Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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South Africa is quite a picturesque vacation spot, located at the southern tip of Africa. Home to some of the best wine in Cape Town and beautiful safari experiences across many ultra-luxurious game reserves throughout the country, there’s something to do for everyone.
The state-owned airline South African Airways, in operation since 1934, has hub airports at O.R. Tambo International in Johannesburg (JNB) and Cape Town International (CPT). It has maintained a boutique airline feel with numerous quirks. Although its fleet size is small, its partner list is quite large.
If you find yourself earning a stack of South African Airways Voyager miles and can’t figure out how to best use them, you’re not alone.
South African Airways Voyager has some neat attributes that make it an attractive program, provided you can get its miles. This program is unbeatable for intra-Asia premium cabin travel. You can also book Emirates premium cabin awards, though not at the best redemption price. Lastly, there’s tons of value in niche routes, such as between Guam and Asia in economy class.
On the other hand, Voyager can be quite confusing. Its routing rules are obscure, and it has many different award charts, depending on who you fly on.
Lastly, its website is built much like an early dot-com website. You’ll notice that South African Airways Voyager primarily employs a region-based pricing scheme, which leaves quite a bit of room for opportunity.
South African Airways’ frequent flyer program doesn’t get much publicity in the frequent flyer or award travel world.
In fact, Voyager’s website is replete with technical glitches, the award chart is nonsensical for the most part, and there aren’t many ways to transfer points to South African Airways Voyager.
However, this frequent flyer program has so much value, as long as you’re interested in niche routes. Some of these redemptions are competitively priced relative to the alternative and can represent the absolute best price you can pay for that particular route.
One of the quirks of South African Airways Voyager is the ability to book Emirates using miles. While the overall award pricing of Emirates awards is lackluster, there are some ways to get competitive redemption value.
If you fly to/from Dubai and the “Far East” region, you’ll pay 200,000 miles round-trip. Japan is excluded from the Far East region because it is a region itself. But, if you fly between South Korea and Dubai, you’ll have the opportunity to savor Emirates first class for 8 to 10 hours each way.
For this, you’ll pay 200,000 Voyager miles, and Emirates Skywards charges around the same price (197,500 miles.) So, if you find yourself with a ton of Voyager miles, consider using them for a round-trip Emirates first class experience.
Here is the exact route we’re talking about:
Hot Tip: You’ll want to avoid commencing your trip in Dubai due to the fuel surcharges that are levied. To give you an idea, the reverse route round-trip will have $923 in taxes and fees per person.
If business class is enough for you, you can still fly on Emirates business class for a great deal. However, the one restriction is that you can’t book Emirates award flights between Johannesburg and Dubai.
There are still many fantastic routes you can fly on. Here are some great example redemptions you can make:
Emirates’ Game Changer first class suites are sensational.
This ultra-exclusive, fully-enclosed first class suite is arguably the best first class product in the world. One of the routes on which this is offered is on select 777-300ER aircraft between London-Stansted and Dubai.
Unfortunately, the large fuel surcharges and the U.K. Air Passenger Duty means you’ll pay an arm and a leg for first class.
Here’s the exact redemption you’d be making:
If you’re in the market to fly directly from North America to Dubai in Emirates first class, you’d absolutely be able to make a case for using Voyager miles.
You can fly between any North American city and Dubai in Emirates first class for 240,000 miles. You’ll simply need to find award availability.
If you’re interested in maximizing your time in first class, you’ll want to book from the West Coast. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to avoid fuel surcharges on routes between North America and Dubai.
Here are some great example redemptions you can make:
If you’re looking to try out Emirates’ first class suites on a super-short flight, why not try it on the shortest A380 flight in the world?
Cash tickets are usually over $2,000, which makes this round-trip ticket one of the most expensive flights you can get from an hourly standpoint.
Here is the exact route you can book:
Another great partner that South African Airways has is Virgin Atlantic. This airline has offered a decent business class product in the past, though it had its fair share of complaints. However, in 2019 it launched its new business class product which is fantastic.
When you’re using South African Airways Voyager miles, it’s almost always better to fly to/from the West Coast as opposed to the East Coast, due to the negligible difference in required miles of 2,000.
You’ll pay 127,000 miles for West Coast flights round-trip, whereas East Coast will cost 125,000 miles. Here are some great example routes you can take:
If you’re considering travel that involves London and the Caribbean, you’ll find comfort in knowing that you can redeem South African Airways Voyager miles for this endeavor.
Virgin Atlantic doesn’t have the biggest route network in the world, but it actually offers nonstop flights to the Caribbean. Here are some great example routes you can take:
South African Airways Voyager has one of the most generous definitions of Asia of all the frequent flyer programs. Namely, it has decided to combine most of Asia into 1 region, dubbing it “North and South Asia.”
Normally, frequent flyer programs separate this gigantic continent into several regions and price awards accordingly. South African Airways has created a hidden gem for intra-“North and South Asia” flights.
In fact, these mileage prices blow the competition out of the water, which goes to show that these redemptions aren’t just competitive — they’re industry-leading.
This zone contains cities as far north as Tokyo and cities as far south as Bali, which are 7 to 8 hours away by flight. When you take this into account and look at the rock-bottom prices, you’ll see why this is a redemption you simply cannot ignore.
All Nippon Airways, or ANA, offers a fantastic business class product. When you use South African Airways Voyager miles, you can fly ANA business class anywhere within Asia for 32,200 miles round-trip.
Here are some great example routes you can take:
Asiana Airlines is the second-largest airline in South Korea, with Korean Air standing in front. Asiana Airlines offers a great business and business suites product, which used to be sold as first class.
We discussed ANA route options to take advantage of intra-North and South Asia award pricing above, so let’s now talk about Asiana Airlines via South Korea. Seoul, South Korea’s capital city, is situated in the northern part of Asia, which means that the longest flight times will be on flights bound for Southeast Asia.
Here are some great example redemptions you can make:
Yet another great option to fly intra-North and South Asia with Voyager miles is Air China business class. Although Air China’s business class doesn’t have the reputation that ANA or Asiana does, for example, it’s still an excellent Star Alliance partner airline with amazing connectivity within Asia.
Air China’s business class doesn’t feature direct aisle access at all seats for the most part; instead, you’ll most likely get a 2-2-2 configuration on any wide-body aircraft. Nonetheless, it’s still a great way to fly business class for mega-cheap prices.
Here are some great example routes you can take:
Thai Airways is indeed one of the rarest airlines in the world to fly first class on. At one point in time, Thai Airways even offered first class nonstop to the U.S. However, times have changed, financial struggles have mounted, and Thai Airways is on a crusade to become profitable again.
Thai Airways offers first class on flights to/from Tokyo for 47,900 miles round-trip This 5.5 to 7 hour flight is hardly an ultra-long-haul flight, but it’s one of the only opportunities you’ll ever get to try Thai Airways first class.
Just to give you an idea of how phenomenal this redemption is, the next-closest Star Alliance loyalty program, Asiana Airlines Asiana Club, charges 100,000 miles, as does Avianca LifeMiles. You’re going to save over half of your miles on this round-trip flight by booking through South African Airways.
Here are the exact redemptions you can make:
Air India doesn’t have the best reputation out there. However, it’s a solid option if you’re looking to get to India comfortably. Additionally, Air India is one of the few airlines that offer first class on medium-haul flights.
When you look at other Star Alliance partners such as ANA, you’ll find that there are very few, if any, routes shorter than 8 hours than offer first class. This is where Air India can come in handy.
Air India has extraordinary connectivity to many cities in Saudi Arabia despite not being in the same alliance as Saudia, the flag carrier of Saudi Arabia. South African Airways Voyager blows its competitors out of the water when it comes to award pricing between Saudi Arabia and India. In fact, the closest runner-up comes in at 75,000 miles for round-trip first class.
Interestingly, the only reason why this routing works is that South African Airways Voyager has decided to label India and Saudi Arabia as members of “Central Asia,” despite neither being conventionally regarded as such. Saudi Arabia is normally considered a country in the Middle East, while India is normally regarded as a country in South Asia.
Nonetheless, here are the example redemptions you could make:
Singapore Airlines is notoriously stingy with releasing award availability to partners. This is especially true with U.S. routes, where the only hope you have to book one of these coveted flights in business or first class is to redeem KrisFlyer miles.
However, one of the most notable exceptions is on intra-Asia flights. Singapore Airlines releases lots of award seats for intra-Asia flights to partners. When you couple that with the fact that South African Airways Voyager has fantastic award pricing for most of these flights, you’ll see a gold mine of value.
While Singapore KrisFlyer charges up to 47,000 miles for Saver level availability and ANA charges up to 63,000 miles for Singapore Airlines flights, South African Airways Voyager charges a jaw-dropping 32,200 miles.
Here are some great example routes you can take:
Because India falls under Central Asia, it enjoys attractive pricing to the Middle East.
Also, Israel and Egypt are categorized as Middle East countries, which means that you’ll pay 49,000 miles for a 5- to 7-hour flight each way in business class. Not a bad deal! Here are the exact redemptions you want to be making:
Air New Zealand is one of the best strategic Star Alliance partners in the world. Because the Oceania region is dominated primarily by Oneworld, thanks to Qantas, Air New Zealand represents a much-needed diversification in the Star Alliance network.
It’s not the best deal out there, but you can redeem South African Airways Voyager miles for round-trip flights between North America and Oceania for 169,300 miles. Here are some great example routes:
Guam is one of the most expensive, cash-intensive destinations for the flight distance traveled. United Airlines has established a stronghold in Guam, which means that the Star Alliance is extraordinarily useful here.
Round-trip nonstop flights from Guam to Japan cost a minimum of $600 to $900, so you’re definitely going to want to use miles to cushion yourself from a majority of these costs.
South African Airways will allow you to book 1 more segment, in addition to the Guam flight, which means you can extract even more value from these hugely expensive cash tickets. Here are some great example routes you can take:
When you look at South African Airways’ JourneyBlitz awards, you’ll see some opportunities for outstanding redemption value. You can book flights for as little as 13,050 miles, assuming you find availability. Here are some great example routes you can take:
Although business class redemptions are certainly possible at decent rates, it’s practically impossible to find availability on JourneyBlitz awards.
The last redemption option is an upgrade. You can pay as little as 23,000 miles to upgrade a one-way economy ticket in eligible fare classes on South African Airways to business class. The lowest level fare class you can upgrade is K, and the second-lowest level is M.
Here are some great redemptions you can make:
The main challenge of redeeming Voyager miles is the relatively uncharted territory of this obscure mileage program. There is lots to look forward to, but also a steep learning curve. You might experience long call center wait times, inexperienced staff, and even the inability to find certain mileage awards.
First and foremost, let’s talk about South African Airways’ award chart, of which there are multiple.
South African Airways has 2 award charts that correspond to flights wholly operated by South African Airways:
JourneyBlitz awards will vary in price depending on the exact route. JourneyBlitz is much more comparable to promotional award sales than the conventional “Saver Award” availability.
Here’s how much it’ll cost to book JourneyBlitz awards:
|South African Airways JourneyBlitz Award Chart (One-Way)|
|Region||Economy Cost||Business Cost|
|Within South Africa||3,700||9,100|
|Between Africa and North America||14,700||63,710|
These fares are extremely attractive in price, but availability is scarce.
On the flip side, Dynamic awards change in price and are closely connected to the revenue ticket price. As a result, the value you’ll get is so poor that it isn’t even worth considering.
Additionally, you can use Voyager miles to upgrade paid economy tickets. As long as they fall into eligible economy ticket fare classes and there’s availability, you’ll be able to upgrade your tickets using miles.
Here’s what the upgrade award chart looks like for South African Airways flights:
Furthermore, the regions are broken down into the following areas:
|Zone Descriptions for South African Airways|
|Southern Africa||Blantyre, Harare, Lusaka, Lilongwe, Livingstone, Maputo, Ndola, South Africa (Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth), Victoria Falls, Windhoek|
|Africa||Abidjan, Accra, Dar es Salaam, Entebbe, Kinshasa, Lagos, Luanda, Mauritius, Nairobi|
|Europe||Frankfurt, London, Munich|
|South America||São Paulo|
|Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania||Perth|
|North and South Asia||Guangzhou, Hong Kong|
|North America||New York, Washington, D.C.|
|Between Africa and North America||Between Accra and Washington, D.C.|
South African Airways’ website has outdated regions and routes, which means that the displayed cities may not have nonstop South African Airways flights anymore.
South African Airways partners with all Star Alliance airlines. Voyager offers both awards and upgrades on Star Alliance flights.
However, award flights can only be booked round-trip, and Star Alliance upgrades can only be performed on a sector-by-sector basis.
Here are the Star Alliance airlines you can redeem miles for awards and upgrades on:
|Air Canada||EVA Air|
|Air China||LOT Polish Airlines|
|Air New Zealand||Scandinavian Airlines|
|Asiana Airlines||Singapore Airlines|
|Austrian||South African Airways|
|Brussels Airlines||TAP Air Portugal|
|Copa Airlines||Thai Airways|
|Croatia Airlines||Turkish Airlines|
|Egypt Air||United Airlines|
Here’s how much your Star Alliance award tickets will cost when spending Voyager miles. All of these prices are round-trip since Voyager doesn’t permit one-way flights.
To price out your itineraries correctly, you can reference the following region chart:
|Zone Descriptions for Star Alliance Partners|
|Southern Africa||Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe|
|Africa||Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Congo Brazzaville, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Madagascar, Mauritius, Madeira, Nigeria, Reunion Islands, Dem Rep of Congo, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Togo|
|Europe||Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia (Caucasus), Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldovia, Morocco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, (excluding Madeira), Romania, Russia, Serbia-Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (including the Balearics, excluding the Canary Islands), Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Yugoslav Republic|
|Middle East||Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen|
|South America||Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cordoba, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela|
|Australia, New Zealand, Oceania||Australia (including Tasmania), Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Mariana Islands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norfolk Islands, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga|
|North and South Asia||Brunei, Cambodia, China, Guam, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Maldives, Taiwan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Russia Euro-Asia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam|
|Central Asia||Bangladesh, India, Jeddah, Nepal, Pakistan|
|North America||Alaska, British Columbia, Canada, Mexico, U.S.|
|Central America, Hawaii, and the Caribbean||Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Antigua, Aruba, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Curaçao, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Panama, Nicaragua, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, U.S. Virgin Islands|
You can also spend Voyager miles to upgrade Star Alliance flights. These are priced in the following upgrade chart:
The drawback of using Voyager miles to upgrade Star Alliance flights is that the eligible fares are extremely restrictive. You’ll only be able to upgrade full-fare economy or premium economy tickets.
These tickets run as expensive as $1,000 to $3,000 one-way, which ultimately defeats the purpose of upgrading Star Alliance tickets.
|Operating Airline||Eligible Booking Classes for Upgrades From Economy to Business||Eligible Booking Classes for Upgrades From Business to First|
|Aegean (A3)||Y, B||N/A|
|Air India (AI)||Y, B||C, D|
|Air Canada (AC)||Y, B, O||N/A|
|Air China (CA)||G, Y, B||J, C, D|
|Air New Zealand (NZ)||Y, B, U, E, O||N/A|
|ANA (NH)||Y, B, E, G||C, Z, J, D|
|Asiana (OZ)||Y, B||C, D|
|Austrian (OS)||Y, B, E, G||N/A|
|Avianca (AV)||Y, B||N/A|
|Brussels (SN)||Y, B||N/A|
|Copa (CM)||Y, B||N/A|
|Croatia (OU)||Y, B||N/A|
|EgyptAir (MS)||Y, B||C, D|
|Ethiopian (ET)||Y, G, S, B||N/A|
|EVA (BR)||Y, B, K||N/A|
|LOT (LO)||Y, B||N/A|
|Lufthansa (LH)||Y, B||J, C, D|
|Scandinavian (SK)||Y, B, S||N/A|
|Shenzhen (ZH)*||Y, B, M, H||N/A|
|Singapore Airlines (SQ)||Y, B (aircraft without premium economy cabin)
S, T, P, L (aircraft with premium economy cabin)
|U, C, J, Z|
|Swiss (LX)||Y, B, M, U||C, D, J|
|TAP (TP)||Y, B||N/A|
|Thai (TG)||Y, B||C, D|
|Turkish (TK)||Y, B||N/A|
|United (UA)||Y, B||N/A|
Nevertheless, these upgrades are still available for redemption.
Lastly, there are flight redemptions on South African Airways’ non-alliance partners.
|South African Airways Non-Alliance Partners|
|AirLink||South African Express|
|GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes||Virgin Australia|
South African Airways uses different award charts for each of these partners.
AirLink is a regional airline based in Johannesburg. Although it is not owned by South African Airways, it serves to connect smaller cities in South Africa to the main hub airports.
Here’s the award chart for AirLink:
|AirLink Award Chart Using Voyager Miles|
|Region||MileageKeeper One-Way Cost||AnyDay One-Way Cost|
|Within South Africa||9,500||22,200|
|Between South Africa and Southern Africa||11,250||33,350|
|Between South Africa and Africa 1||18,750||45,000|
|Between South Africa and St. Helena||N/A||96,500|
Here are how the regions are broken down for AirLink flights:
|Zone Descriptions for AirLink|
|Travel within South Africa||
|Travel between South Africa and Southern Africa||
|Travel between Southern Africa and Africa 1||Antananarivo, Nampula, Nosy Be, Pemba|
|Travel between Johannesburg or Cape Town to St. Helena||Johannesburg or Cape Town to St. Helena|
You can also redeem South African Airways Voyager miles on South African Express. South African Express is a close partner of South African Airways, though it is not majority-owned by South African Airways.
|South African Express Award Chart Using Voyager Miles|
|Region||MileageKeeper One-Way Cost||K-Keeper One-Way Cost|
|Within South Africa||9,500||24,200|
|Between South Africa and Southern Africa||11,250||33,600|
|Between South Africa and Africa 1||18,750||64,800|
Here is how the award regions are broken down for South African Express flights:
|Zone Descriptions for South African Express|
|Travel within South Africa||
|Travel between South Africa and Southern Africa||
|Travel between Southern Africa and Africa 1||Travel between Johannesburg and Lubumbashi|
Interestingly, you can also redeem South African Airways Voyager miles for Emirates flights according to the following award chart:
|Emirates Round-Trip Award Chart Using Voyager Miles|
|Route (From Dubai)||Economy||Business||First|
|Middle East 1||15,000||35,000||50,000|
|Middle East 2||10,000||25,000||35,000|
|Indian Sub-Continent 1||60,000||125,000||185,000|
|Indian Sub-Continent 2||10,000||25,000||35,000|
|Between Australia and New Zealand||25,000||55,000||80,000|
|Between Singapore and New Zealand/Far East and Australia||60,000||125,000||185,000|
|Australia and New Zealand||90,000||185,000||275,000|
Here are how all the zones break down:
|Zone Descriptions for Emirates|
|Europe 1||Austria (Vienna), Belgium (Brussels), Denmark (Copenhagen), France (Nice, Paris), Germany (Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich), Great Britain (Birmingham, Glasgow, London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Newcastle), Italy (Milan, Rome, Venice), Hungary (Budapest), Netherlands (Amsterdam), Malta, Norway (Oslo), Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg), Spain (Madrid), Switzerland (Geneva, Zurich)|
|Europe 2||Czech Republic (Prague), Greece (Athens), Turkey (Istanbul)|
|Near East||Egypt (Cairo), Jordan (Amman), Lebanon (Beirut), Sudan (Khartoum), Syria (Damascus)|
|Middle East 1||Iran (Tehran), Iraq (Baghdad, Basra), Kuwait, Saudi Arabia (Damman, Jeddah, Medinah, Riyadh), Yemen|
|Middle East 2||Oman (Muscat), Qatar (Doha), Bahrain, UAE|
|Southern Africa||Cape Town, Durban, Harare, Johannesburg, Lusaka|
|Africa 1||Ethiopia (Addis Ababa), Kenya (Nairobi), Libya (Tripoli), Seychelles, Tanzania (Dar es Salaam), Tunisia (Tunis), Uganda (Entebbe)|
|Africa 2||Angola (Luanda), Côte d’Ivoire (Abidjan), Ghana (Accra), Guinea (Conakry), Mauritius, Morocco (Casablanca), Nigeria (Lagos), Senegal (Dakar)|
|Within Africa||Côte d’Ivoire (Abidjan) to Ghana (Accra)|
|Indian Sub 1||India (Ahmadabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai), Pakistan (Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar)|
|Indian Sub 2||India (Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram), Sri Lanka (Colombo)|
|Far East||China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai), Hong Kong, Indonesia (Denpasar, Jakarta), Korea (Seoul), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Philippines (Manila), Singapore, Thailand (Bangkok)|
|Japan||Japan (Narita, Osaka)|
|North America||Canada (Toronto), U.S. (Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C.)|
|Travel to/between Australia and New Zealand||Australia (Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney), New Zealand (Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington)|
|South America||Brazil (Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo)|
|Travel between Singapore and New Zealand/Far East and Australia||Singapore to New Zealand (Auckland, Christchurch)|
You can redeem your South African Airways Voyager miles for Virgin Atlantic flights as well:
|Virgin Atlantic Round-Trip Award Chart Using Voyager Miles|
|Route (From London)||Economy||Premium||Upper Class|
|Middle East 2||40,000||55,000||80,000|
|Indian Sub 1||50,000||62,500||100,000|
Here’s how the zones are divided for Virgin Atlantic flights:
|Zone Descriptions for Virgin Atlantic|
|Travel to Middle East 2||UAE (Dubai), Israel (Tel-Aviv)|
|Travel to South Africa||South Africa (Johannesburg, Cape Town)|
|Travel to Africa||Kenya (Nairobi) Ghana (Accra), Nigeria (Lagos)|
|Travel to Indian Sub 1||India (Delhi, Mumbai)|
|Travel to the Far East||Hong Kong, China (Shanghai) Japan (Tokyo)|
|Travel to U.S. West||North America (Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco)|
|Travel to U.S. East||North America (Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Atlanta)|
|Travel to the Caribbean||Barbuda (Antigua), Barbados (Bridgetown), Cuba (Havana), Grenada, Jamaica (Kingston, Montego Bay), St. Lucia, Tobago, Puerto Rico (San Juan), Mexico (Cancun)|
Virgin Australia offers round-trip awards as follows:
|Virgin Australia Round-Trip Award Chart Using Voyager Miles|
|Route||Economy||Premium Economy||Business Class|
|Between Australia and Samoa||35,000||52,500||70,000|
|Between Australia and Australia Regional Services||43,000||62,000||80,000|
|Within Australia and to Short-Haul International Routes||46,000||65,000||85,000|
|Between Australia and International Services||100,000||150,000||200,000|
Lastly, the GOL award chart is as follows:
|GOL Round-Trip Award Chart Using Voyager Miles|
|Within South America||56,100||137,150|
|Between South America and the Caribbean||68,250||166,800|
|Between South America and North America||79,800||195,100|
Unfortunately, the technical quirks of South African Airways show up as soon as you try to redeem your miles. The online booking/search tool doesn’t actually work.
As a result, you’ll need to make all award bookings over the phone by contacting South African Airways Voyager by phone at +27-11-978-1234 or email at email@example.com.
The office is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time (GMT+2) and Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (GMT+2).
When it comes to award or upgrade redemption rules, there is a slew of terms and conditions that you must conform to. These terms fall into 6 categories:
Here are the most notable award terms and conditions for South African Airways JourneyBlitz Awards:
Here are the notable award terms and conditions for South African Airways upgrades:
Here are the notable award terms and conditions for Star Alliance award tickets:
Here are the notable award terms and conditions for Star Alliance upgrades:
Here are the notable award terms and conditions for Emirates awards:
Here are the notable terms and conditions for Virgin Atlantic awards:
Here are the notable terms and conditions for Virgin Australia awards:
There are many other terms and conditions, which you can view via the links provided in the list above. However, this is a summary of the most applicable rules and regulations.
As you can see, it can be quite a headache trying to keep track of all the rules across the different partner airlines.
Unfortunately, South African Airways only has 1 transfer partner: Marriott Bonvoy.
You’ll be able to transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to South African Airways at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred. This means that if you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, you’ll get a total of 25,000 South African Airways Voyager miles.
To put this all together, let’s say you need 80,000 South African Airways Voyager miles. You’ll need to transfer a total of 195,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to earn this many South African miles.
Hot Tip: Although South African Airways’ only transfer partner is Marriott Bonvoy, there are lots of ways to earn lots of Marriott Bonvoy points, so don’t fret!
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The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, the latest mid-tier offering in the Marriott Bonvoy lineup of cards, offers cardholders automatic elite status and ways to earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on each of their stays and daily purchases.
A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card is a premium card designed with road warriors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalists in mind.
So is the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet?
South African Airways Voyager is an unexpected gem of a loyalty program. With so many different airline partners and an underutilized award chart, there’s tons of unbelievable value to be had.
Whether it’s booking $5,000 round-trip economy flights from Guam to Kuala Lumpur for 20,400 miles or booking Emirates first class, there’s tons of redemption value hidden underneath a murky frequent flyer program.
One of the biggest diamonds in the rough is round-trip intra-North and South Asia flights in business/first class, which comes in at an absolute steal of 32,200 miles in business and 47,900 miles in first class. You can fly on ANA, Asiana Airlines, Air China, Air India, and even Singapore Airlines with this redemption, thanks to the Star Alliance route network.
You’ll want to avoid conventional redemption options for the most part, such as international business or first class flights departing from North America. Remember that round-trip bookings are the name of the game here, and you’ll want to try to avoid fuel surcharges if possible, as they are all passed on.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The generally accepted value of Voyager miles is around 1 to 3 cents per mile. If you’re clever about getting the most value for your miles, you can book Emirates first class or other premium cabin products on specific routes, driving your value up to 10 to 20 cents per mile.
Additionally, you can even snag 15 to 30 cents per point even on economy tickets if you’re flying on a crazy route such as from Guam to Asia.
Yes. You must cancel your award ticket within 30 days of initial ticketing. You must also pay a fee of R210 (~$14) per ticket to refund your award reservation. The fee is waived for Voyager Platinum and Lifetime Platinum members.
Voyager miles expire 3 years after the year in which the miles were earned. Oddly, a year is calculated from April 1 to March 31, per the terms and conditions.
Additionally, you can extend the miles by following the terms and conditions section 11 titled “Expiry of Miles.”
South African Airways is not a part of United Airlines. It is an airline and Star Alliance partner. United Airlines is a U.S. airline headquartered in Chicago, while South African Airways is the national airline of South Africa and is headquartered in Johannesburg.
You can’t buy South African Airways Voyager miles at the moment.
Yes. However, it is best not to use South African Airways’ online website. It’s best to search via United or Air Canada and then calling South African Airways to book.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.