Advise on the Flight to Johannesburg from Atlanta

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by hunterhanna, May 31, 2013.

  1. hunterhanna

    hunterhanna AH Member

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    Ok everyone....advise on the flight to Johannesburg.........airlines prefered?, what to do on the looooong flight from Atlanta, scheduling time AM/PM, etc
  2. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    gday hunterhanna
    I don't know from Atlanta .
    but from Sydney in Australia it was a bloody long flight ,im starting to think tap had the right idea .he took a sleeping pill and woke up in Africa the only down side by the sounds of it was he drooled all over humself :laughing::laughing:
    staring to sound good to me .l might buy a bib but :clap::laughing:
  3. Uintaelkhunter

    Uintaelkhunter AH Veteran

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    I prefur Delta from Atlanta non-stop and stay the night in Jo-berg if you are traveling from somewhere else I would say stick with one airline so you are less likely to have them loose your bags. I can't sleep on the plain very well so I just try to power thru the long flight and crash when I hit the room in Jo-berg it seems to help with the time change adjustment as well I learned sleeping or trying to on the plane take longer to adjust my sleep schedule once I'm there I learned this from numaurse trips to Asia
  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Consider heading through Frankfurt or Amsterdam to break up the flight.
    I am giving this a whirl this trip to see if breaking the trip up helps me hate the flight any less.

    There are not a lot of choices AM PMs. It is not a commuter flight out of NYC with thirty options. :)

    My wife required the Delta Economy Comfort Seat.
    Depends how small you are ( 6 foot plus requires more room).
    I like all the room I can get as well.

    Punch in a search from your home airport to Joburg and see what pops up.
  5. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    I'll take Delta of SAA anyday!
  6. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    There is so much to say about this topic.

    I travel a lot and am of the opinion that all US carriers are bad and so are most international carriers. If you can manage to fly business class ($, miles, or other) it will be a much better experience. If you can't, at least do yourself a favor and pay the extortion fee to get a seat with extra leg room.

    Take some form of entertainment for the first part of the flight (music, movies, books, etc.). My system (which will not work for everyone) is to have wine with my meal, a double cognac after the meal, 3 mg of melatonin, contacts come out (IMPORTANT!), ear plugs go in, eye shades on and then sleep. Sometimes, I manage to even sleep through breakfast. I arrive fairly rested and ready to go. Remember to drink plenty of water during the flight (never from the bathroom sink). If you can follow this system, you end up with a relatively short amount of dead time.

    Read up on deep vein thrombosis. That is the reason that some docs will be reluctant to prescribe sleeping pills. An advantage of melatonin is that it helps to reset your body clock. As a sleep aid, melatonin does not work for everyone. It doesn't do a thing for my wife. Talk to your doctor before trying it. Also, try it before your trip so you know what to expect. If it doesn't perform as expected, find something else. If you don't sleep, it will be like pulling an all-nighter in college. Remember how you felt after one of those? You don't want to start your hunt like that.

    In December 2011, flying back from Frankfurt, I sat next to a nice guy who was coming back from Afghanistan. Unfortunately, unlike bluey's friend, instead of drooling all over himself, this poor guy barfed all over himself, the seat, the blanket, etc. :p When I finally woke up, the flight attendant politely suggested that I might want to move to a different seat. Needless to say, I didn't get a good night's rest on that flight. ;-)
  7. greyfox

    greyfox AH Veteran

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    I have not YET flown to Africa - I am going July 2014 - but I have flown to asia a few times and this is what works for me: Try to stay up as long as possible before you board the plane. Stay up all night the night before if it's a morning departure. Shortly after takeoff a meal is usually served, eat all you can, drink water with your meal, then I pop an OTC sleep aid and start reading a book, usually within about an hour I'm drowsey and sleep for a few hours, then repeat. Also, as soon as you take off, set your watch to the time at your destination - it helps me with jet lag.
  8. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    That is a good tip from Greyfox about setting your watch to the local time. When you arrive, don't keep telling yourself things like "It's 2:00 AM back home." Unless you're about to call someone at home, don't even think about what time it is there.

    I agree that being a little tired can help with the flight. An option that I tried once was to shift my sleep time by one hour per night. I suppose that it helped, but I don't think that it was worth the effort. I haven't done it again.

    I think that jet lag is highly overrated. I don't think it matters whether you are flying east or west, you will feel it less on the outbound leg of your trip than on the return.
  9. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    All good advice. I always carry prescription Ambieon (sleeping pill) with me. I will take it at 10:00pm Joberg time and usually get 6-8 hours sleep. I never wake feeling "groggy" or like I had been "drugged". Depending on connecting flights, if required, stay at either the Afton House or African Sky Guest House in Joberg. If your PH picks you up after you arrive and you drive to the concession/ranch, plan on the first full day as a "non-hunting" day. It's usually at a reduced rate and will allow you to acclimate and soak in that you are really in Africa. You can get serious the next day. Just my thoughts...
  10. BWH

    BWH GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Not sure your starting point. However, I am going next May... 2014. Leaving from DFW. ATL is really my best bet. That ATL-JNB is LONG. However, the only other option is SAA, through DC-Dulles, then to Dakar, then to JNB. With that said... I'll take the ATL-JNB with an Ambien.
  11. Odinsraven

    Odinsraven AH Member

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    Have done a lot of 10+ hr flights - without my rifle unfortunately , however Immovane or zimovane wheels up order your meal early and then pop the pill should get you six or seven hours sleep -

    However as always talk to your Doc to get it - as I am not a doc !
  12. hunterhanna

    hunterhanna AH Member

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    I like the idea of going a day early to get accustomed first, and we (my wife and I, will be going early May 2014. our hunt is due to start May 5th WE wiil be going from Columbus Ohio to Atl, then to Jburg
  13. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    OK I'll pass my take on it after a career as a pilot going all over the world (now thankfully retired!).
    I've done ATL-JNB 5 times. Both with SAA and DTL

    I only advise my friends to go Delta from ATL to JNB. for a variety of reasons. Going through Europe with other carriers presents a whole host of trouble to over come when traveling with firearms. They can be overcome but why have the hassle. I don't recommend it. If no firearms, have at it.

    If you are leaving from a major airport in the USA to go to ATL, take your first flight in the morning to ATL, period. DON'T TRY AND CUT YOUR TRANSFER TO THE JNB FLIGHT SHORTER THAN 4 HRS. Take it from an old airline pilot. Don't do it. This way you will usually always have a backup flight in case your first one cancels for maintenance. IT DOES HAPPEN but usually the first flight of the day is an over-nighter airplane and it gets fixed and ready for the morning flight with no problems. Anything later is usually a turn around from another flight and can have problems or delays. I take the first flight and get to ATL 6 to 8 hrs early. I get a day room at the airport Red Roof Inn, go there, check in, go next door for a meal, go take a nap, have a nice shower and go back to the airport 3 hrs early.

    I only recommend Delta Boeing 777s. Not the SAA Airbus 340. Why you ask? I've got a lot of flight time in Boeings. I am also rated in the Airbus and have flown the 320s. I don't like the Airbus, I like the Boeing. It's a personal thing from a lifetime of flying. It has to do with how the planes were designed to operate. Way too detailed to get into here.

    I like the coach seats better in the Boeing on Delta by far. Just me again. I don't like the stop in Dakar. Just me again.

    You will have personal movies in your seat all night long along with music and games. No charge on Delta. Food and drinks are available throughout the entire trip if you want. Water is brought around several times at night. Most everyone tries to get some sleep at night. I'm not too go at it maybe from having to stay awake doing it for a living as the pilot.

    Make sure your firearms are checked through all the way to JNB so you don't have to go outside security to recheck them in ATL. It can be done and make sure it is done. CHECK THE BAGGAGE TAGS YOURSELF AS THEY ARE PUT ON YOUR LUGGAGE. They should read in big black letters JNB You can have your firearm case checked by TSA right there at check in to avoid any problems with you going to the airplane and they wanting to open your case for inspection. DO NOT USE A "TSA" lock on your gun case under any circumstances. Once it is locked at the first ticket counter, you are the only one who has a key for it. That's the way the law is written.

    It's your choice once you get to JNB on what to do. Talk to your PH. If your staying in South Africa he will help you decide whether or not to stay over night in JNB and then go to camp. If you are going to Namibia to meet your PH stay overnight (you really have to anyway). Afton of the other one are perfect. They will help you with your firearms check in into SA. Even if you are going to Namibia the next day you still pick up your guns in SA. It is not that difficult.

    A little long winded but I hope this helps. Research this forum as there are many many threads on the first trip.
  14. BWH

    BWH GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    That is outstanding info!!!
  15. Rob44

    Rob44 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Thanks Cliffy,,the Atlanta Direct is what I,m thinking also
  16. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Long winded advice is the least likely to be misunderstood.

    Outstanding....
  17. hunterhanna

    hunterhanna AH Member

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    Awesome...thay's why I like this website so well!! Thanks for your advice. Timing is my biggest concern now. Our outfitter assures us that their rifles are top notch and charge $40 a day rent/ $5 a round...much easier flying not worrying about your precious firearms. We will take the advice and arrive a day early (my wife and I hunt together) to get accustomed to being IN AFRICA. As I tell my friends, half the fun is preparation of the hunt, the anticipation of something new, practice shooting, hiking, etc. I also came up with a new target setup. I have a program for my computer which blows any high resolution picture to any size poster. I blew up a picture of a kudu to life-size (took 37 sheets of paper and a whole cartridge of ink) and mounted it onto a plywood backstop. A little expensive, but portable and is a good way to teach my wife about uphill/downhill angles. Last year I took an antelope @ 220 yards at a steep 40 degree downangle, aiming 4" below his chestline. The heart was exlpoded! She has her moments too. 2011 she took a 325" SCI record book caribou in Quebec @350 yards w/a 15 mph crosswind w/ a .280 Thompson Center (140 gr) Guide figured @ 30 crosswind bullet travel and 16" drop. Awesome!!

  18. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    Delta airlines,,, and as far as what to do on such a looooong flight,,,, I took my wife and 5 year old so there was plenty to keep me occupied, plus there were in flight movies. If I were going solo though???? I would bring a couple of really good books about Africa and I would drink a lot, Boose was free on our flight.
  19. BnC 04

    BnC 04 TITANIUM SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Having just returned a couple weeks ago from the Delta 200 & 201 to/from Atl & JNB, my only advise is to book an "economy comfort" seat...We waited to long and they were all gone. Being 6'3" dosent work well in a tuna can seat. I know an extra 3-4" dosent sound like a lot but it is and well work the $20 fee. Other then that I think everyone has given some solid advise that I would have offered.

    1. Reading Material & Pocket games (wifes TV didn't work on the 200)
    2. Sleeping pills
    3. Setting your watch to local (tells you when you should be sleeping)
    4. Economy comfort seats (first class if you swallow the price or have miles)

    No matter how rough or smooth the 14.5 hours is, you will be so excited and pumped it wont matter....much,:D
  20. Rob44

    Rob44 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I wonder if they will have the Dreamliner in service by next year

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