In August/September I decided that I wanted to take a trip to Cape Town over New years eve. I looked if there were any redemption seats available in business class (Club World) but of course not. This is the busiest period of the year and most flights are already fully booked.
I purchased a return Economy Plus (World Traveller plus) ticket for £1400 and selected the nice 28J
seat. This is a single seat with great legroom and no neighbours:
I looked at ba.com almost daily to see if any award seats were released so that I could upgrade to Club World. Nothing and a week before departure I accepted to go in WT+. Two days before departure Dec 28th I had a last look at ba.com, and I saw award availability. I quickly upgraded ARN-LHR-JNB to business. The last leg JNB-CPT was not available. 20K miles were deducted from my account but it felt sweet
The ARN-LHR flight was uneventful but I noticed that they have done some improvements when it comes to wine selection. A nice South Arican Sauvignon Blanc served with my prawn pasta.
As a BA Gold (OW Emerald) I of course used the Galleries First for some champagne and food before heading for gate B42. The gate agent scanned my boarding pass and I heard the magic beep. I recieved a new boarding pass:
Sweet! My first CW to First upgrade
And this on an already upgraded WT+ ticket. The life in the pointy end of a B747 is very nice. I had plenty of £120/bottle Grand Siecle Champagne and a nice meal before a good sleep.
Arrival at JNB, no queue at immigrations and a quick walk to domestic part of the building. The check-in agent told me that I was upgraded to Club
After security I hestitated to go to the otherwise lovely SLOW lounge. No beer before 11 am in the lounge
So I skipped the lounge and headed for the very nice Rapshody Bar at the end of the departure gates. Sweet, a nice cold Castle was just what I needed to celebrate my safe arrival to SA even if I had to pay £3 for it. Flight to CPT nice as always with the South African part of BA (Comair).
Cape Town: Party at new year, cricket, wines, good food, more party
My return flight was scheduled to January 10th but for business reasons I had to cut the journey short. I looked at ba.com but again no availability at all. January 3rd I saw some award seats in CW opened up for January 5th. I quickly booked and paid 12.5K miles for the upgrade JNB-LHR. Also a change fee of £150.
Fast forward to leaving CPT:
I took a taxi to the airport and the check-in agent told me that I was upgraded to Club
Nice flight to JNB with a Meze platter and some wine. Club section only 1/3 full.
Now, Johannesburg airport is newly built/renovated and is my favourite airport. The thing about an airport is that when it grows large enough, you will get different terminals. JNB is as large an airport can get with a single international terminal. It's buzzing with plenty of bars and restaurants. At the same time it's almost brand new. You don't really need lounge access when you're here, the terminal is much better than BA T5 LHR (putting my flame suit on).
BA of course have a good lounge here with a separate First section. However it's nothing special and the food options are limited. I did have a good African stew though:
I decided to check out the competition and if you have a Diners Club card, you have free entrance to two other lounges: