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Old Jan 7, 12, 2:37 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ARN
Programs: Mucci Entry Level, BA Gold, SK Silver
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From Sweden to South Africa with BA during the busy December

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:

http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Bri..._747-400_B.php

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.

My seat:



Breakfast:




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:

Last edited by Lobengula; Jan 8, 12 at 4:51 am.
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Old Jan 7, 12, 2:37 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ARN
Programs: Mucci Entry Level, BA Gold, SK Silver
Posts: 3,339
Mashonzha Lounge:

Lounge open: 0700-2200

This is located just outside the BA lounge. It's the new Diners Club lounge and you can longer use DC card to access the Shongolola Lounge. They also accept cash R200 something for 4h. It's small but very modern and an impressive food selection. Some food you will have to warm up in a microwave oven, but also a good selection of cold food.





If you're a smoker this is the lounge you want. The smoking section is even nicer than the small non-smoking:






Yes, that's my microwaved beef lasagne with a Greek salad. The lasagne was very good indeed

BIDAir Premier Lounge

Lounge open: 24h

This lounge is located near the passport control on the upper level. This lounge used to be a dump, old and dirty. To my surprise it has been newly renovated and is top notch. A good selection of hot/cold food and drinks. The lounge is one of the largest in the terminal.









Yes, you saw right. Even some bubbly (although not proper Champagne) in the cooler.

If you plan to have some hours at JNB Intl, get a Diners Club card.

I slept good on the JNB-LHR sector in 20A, a very private seat on the main deck. My last leg LHR-ARN was the only spent in economy but it's a morning flight and only 2h.

All in all, a vey good trip with some pleasant surprises
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Old Jan 7, 12, 3:02 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northumberland, UK and outback Australia.
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Those lounges at JNB looks pretty good, especially the selections of food and well stocked with beers.
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Old Jan 8, 12, 12:48 am   #4
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Not sure BA serves any 1200/bottle champagne!

Interesting, thanks, as doing a similar route in 3 weeks. Assuming the 'Bidair Premier Lounge' is the same as the 'Bidvest Premier Lounge', you can also get in with a Priority Pass.
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Old Jan 8, 12, 5:02 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
Not sure BA serves any 1200/bottle champagne!

Interesting, thanks, as doing a similar route in 3 weeks. Assuming the 'Bidair Premier Lounge' is the same as the 'Bidvest Premier Lounge', you can also get in with a Priority Pass.
Ah, thanks I have now corrected the typo.

Yes, PP works for Premier Lounge. From the website it seems you can get in with:

Diners Club
American Express
Priority Pass
Hertz Gold
Cash (R210)

And some more.

http://www.comfortguaranteed.co.za/

R210 isn't so expensive if you have a few hours waiting time.
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Old Jan 8, 12, 9:39 am   #6
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Thanks for the TR Lobengula.
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Old Jan 8, 12, 10:25 pm   #7
 
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Nice TR, enjoyed the pics! Thanks!
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Old Jan 11, 12, 5:18 am   #8
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Nice! Score on the WT+>CW>F upgrade! New F as well.
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Old Jan 11, 12, 7:06 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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I really enjoy reading TR's particularly BA ones. Excellent TR and how nice to get that magic beep!

Maybe one day it will happen to me.........
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Old Jan 13, 12, 2:03 am   #10
 
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Can someone confirm that being a regular member of Hertz #1 Club Gold will get you free access to BidVest's club at JNB or CPT?
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