My Week in Points: Africa, New Tools and more

At Frequent Traveler University I presented on credit cards and on hotels, see my hotel slides here.

Then I was off to Africa for mixed business and pleasure swing through Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, South Africa (Cape Town), and Namibia. Corporate belt tightening meant I was in the back of the plane.

4 segments in on South African, 6 to go. I have Star Alliance Gold status through my United Platinum status. So far am impressed with their in flight experience. Transiting JNB is not fast or smooth, not the LHR horror show, but enough to make me want more padded flight schedules. I’ll do a separate post on South African.

Slow times continue in the miles and points world, even so, there are always interesting angles and new bits.



Cruises – Plane2Port series:


Credit Cards:


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  • Eduardo Morales

    regarding the direct flight to Caracas. I am also an elite flyer based in Caracas they hadn’t solve any issue. they just stop selling tickets in local currency (VEF) so you can only get thos tickets paying in USD

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Eduardo Morales – thanks, any tips for what airline and how to book to get to Margaritas Island? I had looked at options via Caribbean islands and none seemed reliable. With this new AA service it will be easy to get to Caracas, from there I am not sure how best to proceed, I have not been to Venezuela since 2010, my favorite in Latin America.

  • Thanks for the links to ‘blogging’ articles. I found them interesting reads. I’d write more commentary like that, but it is like pissing on the neighbors lawn in the BoardingArea neighborhood.

    Instead, I just write about the way I travel and hopefully my point gets across that travel is pretty nice and affordable without living in manufactured dream through banking.

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Ric Garrido – you set an admirable example, and you even travel!

  • John

    I transited JNB twice last year (once to BA and the other to SA), and I found it to be a breeze. In fact, my incoming flight was running late and BA sent someone to escort me to the domestic check in. Fortunately, I only had carry on so there was no problem reaching my flight. I also liked that I could carry aboard liquids on domestic flights. I thought the lounges were pretty good too, SA’s being better than the one that BA uses. Certainly better than many of the business class lounges in Europe.

    While on a long layover at JNB, I especially liked checking out the check in counters and route maps of all the obscure airlines that service the continent, not that I had any intention of flying those airlines.

    Looking forward to a full report on your Africa travels. Would be curious to hear how many days you spent in each country!

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @John – very different from my experience of 3 intl and 1 domestic, South African does not do anything for passengers, though if your flight is already boarding you can cut the line at the unnecessary transit pseudo-immigration, which has 14 desks and never saw more than 4 open, and again no priority line at the security. One frequent traveler said at the wrong time the intl can take hours. To domestic, fully exiting and through domestic security with no priority for anyone also crappy, though moved fast.