Business class fare- OTA vs airline site.

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Jan 12, 2015
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#1
I’ve been looking to fly business class on South African Air sometime for 2 weeks next May or June from JFK-Johannesberg, SA. There is only 1 nonstop daily and when I look on the South African Air site, it looks like it costs between $10,000-$12,000. I’ve looked at a few OTA sites and the price is basically half, around $6000. ITA Matrix also lists the round-trip for the $6000 price. Can anyone help me to understand if what I’m seeing is true? And even though I prefer to buy directly from the airlines, in this case it seems ridiculous to pay double. I would really like some experienced opinions before I plunk down major $. Thank you all for your help!
 
Mar 17, 2015
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#2
I just recreated the same issue. It is also sold through United, but then it is code share, which we do not always recommend, but in this case, I would say it is worth the savings. Hopefully others will chime in with some advice. It may be worth it to contact a reputable travel agent and pay the fee for them to make the reservation.
 
Likes: Just A Guy
Jul 13, 2016
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#3
I am not familiar with that company, but for any OTA, do your due diligence and research it before plunking down your money. Research recent complaints, do a deep dive on Google. Be sure that you are comparing apples to apples: is that fare the exact same booking class, or are you buying a full fare economy ticket that upgrades to business? If they are a consolidator, what are the terms and conditions for their bulk-purchased tickets. Does that price include all taxes?
 
Likes: Mel65
Mar 17, 2015
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#5
@ Globe - are you sure that was for the round trip flight? When I just checked, that was the amount per segment. At least if she books through United, it is not an OTA, but I am curious why the airline's website is so much more than any other site.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,875
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www.promalvacations.com
#6
There are many reliable air consolidators that can have great savings on business and first class tickets. The only issue with using a consolidator is that sometimes the tickets they sell have tremendous restrictions and you need to make sure you are aware of them. Some tickets are totally nonrefundable if you have to cancel - the codes don’t allow you flight cancel with a fee and get a credit to use within a year.

Search online for an airline consolidator, and do a search for “complaints about xxxxx” and whatever the consolidator name is. If you see a lot of complaints- stay away.

And buy travel insurance!
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#7
@ Globe - are you sure that was for the round trip flight? When I just checked, that was the amount per segment. At least if she books through United, it is not an OTA, but I am curious why the airline's website is so much more than any other site.
Nope, it was round trip on SA ticket stock.
 
Jan 12, 2015
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#8
Thank you all so very much for the advice. I am glad to know that I wasn’t seeing what didn’t exist. I am somewhat experienced with buying airfare and travel tix of all kinds and have always bought from the airline, even when doing a cruise. I guess the next issue would be how to find a good and trustworthy OTA or agent. I’ll get to work and will continue to appreciate any suggestions that come my way!
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
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Apr 13, 2016
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#9
I'm able to get a $6k fare on SAA website for next May. Perhaps it is the dates you are trying to travel. I looked it up on Google Flights, which provided a direct link to SAA for the fare.

 
Jan 12, 2015
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#10
Sorry, that is wrong. I just tried exactly your criteria, go to the next page and see that the fare is priced PER FLIGHT, with the total more than $12.000.
 
Jun 30, 2017
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#13
The page posted clearly says "Round trip" for one adult for $6K. If it comes up $12K call them directly--this may simply be a computer glitch on their end. The OTA sites that give you a $6K RT may bypass the glitch and are correct when SAA is showing the wrong fare. So call or have your travel agent look into it.
The individual flight segments are listed at $3K each.
 
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Mar 8, 2018
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#14
I just tried as well for these dates and got the same figures as Dwayne. I used Google flights and it directed me to South Afircan's web site. It was definetly a roundtrip fare, as it was broken down to $3,000 each way. Note, this was nonstop, if you don't mind a stop, the fare drops to $5,000. You must be doing something wrong.
 
Jan 12, 2015
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#15
OK, maybe you aren’t booking premium fares, which I think is business class? When I book premium through Google Flight to SAA, just as you did, I get:

Your Booking Booking Details
1 Traveller
1 Adult
Flight 1Thursday 9 May 2019 Thu 9 May 2019
11:15 New York (JFK)
08:05 +1 day Johannesburg (JNB)
Total duration 14h50m, Direct flight
Fare type Premium

Flight 2Thursday 23 May 2019 Thu 23 May 2019
21:00 Johannesburg (JNB)
06:40 +1 day New York (JFK)
Total duration 15h40m, Direct flight
Fare type Premium

Total
USD12,135.02
 
Jan 12, 2015
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#17
These flights only have economy and business, and I am trying to choose business, which I thought was marketed as premium. I am more confused than ever! Maybe there is a glitch somewhere?
 
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#18
OK, maybe you aren’t booking premium fares, which I think is business class? When I book premium through Google Flight to SAA, just as you did, I get:

Your Booking Booking Details
1 Traveller
1 Adult
Flight 1Thursday 9 May 2019 Thu 9 May 2019
11:15 New York (JFK)
08:05 +1 day Johannesburg (JNB)
Total duration 14h50m, Direct flight
Fare type Premium

Flight 2Thursday 23 May 2019 Thu 23 May 2019
21:00 Johannesburg (JNB)
06:40 +1 day New York (JFK)
Total duration 15h40m, Direct flight
Fare type Premium

Total
USD12,135.02
SAA offers me business class for $3K per segment, $6K total JFK-JNB for 2 weeks in May. Try other dates in May.
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
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#20
There are two types of business class - priority, and premium. See my image above, this is the priority business fare. The premium is much higher but is refundable.

 
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Likes: Just A Guy