There is some good news to pass along about South African Airways, which has been in the dog house with Hunting Report subscribers for its "cattle car" service to Johannesburg utilizing Airbus 340-600s. You can read some of the scathing comment about that service by going to our web site, www. huntingreport.com, and clicking on our web forum, "SAA On The Hot Seat."
Seems SAA is going to go back to using 747s effective July 1, 2005. The planes will be used four times a week (departing at 8:45 am on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) to fly passengers from Washington Dulles Airport to Johannesburg with a refueling stop in Accra, Ghana. No, that does not mean the airline is discontinuing its "cattle cars." It will continue to fly Airbuses daily out of New York (departing 5:55 pm) and out of Atlanta (departing at 10:30 am).
The only complaint we have heard about the new service out of Dulles is the early departure hour. Making an 8:45 am flight will mean most out-of-towners will either have to fly a `red-eye' flight into Washington or overnight there. The latter, of course, is the more sensible option, especially in light of the reasonable overnight hotel rates Barbara Wolbrink of International Journeys (202-289-4140) just told me about. She says current rates at the local Marriott are $99. Ditto the local Hyatt. The local Hilton is $87....