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 Post subject: Airlines from Europe
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:18 pm 
What carrier do the European contingent use. I've not been out for a few years now and trying to find good prices on-line is proving difficult ie. no seats available on any but the most expensive seats. I've not tried that hard as yet but I'm thinking maybe October 2007.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:31 pm 
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Hi laserblazer

Just sitting at computer now pricing flights, a couple of good websites to look at are www.holidaymood.co.uk and www.travelbag.co.uk. Had trouble a few years back with ebookers so wouldn't recommend them at all.

My son is visiting in June for about 6 weeks, found prices ranging from £434 to well over £1,000. Will be booking his within the next few days will let you know the final price.

If you shop around you can find some good deals especially if you have a non-direct flight. Can't cope with that myself so always fly direct.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:35 pm 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
Have a look at www.d-reizen.nl, and click on Vliegtickets.
The site is in Dutch, but should give you a fair idea on pricing and availability.
I just booked for June this year, and a return JHB (from Schiphol) cost 637,23 euro.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:39 pm 
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Forgot to add, my son likes flying with Vigin, he always has the meet and assist service as he's only young, they take excellent care of him. :D

My parents flew a couple of time with SAA, said they weren't bad either.

My Saffie friend always flies with the cheapest as he say's best to save the money and spend on castle's when you arrive :lol:


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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:48 pm 
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Location: Probably not coming back to Africa soon :-)
Hi Lazerblazer

My last three trips to Jo'burg from London were with Emirates (via Dubai), Air Portugal (via Lisbon, with a stop outbound in Maputo) and Iberia (via Madrid). All three were the cheapest fares I could find at the time of booking.

At the moment Iberia seems to offer the most favourable fares; however a couple of the Gulf airlines - Etihad (via Abu Dhabi) and Qatar Airways (via Doha) also offer very good fares on certain days of the week. Obviously routing via the Gulf takes a bit longer than direct from Europe.

As well as the links mentioned in the replies above, it's always worth checking Expedia and Opodo as well; however I only use these websites for finding the good deals - I usually book direct with the airline. If you can be a bit flexible with dates, you can often get a better deal by moving your travel dates by a day or two; week-end travel is generally a bit more expensive (airlines often surcharge for week-ends) and there are usually less good deals available.

The normal airline lead time for booking is a maximum of 330 days, so for October 2007 you will not be able to make a reservation until November 2006.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:58 pm 
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Location: mind in SA, body in The Netherlands
Hi

Have used:
British Airways
South African Airways
Lufhansa
Iberia
and this year KLM

I always shop around for the best price/flight times.

However, Iberia is one of the cheapest and safe

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Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 4:03 pm 
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Hi Laserblazer,
Tend to fly direct, used BA the last couple of times, thier website is easy to use, as Simon says you'll not be able to get prices for Oct 07 til later in the year.

Do check various sites friendship-associations.co.uk, britishairways, virgin, flynationwide, don't know much about Nationwide new boy on the block.

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 Post subject: Re: Airlines from Europe
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:09 pm 
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laserblazer wrote:
What carrier do the European contingent use. I've not been out for a few years now and trying to find good prices on-line is proving difficult ie. no seats available on any but the most expensive seats. I've not tried that hard as yet but I'm thinking maybe October 2007.

I've flown most of the airline carriers to South Africa:

The ones I like a lot
- Lufthansa
- British Airways
- South African Airways

The ones that are okay
- Al Italia
- Turkish Airways
- KLM

The ones I don't like at all
- Iberia
- Air Suisse
- Air France

Although I like Lufthansa and South African Airways a lot they both use Frankfurt Airport and luggage has the uncanny ability to get lost there :cry: Also airport taxes at Frankfurt are high.

The airport I positively hate are Charles de Gaulle in Paris an Madrid Airport. The best organised airports in my Frankfurt Airport (even though they will lose your luggage).


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines from Europe
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:15 pm 
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Location: Probably not coming back to Africa soon :-)
madach wrote:
The airport I positively hate are Charles de Gaulle in Paris an Madrid Airport. The best organised airports in my Frankfurt Airport (even though they will lose your luggage).

Things may well have improved at Madrid as their new terminal opened a couple of weeks ago; this should mean a considerable improvement over the old rabbit warren for punters flying on Iberia and the other One World airlines.

Madach's list of airline preferences typifies the danger of giving advice on which airline to travel on - I avoid British Airways whenever I can on long-haul but was very pleased with the service from Iberia :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Airlines from Europe
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:33 pm 
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madach wrote:
Although I like Lufthansa and South African Airways a lot they both use Frankfurt Airport and luggage has the uncanny ability to get lost there :cry:

Interesting... my luggage never got lost in Frankfurt but twice in London. :lol:

If you want to avoid Frankfurt, SAA also uses London Heathrow and Zürich Kloten.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:11 pm 
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Location: Portsmouth, England
I've used SAA and Air France, using Trailfinders and Lastminute to book.
Both airlines were fine. We missed or connection when flying with AF (not their fault, air traffic control at Heathrow went down) and had to wait 24 hours for the next flight. AF were brilliant - put us up in a hotel, evening meal, breakfast and lunch provided at the hotel and another meal at the airport. It wasn't really their fault that we only had summer clothes so couldn't really take advantage of a day in a Paris struggling to reach 0 degrees :lol:

But it put me off connections though and some of the travelling times through the Middle East make me shudder.

A fellow forummer put me onto these people - can't seem to book over the web but I've signed up for their newsletter and so far the flight prices seem reasonable, if short-term availability.


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines from Europe
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:45 pm 
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simonb6 wrote:
Madach's list of airline preferences typifies the danger of giving advice on which airline to travel on - I avoid British Airways whenever I can on long-haul but was very pleased with the service from Iberia :roll:

True, it's a very personal preference and flights are different every time. I've travelled more than once on most of the airlines on long haul to S.A. (yes, I travel a lot :roll:) and BA, SAA and Lufthansa were the best airlines for me. This might be totally different for other people though.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:08 pm 
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Location: The country of compromises
I agree with the comments on Charles de Gaulle! This is by far the worst airport I have ever seen and I have seen quite a few of them (and also worked for more than 8 years in one).

Air France is maybe OK but the trouble for us Belgians is that from Brussels you have to take the Thalys trains instead of a plain. This seems OK but the trouble you have to get from the Thalys to the check-in desk in Paris can be enormous! And coming back you only have no more than 1 hour and a half to make it to the train! Often that is not sufficient and than you have to wait for 3 more hours in (as allready said) the most boring airport in Europe!

So basically I will go for the cheapest flights except when I have to connect in CDG! By the way, often BA has given me the cheapest rates and we have allways been very pleased with them!

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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:27 pm 
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Posts: 183
Location: Gauteng
Hi

We are now living in Paris and have flown various options home (SA) but keep going back to SAA. The flight is reasonably priced (have just purchased a ticket for April for 600 euros) and direct to Johannesburg. Cheapest option is to buy online www.flysaa.com. You can pre-book seats whilst making your reservation.

Hope this helps - it is always cheaper to reserve on line than through a travel agent and keep checking as the prices change daily!!!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 12:42 pm 
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Location: South Wales, UK
laserblazer wrote:
I just tried booking for Easter with SAA and Heathrow to JNB and back worked out at over £800. :(


Hi Laserblazer,
Try www.travelsupermarket.com. They are a new price comparison site. you may find cheaper on there?


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