Travelstart asked me to write a blog post about the cheap domestic flights it offers in South Africa. Of course I agreed — blogging assignments are easy when the thing you’re asked to blog about is actually useful. And every traveler in South Africa knows Travelstart is the best place to book domestic travel. The last time I booked a domestic flight — a round trip from Joburg to Cape Town — I used Travelstart. The process was seamless and the fare was, as promised, cheap. I just made one mistake: forgetting to pay attention to which airport I was flying from. I normally fly out of O.R. Tambo, Joburg’s main international airport. But I accidentally booked this flight out of Lanseria. On Travelstart, flights from Lanseria are clearly marked “HLA” and flights from O.R. Tambo are “JNB”. Somehow I missed this. I noticed my error a day or two before the trip and cursed my stupidity. It was a 6:30 a.m. flight and now I would have to drive myself all the way out to Lanseria at 4:30 in the morning. I didn’t even consider Ubering because I figured it would be too expensive. Because Lanseria is so far, I thought. […]
Before this week, I never thought much about where airplanes go when they can no longer fly. Really, I never thought about it at all. Why would I? A dead South African airplane. Actually though, airplane death a topic worth thinking about. Airplanes are big, and heavy. It’s not like you can hitch a dead plane to the back of a tow truck and take it to the nearest junk yard. It turns out that around here, at least some dead airplanes wind up at an “airplane graveyard” at Lanseria Airport, north of Johannesburg. There are 30 or 40 old planes there, scattered haphazardly in an open field next to an unused airport runway.