What’s more, SAA has moved into a new, state-of-the-art terminal in Johannesburg, operating all flights domestic or international from one terminal. Also in Johannesburg, final touches are now being put on a brand-new, luxurious lounge for SAA Premium Business Class customers, scheduled to open in April. Cape Town International Airport (CPT) has recently been remodeled, offering up-to-date amenities. Lastly, Durban (DUR) is slated to debut an entirely new airport prior to the World Cup.
South African Airways is a great choice for flights to the tip of the African continent, particularly because it’s the only carrier that offers direct flights from New York to Johannesburg. En route back to New York there is a stop in Dakar, Senegal, but at least the outward portion of the journey is nonstop. A word of advice: For this long 14-hour flight, it is worth splurging on business class (from $4,999 round-trip). On our recent journey to Johannesburg, we loved the lie-flat seat (with a 73-inch pitch) and the 2-2-2 seat configuration (translating to easy access to the aisle and no middle seats). Other perks we appreciated include a personal reading light with four variable settings; lumbar massage; three preset modes of the seat sitting, cradle and bed, all very comfortable; large tray table and individual cocktail tables; and the latest of blockbuster movies on a large touch screen. Did we forget to mention the great feather pillow and duvet that made sleep to South Africa sweeter than ever?
Most importantly, how can U.S. travelers make it down to South Africa for the World Cup, which takes place during what is normally South Africas high season? We checked a variety of dates during the event and found economy seats from New York to Johannesburg starting at $1,480 roundtrip. After the games, mid- to late August fares will be dropping even further, to as low as $1,045 roundtrip.
For more trip-planning information, see our South Africa Travel Guide.