Here's what you do to get those cheap flights to Johannesburg, South Africa:
1. Expand Your World View: You can save by not flying direct or nonstop to Johannesburg.
Consider flying through another country to get to Johannesburg, South Africa . Most people want to fly nonstop or direct. They pay for that convenience. If you want a discount flight to Johannesburg from London, Perth, the USA or other places that have nonstop airline service to Johannesburg, you need to look beyond your backyard. If you are willing to travel and connect through a second city or country you may save a lot. For example, don't count on a cheap flight from London directly to Johannesburg in December especially on Virgin, British Airways or South African Airways.. Try other airlines that might not be so obvious. You may have a better chance of finding a cheap airfare to Johannesburg if you consider flying from London to Johannesburg through Dubai on Emirates, through Amsterdam on KLM, through Paris on Air France or via Frankfurt on Lufthansa.
And here is a case where it can really pay to look beyond your own country. If you want to find a cheap flight to Johannesburg from Birmingham or Manchester in the UK, for example, you follow the same strategy. Don't just automatically go through London! Always check out flights that go through a second country . These flights are almost always cheaper than trying to find a cheap flight to Johannesburg on an airline that flies nonstop or is a dominant carrier on a particular route. Another example? If you live in Sydney, take a look at Air Malaysia or Singapore Airlines. Qantas and SAA have a near monopoly on the Johannesburg - Sydney route so you won't find much competition on it. And where there is no competition you usually don't find discount flights.
Use an airfare search engine to help you. It will show you what indirect routes you can take through cities you may have never considered. And it will show you how much you can save, by doing so. Expect savings from 30% to 70% on published airfares from the airlines.
2. What do you do to find cheap flights to Johannesburg from within South Africa?
Go online, go online! Search the websites of no frills, domestic airlines in South Africa. Airways like 1 time, kulula, Comair, and Mango, they are aggressive on price. But don't forget to check the South African Airways website as well. They are fighting back with specials. And they still give the comforts & meals of a full service airline.
Make it easy on yourself. There are airline search engines that can help you compare fares to Johannesburg from a number of airlines & airline ticket consolidators at once. Use them!