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best airline to fly between Jo'berg and Maun

Washington DC...
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best airline to fly between Jo'berg and Maun

We end our package tour in Johannesburg in mid March and then want to fly to Botswana to visit a family member working in the Okavango delta. Should we book South Africa Air or Air Botswana? SAA costs $200 more than Air Botswana but is the quality and reliability also much superior? We fly back to the US on our return to Jo'berg so reliability, punctuality etc is important.

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Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa
Okavango Delta
Okavango Delta
805 Reviews
Maun, Botswana
Maun, Botswana
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104 posts
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1. Re: best airline to fly between Jo'berg and Maun

Unfortunately I have to say yes SA Airlink is much more reliable

Maun, Botswana
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2. Re: best airline to fly between Jo'berg and Maun

I agree, Air Botswana cannot be trusted to provide an acceptable service level. The risk of cancellation, delay, poor inflight service and overall lack of professionalism is too great, and far higher than flying with SAA - sad, but true

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Maun
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87 posts
3 reviews
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3. Re: best airline to fly between Jo'berg and Maun

In my experience Air Botswana never totally cancel the Johannesburg-maun flights but their timekeeping is pretty erratic.

In particular they have the habit of rerouting this flight without any warning via Kasane which means it arrives approximately 2 hours later than it is scheduled to. This can be pretty disastrous if you are either planning to connect straight onto a charter flight to a delta camp when you arrive in Maun or straight onto an international flight when you arrive back in Johannesburg. A 2 hour delay could mean that you will not be able to get your onward flight.

If it is not critical what time you are arriving in Maun then flying Air Botswana would probably save you some money as they are often cheaper.

On the way back if you are connecting onto an international flight in Johannesburg then SA are much more reliable and the better bet unless you have a very long connection time.

I am flying down to Johannesburg on Thursday and opted for Air Botswana in the end as my international flight does not leave until 9.30pm. So even with a 2-3 hour delay I will still be ok hopefully!!!

Mark, Gondwana Tours & Safaris, Maun

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Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa
Kasane
Kasane
North-West District, Botswana
Maun
Maun
Ngamiland East, Botswana
Washington DC...
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4. Re: best airline to fly between Jo'berg and Maun

Thank you so much to you all for your input. SAA it is then!

Beijing, China
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5. Re: best airline to fly between Jo'berg and Maun

I don't think it's possible to book a flight from Botswana (Maun or Kasane) to Jo'Burg via the SAA website online, not first flight (one-way) departing from Bots anyway, so if you're in a position where you want to book a one-way to Jozi you have no other choice but to go with Air Botswana.

(off course if it is a return from a South African city it is possible online their SAA website)

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Maun
Maun
Ngamiland East, Botswana
Kasane
Kasane
North-West District, Botswana
Washington DC...
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6. Re: best airline to fly between Jo'berg and Maun

I believe you can use a site such as Kayak to book SAA from MUB to JNB.

Maun, Botswana
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532 posts
2 reviews
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7. Re: best airline to fly between Jo'berg and Maun

You can book Maun - JNB on the SAA website - but make sure you enter you are in Botswana and not in South Africa when it asks you on the 1st page

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Maun
Maun
Ngamiland East, Botswana
Beijing, China
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15 posts
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8. Re: best airline to fly between Jo'berg and Maun

Al-riiight!!! Didn't notice that one, thanks for the heads up! :-)

Minneapolis...
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9. Re: best airline to fly between Jo'berg and Maun

Don't book right away. I watched these flights for a long time before our trip last year. I really wanted to fly SAA for the reliability, but the cost was a lot more than AB. When I started watching the tickets were $568pp USD, but one day for no reason they dropped to $505pp USD. That was very close the the AB price (at $456) so I purchased.

London, United...
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10. Re: best airline to fly between Jo'berg and Maun

We had an unhappy experience with AB in October 2013. We were booked on a morning flight from Jo'berg to be met at Maun by a light aircraft transfer to our camp in the Okavanga. At the last moment AB announced a delay due to 'a technical fault' and we finally arrived at Maun in the late afternoon. Mack Air, who operate the light aircraft transfers to the various Delta camps, were unable to fly because it was getting dark, so we missed an afternoon game drive, evening meal and our first night at our luxury camp. Mack Air told us AB do this on a regular basis when they have a lot of empty seats. They were great and flew us next morning at sunrise and on arrival Sanctuary Retreat camp met us and gave us a full English breakfast in the bush. Very memorable but nothing makes up for the time lost at Maun airport and at the nearby hotel.

Edited: 06 August 2014, 03:22
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Maun
Maun
Ngamiland East, Botswana