Star Alliance member TAP plans to start a bunch of new routes, despite the Covid-19 ravaged travel season. One of those new destinations is Cape Town in South Africa. Thanks to TAP’s new service, you can reach the city for just €350 (~DKK 2,603) with departure from Copenhagen. A checked bag up to 23 kg adds just €5 per flight! It is also possible to fly from Prague, starting at €395 (~CZK 10,113).
TAP has been selling tickets for flights to Cape Town since last year, but keeps postponing actually serving the route. Since the airline is infamous for its terrible refund policy, this deal comes with several added catches to the already existing pandemic uncertainty.
Worldwide travel restrictions are in place to slow the spread of Covid-19. We strongly recommend gathering detailed information about the travel and quarantine restrictions that apply to your desired origin and destination.
A good start is the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website. It provides current updates on a country’s immigration policies. Even better, the Covid-19 Travel Regulations Map is one of the most useful tools you can find.
There’s good availability from November onward (except the Christmas holidays). Be aware that TAP only flies to Cape Town on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, while flying back on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
TAP’s Airbus A320 fleet will take you from Denmark to Portugal. A brand new Airbus A330-900 NEO operates the onward journey with a 2-4-2 seating pattern and 79 cm seat pitch in economy.
We expect further shakeups in the airline industry over the following months. Some services might be cancelled, aircraft changed or downgraded. The schedule we describe may very well change.
Search & Book
TAP has issued very open fare rules for these flights, as no sales or travel period applies. Minimum or maximum stay requirements are missing, as well. You may add a stopover in Lisbon for up to five days without seeing the price increase, as is usual with TAP fares. There’s good availability from November onward (except the Christmas holidays). Be aware that TAP only flies to Cape Town on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, while flying back on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Google Flights will help you find suitable flight dates. You should then book directly on flytap.com and remember to pay the €5 surcharge for the basic fare which includes luggage. Our search tool above would redirect you to TAP’s booking site with the dates that you select.
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.
Adding a Stopover in Lisbon or Porto
If you book directly on TAP’s website, a pop-up window will automatically open. Its user-friendly interface asks you if and how long you’d like to stay in Portugal. This is by far the easiest way to make the most out of a trip with TAP to any destination of your choice. A stopover in Porto can be added the same way. The best thing – the price of your flight remains the same!
Information & Tips for South Africa
South Africa is the touristically most visited country in the south of Africa. Whether its Safaris, tours of wine regions or the Table Mountain – visitors won’t be disappointed!
Traditionally, flights from Europa to South Africa have been quite expensive. In recent years however, airlines such as Iberia, Egyptair and British Airways have been offering cheaper and cheaper flights – even in premium cabins! If you are flexible in regards to your point of departure, the array of airlines with cheap tickets becomes even greater.
Best Time to Visit
South Africa is a huge country and therefore doesn’t have a single best time to visit. It really depends on what you want to see. The cities Johannesburg and Cape Town have the best weather in Fall (March – Mai) and Spring (September – November).
Immigration & Visa Requirements
If you have a valid EU passport and a valid return ticket, you will be given a visitor’s visa with a validity of 90 days. Turn to the ministry of foreign affairs of your country for more information.
The currency used in South Africa is the Rand (ZAR). One Euro are approximately 16 ZAR. Make sure to use a credit card that does not charge high fees for withdrawals or payments in foreign currencies.
All Dealz for South Africa
Information & Tips for Cape Town
Cape Town is the second largest – but touristically more relevant – city in South Africa and especially known for the Table Mountain and the beaches in the south. The city is well-connected to Europe and the rest of Africa by air travel.
Compared to Johannesburg, flights to Cape Town are pretty much always more expensive. A good price is €500 – €600 for a round trip ticket in economy class. Anything under €500 can be considered a good deal, occasionally you can find fares around €400, although without checked luggage for the most part.
The Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit Cape Town is during the summer from the end of January until the end of April; the hottest temperatures are from December to February, although it is very windy during this time.
From the Airport to the City
Due to high crime rates, it is not recommended taking a bus or other forms of public transport in the regions surrounding the airport. A taxi from the airport to the city centre costs about €18 to €25, an Uber is a good alternative and costs about half of that.
All Dealz for Cape Town
Cover Picture: © shotsstudio