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A week in Cape Town - BA F to the Southern Hemisphere

A week in Cape Town - BA F to the Southern Hemisphere

Old Apr 5, 19, 2:51 pm
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A week in Cape Town - BA F to the Southern Hemisphere

Friend: "Cheap fare to CPT"
Me: "Ooh, when?"
Friend: "March"
Me: "K, checking fares now"

*booked*

Originally AMS - LGW - CPT - LHR - AMS. But then had another wee look at the combination of flights and managed to avoid that God awful 777 from LGW to CPT. One call to the Gold line, reservation cancelled.

Now - AMS - LHR - JNB - CPT - JNB - LHR - AMS.

Oh, and there's F availability on both JNB legs. *ring ring* - use Avios, yes, no problem. Upgraded. GREAT!

Blew the last of the Skyteam miles I had to book ABZ - AMS (economy) and AMS - ABZ (business). Few days before departure, got an upgrade offer for £69 on the outbound. Booked! Yay - no economy on this trip at all!

Fast forward a few months and I was setting my alarm for 3.50am on the day of departure. GADS. But needs must - I had an exciting day ahead of me. The cab picked me up from my flat at 4.30am and I was at the airport for 4.45am. I checked in and was told that I could use the Northern Lights lounge before departure. Headed up there and grabbed a seat by the window and saw the bird who was going to take me the short hop across the North Sea.



Some guy was getting wired into the G&Ts at 5am - I mean, hats off him to be honest. I stuck to the espresso and water for the time being.

KL1440, ABZ - AMS, PH-BGF, B737-700

By the time I got down to the date, boarding had nearly finished. I was amongst the last to board. There were 3 of us in J on this flight to AMS and I had the whole of Row 1 to myself which was nice. The Captain came on and said that, because of fog at Amsterdam, we would have to wait for another 50 mins before we could take off. However, he had let ATC know that we were ready to go whenever. Less than 5 mins later, we were pushing back. The travel Gods were looking down on me today.



There was an absolutely beautiful sunrise heading out of Aberdeen and I grabbed some pics as we touched the sea and headed across to the continent.













The pleasant purser came around and asked if I would like to have some breakfast. Given that I hadn't eaten in the lounge, I was feeling peckish. The breakfast was a really nice selection of hams and cheese with some bread, fresh fruit, yoghurt and pastries. I do love the salt and pepper shakes in the shape of clogs! I decided to start the holiday in style and asked for a champagne and an orange juice and I made my own Buck's Fizz.













Great crew on this flight and they said that there would definitely be enough time for another drink before we landed in Amsterdam. Who was I to refuse?

We landed in Amsterdam and had a 25 min taxi to the gate. It shows you just how massive Amsterdam airport actually is! I went to collect my case and then had a wee look around the shops and grabbed some fresh air. My flight to LHR wasn't until 2pm so I was pretty skeptical as to whether they would let me check in my case too early. I decided to try anyway and was pleasantly surprised when the check in agent told me that it was absolutely no problem to check in at 9.30am for a 2pm flight. Ha. I headed through security (still can't get used to not taking out laptops or liquids at Amsterdam) and headed towards the BA lounge. The BA lounge was done up a while ago but this was the first time I had visited it. A nice member of staff greeted me at the entrance and offered to swap me onto an earlier flight given that I had a long connection. I wasn't too bothered but it was a really nice gesture. I grabbed a seat by the window and settled in.





Food selection was average - hams, cheeses and soup along with some other nibbles.







Erm.......



I left the lounge in more than enough time for the 15 min walk to the end of the D gates. Just as I was arriving, our A321 was pulling into the gate.



BA435, AMS - LHR, G-EUXI, A321

Boarded on time but a massive hoo-ha with everyone trying to get luggage in the overhead lockers. These lockers which have the sticker "Crew only" on them are a bit of a joke. There was nothing in it but everyone was scared to put anything in it. Mr 1C came in and opened it but didn't put his hand baggage in it. Same with Mr 1D. Crew came around and Mr 1D said there was no space. Crew put his bag in the "Crew only" one. Mr 1C went ballistic as his bag was then put back to Row 7 because there was no storage at the front.....

Really short taxi to the runway and we were on our way for the 45 min flight to Heathrow. An average afternoon tea on the way over filled a hole.







We landed at the A gates and I headed through Arrivals to grab some fresh air and then went through the First Wing to the Concorde Room where I grabbed a seat on the terrace outside.

Ahhhhhh, the lovely Laurent Perrier Grand Siècle!



After getting a wonderful back massage at the Elemis spa which worked some knots out of my back, I went to the restaurant and had an early dinner of soup, tuna salad and Affogato.





I chilled out for a while in the CCR and managed a short nap before taking the walkway across to the C Gates. I hate taking the train which is packed with folk. Much prefer going down a few floors and walking across to the satellite gates. There's usually nobody there so it's really peaceful and a great way to chill before a long flight.







There was a massive delay to boarding even though they called us all to the gate. They supposedly didn't know that the crew hadn't tuned up. Then seemingly, the aircraft hadn't been cleaned (even though it had arrived from Hong Kong at 5am......which is where this big girl was off to). Anyway. after a 45 min wait at the gate, we were finally given the OK to head downstairs and get on board the A380 to JNB.

Last edited by stu1985; Apr 7, 19 at 5:30 am
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Old Apr 5, 19, 3:46 pm
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Some guy was getting wired into the G&Ts at 5am - I mean, hats off him to be honest.


Great start to your TR by the way!! Looking forward to the rest.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 8:23 pm
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Originally Posted by roadwarrier View Post


Great start to your TR by the way!! Looking forward to the rest.
That Bifi product looked like something I have seen before - maybe it was in a bad porno - hope it tasted way better than it looked
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Old Apr 6, 19, 10:00 am
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Great photos so far. Looking forward to the rest of the report!
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Old Apr 6, 19, 10:51 am
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Looking forward to the rest!
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Old Apr 7, 19, 3:05 am
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Great start, looking forward to the rest.

ATB
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Old Apr 7, 19, 3:49 am
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Subscribed.
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Old Apr 7, 19, 5:18 am
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Originally Posted by roadwarrier View Post


Great start to your TR by the way!! Looking forward to the rest.
Thanks roadwarrier - more soon!

Originally Posted by adampenrith View Post
That Bifi product looked like something I have seen before - maybe it was in a bad porno - hope it tasted way better than it looked
I did enjoy sending that pic around on What's App!

Originally Posted by 757 View Post
Great photos so far. Looking forward to the rest of the report!
Thanks for reading 757!

Originally Posted by NYC Flyer View Post
Looking forward to the rest!
More shortly!

Originally Posted by Betteronacamel View Post
Great start, looking forward to the rest.

ATB
Thanks for your comment Betteronacamel - love the handle!

Originally Posted by Hawes7701 View Post
Subscribed.
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Old Apr 7, 19, 5:47 am
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lovely start to your trip... looking forward to more...
G and T's at 5.00am, heck I would have started much earlier
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Old Apr 7, 19, 6:11 am
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BA57, LHR - JNB, G-XLEA, A380

I headed down the jet bridge and peeled off at the "Rows 1 - 4" sign . On board, I was met by the member of crew who would be looking after me tonight. To say that she was wonderful isn't praise enough. She was a shining example of what BA is like when it is at its best. After I was settled in, the lovely Sophie asked if I would like a glass of champagne (of course I did), offered me the menu and then asked if I would like some pyjamas.







I nipped to the bathroom before boarding was complete and saw that the cockpit door was open and, when the other member of crew saw that I was having a peek, she said "Oh, let me just go see what they're doing - you can probably go in and have a look". Not wanting to disturb the flight deck, I said that I was fine and I was just being nosey. Two minutes later, the Captain was at my seat asking if I would like to go up to the flight deck. The little avgeek in me jumped at the chance! The flight crew were really nice and spent a good few minutes yapping about the flight plan, altitude and some the buttons. I even got to sit in the SFO's seat!

Anyway, on return to my seat, my fizz had been topped up and the "Boarding complete" call was made.









BA have dine on demand in its First class cabin although a lot of the crew don't actually advertise the fact and just presume you want to eat straight after takeoff. Fair enough, on night flights, that's probably what most people want to do but not necessarily during the day. However, my crew member came to me after take off and knelt down beside me and said "How would you like to spend your flight with us today?" which I thought was a really nice touch. I said that I'd have dinner and then get some sleep. She asked if I wanted woken for breakfast and I said that about an hour 15 from JNB would be perfect timing if I wasn't awake.

Kir Royale to start with some warm nuts.



BA allow you to pre-order your meal in First class. I wondered about whether to pre-order or not but decided against it as you can never really be sure what you will feel like eating on the day. Anyway, I should have pre-ordered.... I ordered the lamb for main course and Sophie came to me about 5 mins after with a look of horror.... "I really like you and I am so, so sorry but they have only loaded one of the lamb and someone else has taken it". I wasn't too bothered but for BA to load only one portion of one of the main meals is not on, especially for their First class product. I ordered the steak instead (which turned out to be one of my not so good decisions..... you'll soon see!).



Tasty wee antipasti amuse bouche to start with.



Scallops with sweet bread and sweetcorn - pretty good actually and the scallops weren't too overcooked and still had a nice taste to them.



Curried parsnip soup - delicious! Soups are one thing that BA consistently does well.



And then, the of the show...... NOT! I mean, it looked nice enough on the plate.



But when I cut into it...... Jeeeeeeeesus, that piece of cow has seen better days.



It was so bad that I had one bite, ate the veggies and potato and left the rest. Not impressive at all BA!

However, the pistachio and cherry chocolate cannelloni was a nice way to finish the meal.



Espresso and whisky to finish before I settled down for the night. I got a good 6.5 hours of sleep. I really do like the bed in BA First. The duvet is super comfy and I love the fact that you get two pillows. I do like a cuddle into a pillow



I was dosing while breakfast had started behind me in the cabin. I moved my seat up a bit and was lounging when Sophie appeared and asked if I slept well and she hoped that I wasn't bothered by the scream (someone had a nightmare....). I never heard a thing! Breakfast order placed, it was time to enjoy the last hour of the flight. It was also suggested that I might like a Buck's Fizz with breakfast. Erm, yes!





I went with the hot smoked salmon with asparagus and poached egg. Again, another bad decision. Why on earth do BA put things on the menu that just won't work in the air? Unless you are poaching your egg during the service, this will NEVER work!



This was another one bite and put it to the side dish.



With 40 mins to go, my drink was topped up and I sat in the buddy seat to get a better view out of the window.







We landed about 45 mins late due to the late departure from Heathrow. I thanked Sophie for a brilliant flight and was genuinely happy that I had said that to her. Off through to arrivals where I only had to wait about 15 mins in the queue at passport control before collecting my suitcase to recheck it at the domestic terminal.



Suitcase checked-in again, I headed to security which wasn't busy at all. I went up to the SLOW lounge and had about 45 minutes there before my flight down to CPT. The lounge is a decent size with a great selection of food. There are chefs walking around all the time to check that everything is stocked up and looks presentable. A nice lounge to spend a few hours in.





BA6417, JNB - CPT, ZS-ZWS, B737-800

On board, I was pleasantly surprised that the seat next to me had been blocked so I didn't have a seat mate for the 2 hour hop down to CPT. Pleasant crew in Club who went around offering juice, water or sparkling wine before departure along with newspapers. One thing I found interesting was that I was allowed to keep my class of fizz for take off. I hadn't finished it when the crew member was clearing so I passed it her way and she said "Sir, you can keep that to enjoy while we take off". You'd NEVER get that on mainline BA services!









You get an idea of just how massive Johannesburg is from the air.



I love the wing tips with the BA logo on them!



Once the seatbelt sign was switched off, the crew came around with warm, scented towels first and then took drinks orders.





The purser addressed me by name, welcomed me back and asked if I would like some lunch. She then placed the tray on my table which had the salad, mini dessert, cheese and chocolate. The salad was really tasty - thin slices of orange with macadamia nuts, crisp leaves and an oil and balsamic dressing to drizzle over it.



For main, I went with the chicken which was served with a curried sauce and rice. It was very tasty and hit the spot. I like how the crew take out all three choices so you can see what they look like before you choose.









I asked for a peppermint tea which they don't have so took an Earl Grey instead. Along with another G&T...



Comair branded cups!



Before long, we were approach Cape Town and got some great views of the mountains surrounding the city.









A great flight with BA / Comair with a great, friendly crew. I thanked them as I got off the plane and headed to get my case. I had booked a car through the Hilton hotel and the driver was there waiting for me as I got into arrivals. Time to enjoy Cape Town!
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Old Apr 7, 19, 6:12 am
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Originally Posted by fotographer View Post
lovely start to your trip... looking forward to more...
G and T's at 5.00am, heck I would have started much earlier
Hahahha! Sometimes I do too but I had a long day of booze ahead of me so thought I'd better now..... to be fair, it was only an hour and a half until I was on the Buck's Fizz!
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Old Apr 7, 19, 6:37 am
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Thank you Stu1985 for the excellent TR. Look forward to following it. A question: Why didn’t you take them up on the offer of an earlier flight to LHR. The Concorde Room surely beats the AMS lounge... �� Or a case of pacing your G&T intake ������

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Old Apr 7, 19, 8:06 am
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Originally Posted by Braniff View Post
Thank you Stu1985 for the excellent TR. Look forward to following it. A question: Why didn’t you take them up on the offer of an earlier flight to LHR. The Concorde Room surely beats the AMS lounge... �� Or a case of pacing your G&T intake ������
This! And I didn't want to cause the agent some extra work
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Old Apr 7, 19, 8:36 am
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Looking forward the rest of this, always enjoy your reports. I’ve got a CPT trip booked in for October so I will take some notes.

Waiting for F avios availabity to hopefully open up, at least on the outbound A380. Happy to keep 64K on the return.
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Old Apr 7, 19, 11:02 am
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I have two of those sausages in my home and my two dogs enjoy licking them.
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