Chicago to Johannesburg


AH senior member
Mar 20, 2024
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Need to book tickets soon Chicago to Johannesburg.

Ethiopian airlines seems to be the least expensive option, ORD-ADD-JNB. What are your experiences with Ethiopian airlines and a plane change in ADD?

Tickets go on sale approximately 11 months in advance. From past experience when do you think the best rates are offered?
Will you be flying with a rifle?
I’ve flown Ethiopian Air to ADD to Namibia. I had a good flight and good experience. Traveling with a rifle through ADD however can add a wrinkle. What you save in cost you lose in travel time.
Get a TA to look at all gun friendly options. Ethiopian is a fine airline by all accounts.
I would do it flying no rifle, but with a rifle I’d choose a different route unless the cost difference is just that much. The connections I had in Addis Ababa were very tight but there wasn’t a choice for me in 2021. They met me off the plane flying there to go to baggage handling area below airport to confirm serial number against 4457. On way back there were many planes landing at same time and I had to find an Ethiopian airline employee to help me find someone who could help me with same process. I made plane but barely. It worked for me, but better options. Checking the 4457 and serial for a rifle in transit seems really pointless and makes no sense to me, but is what it is.
A big negative is if your baggage isn’t put on the plane for you to clear it in Addis Ababa. It will not be forwarded to you in Johannesburg. It will wait in Addis Ababa until you get back. A direct US route such as Newark or Atlanta to Johannesburg would be better if cost difference isn’t too much.
My friend and I flew Calgary, AB last year to Tanzania on Ethiopian. Very crowded not great food. Arrival in Addis we were met by an Agent and taken to the Dungeon to verify our Firearms. No big deal but a PIA and the Agent forgot her radio so we had to wait till she finally flagged a baggage carrier down to get a ride back to the Terminal. Return was a NIGHTMARE! Arrived at Addis but no Agent. We were told 6 times the Agent will be ther in 10 mins. After 2hrs an Agent showed up. Now we only had 20 mins till our flight. Down to the Dungeon again. Baggage guys didn't know where our guns were. I looked at the carts behind them and said why not try these! They grabbed our cases and didn'even inspect them. Just had us sign the book and we left. Now we have missed our flight. When we got back to the Terminal our flight had been delayed 45min. Security took their time to get us in but made the flight. Never Ethiopian and never Addis again.

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