If you’re planning on flying to South Africa, the Star Alliance airlines have great prices for you. You can fly to Johannesburg with Swiss and Lufthansa from most European countries (without luggage) or with Ethiopian Airlines from Paris (incl. 2x 23kg of luggage!).
We found cheap flights from the following European cities:
- Amsterdam: €338
- Madrid: €362
- Paris: €368 (incl. luggage)
- Rome: €382
- London: £390 (~€440)
- Oslo: NOK 4,684 (~€458)
- Dublin: €448
- and more…
If you wish to add luggage to your Lufthansa/Swiss flights, you need to book the standard economy fare, instead of the cheapest light fare. Booking the standard fare can cost from €60 to €165 more. Flying with Ethiopian (when possible) is the best option, luggage-wise, as 2 pieces of luggage are directly included in the lowest fare.
Swiss uses an Airbus A340 for its long-haul flights to Johannesburg, Lufthansa uses a Boeing 747, and Ethiopian uses an Airbus A350 for both its flights.
Search & Book
This deal expires on December 6, 2020. The Swiss/Lufthansa flights require a minimum stay of 6 days (or a Sunday). Ethiopian only requires a minimum of 4 days, but they also set a maximum at 1 month. Furthermore, the Ethiopian flights are not available between June 25 and August 16.
You can search for availability on Google Flights for the Swiss/Lufthansa flights, but sadly the calendar does not display the Ethiopian fares. You should definitely book directly on Lufthansa, Swiss, or Ethiopian‘s websites.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are three main reasons for that:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic
During the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, planning international travel got more and more risky because of ever-changing restrictions. In contrast to many online travel agencies, most airlines modified their terms & conditions to become more customer friendly. Rebooking conditions are eased, change fees are waived and cancellations are much easier when there is no third party involved.
Further, by adding an OTA to your plans, you increase the risk of one service provider involved going bankrupt. Now, the airline and the online travel agency involved could vanish along with your money.
- Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airlines has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward you information like flight changes instead receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem solving.
This especially applies for premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
- Baggage Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are more and more common. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
Swiss and Lufthansa issue their tickets in booking class K. To give you an example, a Swiss roundtrip from Amsterdam should roughly get you:
- 11,210 on Air Malta
- 3,360 on ANA Mileage Club
- 3,010 on Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
- 2,910 on SAS EuroBonus
- 2,860 on Miles & More
- 2,800 on Ethiopian ShebaMiles
- 2,800 on EgyptAir Plus
- 2,800 on United MileagePlus
Ethiopian issues the tickets in booking class E, meaning that a roundtrip from Paris will get you:
Mileage calculation is currently unavailable.
Information & Tips for Johannesburg
Johannesburg has 9,6 million inhabitants and is the largest city and most important business and financial center in Africa south of the Sahara. The city is well connected to Europe by air, flights for under 500€ (round trip) are becoming increasingly more common.
Best Time to Travel
The best times to visit Johannesburg are during fall (March – May) and during spring (September – Novemver). Temperatures are warm but pleasant and rainfall is comparatively rare.
From the Airport to the City
One possibility is taking the Gautrain, a type of local commuter rail. A trip to the city center takes about 25 minutes and costs approximately 12€. Taking a cab or an Uber runs you about 18€ to 24€.
All Dealz for Johannesburg