The Flight Deal brings us a unique opportunity for cheap fares to South Africa.

South African Airways, Copyright manganganath / 123RF Stock Photo

  • Expedia’s New Zealand website is offering better deals than other sites right now. That’s the Expedia site that issues tickets in New Zealand, pricing them in New Zealand dollars. I love Expedia’s local country sites because sometimes there are better fares that can only be sold inside a country and that’s a convenient way to buy those tickets.

  • These fares are available between Washington DC or New York and Johannesburg on South African Airways, and also available with continuing service elsewhere in South Africa.

  • If you search the ITA software site and find US$766 DC-Johannesburg roundtrips, those appear to price at NZ$544 — which is only about US$390! (Fares are ~ $23 more to Capetown, $127 more from New York.)

  • This seems to be available for departures September through early December.

I pulled up a calendar of lowest fares using the ITA Matrix. I wanted to find dates with the lowest price to see just how low they’d go on the Expedia New Zealand site.

I pulled up an itinerary at that price:

Then pulled up the same itinerary using

And I converted New Zealand dollars to US dollars:

If you decide to go to South Africa:

  • Be sure to use a credit card that doesn’t add foreign transaction fees, because this is a purchase from New Zealand in New Zealand dollars.

  • Wait a few days to make additional non-refundable travel arrangements. I don’t have significant experience with South African Airways’ decision to stand behind deep discount sale fares like this. (Although if by chance they don’t, the DOT should require them to cover any non-refundable costs incurred in reliance on their fare however we don’t have a lot of real world experience with that either.)

Victoria and Alfred waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa, Copyright: edan / 123RF Stock Photo

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary Ā»

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Hey Gary

    Thanks for the posting this article. I’m a Kiwi myself although I now live in London. I’ve used Expedia before to book flights and accommodation so I can vouch for them as often being the cheapest in the market.

    Looking forward to your next post!


  2. You can pull up same prices on ITA Matrix if you specify Auckland as “Sales city” and “USD” as currency.

    Prices are even better than 2014’s Ethiad’s Thanksgiving mistake fare!

  3. Last year in May my friend and I flew NY-Johannesburg in the Etihad Christmas Day deal for $400. We both made separate reservations, I through United Air Lines and she directly with South African Airways, for a RT flight on SAA from JNB to Skukuza as we were going to Kruger NP the next day. When we arrived at the airport for our flight there was absolutely no record of her reservation and the people at the counter did absolutely nothing to help us. There are no Offices in the JNB airport for any of the U.S. based airlines so it was VERY hard to get someone to help us. We finally got the lost luggage department to feel sorry for us and only then did they help us. My friend had to buy a brand new ticket as nobody could seem to find her reservation in the system even though she had already paid for it! We made it to our lodge at KRuger about 6 hours after we were supposed to. I would avoid SAA at all costs but our experience hopefully was a tragic fluke.

  4. its 2pm est on sunday..can anyone still find these fares?ive tried multiple dates,and all the referenced websites,but no luck… šŸ™

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *