Rare EWR-JNB business class award space open through 2021

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If you’ve got South Africa on your 2021 travel bucket list, you’re in luck: United is currently offering wide-open saver award space on the Newark (EWR)-Johannesburg (JNB) route through November 2021, as first reported by View from the Wing. You can find at least two open seats on each flight, most of which are operated by Ethiopian Airlines, Swiss and Lufthansa. You’ll need 88,000 – 92,500 United miles each way per ticket, depending on your travel date.

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United miles are fairly easy to get at the last minute, thanks to a partnership with Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can simply transfer your UR points to United at a 1:1 ratio. The miles will be available pretty much instantly. Just keep in mind that since it is Christmas, if there are any technical issues with your transfer, you probably won’t have an easy time getting it resolved today.

In November, the South African government announced it would lift all travel restrictions, welcoming tourists from all over the world. If you do take advantage of this open award space, just keep in mind that you’ll need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of departure. You’ll also be subject to the following restrictions:

  • Face masks are required in all public spaces
  • A curfew is in effect every night from midnight until 4 a.m.
  • Gatherings will be restricted to 50 percent of the venue’s capacity, with 250 people allowed at a maximum indoors, or 500 people maximum at outdoor venues;
  • Individuals may purchase alcohol between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday

This is a great opportunity to score a rare award on some terrific airlines. Just keep in mind that travel restrictions could change at any moment. With the coronavirus vaccine likely not becoming available to the general public until summer, it’s probably best to book your travel for fall 2021 to be safe.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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