We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

South Africa to USA

Springfield, MO
Level Contributor
4 posts
1 review
Save Topic
South Africa to USA

Hi my parents are coming to visit me in Orlando. They have never flown at all, not to mention left the country. So since they are older I am worried about their trip being scary and want to make it as easy as possible for them. I wonder what would be the best flights here: Johannesburg to USA directly ,with SAA (JFK or IAD) onto Orlando, or to London with Virgin Atlantic and then onto Orlando?

I would appreciate any advice, to make their trip enjoyable and as stressfree as possible, thank you for your input.

Windsor, California
Level Contributor
185 posts
237 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: South Africa to USA

hi, since they will have to transfer planes anyway, i would reccomend that if they fly to london, they then spend a night there, maybe even at an airport hotel and then fly directly onto orlando the next day. trying to fly straight thru is very hard on a person, even if they are young (which i am not either!).

can they possibly fly directly to atlanta? it is then a short flight to orlando, that might be better. transfering in jfk or iad can be confusing as they are large airports.

it is a very long trip for even experienced travelers, you are wise to try to make the trip easier for them. i hope this is helpful to you.

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Level Contributor
8,663 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: South Africa to USA

I've been using British Airways lately - coming from Arizona, we fly Phoenix/Heathrow/Cape Town. Just one change of planes. I don't know if BA comes to Orlando, but if so, I would recommend it for that simple connection in London. Atlanta wouldn't be so good, since the service between ATL & London is to Gatwick! The other good thing about BA is their new seat selection system - you can pick your economy class seats 24 hours before departure, on line - which is something you could do for them. As for 'deals' on tickets on BA where the passengers originate in South Africa, I'm not so sure about that. The agency where I get my tickets has great prices on BA, 1-602-957-3456 - ask for Rainee.

Windsor, California
Level Contributor
185 posts
237 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: South Africa to USA


sorry i may have given you old advise. SAA used to fly direct from jnb to atl. that flight seems to have gone away. i know that SAA is supposed to fly direct from JNB to ORD (chicago), but i do not see it showing on line. call SAA and see when the chicago flight are starting. it would be easiest to fly directly into the USA, and then take a domestic flight to MCO. i have done the transfers in london at heathrow and that is a confusing process. hope this helps.

Bellevue, WA
Level Contributor
49 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: South Africa to USA

Delta has or is opening a route from Atlanta to JB. I think all or most of their flights stop without a plane change, in Senegal. We are taking that flight in Nov.

If you can afford to upgrade them to business or first class, it makes for a much easier flight on the long leg across the Atlantic.

I have flown British airways as well and their first class is fabulous. But pricey.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
15 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: South Africa to USA

We just did Jo Berg to IAD and then Chicago and it is LONG but it is fine.

Be careful about the layover in London. I heard sometimes it is 10 hours and that is just awful. I thought going to DC was pretty easy and less congested that going to JFK!

Level Contributor
7 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: South Africa to USA

Going back to SA we have taken both the BA route via London, and SAA direct from the US. On the way back they do stop to refuel but you do not change planes.

Personally I prefer the direct route, eventhough it takes forever. I like just getting off the plane and being there, unless I have time to stop over for a day or two in London because I hate the long layover on your way to SA (you arrive in the morning at LHR and flights to SA depart at night). Going west the stop over is only a few hours.

When my parents come to visit me in the US they typically fly on BA via London. They have found the SAA flight just too long. However, they have commented that they find Heathrow very overwhelming.

They normally take advantage of the shower facilities at LHR to freshen up and then walk around as much as possible before boarding their next flight.

If they decide to use SAA, I prefer the IAD route. I have heard that the ORD route will start up around August, but not sure of that.

7. Re: South Africa to USA

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 10:16 am, September 01, 2009