international flights

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by tap, May 27, 2012.

  1. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    I have a question for you seasoned veterans with the airlines. I have contacted many travel agencies and have found that most are too busy to really help with flight assistance. Often times I can find the exact same deals myself and I usually cannot see the point in booking with travel agents. That being said I went into this years safaris booking my own flights etc.

    Next thing I know is that my old ph shows up to stay at my house. he starts rattling off to look into december hunts due to the fact that entire aisles are left empty etc. This is knowledge I did not know. In addition he tells me that you can sign up for frequent flyer programs and once you get enough points that you can buy upgradable economy tickets to first class. Well I've had a delta amex card for a while and had a few hundred thousand airline miles. I basically pay all my bills with it and 1 minute after paying them I turn around and pay the card off that way I'm never charged interest. I still get the points and it costs me nothing. Mind you guys this was all my old PH's advice.

    Next thing I do is I call up delta and ask them how much for an economy class upgradable ticket round trip to jober and back. The price was double the normal ticket of about $1600 but then I could use my points to upgrade to first class. Now me and my wife are flying first class to africa and back and it didn't cost me anywhere near the normal price of $15,000/ticket. I had never even dreamed of flying first class at those prices.

    I've been reading ever since and have found ways to get exit row seating etc. So my question for you guys is what other secrets do the average morons like myself not know. Does anyone care to depart from their vast airline experiences?
     
  2. saeng101

    saeng101 AH Veteran

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    I fly Delta 5-6 times/yr to SA. I have never seen a row of empty seats. After 9/11 this was true but hasn't been for a long time. I buy the upgradeable coach tickets. They are about $3600 round trip now. The lowest class coach is about $2800. Prices vary on time of year, how far ahead you book, plane load and other assorted factors. DL will upgrade at booking with miles, think it is 25k miles each way. Once you get into their premium mileage status they issue vouchers that do it without miles. When you are flying up front you get a 50% mileage premium added to your trip, so your miles stack up guick.

    You will find the DL 777 to have the best comfort and service of any airline when in business class. The lay flat beds mean I arrive ready to go.
     
  3. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Good topic tap. I would normally agree with you that you can find deals just as easily as a travel agent at any given moment in time. But I do believe if you've got a trip planned well in advance and you let your travel agent know, they can be on the prowl for you and let you know when those specials come up where you might miss them.

    While it's not happened to me, I've read too many stories of travel plans going down the toilet when going to destinations such as Moz. When that happens and you're way out in the bush but can reach your travel agent, that's when they really earn their money and get their client out of a jam. So if using a travel agent doesn't cost you anything, why wouldn't you use one for these types of trips?

    I'd like to hear safari gal's (aka Lori Ginn) take on this topic!
     
  4. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Tap

    We flew South Africa this year in the middle of the week and going over it was may be 60% full.

    The middle 4 seats had 1 to 2 passengers and some rows had 3 passengers.

    Now window and aisle were just about full both sides.

    Now returning, the airplane was just about 90% or fuller...

    Now going both ways 1st class was full.

    If you are going 1st class you lucky dog you...
     
  5. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hey Tap great topic I myself book my own flights for this years hunt I had gotton ahold of Lori and got some quotes from her and I looked around and found some a few hunderd cheaper about the time I booked the tickets for the wife and I Lori sent me an email and had found the same ones I did but I already had them booked, and as far as not taking any chances I of course got sportsmans travel Insurance through the same outfit I used in 2010 Global Travel Ins. that way if any thing goes wrong I've got it covered. As far as the air miles I had some Outfitters at the DSC Convention tell me the same thing to sign up for air miles for all the flying that I do and I could earn free tickets all I have to do now is figure out how to get a Frequent flyers card. Bob
     
  6. Stretch

    Stretch AH Fanatic

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    This is a great subject. What does the travel insurance cost and what does it cover Bob?
     
  7. RogerHeintzman

    RogerHeintzman AH Enthusiast

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    Stretch, insurance covers just about everything. Interrupted flight, baggage delay, loose, cancellations, pre-existing conditions if purchased within a certain time frame. You buy just what you need to cover non-refundable deposits. It is not expensive. I always purchase it.
     
  8. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    I'm retired from the airline business (up front as pilot) (and NO I don't get to fly free) and even I don't know as much as some of you guys. I want to know more about upgrading to Business class as I'm getting too old to fly steerage as much as I do:) :) As mentioned Delta has treated us very good the last 4 trips. Even in steerage. I haven't used the special Coach seats on Delta yet. Can anyone tell me if they are worth the extra fee? They supposedly have more recline and leg room although I have found the regular leg room OK even for me at 6'1".
     
  9. saeng101

    saeng101 AH Veteran

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    The economy plus seats are nice, about an extra 4" in pitch. Upgrading with DL is fairly easy if you fly enough to get their premium status. The charge is 20k miles each way to SA, the base ticket must be able to be upgraded, the cheapest are not. If you get to Platinum or Diamond status they give out vouchers to use instead of miles. The interesting thing with DL is that they give out bonus miles as you move up in standings and bonus miles if you get upgraded to the front. In my case the miles awarded for each trip to SA is about what the next upgrade would cost.
     
  10. Nevada Wapati

    Nevada Wapati AH Senior Member

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    Cliffy, YES, it is worth it. I was able to sleep much better with that extra 4" of leg room. That sleep made me feel much better upon arrival and cut the jet lag in half.
    Randy
     
  11. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    That sounds good to me and maybe with the extra inches and the way I prop my feet up (4" up from the floor makes a BIG difference) I might be able to sleep better. I'll try it the next trip. Thanks!
     
  12. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Sleep? On an airplane? Oh, would that it were so! You guys must lead charmed lives!:dozingoff:
     
  13. saeng101

    saeng101 AH Veteran

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    Try a seasick pill, Promethazine 25mg and a few glasses of wine. Works wonders for most of the guys I prescribe for. Only draw back is cotton mouth the next day.

     
  14. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    im 6'4" at 290 and my chest measures 56" around. i really need two seats as i dont fit in one. best trip i had was a window seat in economy. i hit the airport bar downed 4 double shots of yeager and swallowed two oxycodones and two vicadan. 30 minutes later the flight attendants were shaking me violently to wake up. i finally realized i was on an empty plane sitting at the joberg airport.
     
  15. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    jeez tap 56" i take it that was after the implants ? ;):laughing::draught:
     
  16. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    ses you go out partying the night before flying and go to bed late. the problem is judging how much of your favourite tipple to consume, too much and its not good , just right and all is ok for the flight and i promise you i doubt you will even make it past take off. :tired::dozingoff::biggrin:
     
  17. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Tony if I did that the only thing I would need in Joberg is a body bag!:beatingdeadhorse:
     
  18. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    hey i have arthritis in my back two knees that have had bad surgeries that go bad after being in the same position for too long and to add to it i cant fit in just one seat. i get a little desperate for some relief and i figured a non returnable coma was worth the risk for a comfy flight. just so happens i awoke from my coma so all is well :)
     
  19. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Glad I only have to go after the light stuff to catch a nap. Never sleep, a nap.
     
  20. Stretch

    Stretch AH Fanatic

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    Thanks Roger.
     

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