Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The South African Question

I have come across my first real quandary. The first thing - in all my planning - that has really made me say "hmm... I don't really know what to do." I've posed this question on the Thorn Tree forums, and I've emailed a number of my fellow travellers. None of them can give me a solid answer - because it is such a tricky question.

The problem? I need to get to Cape Town, South Africa (arriving on December 13th 2010 - My 27th birthday, incidentally) - and I need to get there from Florida. However, there are two flights that I've been looking at, and I can't choose between either of them. I'm stuck - I'm flummoxed - I'm in great need of help and advice. So I turn to you, dear readers, educate me - or throw random suggestions and see if they stick.

Flight #1
Fort Myers (RSW) Depart 11:20 am
Chicago (ORD) Arrive 1:25 pm

Chicago (ORD) Depart 9:25 pm
Istanbul (IST) Arrive 4:10 pm +1 day

Istanbul (IST) Depart 11:45 pm
Johannesburg (JNB) Arrive 9:30 am +1 day

Johannesburg (JNB) Depart 10:40 am
Cape Town (CPT) Arrive 12:55 pm

Flight #2
Miami (MIA) Depart 8:45 pm
London (LHR) Arrive 10:05 am +1 day

London (LHR) Depart 8:15 pm
Cape Town (CPT) Arrive 10:25 am +1 day

The Problem
It seems simple right? Take the one with just one stop in London. But - there is an 800 dollar difference in prices. Flight #1 is 1600, flight #2 is 2400. Also, the closer airport to me will be Fort Myers which flight #1 leaves from.

To make matters more hectic, I need to arrive in Cape Town on that specific day in order to meet up with a tour. And because it's a tour, if I loose my luggage, I have nothing for three weeks in Africa - but then I do have lost luggage insurance - and 800 is a lot of dollars.

Flight #1 gives me 8 hours for each stop over, except the last one in South Africa which is only an hour... which is very very tight -

So... All you wonderful people out there - any advice?

...You just know three months from now I'll be linking back to this post with the terrible news of what transpired, and how I made the wrong choice, regardless of how it turns out. You know it - I know it - still, let us get to that point, shall we?

1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    I don't know if you've decided. It seems that price is a big factor and you're doing the Istanbul route. Don't be concerned about the hour connection. There are a number of flights daily between JHB and Cape Town and the odds are with SA immigration and baggage in JHB you'll miss your connection but be on another one 2 hours later. I'm assuming that your tour is up to Namibia. This happened to a girl on the tour that I did. She had a 12 hour delay, but managed to catch up with us on the 2nd day without much hassle.
    I might be in Cape Town that day (still working out my plans for my trip) so perhaps we can meet up.


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