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Rare airfare deal to Zanzibar from East Coast hubs for under $700

May 27, 2022
5 min read
coatline of zanzibar at the indian ocean
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It is not every day that we see flights to Zanzibar, let alone round-trip flights from two East Coast hubs, for less than $700 round-trip.

About 22 miles off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean.

This deal is for flights on both Delta Air Lines and KLM, for travel in November (including over Thanksgiving) as well as next winter.

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Deal basics

(Photo by Yannick Tylle/Getty Images)

Airlines: Delta and KLM.
Routes: New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Washington, D.C.'s Dulles International Airport (IAD) to Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (ZNZ).
How to book: Directly through the airline.
Travel dates: November 2022, including some availability over Thanksgiving, and January-March 2023.
Book by: One-two days.

This deal was originally sent out from Scott’s Cheap Flights. Sign up for a Premium membership — which users can try for free for 14 days or $49 per year — and get deals up to 90% off. You can also upgrade to the Elite tier for $199 per year and receive all the Premium deals plus premium economy, business-class and first-class alerts.

Sample routes

Although this deal is limited in scope, it is still worth considering for East Coast travelers in particular, since round-trip flights are available starting in the low $600s from Dulles International Airport (IAD) and around $650 from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

Since this deal is only from two cities, you can either search via Google Flights or head to the carriers directly to investigate availability. For the JFK-ZNZ route, Delta says it only has one seat left for the sale price, which is actually slightly less than advertised at $640.

(Screenshot from Google Flights)

This flight is for Delta's economy class, which includes two free checked bags (unusual) and one free carry-on. For this long-haul flight specifically, dinner and snacks are included in this fare type. It is nonrefundable, but it can be changed for a fee plus any difference in fare.

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Read more: Playground in paradise: New megaresort in Africa promises 5-star luxury in Zanzibar

(Screenshot from Google Flights)

When searching on Google Flights, you'll notice that you can book this same flight through KLM for $732.

(Screenshot from Google Flights)

Because there are only two options for this flight, let's determine the cost of available flights in miles. For example, booking this flight through KLM would cost nearly 170,000 KLM Flying Blue miles. Based on the TPG Awards vs. Cash Calculator, it would be a way better deal to use cash to book this flight.

(Screenshot from The Points Guy)

If you wanted to use Delta SkyMiles, you would have to modify your outgoing flight slightly to an earlier departure time, as shown below.

(Screenshot from Delta Air Lines)

This flight would cost 80,000 Delta SkyMiles plus $164, which means using cash is also a better deal here as well.

(Screenshot from The Points Guy)

Since the Delta cash fare is cheaper than booking through KLM for $732, book through Delta to save almost $100.

Maximize your purchase

To book this deal, be sure to use a card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases, such as the Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card or Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card for 2 points per mile on airfare purchased directly with Delta, or the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card or Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card for 3 points per mile on airfare purchased directly with Delta. Or try The Platinum Card® from American Express (5 points per mile on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2 points per mile on travel).

See TPG's guide for more information on how to best maximize airfare purchases.

Bottom line

Flights to Zanzibar at more than half off are rare, so be sure to book quickly before they're gone.

Related: Safaris, cities and lots of elephants: How I returned to South Africa this year using points, miles and cash

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.