starting to look for air

going to south Africa next May 3rd and looking for either premium economy or business class. Can anyone comment on the better cabins on the airlines. If premium economy we want a foot rest that elevates. What $$ are we looking at. Would booking through Tauck be the more reasonable route. Leaving from Phoenix so 1 or 2 stops is what I'm looking at. Thanks


  • Google flights is your friend:

  • Do you have a Platinum American Express card? If so, they offer excellent fares in business and premium economy in their 8nternational companion fare program. We have used Delta into Jo’Burg in the past. Usually the business cabin is lie flat seats. Premium economy is like the old business seats. Like recliner chairs. But check various airlines and the seat configuration on

  • We flew British Airways Business Class (Club World) from JFK to Capetown, South Africa and the return from Johannesburg - both ways with a stop at London Heathrow. We purchased the air through Tauck. It was great! I love British Airways. Seats reclined to a bed (completely flat) so it was very conducive to sleeping! United flies nonstop to Capetown from Newark but they cancelled our friend’s flight the day before due to “no fuel” in Capetown and it was a nightmare trying to reschedule last minute and then get reimbursed from them. (She did not purchase her air through Tauck.) Probably a unique situation but regardless, I’d choose British Airways given the choice. I also liked the stopover in London - it broke up the long journey. Prices can be so variable, even day to day! But you can check with Tauck to see what they are offering and also take a look at the specific aircraft as the seat configuration may vary.

  • Sometimes Tauck have better prices, sometimes not. Do your research first and then call Tauck and see what they have. Air fares have gone up a huge amount. I would think you are talking about $7000 each for business class now to that destination.

  • You might want to include the trip you are planning so others know your African departure city as well.

    I don't know which aircraft BA is using or if they have switched to better business seats, but a number of their wide-body, long-haul aircraft have terrible seat arrangements. They lay flat, but alternate the direction they face- in opposing directions. That means for many seats you must disturb the person next to you to get into and out of your seat. It is the worst arrangement I have ever seen. One of the major flight bloggers, said this, who would design such a terrible seat, and why?? Also, many of the experienced travelers here avoid Heathrow like the plague for a number of reasons.

    The last time we went to Africa for the Botswana, South Africa, Zambia tour we flew Delta non-stop direct to Johannesburg, spent the night at the airport InterContinental, then flew SAA on the short flight to Livingstone. We flew Delta home from Capetown to Atlanta via Amsterdam. A few years earlier for Kenya & Tanzania we flew Ethiopian from DC to Addis Ababa to Arusha and Nairobi to Addis Ababa to DC. Don't limit your search to US carriers.

    Other carriers offer as good or better alternatives, e.g. Gulf State carriers, Ethiopian, etc. so don't limit yourself.

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