Johannesburg & Cape Town: Best Lounges?

Old Oct 17, 10, 6:49 pm
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Johannesburg & Cape Town: Best Lounges?

Hi all!
I'm planning an upcoming trip to South Africa in December. Never been in Africa before. I'm really exited about this trip as i never been that far from home. At least in air travel duration that is. I know there may be many more threads regarding my question. Sure, i'll give a try to the search function and browse by this forum. (posted this new thread seeking for up to date info) But for pros, what are the best lounges on each airport? I'll be meeting Johannesburg Int and Domestic Terminal. I'm OW Sapphire and Priority Pass member. Pics would be appreciated too. Thanks

EDIT: Hmm i think i should have placed this on the OneWorld forum too right? I'm not sure if to duplicate it there,but here also works. !

Last edited by mvtm; Oct 17, 10 at 7:29 pm
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Old Oct 17, 10, 8:46 pm
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Here is a long list of things i can enter:

JNB

              I suspect the "Premier Club" is duplicated to one of the Premier Lounges.
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              Old Oct 18, 10, 2:48 am
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              It will help if you can be specific about when you are travelling (and even which airline - because the list you have may be questionable; can't see you having access to Galleries First as a OW Sapphire). For instance, the BA Galleries lounges are not open until late afternoon.
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              Old Oct 18, 10, 8:37 am
                #4  
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              Yup, that's the list (at least only for JNB Int). I took it from the OneWorld and Priority Pass sites. I find rather strange I'm allowed to enter SAA Baobab as it is Star Alliance. I'm a detailed oriented person and as this, i deliberately asked to fly SA A346 flights (even if i don't get the miles).While Comair and SAA were on similar price, i opted for the 2 hour flight on the A340 instead of a mix of classic 737s. Searching i also found this was the cheapest option between both as JNB-CPT-JNB is ZAR 1070 or $156 usd on SAA.

              Day 1
              SA 333 Johannesburg-Cape Town 12:00-14:10

              Day 2
              SA 346 Cape Town-Johannesburg 15:10-17:10
              IB 6050 Johannesburg-Madrid 22:10-07:25
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              Old Oct 18, 10, 11:24 am
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              Apparently not enough attention to detail, my friend! A closer reading of the OW site would reveal that the Baobab lounge is "Operated by a third party on behalf of: Qantas". Similar statements apply to the Shongololo (for CX) and Premier Club (for IB). This is my understanding of your entitlements:

              JNB/CPT:
              This is a domestic flight so you will be able to access the BA/Comair SLOW lounge, only if you fly BA, based on your OW Sapphire status. You can also access the Premier lounges based on your Priority Pass. If you are travelling in business class you can access the SA lounge.

              By far the nicest is the SLOW lounge.

              CPT/JNB
              Same story: SLOW, Premier & SAA (if in J). Again SLOW is the nicest. Not sure if you would be allowed in to the SLOW lounge if you already have your IB boarding pass printed?

              JNB/MAD
              You will only have access to lounges in the international terminal.

              Your OW Sapphire should get you access to Galleries Club (space permitting). I cannot imagine on what basis you would get access to Galleries First since you are not OW Emerald.

              Of the Priority Pass lounges I only have experience of the Premier lounge (which is IB's third party lounge as I noted above) which is OK but can be crowded. I have heard good things about the Shongololo lounge.

              Last edited by Cheetah_SA; Oct 18, 10 at 11:50 am
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              Old Oct 20, 10, 7:58 am
                #6  
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              Originally Posted by Cheetah_SA View Post
              Apparently not enough attention to detail, my friend! A closer reading of the OW site would reveal that the Baobab lounge is "Operated by a third party on behalf of: Qantas". Similar statements apply to the Shongololo (for CX) and Premier Club (for IB).
              I read this. "Operated by a third party on behalf of: Qantas"
              By wording i understood that this lounge is operated by a third party for Qantas flyers. 'm not sure if this means that ONLY Qantas FFP members may join the lounge. Ie. Gold and Platinum. I assumed in a positive scenario, that maybe i could use the installations as OW Sapphire is equivalent to Qantas Gold. I'm not sure how to take it.

              Originally Posted by Cheetah_SA View Post
              CPT/JNB
              Same story: SLOW, Premier & SAA (if in J). Again SLOW is the nicest. Not sure if you would be allowed in to the SLOW lounge if you already have your IB boarding pass printed?
              I thought about this too. Given that all my flights are booked in the same PNR and my IB boarding pass will be printed, i suppose i can make may way? I'm not sure as you. Since the flights will be made the same day, i hope they don't get too picky with this. I guess i have to get there to know, don't ya?

              Originally Posted by Cheetah_SA View Post
              JNB/MAD
              You will only have access to lounges in the international terminal.

              Your OW Sapphire should get you access to Galleries Club (space permitting). I cannot imagine on what basis you would get access to Galleries First since you are not OW Emerald.

              Of the Priority Pass lounges I only have experience of the Premier lounge (which is IB's third party lounge as I noted above) which is OK but can be crowded. I have heard good things about the Shongololo lounge.
              In terms of features what's the difference between a Galleries Club and First? British Airways canceled operations to Venezuela many years ago.

              Of course, i understand your doubts. It is clear that as a Sapphire i cannot enter Galleries First. But, if the two. Galleries Club and First are close each other or in the same enclosed space. I don't lose anything by politely asking. I've had the luck to enter OW Emerald lounges without any OW status or boarding pass. Other times i've been Ruby and have entered lounges. As a thankful gesture to FTers i try to bring as many pics as possible if i am able to enter.

              Do you happen to have any JNB Galleries First and Club pictures?
              Thanks Cheetah_SA

              Last edited by mvtm; Oct 20, 10 at 8:05 am
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              Old Oct 21, 10, 9:46 am
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              Originally Posted by mvtm View Post
              I read this. "Operated by a third party on behalf of: Qantas"
              By wording i understood that this lounge is operated by a third party for Qantas flyers. 'm not sure if this means that ONLY Qantas FFP members may join the lounge. Ie. Gold and Platinum. I assumed in a positive scenario, that maybe i could use the installations as OW Sapphire is equivalent to Qantas Gold. I'm not sure how to take it.
              My interpretation - and it is just that, based on my experiences - is that you will only be allowed into those lounges with a ticket for the relevant flight.

              Originally Posted by mvtm View Post
              I've had the luck to enter OW Emerald lounges without any OW status or boarding pass. Other times i've been Ruby and have entered lounges. As a thankful gesture to FTers i try to bring as many pics as possible if i am able to enter.
              But evidently you have just the right mixture of chutzpah and charm to achieve things that I never would.

              Originally Posted by mvtm View Post
              In terms of features what's the difference between a Galleries Club and First? British Airways canceled operations to Venezuela many years ago...

              But, if the two. Galleries Club and First are close each other or in the same enclosed space. I don't lose anything by politely asking.
              Do you happen to have any JNB Galleries First and Club pictures?
              Thanks Cheetah_SA
              The two Galleries lounges are adjacent and share the same entrance. Go left to the smaller First lounge and right to the larger Club lounge and the shower/toilet suite. The main difference that I can remember is that the First lounge has windows overlooking the shopping concourse and has a gold coloured bar while the Club lounge bar is silver. I have no idea if the food/drink offerings differ.

              Here are some photos of Galleries Club in JNB:











              And one of Galleries First:

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              Old Oct 21, 10, 11:12 am
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              Thought I would ask this again here as never got a definitive answer. I am flying into JNB on LH F and then have off again 3or 4 hours later to East London on SAA F or business (whatever they call their domestic premium cabin). I know I wont have access to any of the lounges in the international departures, but was wondering if I would have access to SAAs welcome lounge or if I am just stuck with the lounges in the domestic terminal. If that is the case, can I go through use the lounge and shower and then exit the security area to get back to the ticketing area.
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              Old Oct 21, 10, 12:21 pm
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              mostly; a lounge is a lounge is a lounge. They all the same, with only a few exceptions. On the bad side the previous SAA temp lounge disaster, and on the good side the LH first class terminal.

              Luckily SAA has fixed their lounges, havent been to the new business lounge, but new Cycad not bad at all, a tad smaller than I expected, I felt underwhelmed after the SAA build up. Having said that its fine.

              Sadly no lounge anywhere in SA will match the F only terminals, so dont expect those levels in JNB or CPT.

              I used the Shongololo lounge twice during the SAA "disaster period" and for a priority pass type lounge was impressed compared to what I have seen abroad.
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              Old Oct 21, 10, 3:00 pm
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              Originally Posted by encierro98 View Post
              Thought I would ask this again here as never got a definitive answer. I am flying into JNB on LH F and then have off again 3or 4 hours later to East London on SAA F or business (whatever they call their domestic premium cabin). I know I wont have access to any of the lounges in the international departures, but was wondering if I would have access to SAAs welcome lounge or if I am just stuck with the lounges in the domestic terminal. If that is the case, can I go through use the lounge and shower and then exit the security area to get back to the ticketing area.
              My understanding still is that the arrivals lounge at JNB is for SA premium passengers and Voyager Gold / Platinum only. It is not a *G or any type of *A lounge so no, arriving on LH F would not get you entry (but please try and tell us if I am wrong!).

              There is no regular way back from the Domestic departures area (where the lounges are, upstairs), back to the check-in area (again, AFAIK). Why do you want to go back there, it's a circus. Unless you want to leave the airport alltogether?
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              Old Oct 21, 10, 3:07 pm
                #11  
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              Originally Posted by SAWorldVoyager View Post
              mostly; a lounge is a lounge is a lounge. They all the same, with only a few exceptions. On the bad side the previous SAA temp lounge disaster, and on the good side the LH first class terminal.

              Luckily SAA has fixed their lounges, havent been to the new business lounge, but new Cycad not bad at all, a tad smaller than I expected, I felt underwhelmed after the SAA build up. Having said that its fine.

              Sadly no lounge anywhere in SA will match the F only terminals, so dont expect those levels in JNB or CPT.

              I used the Shongololo lounge twice during the SAA "disaster period" and for a priority pass type lounge was impressed compared to what I have seen abroad.
              Agree, SAWorldVoyager. In my humble opinion (even as a FT'er), the whole lounge issue is way overblown. A lounge is a place to get away from the crowd, get a drink / snack appropriate to the time of day and relax until the (next) flight leaves. Maybe have a shower, again if appropriate to the circumstances (not 'because you can'). And I hate NOT having access to a lounge at all. Having said that, I enjoyed my experience in the FCL at FRA, but I am not raving about it. (well, that confession should get me disqualified from FT ) But of course, each to his own...
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              Old Oct 21, 10, 3:58 pm
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              Originally Posted by thijsseh View Post
              My understanding still is that the arrivals lounge at JNB is for SA premium passengers and Voyager Gold / Platinum only. It is not a *G or any type of *A lounge so no, arriving on LH F would not get you entry (but please try and tell us if I am wrong!).

              There is no regular way back from the Domestic departures area (where the lounges are, upstairs), back to the check-in area (again, AFAIK). Why do you want to go back there, it's a circus. Unless you want to leave the airport alltogether?
              I guess more specifically I should ask will my onward flight on SAA domestic F get me access to the welcome lounge? I don't think so but maybe coming from LH F, might increase the chances? I might give it a shot, and let you know. When I changed my destination from PLZ to ELS it unfortunately increased my time in JNB to 5 hours. So I would like to take a quick shower but not be stuck in a lounge for that whole time. The shops and food after security IMO are pretty minimal, and much prefer to go to one of the chains (spur or Ocean basket) on the other side and possibly meet up with mates (although 5 hours is kind of tight to make plan to meet up due to possible delays and customs, but there always is the option.

              Thanks for the input, I still have a bit before my travels but will post here if I decide to try to get into the welcome lounge, and it works. How strict are the Lounge attendees, do you think it is possible to sweet talk them or is that a futile effort?
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              Old Oct 22, 10, 1:29 am
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              Originally Posted by encierro98 View Post
              I guess more specifically I should ask will my onward flight on SAA domestic F get me access to the welcome lounge? I don't think so but maybe coming from LH F, might increase the chances? I might give it a shot, and let you know. When I changed my destination from PLZ to ELS it unfortunately increased my time in JNB to 5 hours. So I would like to take a quick shower but not be stuck in a lounge for that whole time. The shops and food after security IMO are pretty minimal, and much prefer to go to one of the chains (spur or Ocean basket) on the other side and possibly meet up with mates (although 5 hours is kind of tight to make plan to meet up due to possible delays and customs, but there always is the option.
              In my experience SAA lounge staff (like most things with SAA) are hit and miss and it depends on the person working at the lounge desk on they day, I would give it a shot though, nothing to loose. Your arrival on LH F might be enough. Your domestic outbound will be in J, as SAA do not operate F cabins.

              Thanks to the Gautrain, 5hrs is actually quite a long time now, you could clear Customs, proceed to check your baggage in for the domestic onward journey and still be in Sandton within 60minutes of touch down.

              Having a boarding card, and luggage checked in leaving Sandton station 90min before takeoff will be more than enough, leaving you 2 and 1/2 hours to have a meal with friends get away from the airport.
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              Old Oct 22, 10, 1:34 am
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              Originally Posted by thijsseh View Post
              Agree, SAWorldVoyager. Having said that, I enjoyed my experience in the FCL at FRA, but I am not raving about it. (well, that confession should get me disqualified from FT ) But of course, each to his own...
              Well thats just it, the FCT in FRA is still just a lounge, what I loved was driving up, having my rental car returned to Avis for me, luggage taken care of, security/checkin done in 30 seconds and be plonked on a couch under 3mins from stopping the car.

              Not having to walk miles in a terminal with the masses was a bonus too!

              But remove the joy of not having to go into the airport and yes your are right its just another lounge...
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              Old Oct 22, 10, 3:50 am
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              Originally Posted by SAWorldVoyager View Post
              Well thats just it, the FCT in FRA is still just a lounge, what I loved was driving up, having my rental car returned to Avis for me, luggage taken care of, security/checkin done in 30 seconds and be plonked on a couch under 3mins from stopping the car.

              Not having to walk miles in a terminal with the masses was a bonus too!

              But remove the joy of not having to go into the airport and yes your are right its just another lounge...
              Sure, when you leave from FRA that would make a significant difference. I was travelling to / from VIE. So I used the FCL B as an arrivals lounge at 05:30 in the morning, had a shower (got my ducky ) and had breakfast before moving on. On the way back, the CPT flight left right from the bottom of the stairs from the lounge (B24 or 26 if I remember correctly). So to do the 'maximising trick' and trek all the way to the FCT and be driven back a few hours later seemed a bit futile.
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