FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - Travelling the world for 6 months... My sabbatical leave experience
Old Nov 21, 2018, 7:00 am
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: In between BRU, AMS, DUS and LUX...
Programs: AF/KL Plat, BA Gold, A3 Gold, IHG Diamond, MR Gold, HH Diamond, ALL Platinum
Posts: 1,041
BA/Comair business class JNB-WDH

After a day and a night in Johannesburg (big thanks for roadwarrior for all his precious advices !), we took back the Gautrain to get to O.R.Tambo airport to fly to Windhoek, Namibia. For this itinerary, I decided to use some Avios to book the daily BA flight, operated by Comair, between JNB and WDH. The check-in was swift although the BA/Comair counters are located quite far away from the international terminal. Clearing security and immigration took less than 15 minutes combined and since the agent at the desk did not inform us about the lounge to use, we went towards the BA Galleries lounge to find it… closed !

The International terminal has several lounges available, including 3 accessible with Priority Pass. This was the case for the lounge located next to the BA lounge (Mashonzha lounge) and after the friendly agent saw our Comair boarding passes, she invited us to go to the SLOW lounge, located a bit futher away in the terminal.

The SLOW lounge entrance JNB International terminal

A good initiative that was ! This is one of the nicest business lounges I visited. The furniture is elegant and sober, a la Cathay Pacific, the catering is excellent and creative and the food… opulent. The restrooms were very well equipped and maintained, and cherry on the cake, the WiFi worked very well ! An excellent lounge overall divided in different areas to work, eat, play, chat, rest in the middle of the international terminal. Here below are a few pictures to support my statements.

Pancake machine !

Even the restrooms are nice !

Note that this lounge is used by Comair but Also by Air France and KLM.Time flew while we were in the lounge and it was time to go back to the reality of the boarding by bus, downstairs the terminal.

And here is a pet peeve of mine : The boarding was organized in a sense that business class and status passengers could board first, via the left side of the bus gate. So far, so good. The problem is that you are then staying in a bus (no big deal) which has the engine on – and so do the other buses around. The exhausts of the other buses were just facing the open door of our bus. This is just disgusting. IF the bus stands idle for 20 minutes – just stop the engine ! Especially that no AC was working that day.After a 5 minute nauseous bus ride, we eventually reached our Boeing 737-800 parked at large, registered ZS-ZWU.

British Airways (operated by Comair) flight BA6275, October 30th 2018
JNB Johannesburg O.R.Tambo Intl – 12:20
WDH Windhoek H.Kotako – 14:20
Boeing 737-800 – ZS-ZWU – Seat 1F, Business class, window.

We were greeted by the purser and the FA during the boarding process and promptly offered a welcome drink (water, cranberry juice or sparkling wine) together with the immigration forms for entry in Namibia. The business class cabin was equipped with older type seats (which I personally prefer as they typically have more padding) and configured in a 2-3 fashion, except the first row where were sitting which is in a 2-2 configuration. While on this particular aircraft the leg room on bulkhead seats 1A-1C was ok, it was much greater on our seats 1D-1F. I discovered later that the cabin configuration varies a bit across the BA/Comair fleet and almost each aircraft has small differences.

Business class cabin configuration on board this old-style 737

Plenty of legroom

Cheers !

That day, the business class was about half full, and the economy class almost full, with mostly European tourists, most likely coming from one of the BA, AF or KL flights from Europe (This flight has codeshares with those airlines).

We taxied for 5 to 10 minutes to the departure runway and took off at 12:35.

The service began about 20 minutes later with another drink service, where the purser also asked if we would prefer havng a bottle of still or sparkling water during our meal, and some packaged nuts, and later, the meal tray was brought to us (the purser confirmed before take-off that the special meal of my friend was loaded on board). For me, the starter consisted in a small salad, served together with a piece of cheese and a fudge acting as dessert. Then, the FA came with a choice of 3 main courses, including beef, a vegetarian wrap and a vegetarian couscous, and I opted for the latter. Subtlety of BA/Comair, some garlic bread was warmed up and served before the main course.

"Special meal" salad

"Regular meal" salad

Garlic bread

"Special meal" main course (chicken based)

"Regular meal" couscous with chickpeas

I found the main course to be tasty, although the presentation could have been better.This was followed by a tea/coffee service shortly before the captain started a (bumpy) descent towards Windhoek.

Some turbulences in the area...

We landed in WDH at 14:15, slightly ahead of schedule and parked on an apron position as there are no gates with a jet bridge at this airport. Walking to the terminal allowed me to take some good « AVporn » pictures !

#AVporn !

Windhoek airport being quite small – and certainly way too small given the recent surge in number of tourists in the country, immigration took a good 30 minutes to be cleared although we were the first ones to leave the aircraft. The good thing is that we did not have to wait for our luggage on the only belt this airport has !

For 12500 BA avios and 36 Euros of taxes, this flight was a good deal !
palmanfr is offline