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Flying via the Middle East has become increasingly popular among South Africans as airlines like Etihad, Emirates and Qatar operate flights from South Africa’s key hubs. If you’re headed via Abu Dhabi and have a long layover, why not consider leaving the airport and seeing the sights?
South African passport holders need to apply online for a transit visa through TTS UAE Visas, which will give you four days to explore the city. There really is no quicker way to orientate yourself in any city than on the Hop-on, Hop-off bus. Abu Dhabi’s self-proclaimed island of all things fun – Yas Island – is an absolute must-visit if you’re short on time. If you’re planning to visit both, it makes sense (plus it’s cheaper) to buy a two-park pass online. The shimmering white Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque stands impressively as one of Abu Dhabi’s finest and most popular icons. Another landmark on everyone’s agenda during a visit to Abu Dhabi is the seven-star luxury Emirates Palace which featured in such Hollywood blockbusters as Sex in the City 2 and Fast and Furious 7. Be your own travel agent and save; book your UK flights aboard British Airways yourself and save!
Check in online for your BA flight up to 24 hours prior to departure here, or find out more about your options for British Airways Online Check Ins. Take a look at the above link for all job listings sites advertising jobs at British Airways, or view the official British Airways job listings at BA Careers. British Airways South Africa is operated by Comair, offering scheduled flights in South and Southern Africa. British Airways is headquartered at Heathrow airport in London, whereas the Comair operated South African branch operators out of Johannesburg International Airport. The British Airways global network covers over 200 destinations, with the airline transporting over 38 million air travellers per year. The British Airways carry-on luggage allowance permits air travellers to bring one piece of hand luggage, plus a laptop or handbag.
Passengers can check in online, via mobile phone, as well as at British Airways check-in desks or airport self-service check-in kiosks. NB: Baggage allowances and restrictions may vary according to your flight class, seating and destination. Economy Class: A maximum of two pieces of luggage, with a maximum weight limit of 32kg per piece. Special items such as sport equipment can be carried for free as part of the standard checked luggage allocation. In South Africa, the British Airways in-flight experience is renowned; the service, attention to detail and personal touch is standard from take-off to landing.
Booking BA Flights online only takes a few clicks, and you get flight ticket prices listed in order of the cheapest prices for your stipulated route and dates. You can contact British Airways in South Africa via telephone on (011) 441 8600 during office hours (weekdays only).
As announced on the oneworld site, Qatar Airways will join the oneworld alliance on October 30th. The best news of all is that Qatar award space is now bookable using the British Airways search tool. Until very recently, you would receive an error message stating the itinerary was not bookable online and you should contact the British Airways call center.
As a DC-based flyer, my first searches were on Qatar’s Washington-Dulles to Doha route. Instead of receiving an error message, I was brought to the standard booking page as normal. I verified that British Airways was assessing the proper fuel surcharges on this flight by verifying with the ITA Matrix.

Even though American recently had a scare regarding fuel surcharges, they don’t impose them on AAdvantage awards.
Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers.
If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! Yes, but it would price as two awards, US to Middle East and Middle East to Asia 2, so it would be very expensive. The frustration about AA rules going to Africa via Doha should be covered by Explorer Award, right? FYI, routing US->Africa via Doha works as a single award if QR publishes a fare on the route.
The pic above is of their new Business Class cabin introduced on some sectors. We reached the airport about an hour and half before take off and were greeted by a huge (and I mean huge) unorganised crowd of travellers all going to Dubai on the same flight. Not only is it a great way to get around to the key tourist attractions, it will give you insight into where everything is and how it fits together.  The Big Bus Abu Dhabi takes travellers to all the city’s famous landmarks, including Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Heritage Village and Abu Dhabi’s beautiful Corniche. It’s close to the airport and home to the annual Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November. Ferrari World is located adjacent to Yas Mall so if you need a bit of retail therapy or a bite to eat there are a myriad of options to keep you busy, plus one of the Middle East’s largest Ikeas. Closed on Fridays to visitors, the Mosque welcomes travellers (dressed appropriately) to admire its beautiful interiors, including a hand-woven Persian carpet that spans 5,627 m2  and took two years to complete, the delicate floral inlays of mother of pearl and chandeliers incorporating millions of Swarovski crystals. You haven’t seen luxury until you’ve set foot in this glamorous Kempinski hotel built to reflect traditional Arabic architecture and decorated in gold, marble and Swarovski crystals. As the flag carrier airline in the United Kingdom, BA is renowned for their superior reliability and comfortable in-flight experience. In South Africa, British Airways services several major flight routes, including Cape town to Johannesburg, Cape Town to Durban, Johannesburg to Durban and Johannesburg to PE. All BA flights allow one piece of hand luggage, as well as a handbag, briefcase or laptop bag, at no additional charge. Book it yourself and save; simply use the above flight search form to compare British Airways flights to a range of other South African Airline flights. This is huge news because Qatar has an excellent route network from the US to the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent, and Maldives. This is great news for those with large American Airlines AAdvantage or British Airways Avios balances. You couldn’t complete an Avios award itinerary online and were forced phone the British Airways call center.
The breakdown in taxes and fees from the Washington to Doha show that $344 of the $370 in cash out of pocket are fuel surcharges. Read more about that in Scott’s great post The Five Cardinal Rules of American Airlines Awards. Qatar adds quite a few new African destinations that are bookable with Avios or AAdvantage miles.
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers. BA actually has a lot of destinations in Africa, but the problem is their hefty fuel surcharges and having to connect through LHR.
JFK-DOH-MLE-HKG-JFK (QR + CX) comes right under 20,000 so it should be 130k in J or 180k in F!!
I am able to see to Doha, but I am not see any availability from Doha to the Indian Subcontinent. The 14 check-in counters servicing this flight didn’t seem enough and tempers were flaring up in the crowd.
In line with its racy nature, Yas Island is also home to the very popular Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest indoor theme park and a celebration of all things… well, Ferrari, and Yas Waterworld, an unforgettable water adventure for all with five one-of-a-kind rinds that have never been seen before in a waterpark.

For a fun dining experience, look no further than Rogos where you order your American budger and milkshake by iPad and your food is delivered by rollercoaster. The Mosque is large enough to accommodate 40 000 worshippers and lights up at night in an enchanting blue and pink hue making it a magnificent building to photograph both by day and night. Again, a dress code applies and if you’re keen to splurge on yourself sit down to a cappuccino drizzled with gold leaf or a camel cappuccino and a slice of the famous chocolate cake (also drizzled with gold).
British Airways is also one of the founding members of the Oneworld airline alliance, the third largest such alliance after Star Alliance and SkyTeam.
Regionally, the airline also flies to Harare, Victoria Falls, Livingstone and Windhoek from Johannesburg. Doha-based Qatar Airways has a robust Middle Eastern route network and opens up connections to many places with presently poor oneworld coverage.
You will pay only taxes and fees like the $25 phone ticketing fee for booking Qatar flights as an American Airlines award. According to Routes Online, they will begin service to Philadelphia beginning in early April 2014.
Having Qatar in the oneworld alliance opens up many options for travel to India and the Maldives, two of our most heavily requested destinations at our Award Booking Service. Air Berlin flies to a few North African destinations in Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia and British Airways has coverage to South Africa.
Qatar opens up a great route network in the Middle East and to highly sought after destinations in the Indian Subcontinent, including the Maldives.
As with most other oneworld carriers, British Airways imposes hefty fuel surcharges on awards. You will have to pay a mandatory $25 charge per ticket, but that’s far better than having to pay fuel surcharges with British Airways.
QR is great for OW, but in terms of travel to Africa, it’s only great if planning to use it on an Explorer award. After waiting for 5 mins I decided to flash my online check-in printout to the floor manager and he arranged for a 15th check-in counter to open so we could go through quickly. Yas Island also has its very own beach and Yas Beach Club where you can relax or take part in watersports, including kayaking and water skiing, or you can tap your inner Schumaker and head to Yas Marina Circuit for a go-karting experience that will blow your mind.
Entrance is fee, but note a strict dresscode applies (no shorts, short skirts, vests or sleeveless shirts). They even have business and economy award space available on the scheduled inaugural flight on April 2nd!
Must say that the distant counter didn’t deter some crazy Indian ladies from running and ploughing their over-stacked luggage trolleys into Ro and mysef. Tough luck ladies, its back to the end of the line for you.So we check-in quickly into our pre-selected economy seats, move through immigration and decide to have a quick snack at one of the less crowded coffee shops before we board. Here is the best part, while boarding, we get the good news that we are upgraded to Business Class. This was good news for me after a long day at the office and some hectic packing before leaving for the airport! These new business class seats are fabulous. The seats had extra-large screens (for an aircraft), excess leg-room and best of all there was a built-in massage.
The Wave option seems to be the best, pick a medium intensity and low speed and don’t forget to stretch out the seat and just enjoy!The fancy touch-screen remote needed a bit of learning to operate the ICE navigation but it was fun to try it out. Since the lights were off while I was being served I got chicken instead of lamb but it was great and I didn’t bother to make a fuss.You have got to try this out, its a real awesome experience!

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