#925378 by pjh
29 Aug 2016, 11:52
This was a two hour positioning flight to get us between DUR and CPT after our adventures in Isandlwana / Rorke’s Drift and Phinda, which will be detailed in the main return TR. Leaving Phinda was a really sad moment, but we did finally get to see the elusive leopard by a watering hole as we were driving toward the exit from the reserve.

A 4 hour drive down from Phinda to DUR was enlivened by only an occasional cow straying onto the 120kph carriageway. We’d allowed more than 4 hours (given our earlier experiences of driving) and so were in plenty of time for our flight, so much so that we were wondering whether they’d even check us in yet.

We’d see very little of King Shaka International airport on the way in, but here we got to spend some time. Very easy to access off the N2, efficient car drop off (we were advised not to fill up as the hire companies charge the same for fuel as the local filling stations) and a very short walk into a bright, modern open terminal / shopping experience. After a brief pit stop (experience of filling station “facilities” on one drive encouraged a certain amount of teeth gritting and not thinking of waterfalls and flowing streams) we headed up one floor to the SAA check in desks.

Though we were very early for the flight they happily checked us in. They congratulated us on our packing abilities as the SA Express baggage limit on internal flights is 20kg and each of our bags was just shy of the maximum. #1 son had warned us to check this as he’d come across similar when doing his round the world trip, so we’d set ourselves the target of 20kg, even though the SA Express excess baggage charge was only a few SAR per kg.

Figuring that as this was a modern airport no opportunity to relieve us of our money would be missed we opted to go straight through what turned out to be possibly the most cheerful security ever. On the other side we decided to grab some lunch and a couple of beers, which as with all the eating and drinking we did in South Africa was tremendous value (having bought SAR at 22 to the pound…). Decent wi fi meant we could all avoid talking to each other, save for discussing why BA were doing internal flights in South Africa until we were called to the gate and then after a short wait bussed out to the plane.

Which was where it got interesting for two reasons. On seeing the plane – a 50 seat CRJ - #1 daughter went into a state of tightly controlled near meltdown. Large aircraft in business – fine. Small aircraft – terror. This was not helped by the second point of interest. When I selected our seats the seat map showed a 2-2 configuration aircraft, and so I picked 5C&D and 6C&D for us, and this was what was shown on the boarding card. When we arrived at the door we were told “there is no ‘D’ seat on this aircraft” and indeed it was a 1-2 configuration, so A/B/C only. We were assured everyone had a seat, it was just that we’d need to find one spare towards the back. Now I would have been fine with that except that I have on hand one truly terrified human being and can’t leave her. Luckily the chap who’s seat I was in saw what was happening and took himself off to the rear.

I actually quite like those smaller aircraft, so for me the flight was fine. Having eaten at the airport I didn’t try the food, but did have a glass of reasonable red. #1 daughter not only turned down alcohol (a first) but didn’t open her eyes or stop trembling throughout. I really hadn’t realized how bad this was for her. At one time I’d considered an itinerary that involved multiple small flights rather than driving – I was now glad I’d binned that. I started to wonder about the whole trip home and whether there would be an issue with that, but as it turned out business class seems to calm her down :)

Into CPT on time, collected by a car and driven past a huge township (Khayelitsha?) we were soon set up just off Kloof Street in our More Quarters apartment hotel ready for the final phase of our adventure.

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#925384 by honey lamb
29 Aug 2016, 13:19
Poor #1 daughter. :-(

Pity you didn't try kulula who use 737s although I don't know how she would have reacted to the plane whose livery has the legend "This way up"!
#925476 by pjh
31 Aug 2016, 16:48
honey lamb wrote:Poor #1 daughter. :-(

Pity you didn't try kulula who use 737s although I don't know how she would have reacted to the plane whose livery has the legend "This way up"!


I'd left the internal flight entirely at the discretion of the TA.
#925494 by honey lamb
31 Aug 2016, 22:11
pjh wrote:
honey lamb wrote:Poor #1 daughter. :-(

Pity you didn't try kulula who use 737s although I don't know how she would have reacted to the plane whose livery has the legend "This way up"!


I'd left the internal flight entirely at the discretion of the TA.

Well, at least you'll get FC miles on that trip :-D

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