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Stayovers on UK-Cape Town flights

In cooperation with: Cape Town Tourism
Exeter
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Stayovers on UK-Cape Town flights

We'd love to visit Cape Town but we're getting a bit long in the tooth for 11/12 hours flights. Any ideas about having Cape Town as the sandwich week in a fortnight's holiday so as to have four shorter flights instead of two long ones?

Isle of Man, United...
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1. Re: Stayovers on UK-Cape Town flights

How long are the teeth? Mine have been around for decades ( and I still have most of them!)

My golden rule is one flight, one check in, one Immigration and one anxious wait for luggage is far better than two. I even duck connecting flights if I can. Then there is the trauma of getting to and from the interim airport, lodgings etc., Too much hassle.

Get it over with. After the first 7 or 8 hours you can handle almost anything.

Sleep through it.

Good luck.

Cape Town
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2. Re: Stayovers on UK-Cape Town flights

There are hardly any workable stopovers to Cape Town.

The only relevant ones are in the Middle East - Dubai, Doha or Abu Dhabi. All of these are way outside the straight line route so will give you 2 x 8 hour flights. Often with a 4 hour stopover in between. so a 20 hour flight rather than 11.5 direct. Absolutely agree with Mfuwe (makes a change!).

The direct flight to Cape Town is so much easier. Remember there is hardly any time difference (one hour at the moment) so no jet lag. Onto the plane at Heathrow dinner and then grab what sleep you can. Wake up at 7am have breakfast, land and off the plane around 8:30am ready to start the day. I have freinds in their mid 90s who do it regularly!

The only other option, coming from Exeter, might be to fly from Exeter via Amsterdam. KLM then have a direct flight to Cape Town. No shorter but saves having to drive up to London. Don't know when you are planning to come but, alternatively from November, Air France will also fly direct Charles de Gaulle in Paris to Cape Town. See that you can also fly to CDG from Exeter. You would need to check how the flight connections work out, for either of these routes, for the dates you plan to fly.

Edited: 30 April 2011, 23:36
Cape Town
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3. Re: Stayovers on UK-Cape Town flights

Hi pilgrims

See that you actually were looking to have a few days stopover rather than just a transfer. Which is how I responded in my first post.

This actualy looks even worse than single direct flight - if you don't like long flights! Just checked the actual flight times :

Emirates via Dubai: Lon-Dubai 7 hrs Dubai-CT 10 hrs

Ethiad via Abu Dhabi: Lon-AD 7:30 hrs AD-CT 11:30 hrs (incl a one hour touch down stop in Johannesbrg)

Qatar via Doha: Lon-Doha 7 hrs Doha-CT 11:30 hrs (incl a one hour touch down stop in Johannesbrg)

All of these include at least one overnight flight in each direction. You could schedule with two! Definitely no advantage on any of these routes even with a few days stop-over.

Edited: 01 May 2011, 01:25
McGregor, South...
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4. Re: Stayovers on UK-Cape Town flights

While I would not recommend it, you could fly London to Lagos (7hrs) Lagos to Johannesburg (6.5hrs) Johannesburg to Cape Town (2 hrs). A rather expensive option + a Nigerian visa.

As above advice, far better to take a direct flight to Cape Town from Europe - an 11 hr flight is not much different to a 7 hr one.

Isle of Man, United...
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5. Re: Stayovers on UK-Cape Town flights

That has given me thought. Definitely not Lagos but how about Accra?

Nice place around 6/7 hours from LHR. Things to do/see.

I assume there is a flight on to JNB as I have not checked. But it will still involve all the hassle of check in twice etc., plus Visa and Yellow Fever jabs.

Nah! LHR-Capetown direct is the only way to go.

(Hey VdeC! "Agree" I can live with but "absolutely agree"? Too much!! Lol)

Edited: 01 May 2011, 10:02
England
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6. Re: Stayovers on UK-Cape Town flights

Have flown to CPT using several different routes (both direct and with stopovers) and if I am honest my preferred route is via Dubai. Yes it is off the most direct flight route and it does give you a 6 hour flight followed by a 10 hour flight but the convinience of flying from my local airport and the few days lay over in Dubai make it worth while.

Have also flown to CPT via Dubai without stopping and just transferring to the next plane which took all of 90 mins - very easy transfer!

I also flew with KLM from my local airport and would again recommend this route as I had no hassle what so ever.

Last year we flew direct for the first time and if i'm honest I didn't like it. The journey to London was a pain, the parking costs were high and the plane we went on was very outdated and cramped which was not good for a 12 hour flight. (although service was excellent!!!!)

I think if airlines flew direct from my local airport I would definately go direct but until then I will keep trying the various stopovers and avoid london town :-)

On another note if you are willing to fly to CPT via Johannesburg you are then able to have a much wider variety of airlines to choose from but most will involve an additional stopover.

Egyptair

Kenyan

Ethiopian... just to name a few

Happy planning!!! :-)

Isle of Man, United...
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7. Re: Stayovers on UK-Cape Town flights

I would agree. From "provincial" airports carriers like KLM and AF, with a total travel time of less than 14 hours, work well and save the agro of Lunden.

But routing via the Gulf, nice though EK are, still sticks you with the 10 hour flight that OP was hoping to avoid.

Cape Town
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8. Re: Stayovers on UK-Cape Town flights

The issue of flying anywhere through Africa, as macsym points out, is there are no direct flights to Cape Town. Then, unlike Qatar or Ethiad, you don't stay on the same plane and nearly always need to change airlines. So you need to disembark, collect your bags, go through immigration and customs, then transfer to Domestic departures and check in again. If flight schedules connect this is a minimum of two hours. If they don't it could be three or four. And, of course, flights from other African countries are often delayed so you might need to build this in.

So, for example, the Lagos - Cape Town leg becomes again a 10.5 hour or more flight with significantly more hassle than a direct flight into Cape Town. If the main aim is to avoid a 10-12 hour flight this is not a solution. Plus, some of these routings will cost twice as much as a direct flight.

So IMO either a direct flight from Heathrow, or as I and others have suggested to avoid Heathrow, a flight from Exeter to a European destination that has direct flights to Cape Town. Currently only Amsterdam or, later in the year, Paris. But even these are not as convenient schedules as the direct BA or SAA Heathrow flights.

BTW the most "straight line" transfer point is Tripoli in Libya. Afriqiyah Airways fly London to Tripoli and Tripoli to Joburg. Cape Town was planned. Unfortunately flights are currently suspended so you won't have the opportunity to spend a relaxing few days in Tripoli - LOL!!

Edited: 01 May 2011, 11:19
cape town
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9. Re: Stayovers on UK-Cape Town flights

As I am sitting on the beach and this screen is SO small I cannot check it out for you but look at Turkish Airlines which fly direct from Istanbul to Cape Town so you could fly from London or your home town (not sure) to Istanbul , stop over there for a few days then connect although you're not saving that much time. Unless you're wanting to holiday somewhere else I agree 100% with mfuwe - get it over with and relax in Cape Town.

Leeds, United...
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10. Re: Stayovers on UK-Cape Town flights

Sazzle25

I presume you flew SAA on your last direct flight? Have to agree with you on their planes and good service! But BA and Virgin have much more modern planes.

Agree with everyone else. 12 hours on an overnight flight isn't pleasant but very doable.

I have looked at KLM in the past, but they are daytime flights and I always feel that I am "losing" a precious day of my holiday?

LIsa