Free Flights to Africa

I found with airline points nothing is free.

Back when I was working I was racking up lots of miles through the company that I worked through. The only problem was that since the company paid for the flights the air miles belonged to them and not me.

On a side note, we would fill up our company trucks at a station that would give us a lottery ticket of our choice for a fill up. I always purchased another ticket with my own money so that if I hit it big the company would have a very hard time proving that it was the free ticket that won which they could claim since they purchased the fuel. Funny thing, not one of those company tickets that I received for filling up the truck ever won anything other than a dollar or two.
 
I found with airline points nothing is free.

Back when I was working I was racking up lots of miles through the company that I worked through. The only problem was that since the company paid for the flights the air miles belonged to them and not me.

On a side note, we would fill up our company trucks at a station that would give us a lottery ticket of our choice for a fill up. I always purchased another ticket with my own money so that if I hit it big the company would have a very hard time proving that it was the free ticket that won which they could claim since they purchased the fuel. Funny thing, not one of those company tickets that I received for filling up the truck ever won anything other than a dollar or two.
Not true with me. The company pays for the flights and the airline points belong to me. That seems to be the normal these days.
 
Not true with me. The company pays for the flights and the airline points belong to me. That seems to be the normal these days.

That’s how it’s been everywhere I have worked for the last 20 years…

At one point I was traveling internationally for 200-250 days a year, doing a minimum of 40-50 international flights per year… I racked up a ton of miles that paid for personal travel for the next several years after..
 
I fly Virgin Atlantic on points. Bank America Mastercard no yearly fees. Biggest problem is you normally can only get economy seats and have to upgrade from there with cash or sometimes points-normally. Each leg is 10.5 hours or less so and two legs each way. I usually upgrade to Premium economy which is a great leather seat for $250- $600 bucks per leg. But, twice I’ve snagged Business class for around $1,500 upgrade which is on par with Qatar. The food and service on Virgin is good also.The lounge in Heathrow is almost as good as Doha Business lounge. Anyways they post a deal when your a flying club member usually once a year where you can purchase points at up to 70% free if you by the the max points of 100,000 which would cost around $2500 bucks. So I wind up with 170,000 points and whatever points I earn all year. My ticket for May was 55,000 points plus $600 bucks. Prime season June to August is like 85,000points plus $600. You can’t pay airport taxes, etc with points.
Bottom line is I was going over to Africa twice a year the last few years to hunt and the basic $1500 dollar economy seat and $3500 premium seat was hitting my wallet hard so I gamble on being able to upgrade and sometimes it works out and recently the flights have been full and I get stuck in cattle class!
But with Virgin at least my luggage and gun (when taken)have never been left behind after 10 trips or so that’s a big plus. Anyways might be worth looking into. Covid made going to Africa cheap. Now price is escalating!
 
Nothing in life is free! It costs money for free travel. Sometimes it is cheaper when you pay for the ticket and you get the miles to fly domestically. If you have to worry about flying to Africa free, think about your other finances, do you really need to go to Africa to hunt. I’ve never hunted cheaper than the flight! Shit, I’ve spent less on the flight than shooting 500 gr A-Frames practicing for the hunt
 
I am not sure what months you are seeing flights for less than 200K miles round trip but in all bookings that I have been looking at, they are 200K+ in coach. This is for August of this year. I love flying Delta because of the direct flight but I also do not like sitting in coach. I would prefer premium select of Delta one but those are absurdly priced, both in dollars and reward redemptions. Approx 450K and 800K miles respectively. Delta used to be better for reward flights but now its stupid. I put close to 1mil expenses on my reserve business card so I get a ton of skymiles each year and have already made Diamond for next year, but it is getting to the point where it would be better to go different airlines or routes because Delta is getting greedy as hell.

Hell even a flight I am trying to book in October to hunt in Zim is 156k roundtrip in coach, 350k in premium select and 735k in delta one. Delta one is $9700 same dates. Same exact time frame I can get a Qatar business class ticket for about $4500 and is a much better experience than Delta can provide.
Well said.
Some people are unfortunately stuck with Delta and have no idea.....
 
Well said.
Some people are unfortunately stuck with Delta and have no idea.....
I am unfortunately stuck with them only because being in Salt Lake City they are the main carrier here with the hub. I am ok with that as I can get direct flights to a lot of stateside places so that’s the main reason I use a Delta cobranded Amex Reserve card. But to get to Africa we definitely have a bunch more choices. Going out of Seattle to Joberg is where the good deals are during October on Qatar and Emirates and even Turkish Airlines. Crazy that Delta thinks so highly of themselves and their direct flight that they keep their prices for that same time frame criminally high. I guess if they fill the flight then that’s all that matters and me complaining means nothing but I’m still going to do it
 
If you have to worry about flying to Africa free, think about your other finances, do you really need to go to Africa to hunt.

Your assumption is that the only people that want free flights is because they're poor. I can easily afford the flights, but why should I pay for a flight I can get relatively free? Don't most people love getting a great deal or something for free? Then they could spend the $2,000+ that they saved on the flight in taking more animals or hunting more days!
 
One of the downsides to "free travel" is not being able to make changes. I got a ticket with miles for one of my daughters and her return leg of the trip got delayed due to COVID testing. Plenty of seats were available the next day, but none were Code whatever for a ticket with miles. Had to pay for a return ticket.

I did get my daughter and I Premium Select tickets on Delta last year to/from JNB. Again, they weren't cheap for miles, something like 280,000 miles a piece. Today, they are 540,000 to 640,000 miles.

Delta One business class are just under ONE MILLION MILES!!!

One benefit I discovered recently with my Delta AMEX card was the $100 I paid for my Global Entry renewal was covered, so I received a $100 credit.
 
Your assumption is that the only people that want free flights is because they're poor. I can easily afford the flights, but why should I pay for a flight I can get relatively free? Don't most people love getting a great deal or something for free? Then they could spend the $2,000+ that they saved on the flight in taking more animals or hunting more days!
Don’t get your panties in a wad, I was not making any assumptions of anyone’s finances, no do I care how anyone spends their money. I have flown using points a lot, I just point out that if your budget is so tight you have to depend on getting there with airline miles, maybe waiting another year is fiscally responsible. Not trying to hurt anyone’s feelers
 
It seems that while some understand how credit card programs work well for airline travel, many do not. If you understand how these programs work, they’re actually great. A key is using cards that have transferable points, and also being aware of where different kinds of points and miles can be used.

The two best cards to have for points travel are the American Express Platinum card and Chase Sapphire card, either preferred or reserve. Points accumulated on these cards can be transferred to airlines and used for business class or economy class flights. I’ve used the above two cards, as well as a Citi American Airlines AAdvantage card, for about 16-20 free flights, often in business or first class.

What I often do when traveling with family is use points for family members to fly and pay for my ticket to accrue more points for myself. Beyond that, how you structure travel influences how many points & cash are required to fly. A year ago, I took my daughter and her fiancé on a trip to Kenya, using AAdvantage miles for then to fly San Francisco-Nairobi on miles, while I paid cash for my ticket. Later in the year, I flew my son SFO to Dar Es Salaam on miles while I paid my fare. Later this year, my lady and I are flying Biz Class to Europe, almost entirely on points, but it took some planning to work. We are flying biz class one way from SFO-Rome on Virgin Atlantic but taking Air France one way from Paris back home, again Biz Class. Total cash cost is under $700, plus about 250,000 miles.

Points also work great for hotels and using them wisely can let you vacation for very little out of pocket cash. A few years ago, we vacationed in Banff and Lake Louise. Stayed at the Banff Springs Hotel & Chateau Lake Louise for points and a few hundred dollars total. Flew Alaska Airlines on that trip entirely on miles. It made an expensive vacation into a cheap trip.

If anyone needs help with these concepts, feel free to message me.
 
Fellow Travelers,

My wife and myself have tramped the earth, including but not limited to, multiple visits to Africa, via mileage awards.
We always try to pass through Europe and time it with a layover there, to just be sight seeing-foody tourists for a splendid break from flying.
Europe is not really mid way between our home in Alaska and Southern Africa countries but it seems like it, considering that it takes 3 days of travel from Anchorage to Windhoek, one way.
Then the same to return home again.

European carriers have been far and away better than any USA airline companies have, in our personal experiences.
With that, Delta Airlines has been the worst of the worst.
We try vigorously to avoid booking with Delta.

At any rate, Buen Viaje,
Velo Dude & Velo Dudette.

PS:
Life is mighty short, don’t waste it just sitting in front of a television.

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As an experienced traveler I've done it with points and cash. I have had trouble with points and don't recommend it to the average traveler. This certainly will depend on itinerary however. If you have heaps of Delta points (they are no longer miles as they have nothing to do with how much you travel), live in GA, and have a destination of JNB to hunt somewhere close by then by all means use the points. If you are like me and need at least 3 airlines to get you to your destination it does not work so well. If you use points on one and cash on another the tickets are not attached as if a good TA booked it for you. If one flight gets cancelled you're in trouble. For instance, we were flying to Austria with points on AA to IAD then cash on Austrian to Vienna. AA cancelled our flight due to weather and we lost the Austrian tickets all together. We have to buy new tickets on BA on the spot at a high price!
For the average traveler with guns it is best to use a TA and cash. Do like I do and use the points to take the Mrs. Somewhere special.
 
Somewhat different for us up here north of border, all but the first safari flights have been free with points. I use Avion Visa, use for every purchase from a coffee to large purchases. Yes you must be money wise and pay of complete every 21 days, I have incurred NO interest in 25 years, the annual fee in Feb is waved if you call in Jan and complain/demand it.

I always find my own flights then call Avion, get the authorization code then book flights. When charge shows on card points pay it. No specific dates or airlines but as some say, takes more points now than years ago for a trip as Avion now enforces a dollar value and will not pay or include "fees" on tickets, just another screw over way for consumers.

Its worked for me and I do not even realize until I see the points high enough for a trip. Probably not work for the lucky ones who go yearly, but works for me who goes every 4+ years.

MB
 
We put all our monthly expenses on our cc to build points and pay it off monthly. We hardly write checks anymore. We’ve got four kids spread out around the country. We use our miles to fly domestically to see them and the grandkids. We use Gracy Travel for travel to Africa so if something changes while we are in camp, Shawn can handle it. I’ve never hunted South Africa but have hunted Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, CAR, etc… with more complicated flights and logistics so I use Gracy because points flights aren’t easy to change. We pay for the African flights with our cc and this gives us even more points to use domestically. If you’re flying to SA only, that’s much easier to manage and using points might make more sense.
 
@StickFlicker AZ are you connected with or have a benefitual relationship with AMEX?
 
I consider myself very fortunate. I live in the USA and work as a contractor for the US Army. Within the last 12 months my company has sent me to Greece, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, The Netherlands, and Spain. I fly Delta every time. I am going to South Africa for my first safari ever this June. I had enough Delta points to make the $2200 plane tickets - free.
So essentially we are paying for your free flight ;-)
 
375 Ruger Fan, I have no relationship with Delta or AMEX, other than I am obviously a customer of both. As I disclosed in the first post, I would get a small number of points if someone used my referral link,
 
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I would get a small number of points if someone used my referral link,
Gotta say this is kinda creepy. My personal opinion.

I dumped my Delta card in 2015 when getting a seat in coach during July was 350,000 miles. I ended up selling the points I had and applying that amount toward my Emirates ticket. I now use one of the cards you have mentioned and apply my 1% cash back toward whatever airline I'm going with.
 
buckwild, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. I've been a member of this site for 14 years, and I have hunted with sponsors of the site. I'm not a person that just signed up for AH and then posted this. I'm an official measurer for both P&Y and B&C, I've been inducted into the Bowhunting Hall of Fame in my home state, and I managed large law firms for 30 years before retiring.
 
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