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Old 11-27-2013, 08:04 AM
 
7 posts, read 11,364 times
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Hi. So, in July I plan on visiting Africa to volunteer for a few months. I'm working like crazy to save up enough money to be able to afford this trip, but it's still very stressful. One of the things I keep going over in my mind is the flights. Soooo expensive. Over 2,500 for a round-trip ticket. However, my mom used to be a gate agent, so we do have some of the benefits left over. Meaning that I could choose to fly stand-by if I wanted to do so. At first I immediately said no, but it could end up saving me 2,000 dollars or more.

I will be flying solo, bettering my chances of getting on a flight. Still, depending on where I have to connect through, I wouldn't want to chance getting stuck. A 19 year old female getting stuck alone in, let's say, Istanbul, where I don't know the language, customs, anything. I just don't know about that.

I'm so torn! If it was you, would you chance it? Another thing I'm worried about is missing orientation for my program, but I think they'd understand. Maybe. But it would save so much money, and make the rest of my expenses a breeze. Any opinions will be helpful, even if you aren't a frequent traveler.
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Old 11-27-2013, 10:06 AM
 
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 8,935,865 times
Reputation: 3703
Flying standby is risky if you have to connect—especially internationally. Also, there’s usually only one flight a day to most African destinations. That’s a long wait if you don’t get on a flight. If you do it, you should pick your connecting airport carefully if possible. A flight on KLM through Amsterdam would be a good choice.
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:18 PM
 
7 posts, read 11,364 times
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Thanks. I've been thinking about it all day, and I think I'll just buy a full price ticket. Even if I have to postpone the trip a month, I'd rather be safe.
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:28 PM
 
373 posts, read 483,764 times
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A flight to Detroit will cost a fraction. With its now widespread "meadows" open and savannah like, I can't think of a better place then Detroit to experience what sub-Saharan Africa is like. OH...you won't see hippos or giraffes, and have to dodge poisonous snakes but the "settled" areas, curiously look just like the cities and towns you'd see in that part of the world. Been there, seen it, (25 years ago) and hecky darn, looks just like Detroit does these days. Save your money. Just fly to Detroit. Its back to tribes and the usual stone age tribal behaviour. Many open spaces to pitch those tents. Instead of acacia trees, there are alley palms all over the place. And just like when we went to Africa in the 80's, stay away from the "built up" populated areas. Too many spats. Bars on all windows...Amazingly, sooo much the same.

Hmm think I might get into the business of Detroit safaris. Come to think of it..why not?
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Macao
15,943 posts, read 36,144,182 times
Reputation: 9478
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsoul13 View Post
Hi. So, in July I plan on visiting Africa to volunteer for a few months. I'm working like crazy to save up enough money to be able to afford this trip, but it's still very stressful. One of the things I keep going over in my mind is the flights. Soooo expensive. Over 2,500 for a round-trip ticket. However, my mom used to be a gate agent, so we do have some of the benefits left over. Meaning that I could choose to fly stand-by if I wanted to do so. At first I immediately said no, but it could end up saving me 2,000 dollars or more.

I will be flying solo, bettering my chances of getting on a flight. Still, depending on where I have to connect through, I wouldn't want to chance getting stuck. A 19 year old female getting stuck alone in, let's say, Istanbul, where I don't know the language, customs, anything. I just don't know about that.

I'm so torn! If it was you, would you chance it? Another thing I'm worried about is missing orientation for my program, but I think they'd understand. Maybe. But it would save so much money, and make the rest of my expenses a breeze. Any opinions will be helpful, even if you aren't a frequent traveler.
I'd do the stand-by in a mini-heartbeat. Particularly if you have some kind of family advantages in that regards. Where would you be coming from? I'm a bit confused by the Istanbul reference? Are you flying to other places and traveling around as well, before going to Africa? Or is that an example of a connection that you'd have to do, and do more standby in the connection city??

But, being stuck in Istanbul for a few days, would be a great thing, in my opinion.
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:07 AM
 
32,055 posts, read 32,956,580 times
Reputation: 14944
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsoul13 View Post
Hi. So, in July I plan on visiting Africa to volunteer for a few months. I'm working like crazy to save up enough money to be able to afford this trip, but it's still very stressful. One of the things I keep going over in my mind is the flights. Soooo expensive. Over 2,500 for a round-trip ticket. However, my mom used to be a gate agent, so we do have some of the benefits left over. Meaning that I could choose to fly stand-by if I wanted to do so. At first I immediately said no, but it could end up saving me 2,000 dollars or more.

I will be flying solo, bettering my chances of getting on a flight. Still, depending on where I have to connect through, I wouldn't want to chance getting stuck. A 19 year old female getting stuck alone in, let's say, Istanbul, where I don't know the language, customs, anything. I just don't know about that.

I'm so torn! If it was you, would you chance it? Another thing I'm worried about is missing orientation for my program, but I think they'd understand. Maybe. But it would save so much money, and make the rest of my expenses a breeze. Any opinions will be helpful, even if you aren't a frequent traveler.
Istanbul is not in Africa but it is a very cosmopolitan city. So it would probably not a big deal to be stuck thee for a few days.

I would suggest visiting Botswana if you are going to Africa as it is considered the "jewel of southern Africa".
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
3,402 posts, read 4,443,775 times
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1) Africa is a continent. Where are you specifically going?

2) Where do you live?

You need to include that information before you get any useful advice.
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:48 AM
 
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 8,935,865 times
Reputation: 3703
I’ve never flown standby—but I know that all flights are more crowded now than they used to be. I travel to Africa for work and it’s sometimes hard to book a flight at the last minute because availability is so tight—especially for connecting flights within Africa. If you fly standby these days, you’re hoping for cancellations or no-shows.
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:17 AM
 
530 posts, read 1,077,099 times
Reputation: 610
Quote:
Originally Posted by StuffedCabbage View Post
A flight to Detroit will cost a fraction. With its now widespread "meadows" open and savannah like, I can't think of a better place then Detroit to experience what sub-Saharan Africa is like. OH...you won't see hippos or giraffes, and have to dodge poisonous snakes but the "settled" areas, curiously look just like the cities and towns you'd see in that part of the world. Been there, seen it, (25 years ago) and hecky darn, looks just like Detroit does these days. Save your money. Just fly to Detroit. Its back to tribes and the usual stone age tribal behaviour. Many open spaces to pitch those tents. Instead of acacia trees, there are alley palms all over the place. And just like when we went to Africa in the 80's, stay away from the "built up" populated areas. Too many spats. Bars on all windows...Amazingly, sooo much the same.

Hmm think I might get into the business of Detroit safaris. Come to think of it..why not?
What part of Africa did you visit?

The ONLY place in Africa that's even remotely comparable to Detroit is Johannesburg.

Detroit is a deindustrialized/depopulated city with lots of empty lots. The vast majority of African cities are the EXACT OPPOSITE since most African nations have been experiencing a trend of rapid urbanization/growth where rural ppl rush to the cities and create dense neighborhoods and little empty space. Many major Sub-Saharan African cities these days are rapidly developing and/or starting to thrive
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:55 PM
 
7 posts, read 11,364 times
Reputation: 14
So many things to reply to!

I'm going to ignore most of what was said in the comment about Detroit, except to say that I've been to Detroit and now I'd like to go to Africa.

Istanbul is on the list of possible connections, as are some places in France and I think the Netherlands also. I'm sure it's a wonderful place, I guess the main problem with getting stuck there is my own fear. I've never traveled alone, and I know it might sound silly to be comfortable with staying for two months in Kenya but be uncomfortable staying a night in Istanbul, or wherever else I might end up. There's just things like language barriers, extra money, etc.

I'm from Cincinnati and I'm scheduled to stay in Kenya during my trip.

Thank you all for your comments, even the unhelpful and/or rude ones. I'm still deciding on my course of action, but right now I'm leaning towards buying a full priced seat. I'm rather not play the guessing game with the times and dates that I'm going to be arriving. Thanks again!
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