United has cancelled our flights to South Africa
We were booked for a November South Africa an Elegant Adventure tour. I noticed a couple of days ago our United Airlines itinerary through Newark had disappeared. It appears the United is no longer going direct to South Africa. We called Tauck, since they booked our tickets, and they had a few other options all with tight or very long connections and a few thousand dollars more than our original cost. We want to stay with Business class since this is a long journey or 28 to 35+ hours. The benefit to having Tauck rebook is that if the tour doesn’t happen we are not out any money. Normally I would just book non refundable tickets and take my chances. Right now I am thinking the chances for the tour are maybe 50 50 since South Africa is still in a level 4 travel alert and there are several Covid testing hoops to jump through to get there and come back. We are in a little bit of a conundrum right now on what to do.
I believe may people on this forum fly Delta so I have a couple of questions hopefully someone can help with.
I can book myself on Delta One. For about $400 more per ticket, I can get the Delta refundable tickets. These would be a couple thousand less per ticket than Tauck is quoting. Has anyone had experience with Delta refundable tickets?
Our flights to South Africa connect in Amsterdam Schiphol and onward on KLM. The connection time is 1:45. Is this enough time to make the connection? We have been through Schiphol a couple of times and it has always been a confusing mess.
The return is on Virgin Atlantic with about 5 hours at Heathrow, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Back up plan: postpone this trip until 2022 or 2023.