Deal Alert: Premium Economy Flights to South Africa From $1,581

May 11, 2018

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

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Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. We recommend you use Google Flights to find dates to fly, then book through an online travel agency such as Orbitz or Expedia, which allows you to cancel flights without penalty by 11pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. However, if you’re using The Platinum Card® from American Express, you’ll need to book directly with the airline or through Amex Travel portal to get 5x MR points. Remember: Fares may disappear quickly, so book right away and take advantage of Orbitz or Expedia’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to get the time away from work or family.

South Africa is one of TPG’s favorite destinations. From incredible culture to delicious food and safaris to wineries, South Africa has so much to offer. If you’ve never been before, here’s what you need to know before your first trip there and some amazing things do consider doing – including sand-boarding:

In addition to seeing an amazing destination, a major perk of this deal is that incredible AAdvantage earning potential. As long as you book the flights with a British Airways flight number, you can earn 20% of flight miles as Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) and 1.5x of flight miles at Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM). And because South Africa is so far away, you’ll earn American Airlines Gold status from just one round-trip, regardless of your origin.

The trouble with this is that British Airways is charging more for its own flights than American Airlines is charging for these flights. So, you’re going to have to weigh the extra mileage earnings with the extra cost.

Assuming a direct routing, here’s the potential earnings from these flights:

Origin Flight Miles EQM*
EQD
(BA flight
numbers)
LAX 22,152 33,228 4,430
SFO 21,975 32,963 4,395
SEA 20,840 31,260 4,168
DFW 20,741 31,112 4,148
MIA 20,090 30,135 4,018
ORD 19,146 28,719 3,829
IAD 18,594 27,891 3,719
PHL 18,330 27,495 3,666
JFK 18,143 27,215 3,629
BOS 17,770 26,655 3,554

* EQM earnings are valid if booked as American Airlines codeshare or British Airways flight numbers

To book, head to Google Flights and plug in your desired departure city. After finding dates that work best for you, book with the airline directly or with an OTA such as Expedia or Priceline.

Airline: British Airways
Routes: ORD/JFK/IAD/BOS/LAX/SFO/MIA/PHL/DFW/SEA to JNB
Cost: $1,581+ round-trip in premium economy
Dates: late-October 2018 to March 2019
Booking Link: Orbitz, Expedia or directly with the airline
Pay With: The Platinum Card from American Express (5x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige (5x on airfare plus excellent trip delay insurance) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)

Chicago (ORD) to Johannesburg (JNB) in British Airways premium economy for $1,581 round-trip:

New York’s Kennedy (JFK) to Johannesburg (JNB) in British Airways premium economy for $1,598 round-trip:

Washington DC Dulles (IAD) to Johannesburg (JNB) in British Airways premium economy for $1,598 round-trip:

Boston (BOS) to Johannesburg (JNB) in British Airways premium economy for $1,603 round-trip:

Los Angeles (LAX) to Johannesburg (JNB) in British Airways premium economy for $1,635 round-trip:

San Francisco (SFO) to Johannesburg (JNB) in British Airways premium economy for $1,645 round-trip:

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Maximize Your Purchase

Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as the American Express Platinum Card (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Citi Prestige (5x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.

H/T: The Flight Deal

Featured image by vencavolrab via Getty Images.

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