Paid Fares and Award Rates for United’s New Cape Town Nonstop

Apr 30, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Subject to government approval, United will begin flying to Cape Town, South Africa (CPT), later this year. As of Tuesday, the airline’s latest planned route is now officially on sale, with the first flight scheduled to depart Newark (EWR) at 8:30pm on Dec. 15, 2019, on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

As of now, United is showing the old 2-2-2 business-class configuration, but with retrofitted aircraft expected to enter service later this year, there’s a small chance that the new CPT nonstop will launch with Polaris seats, instead.

While business class isn’t available on the inaugural itself, there are plenty of economy seats for sale. One-way fares are astronomically high, however, so you’ll want to book a round-trip or multi-city itinerary, instead.

If the lowest fares are what you’re after, you’ll want to wait until later in the season — rates drop considerably after January.

Economy tickets start at $956 round-trip — not a deal-worthy fare, of course, but competitive for a nonstop. “W” fares, which are required for elite members to apply upgrade certificates, can be had for $1,398 round-trip. United doesn’t appear to be selling basic economy on this route, and hopefully that’ll still be the case at launch.

Business-class seats can be booked starting at $3,814 round-trip, though the fares are double that amount on many dates.

Award rates are steep, unfortunately, since United hasn’t opened lower-level economy or business-class space and the inaugural begins after the airline’s new dynamic pricing kicks in. As a result, you’re looking at some pretty unbelievable one-way economy redemptions:

And business class is hardly a bargain as well — the lowest redemptions I’m seeing there start at 207,000 miles each way, worth $2,890 based on our valuations.

We can hold out hope that rates will drop as we get closer to launch, though I’m not terribly optimistic. United’s new EWR-CPT flight only operates three days a week, and for a period of just over three months, from Dec. 15, 2019 through March 27, 2020. I think demand will be especially high, given the short run-time, and how far in advance the airline announced service. And while these nonstop United flights may eventually be bookable at far lower rates through partners, that doesn’t appear to be the case right now.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.