Flights & Airline Tickets
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EFT or credit cards
With all airlines credit card payments are acceptable. With some airlines, like SAA and BA, internet transfers may be accepted.
South Africa's low cost carriers are Mango, 1time and Kulula Airlines; whilst British Airways and South African Airways offer full services. However, the low cost carriers do not always offer the cheapest flights - use the price comparison tool on the right to compare prices of all airlines.
When to book
Airline prices fluctuate depending on supply & demand, so it's impossible to predict at what point it'll be best to book your flight, but research suggests that on average airline prices are cheapest on the Tuesday about 8 weeks before a flight and are more expensive on weekends (this obviously fluctuates and is in no way guaranteed).
Mango, 1time and Kulula usually take reservations up to 6 months in the future, so if you book earlier than this you may miss out on their prices.
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1time, Kulula & Mango airline only allow children 12 years and older to fly alone. Children under 12 years old need to fly with an adult 16 years or older.
BA & SAA have special rules for domestic flights, catering for children from the age of 6 years to 11 years to fly unaccompanied. They must travel after 8am and land before 8pm. You need to phone SAA (0861 359722) or BA (011 441 8600) and on a recorded conversation provide details of who is going to pick up the child and drop off the child.
Airlines have limited storage on board for wheelchair air travel. Should you require wheelchair assistance on your flight, contact your airline asap before the flight.
With 1time, BA, Kulula and SAA you cannot fly on domestic flights if you are over 35 weeks pregnant. If you are between 32 and 35 weeks you need a Doctor's note.
On international flights you cannot fly if you are over 34 weeks pregnant.
On Mango Airlines you cannot fly if you are over 32 weeks pregnant.
BA, Kulula, Mango and SAA do sometimes allow pets, but they are charged for (phone 0860435922 for BA, 0119783366 for SAA, 0861162646 for Mango) and it is the owner's responsibility to obtain the necessary certification. You'll need to check in earlier than usual. 1time doesn't transport pets. You can also work through Total Cargo Services (phone 011-9790836). See Kulula pet travel for info about their services, and Mango Airlines pet travel for help with their services.
The flight bookings engine allows a maximum of 9 adults to be booked at a time. For group bookings larger than 9 contact the airlines directly (1time at 0215215295 or email@example.com, British Airways at firstname.lastname@example.org, Kulula at email@example.com or 0119210333, Mango at 0861 162646, SAA at 0861606606)
Book return separately?
As a rule of thumb (which sometimes doesn't hold), it is worthwhile looking to book outbound and return flights seperately for domestic flights, but not for international flights.
If you are flexible with your outbound and return dates, then check the dates surrounding your flight dates by clicking on the "SEARCH +- 1 DAY" button on the right. Flying at the beginning or end of school holidays is particularly expensive.
Direct flights are best
With each stop the chances of something going wrong (e.g. being stranded as a result of delayed flights) increases.
Getting spacious seating is just as important as getting a cheap flight. Most spatious seating is usually in row 1 and at the emergency exits. Arrive early to try get these seats. If you are travelling in a group the later you arrive the lower the chance you'll be placed together. If you cant get seats together, remember that you can often trade aisle seats for middle seats on the plane.
If you are struggling to meet the luggage limits then put your heaviest clothing items (e.g. jackets) on, and heavy items in your pockets. Pack your luggage so that it can survive a 1m fall. For easy handling, use bags with a handle at the bottom as well.
Bloemfontein to Johannesburg
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Bloemfontein Airport is a well maintained airport offering passenger and cargo flights to and from many cities in South Africa. Light aircraft and helicopters can land and can hire hanger space at Bloemfontein Airport and Tempe Airport.