On the Ground: I checked in at Durban (DUR) airport for a South African Airways flight connecting to Johannesburg and my New York flight. The process was swift, and the agent priority tagged and checked my bag through to JFK. Once in Joburg, I headed for the Baobab Business Class Lounge, which is separate from the Cycad First Class Lounge. I was greeted warmly, and one of three staffers manning the Business-side desk briefed me on the layout. The expansive space featured several lounging areas, including one for smokers; a business center with computer terminals; an audio-video lounge; a children’s room; three self-serve food areas; a staffed bar; secure luggage storage; and rainfall showers. WiFi was free. Food options included munchies, fruit, cheeses and crackers, soup, sandwiches, hot entrées and sweets. Business-class customers were escorted to the head of the secondary security line and boarded via a separate ramp and entrance.
Pre-Flight: Flight attendants welcomed passengers with a glass of sparkling wine and a choice of magazines and newspapers as well as a menu. The section had a 2-2-2 configuration, and my seat in the last row was in the center section. I adjusted the lumbar support and tested the massage function, which provided a simple rolling vibration. Although located adjacent to the galley, noise was not a problem. The amenity kit contained the usuals: socks, toothbrush and paste, combo brush/comb, lip balm and moisturizer, ear plugs and sleep mask.
In-Flight: After takeoff, I settled comfortably in my seat, raised the leg rest, reclined a bit and donned the earphones. Once we reached cruising level, I got out my computer, expecting to work for a few hours. I had asked at the Baobab Business Lounge in Johannesburg about the electrical outlets, planning to purchase an adapter if necessary, but two staffers manning the desk said my U.S. plug would work, adding that if there were any problems, there were adapters on board. That information was wrong on both counts. Instead, I roamed the AVOD entertainment system, which comprised at least 15 movies as well as TV shows, music and games.
I savored a nice South African Sauvignon Blanc along with the canapés and nuts that preceded my multicourse dinner: soup, salad, entrée, dessert and South African cheeses. I enjoyed the truffles with a South African rooibos tea. Afterward, I prepared my seat for slumber, reclining it to a 180-degree flat bed and topping it with the pad, full-sized pillow and duvet. I adjusted the goose-neck lamp and perused magazines before sleeping soundly for about six hours. When I awoke, the flight attendant offered juice, tea and a hot snack to tide me over until breakfast a few hours later. I chased that snack with a hot chocolate laced with Amarula, a South African cream liqueur that I’d become quite fond of while on safari. Breakfast was another multicourse meal with fresh fruit, yogurt, muesli and a selection of baked goods, followed by an omelet served with potatoes and bacon.
The Experience: Overall, the experience was very comfortable for a nearly 16-hour flight. I enjoyed the meals, watched a few movies, slept soundly and treasured my last sips of Amarula.
- Less than 10 minutes for check-in
- Friendly and helpful agents
- Priority tagged bags
- Airport lounge
- Complimentary in-lounge food
- Priority boarding
- Helpful and courteous flight attendants
- Pre-flight beverage service
- Pre-flight newspapers and magazines
- Extensive on-demand menu
- Self-serve in-flight pantry
- Amenity kits
- Lie-flat seat/bed
- Mattress and comforter
- In-flight menu with three entrée choices
- Top-shelf wines and liquors
IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.
I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
San Antonio celebrated 300 years of progress in May 2018. With a clear vision following that anniversary year, the Texan city set its sights firmly on 300 more. While commemorating this milestone, the city underwent a major overhaul to prepare for the next phase in its history.
When you think of a relaxing spa day, mountains, rivers and view of gorgeous landscapes pop in your head; a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of any city’s booming music and honking taxis. SoJo Spa Club and Hotel gives you the relaxing feeling of being away while still staying close to the busy center of Manhattan.
Dance the night away with Grand Hotel’s Ballroom Dance offer, available May 16–18. Dancers of all skill levels will experience a diverse range of ballroom dance styles, alongside daily breakfast and dinner, a welcome reception and complimentary golf green fees.
Are you looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own refined adventure of a lifetime. You can custom order your new Volvo, tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.