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AA Award to Africa on BA
I’ve run the numbers every way I can and would like someone to corroborate my conclusion. I’m wanting to fly business class on American Airlines with award miles from the US to Nairobi and then return to the US via Cape Town, making my own way to Cape Town overland.
I have some so-so dates reserved. It is British Airways from the US via LHR and then Nairobi. Cape Town to LHR and the US also on BA. The carrier-imposed charge is a whopping $1510 plus the other fees for a total of $1700. That $1510 fee is disgusting but it is what it is.
My question–is there a better way to do this? I’ve looked at various gateway cities in the US to circumvent British Airways to London. I’ve looked at Iberia and Air Berlin to Africa. I looked at Finnair as well but it is a BA flight to Africa. The cheapest ECONOMY flight one-way to Africa is about $1500 right now, so figure $3000 round trip. Is paying $1700 in fees to go business class on what should be a “free” award flight the best/only option?
One of AA’s exceptions is that you can fly from the US to Africa via Doha on Qatar Airways. If you can get to PHL/BOS/JFK, QR serves those cities with their A350. QR uses a A320 for the 5 hours to Nairobi but they use a 787 for their flight from Cape Town.
Lucky thinks QR’s J is a very well rounded product so it’s definitely worth considering. Search for space using BA’s website (and Cathay’s as well, if you’d like) and then call AA to book. AA wont pass on any fuel surcharges for travel on QR but you are responsible for any other taxes and fees.