As I alluded to a few weeks ago, I took a trip to “ground zero” of the omicron variant, South Africa, for just one day last month. Now it’s time to share about that wonderful journey.
My Conscientious Journey To South Africa
The world’s knee-jerk reaction to South Africa’s transparency about the omicron variant really rubbed me the wrong way. There’s nothing like rewarding an honest partner with a punitive travel ban, but that is exactly how much of the world responded.
(I provided more details about my thought process here)
The move to shut out South Africa from the rest of the world led me to book a ticket on United Airlines from Los Angeles to Johannesburg…with a return ticket a day later.
That will show ’em…
I’m not so prideful to think my trip made a dent on the tourist deficit problem South Africa faces, but for the restaurants, coffee shops, hotel, and Uber drivers I dealt with, I figure it was better than nothing.
More importantly, I had some wonderful conversations while there which made the trip worthwhile. I’ll share some of those in this report.
Additionally, I needed more segments to close out re-earn 1K status. I could have done another Las Vegas run, but South Africa seemed like a far worthier journey, even if just for a day.
Domestic upgrades on transcontinental flights remain difficult, even for 1K flyers, so on the way out I flew from Los Angeles to Newark via Houston in order to enjoy an upgrade (using PlusPoints) on both segments.
Newark – Johannesburg – Newark were an easy upgrade and I flew back from Newark to Los Angeles nonstop in coach because I had an appointment with my family that evening…the flight was packed.
I won’t review the domestic first class segments on the way out and did not have time for the Polaris Lounge in Newark, but the trip report will include the following segments:
- United Airlines 787-9 Polaris Business Class To South Africa
- My International Arrival Experience In Johannesburg, South Africa
- Johannesburg Marriott Hotel Melrose Arch
- Melrose Arch, A Private City Within Johannesburg
- Great Coffee In Johannesburg
- Aspire Lounge Johannesburg (JNB) [Priority Pass]
- Shongoloa Lounge Johannesburg (JNB) [Priority Pass]
- 16.5-Hour Flight In United Airlines From Johannesburg To Newark
- United Airlines 787-10 Economy Class Newark To Los Angeles
Stay tuned and thank you in advance for following along!