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Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 11:59 pm

Have You Flown US To South Africa?

Wed Jul 03, 2002 11:31 am

Have you flown US to South Africa, particularly on SAA? It's a 14 or 15 hour flight from ATL and JFK to JNB and CPT (there's a stop in Cape Verde coming back I know, so it would be longer total, but shorter single air times per takeoff and landing). What did you do to pass the time on the flight? How many movies were there? How many meals were there? Did you ever get really bored? Were you REALLY ready to get of the plane when you arrived? Any other info would be appreciated too. I could sit on a plane for 15 hours, but I know it would get pretty boring after about 9 or 10 hours. I have been to Europe 3 times, so I have been on sort of long flights. I don't tend to get bored any more until after about 9 hours, so I enjoy the flights. Six more to that though seems a bit much. Well, thank you for telling me anything you do!
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RE: Have You Flown US To South Africa?

Wed Jul 03, 2002 11:41 am

Not yet but I plan to take BA to CPT. There is a place called Thunder City were they will take you up in ex-RAF fighter jets some are supersonic.
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RE: Have You Flown US To South Africa?

Wed Jul 03, 2002 11:52 am

I've heard about that CO/ba. That would be really fun!
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RE: Have You Flown US To South Africa?

Wed Jul 03, 2002 12:17 pm

I did it. SAA JFK-JHB. It was rough stuff let me tell you. First i was on the top deck in an aisle and its pretty cramp up there. To start off the trip the #3 engine was plowed into by a food truck so that didnt exactly make me happy. The flight was pretty bad. I couldn't get much sleep, there were two movies plus a South Africa travel program. Overhead small tvs. Buisness (my dad was there) had PTV's. THe food was decent, i cleaned my plate everytime. The f/as were TERRIBLE! I pressed the call button and asked for a krest. 1. they got me the wrong kind, 2. the woman screamed at me and said NEXT TIME YOU WANT SOMETHING GET IT YOURSELF! I read John Grishams The Chamber during the ride and played Game Boy. The way back was slightly better. We had a funny captain and i got a window seat. I belive they showed two movies again. The food was pretty good and the service better. Unfortunately i had a crap book to read so it got boring.
IF you are going have fun.
DC-10's Forever
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
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RE: Have You Flown US To South Africa?

Wed Jul 03, 2002 12:22 pm

South Africa's one of those places I'd like to visit if the opportunity ever presented itself. The thought of spending so long on a flight just doesn't fill me with desire, however!
If I actually were to go there, I'd probably opt for ET out of EWR. They've been advertising a round-trip to JNB, via connection in ADD, for $995.
"Let me think about it" = the coward's way of saying "no"
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RE: Have You Flown US To South Africa?

Wed Jul 03, 2002 9:44 pm

I flew Miami - Capetown round trip in October, 1999. This was before they changed code sharing partners and moved to Atlanta. Going down, I had a window seat with a South African couple who now live in the US. The airplane was pretty full, but the service was good, the movies OK. The couple were very nice and gave me a lot of tips. Coming back, I was on the upper deck at a window seat at the emergency exit. It was a lot easier to move around and there was tons of leg room. A hint while shopping in South Africa, keep all your receipts. There is a Value Added Tax (VAT), if you can show proof that you've paid it, you will be reinbursed. Also pack all the things you buy together, because they are likely to want to see everything. You will get a form to fill out for the VAT reinbursement when you returning. Enjoy your trip and be careful, blend in, don't rent a vehicle unless you absolutely have to (South African drivers have their own way of driving and there are a lot of unwritten rules of the road), and travel with locals as much as possible.
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RE: Have You Flown US To South Africa?

Wed Jul 03, 2002 11:35 pm

I have flown both JFK-JNB (via Cape Verde) and ATL-JNB (non-stop and via Cape Verde). I think that SAA is a very good airline. The food, the service and the entertainment is quite good, if not always excellent. I found the staff, in particular, to be friendly and willing to chat when not busy.

The last time I flew with them was in August 2001. The food was abundant and very good. They also offered "unlimited" snacks throughout the flight (Haagen Daz ice cream, Snickers ice cream bars, fruit, juices, crackers, cookies, etc.). Drinks also flowed freely but don't have too much alcohol because it has different effects on the body at that altitude and for that duration.

I seem to remember that there were 3 movies and assorted short film and news shows on my flights. The audio selections were varied and good as well.

As for passing the time, I tend to get up and make my way to the back of the aircraft about 2 or 3 times during the flight. You meet the most interesting people hanging out back there. Conversations range from sports to sex to travel stories. Try it, you may like it!

The only problem that I have had with SAA was once when I was goin ATL-JNB-CPT. When the plane landed in JNB the ground staff removed all of the luggage and the CPT passengers had nothing when we arrived at our destination.

Have a great flight and enjoy SAA.

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RE: Have You Flown US To South Africa?

Thu Jul 04, 2002 12:12 am

I flew it on CO and AF IAH-CDG -> CDG-JNB. Most miserable flights ever for time. One overnighter, then a 12-hour layover, then another overnighter. Lots of Onepass miles though!
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RE: Have You Flown US To South Africa?

Thu Jul 04, 2002 12:56 am

My trip was JFK-BRU-JNB-CPT, and return. I wasn't looking forward to the two overnights but it actually worked out pretty well. Had a late departure from JFK, after 11pm, then landed in BRU in the late morning. With the JNB flight scheduled at 8pm, I took the train downtown and spent the day roaming around the city (it was Christmas eve). Thus, when I returned to the airport I was tired and slept much of the way from BRU-JNB. Thus two overnights but it worked out pretty well. The return was much easier with only a 1.5 hour layover in BRU.

South Africa itself, and the game parks, were awesome.
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Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 11:59 pm

RE: Have You Flown US To South Africa?

Thu Jul 04, 2002 7:09 am

Thank you all very much for telling me your experiences. Actually, I am not planning on going to South Africa any time soon (I would love to, but my parents don't want to and that's a problem considering I'm in the 13-15 age group. If I was 25, money would be the only problem and if I could come up with it, then I'd be on my way.). I was just curious to see how you thought the journey was, so again, thank you for telling me.

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