday (aka Sunday night).  And it prices out just like a shorter connection would.  Of course you are on your own for hotels and other expenses, but you get another great vacation spot on the way.

 

Hope this gives you something to think on.

.

.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks FT. It’s a lot to think on. Love the idea of extra vacation in HKG but, unfortunately, it’s a 16 hour flight from NYC. I think the non-stop South African Airways flight to Johannesburg is @ 14 hours. Might as well do that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KLM used to have one or two sales a year on flights to SA.  Prices were/are good. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some talk about flying via Middle East. Even from Europe, let alone North America, please seriously consider the added distance of doing this. For example:
 

JFK-CPT via JNB (nonstop JFK-JNB): 8,758 miles

JFK-CPT via London Heathrow: 9,446 miles

JFK-CPT via Dubai/Doha: approx. 11,400 miles

 

So, even compared to stopping in London, flying via the Middle East adds over 2,000 miles, or over 20% additional distance and time. Not a very good way to break up the trip in my opinion. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, iancal said:

KLM used to have one or two sales a year on flights to SA.  Prices were/are good. 

 

KLM also does a day-time AMS-CPT flight. I have done this from North America a few times and it's very convenient, though not much of a stop to really break up the trip. Fly overnight NA-AMS, and then hop on a daytime AMS-CPT flight arriving CPT in the evening. I'm not sure if they do an overnight AMS-CPT flight. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Zach. Will check to see if it’s possible to have a longer stopover in AMS per FT’s post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both of the SkyTeam flights from Europe are daylight.  KLM is daily, while AF goes 4 times a week.  No overnights on either.

 

LH from FRA and TK from IST are both overnights.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

R-Road:  My own opinion regarding your situation.

 

Is there some overriding reason why you all have to fly on the same flights?  Seems that three adult couples should be able to say "Hi...meet you in Cape Town on the 2nd of February (or whatever date)" and everyone can make their own way there. The first to book can advise the others and they can either do the same or make a different choice.

 

You seem to be of the mind that the JFK-JNB-CPT routing is the best for you.  The others want to "break it up".  Maybe this is the time to say "Well, here are some thoughts for you to consider.  I'm turning this over to you, and you can pick whatever works best for you".

 

Two pluses:  You get to do what you want for you, and perhaps more importantly, you are out of the blame-loop for whatever happens with their flights/routings/airlines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, FlyerTalker said:

R-Road:  My own opinion regarding your situation.

 

Is there some overriding reason why you all have to fly on the same flights?  Seems that three adult couples should be able to say "Hi...meet you in Cape Town on the 2nd of February (or whatever date)" and everyone can make their own way there. The first to book can advise the others and they can either do the same or make a different choice.

 

You seem to be of the mind that the JFK-JNB-CPT routing is the best for you.  The others want to "break it up".  Maybe this is the time to say "Well, here are some thoughts for you to consider.  I'm turning this over to you, and you can pick whatever works best for you".

 

Two pluses:  You get to do what you want for you, and perhaps more importantly, you are out of the blame-loop for whatever happens with their flights/routings/airlines.

 

source.gif

Edited by Zach1213

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FT and Zach, you are absolutely right. I’ve already proposed this to the others. There’s no need for all of us to be on the same flights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Riverroad said:

FT and Zach, you are absolutely right. I’ve already proposed this to the others. There’s no need for all of us to be on the same flights.

 

Not long ago, my wife's family had a big trip to North Africa for a wedding. Some had been before, some had never been, some had barely ever traveled. I knew that I would have to be the "hand holder" if we all went together, and really had no desire to do such...I'll help people book their flights and offer advice, but in the end my wife and I were going to take the flights that we wanted to, especially since we had miles to use. Sure enough, we ended up on AA/Iberia through Madrid, others ended up on Delta/AF through Paris and other ended up on Delta/Transavia through Amsterdam. We all got there just fine.

Edited by Zach1213

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/31/2019 at 2:30 AM, FlyerTalker said:

First, some basic information.  When most "fares" are being presented, they are what are known as "through fares".  Meaning that's the fare price from AAA to BBB, even if it transits CCC, DDD or more, and whether on one segment or many.  If more than one segment, that through fare requires a "connection".

 

For international itineraries, a "connection" (or "transfer") must be either a) within 24 hours, or b) on the first onward flight of the applicable routing - whichever is longer.  If the change in flights doesn't fit that definition, then it becomes a "stopover" and the through fare is usually "broken" into two separate fares added together.

 

For example:  If you were to take Lufthansa from JFK to FRA, and then take another flight from FRA to CPT, you would pay the through fare (JFK-CPT) as long as you had a "connection".   Stay a few days in FRA and you now have "broken" the fare and are paying JFK-FRA plus FRA-CPT.

 

I really don't think that this is true, even as a general rule. If you price JFK-FRA (stop) FRA-CPT (stop) CPT-FRA (stop) FRA-JFK, you'll get priced using a NYC-CPT-NYC through fare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/31/2019 at 6:39 PM, FlyerTalker said:

Is there some overriding reason why you all have to fly on the same flights?  Seems that three adult couples should be able to say "Hi...meet you in Cape Town on the 2nd of February (or whatever date)" and everyone can make their own way there. The first to book can advise the others and they can either do the same or make a different choice.

 

 

 

My thoughts exactly!  We often travel with others on cruises or other trips, and typically we have an every-man-for-himself policy for booking flights. We book what works for us and we all meet up at our destination.   Keeps us from being subjected to flights/schedules/airlines we don't prefer, and keeps us from missing out on potential good fares because we are waiting for everyone to get in agreement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Not sure where you live but United just announced they will have direct flights from Newark to Cape Town starting in December.  It will be offered 3 times per week and It will be about a 15 hour flight in the new 787 Dreamliner.  This will save you 4 hours.

Edited by cheeseclan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, cheeseclan said:

Not sure where you live but United just announced they will have direct flights from Newark to Cape Town starting in December.  It will be offered 3 times per week and It will be about a 15 hour flight in the new 787 Dreamliner.  This will save you 4 hours.

Further information for those waiting for these flights to be released - these flights are anticipated to be bookable by mid-May. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards
      • Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo invites you to #CrewUpWithWomen
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...