South Africa fare sale: Cape Town, Johannesburg from $578 round trip
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
If you love planning ahead for cheap holiday travel, this South Africa deal is perfect for you. Flights to Cape Town and Johannesburg begin at just $578 round trip for September through December 2020.
There's one catch: Most of the return routes include a long layover in cities like Zurich and Doha.
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Some of these fares may book into basic economy, which means different things to different airlines, but often means you may not have free use of the overhead bins for a carry-on bag. You probably also won't be able to select your seat, get an upgrade or earn PQM/PQS/PQDs. However, it’s possible to defeat many of basic economy’s negative aspects by having elite status or a cobranded credit card.
To find a deal, head to Google Flights and enter your origin and destination cities. Scroll through the calendar function to find dates and prices that work for you. Finally, click through to book directly with the airline or an OTA like Orbitz or Expedia.
Airline: Lufthansa, SWISS, Qatar, United
Routes: LAX/JFK/IAH/ORD/SFO to CPT/JNB
Cost: from $578 round trip
Dates: September to November 2020
Pay With: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare), Citi Premier® Card (3x on airfare), Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on airfare immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)
The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Here are some examples of specific flights that are available:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Cape Town (CPT) on Lufthansa and SWISS for $577 round trip (18-hour layover in Zurich on the return):
Houston (IAH) to Johannesburg (JNB) for $639 round-trip on Qatar via Vayama (9-hour layover in Qatar on the return):
New York (JFK) to Johannesburg (JNB) for $661 round-trip on Qatar via Vayama (14-hour layover in Qatar on the return):
Chicago (ORD) to Johannesburg (JNB) for $684 round-trip on SWISS (multi-hour layovers in Zurich):
San Francisco (SFO) to Johannesburg (JNB) for $696 round-trip on SWISS (7-hour layovers in Zurich):
Maximize your purchase
Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Premier® Card, Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this guide for more on maximizing airfare purchases.