FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

African Inspiration

Jun 1, 2010
2010 / June 2010

Luxury, modernity, practicality and a unique African ambience — these are the hallmarks of South African Airways’ new airport lounges at Johannesburg’s O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) and Cape Town International Airport (CPT).

The airline’s deep commitment to preserving South Africa’s heritage is clearly demonstrated in the design of the airline’s new lounges, where functional space blends with a décor that brings Africa’s roots to life.

Extensive research revealed that SAA passengers spend an average of 90 minutes using the lounge facilities. The design of the new lounges takes into account passenger feedback regarding what’s absolutely necessary to ensure a productive experience and the extra touches that enhance customer satisfaction: runway views, wireless Internet connectivity, upgraded amenities and dedicated space to store luggage.

A dramatic departure from the lounge’s previous look, the chic new International Departures Lounge at O. R. Tambo International Airport is divided into the Cycad Lounge, dedicated for first-class, Voyager Lifetime Platinum and Platinum customers; and Baobad Class Lounge, operated for business-class, Voyager Gold and Silver, Star Alliance Gold and SAA/Nedbank Platinum Gold credit card customers.

Each area of the lounge is uniquely distinct. The Cycad Lounge’s rich, dark wood furnishings and gold accents befit its first-class clientele. Its impressive focal point is an elegant Champagne display. Its more modern neighbor, the Boabad Lounge, is sleek and contemporary, showcasing the work of South African craftsmen. While unmistakably local in essence, the carrier’s flagship departure lounge in Johannesburg is a first-rate facility, rivaling international lounges worldwide.

The lounge delivers indulgence with a number of crowd-pleasing amenities. Hungry passengers appreciate the self-service food station; those looking for a more social experience may want to take a seat at the staffed bar. Passengers in transit can relax in the dedicated snooze rooms or freshen up in the rainfall shower facilities. Customers aiming to accomplish some business while passing time in the lounge can utilize the dedicated Internet and private boardrooms. There’s also an entertainment room and an enclosed cigar lounge. The true center of attention, however, is the view of the airport runway. Passengers are afforded the vista from either area of the lounge, and those eager for a closer look can take advantage of a raised viewing platform.

SAA passengers on the go with energetic kids will find like-minded families in the dedicated children’s area. Its three zones — Moms and Tots, Pre-Teens and Teens — offer activities to keep everyone occupied with age-appropriate entertainment before and between flights. A left-luggage area means passengers can safely stow their carry-ons and enjoy lounge amenities hands-free and unfettered by bulky bags.

South African Airways also plans to debut a new arrivals lounge at O. R. Tambo International Airport. Located directly after customs, the new facility will be open to business-class passengers, Voyager Lifetime Platinum, Platinum and Gold card holders, traveling on both international and domestic flights. Passengers will have the opportunity to freshen up between flights or before venturing into the city; the new lounge will feature food and beverage areas, showers, clothes pressing service, an email and Internet zone and a smokers’ lounge.

Meanwhile, over at Cape Town International, the carrier unveiled a fresh, new domestic departures lounge. The nearly 13,000-square-foot facility is accessible from two separate entrances, one for Voyager Lifetime Platinum and Platinum members and the other for business-class passengers, Voyager Silver and Gold cardholders and Star Gold members.

The Cape Town lounge centers around a runway vista, giving passengers an unrivaled view of takeoffs and landings while they sit back and enjoy amenities including self-service food and beverages, an audio-visual area, an enclosed smoking lounge, children’s facilities and a shower section.

The lounge and airport improvements arrived just in time for South Africa to welcome the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, which begins this month. In addition to the lounge updates, a new state-of-the-art terminal opened at O. R. Tambo International Airport, while Cape Town International was completely remodeled. King Shaka International Airport (KSIA), located just north of Durban, opened May 1 and features a new SAA business-class lounge.

Luxury is only a plane ride — or a connection — away with South African Airway’s contemporary lounges, offering modern amenities with an indigenous flavor.

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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