On the Ground: We were concerned about the traffic on the way to JFK, as we would have to travel through Staten Island and cross the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Of course, there was none, and before we knew it, we were in front of South African Airways’ Terminal 4. Luggage in hand, we checked in at the convenient desk located just inside the doors — none of the typical searching for the check-in desk. We had one scare at check-in: My passport is so full of stamps that the clerk was not sure the South African government would let me in. A manager was brought to the desk to check; he confirmed the one remaining page was sufficient. The Swiss lounge, which SAA shares, is very comfortable, with a buffet of breakfast items including fruits and breads. One recommendation for the lounge: Add more electrical outlets for charging laptops. (28/30)
Pre-flight: Once on board, we were directed to the front of the cabin, to South African Airways Premium Business Class. Our steward, Charl, immediately welcomed us and offered us Champagne or orange juice. In no time, we were moving down the runway and were airborne for our flight to Johannesburg. (28/30)
In-flight: The configuration of the cabin is 2-2-2, with four rows on the left of the aircraft, five in the center and five on the right. The comfortable seats have a multitude of adjustments, including upright and cradle, but I found the most important button was the one labeled “Bed.” I always appreciate the ability to power up my laptop on board; a convenient outlet on the back of the armrest enabled me to watch the television programs and documentaries I had downloaded to my MacBook Pro. SAA also has ample movies and shows to entertain passengers on the nearly 15-hour flight.
Shortly after take-off, we were ordering our meals from the menu, which included selections such as sesame-crusted beef filet, chicken satay, grilled swordfish and pumpkin ravioli. I chose the ravioli and my partner chose the chicken satay — both were tasty. The starter was an excellent smoked duck breast with fennel and avocado and a salad of seasonal mixed greens. We chose a wonderful South African Merlot which complemented our meal. For dessert, since it was my birthday, I had birthday cake, supplied by the crew and SAA staff — a nice personal touch.
The beauty of the flight is the flat bed. Unlike many flights I’ve experienced over the years, we had a respectful staff and passengers who kept the noise level to a minimum. Sleep is key on long flights, and we achieved this on SAA’s business class. (39/40)
The Experience: I can’t imagine flying any other carrier to South Africa. They are warm, friendly and have wonderful food and wine. The business class is comfortable. On the ground, we received our luggage and cleared customs in no time. Our driver was shocked at how quickly we were outside.
Total Score: 95/100
PLANNING A VACATION TO FRENCH POLYNESIA, the Cook Islands or Fiji? Lucky you! While you really can’t go wrong with any of these exotic locales that beckon with white-sand beaches, mornings spent listening to soothing water lapping your bungalow, and immersion excursions with some of the world’s most amazing flora and fauna, not all islands are created equally.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
As more destinations around the globe reopen to travelers, we are ready to get back to one of our favorite activities. Join us over the next several weeks as we take you to places around the world saying #WelcomeBacktoTravel. Take a visual journey through New Jersey’s beach towns with us.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
My husband and I enjoyed an impromptu Saturday dinner at The Farm & Fisherman Tavern & Market. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the restaurant specializes in seasonal farm-to-table dining. There is a second location in Horsham, Pennsylvania.
Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
Travelers arriving at Vilnius International Airport in Lithuania will find themselves walking along a trail of pink spots on the floor — dubbed “cold pink” by the country as it matches the distinct color of the country’s national šaltibarščiai soup. The trail ends at a 10-foot replica of the famed dish.