This post is also available in: FR
In this first article – very detailed – dedicated to South Africa, we will look at the different possibilities available to us with the points and miles concerning the air ticket.
Our articles on South Africa
First of all, feel free to consult our other articles such as:
Going to South Africa with points and miles: airfare
South Africa is an expensive destination. It is very rare to find tickets from Canada for less than $1200 in economy class.
And let’s not even talk about business class, which is around $5,500 round trip.
And it is a destination that is difficult to reach from North America: few direct flights, a quasi obligatory connection in Europe, often long connection because most flights take off in the evening, while flights from Canada arrive in the morning.
Destination and connecting airports
South Africa has 2 international airports:
- Johannesburg (JNB)
- Cape Town (CPT)
Johannesburg is connected to North America by:
|New York (JFK)
Other hubs to look out for when searching for award tickets are:
|Addis Ababa (ADD)
PS: We won’t mention the other hubs because it is almost impossible for Canadians to get miles in the relevant frequent flyer programs.
As for Cape Town, the choices are more limited:
We will retain here 4 hubs:
|Addis Ababa (ADD)
Searching for a ticket on Aeroplan
Once the first obvious search is done (back and forth on a specific date), it is often unsuccessful.
Either Aeroplan is offering flights that may not be suitable for you, or the search engine has not gone as far as you have in thinking up winning combinations!
That’s why we often advise you:
- search by one-way, correspondence by correspondence
- then “feed” the search engine by setting up a “multi-city” itinerary
- or call the Aeroplan reservation service and indicate the flights found
In this case, we looked for a route:
- between Montreal and Johannesburg
- for a typical travel period of 10 to 15 days
- avoiding companies with carrier surcharges
We do not hide you that it isnecessary to be flexible for this type of journey. Availability is sporadic, but it exists! If you plan ahead, you should be able to put together a great itinerary!
To get there from North America, it will cost you 100,000 Aeroplan miles in economy class and 150,000 Aeroplan miles in business class.
We have tried several routes to show you what is possible.
One way via Zurich
Swiss offers a flight with a connection in Zurich. You pay few taxes… but as the connection is made in Europe, it is long, very long.
This is a good option if you plan to stop over in Europe for several days before going to South Africa!
One way via Toronto and Addis Ababa
Another option on the same day, a flight via Toronto and Addis Ababa. The advantage: short connection times. Since the transatlantic portion is on Ethiopian Airlines (on a new aircraft, a 788 Dreamliner), taxes are low, even though Air Canada is involved in the Montreal-Toronto portion.
The return via Washington
South African Airways offers a flight between Johannesburg and Washington. In fact, as you will see in the screenshot below, there is an unspecified stop that is made in Accra (that’s why we mentioned this city in the table of available connections above).
The new Flightconnections interface shows us the choices with 1 – 2 matches, filtering by alliance. Here is a picture of this line:
Round trip to South Africa with Aeroplan
Once you’ve found these dates and flights, all you have to do is enter them into your multi-city search (or if you’re lucky, you can find them in the round trip option).
100,000 Aeroplan miles and $170 in taxes, a bargain compared to flights at the same time!
Aeroplan’s business class option to South Africa, the real deal!
However, in our opinion, the real bargain would be to find a business class seat for such a long trip! 50,000 miles more, the gap is not so extraordinary for the comfort obtained. Here is an example (with transatlantic flights in business).
As you have seen, once you have:
- mastered connections via flightconnections.com
- retained by companies that do not apply carrier surcharges
- “given the game” on your travel dates (1 to 2 weeks of flexibility recommended for this destination)
it is now possible to find flights to South Africa with your Aeroplan Miles!
Our suggestions would be to focus on those routes that often offer the most availability:
- Toronto-Addis Ababa-Johannesburg
- Washington-Addis Ababa-Johannesburg
- New York-Johannesburg
To get those 100,000 / 150,000 Aeroplan miles, we recommend you to check out our article detailing all the major credit card offers to get at least 100,000 Aeroplan miles.
This post is also available in: FRCome to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!