I tried a little on the LH site (Lufthansa), but couldn't quite make it work to get a fully refundable from Windhoek. There is a little check-box at the bottom after it brings up the schedule that says:
(The system will calculate the lowest price for the selected flights. This price might have certain restrictions in regard to changes and cancellations. Should you require a more flexible fare please mark the field below.
Click for flexible conditions)
Check this to get the fully refundable fares.
On the page with the fares, click on the fare rules, and you will see "The fare that you have selected is fully flexible and can be rebooked and cancelled free of charge" if the fare is fully refundable.
I can get fully refundable fares from Cape Town, but not from Windhoek. Could be a limitation of the flights out of Windhoek. If you think the Namibians would accept a ticket out of South Africa as proof, I would aim for that.
Non-refundable tickets are pricey, though. They are coming up as £800+ (the cheapest I found for one month out was a Cape Town - Frankfurt for just over £800). Of course, you get the money back, but it will be in the hands of LH for that time.
I can get fully refundable fares from Cape Town, but not from Windhoek. Could be a limitation of the flights out of Windhoek.
I think I might know the reason for this. If the flights from Windhoek go directly to Frankfurt without a change of planes in SA I guess it is not Lufthansa flying but their charter outlet Condor. AFAIK Condor does not have fully refundable fares. Namibia is a popular package deal destination among Germans (like Kenia).
[ Edit: Edited on 23-Jan-2009, at 20:48 by t_maia ]
Maia - that thought had crossed my mind, as I know that being a former German colony it is still well travelled to by Germans and so there were bound to be cheaper charter options.
If you think the Namibians would accept a ticket out of South Africa as proof, I would aim for that.
Greg - I have no specific knowledge that they will, and i know using logic for immigration rules is always daft, but it certainly makes sense. I can't see why they wouldn't accept it (as lots of people must travel overland between Southern African countries and leave from a different country). With my dodgy looking bus ticket email and a full fare ticket out of South Africa, and on a reasonably solid passport, i doubt i'll have a huge problem and i can certainly argue my plans if i need to convince them. I have a couple of weeks before i need to make the booking so can still change my mind, but am currently leaning heavily towards a Lufthansa Jo'burg to Munich flight. Annoying that i'll loose interest for a few months on the money, but not sure how i can avoid that.
Cheers all for your help and advice
Phew, Rich, almost fainted seeing your post "booking my first ever flight"......... But then found out that you actually ARE NOT going to fly anywhere ROFL What a relief, the last of the landtravelling dinosaurs still here
Hope you're getting things sorted - see that you're now living on St. Helena, must be quite a difference from Kristianstad
Haven't done a lot of travelling recently myself, apart from the odd trip to London, but my first ever trip to the US is coming up in April. San Diego, no more than 6 days, but hey, it's a start
See you around.
Hee hee! I just read the intro to this thread on the main TP page, where Gelli is described as a "long-time flightless traveller". Now I can't get the picture of Rich dressed in a penguin suit out of my head...
May be obvious, may you may need a printer!
As i'm now in Namibia, an update: I asked for 2months on my entry form (they can offer up to 3months) and the woman looked at me incredulously. So i then produced my bus ticket, and that was enough for her, though i only got until that day, and I had to fight for an extra day (the bus crosses the border the following day, but she didn't believe that).
I can extend my stay in windhoek.
Anybody looking for 3weeks or less seems to have got in without problem, and a friend who has just come overland from Zambia got 1month and didn't even have to prove anything.
So I escaped without having to book a flight ticket
And Tway, if you provide me with the suit...
For the British Pound Namibia is a strong exchange rate as it is based on the Rand