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Delta operates the fourth longest flight in the world. The flight operates on a 777 from Atlanta to Joburg. It is often very difficult to find award availability at the low level in Business Class. So this presents a problem for anyone looking to redeem SkyMiles to South Africa at the low level. If you fall in this camp and can’t find availability on the non-stop flight, consider routing through Europe to find the low level Business Class availability you are looking for.
Outbound Flight To Joburg
Searching for the Atlanta to Joburg flight is easy on Delta’s website. You’ll frequently find award availability on this flight, but it will be at the high level requiring 380,000 SkyMiles, not a good value for those seeking to minimize the amount of miles spent. Instead, consider the routing options through Europe. Here are three examples of award availability to Joburg from Atlanta. All of these options are pricing out at the low level requiring 140,000 SkyMiles to South Africa.
The first flight routes through Amsterdam and has a 21 hour layover. This could give enough time to explore Amsterdam for a day. The next two flights are a little more complicated and not ideal for a leisure trip in my opinion. But all three options will get you to South Africa in Business Class at the low level.
Return Flight Through Europe
There are a few options on the return. The best again is the non-stop to Atlanta unless of course you are looking to build in a stop over in Europe. Then I’d suggest the Air France flight through Paris. Searching on Air France’s US website is probably the best option here but you can also search on Delta’s website or ExpertFlyer.
The last leg from Europe to Atlanta or anywhere in the United States is probably the easiest to find. There are endless combinations of flights across the Atlantic. The most direct routes will likely require more miles. For example, on the dates in this example the non-stop flights from Paris to Atlanta were pricing out above the low award level. So I found an Air France flight to Dusseldorf connecting on to a Delta flight back to Atlanta.
If booked with legal connections and stop-overs, this ticket should price out at 140,000 SkyMiles plus taxes and fees.
The purpose of this post isn’t to highlight how easy it is to use Delta SkyMiles to get the exact flight you want. It is to illustrate that if you want the low level award availability to a destination, you have to work for it. If you are flexible you can likely find something that will work at the low award level.
Finding low level award availability on the 4th longest flight in the world from Atlanta to Joburg is not easy. If you are set on going to South Africa at the low level using SkyMiles, consider routing options through Europe. Don’t forget to add in a stop-over or open-jaw if you are looking to enjoy a little bit of Europe on the way over or back.
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