I was blissfully making plans to do a safari trip out of Johannesburg Nov 10 – 18 when suddenly a new pop up came up on deltanet that mentioned payload optimization. When I researched I realized this wasn’t new and the JNB-ATL flight is frequently payload optimized.
I had been watching this flight for about a week and a half and had seen no problems. However, the last two nights there have been problemss with many non revs not getting on and the plane going out with 68 or so empty seats.
I need advice. How often does this happen? Does anyone have experience flying out of there? I know this topic has been mentioned in the past on this board but does someone have more recent experiences they can share. I am also concerned on how long it will take to get to the gate once you are cleared. Is this why many non-revs are not getting on too or is it strictly a cargo concern?
I can share my experience for ATL to JNB & MUC to ATL. I did a trip to JNB as an S4 with a 1978 start date. For any non-employees, I recommend booking a confirmed seat from JNB to a city in Europe and continuing your standby travel from Europe to get back to the US. Employees were getting on the flight from JNB to ATL but not any buddies or employee’s relatives/retirees.
December 31, 2016 – ATL to JNB. Business Class. I suppose people do not want to spend New Years Eve in a plane.
January 1 – 11, 2017 – Had an awesome time in Cape Town, up the southern coast of Africa, and back to Johannesburg.
January 11, 2017 – Tried for the JNB – ATL flight. There were at least 25 people there. I was 8 on the list but did not get on.
January 12, 2017 – Tried for the JNB – ATL flight. Again, there were at least 25 people there. I was 6 on the list but did not get on. I then booked a confirmed flight to Munich.
January 14, 2017 – Tried for the MUC – ATL flight. Mechanical issues. Flight was delayed 23 hours.
January 15, 2017 – Tried for the MUC – ATL flight. Flight went out and I made it on in Business Class!
Safari in South Africa was amazing! I highly recommend.