If you’re an everyday working guy or gal like me, you likely head to the airport on your departure day for a pre-flight meal with friends and family, before your journey starts.
Apart from the smoking lounges, usually filled with padded couches and soft music, there aren’t really any comfortable or restful places to wait; and no, I don’t count the boarding gate seating as a tranquil spot. It is usually filled with loud-mouthed people on cell phones, or frazzled parents with a brood of sleepy or hyper children. All this noise and activity is the opposite of your tranquil expectations.
At some point, as the talking ebbs and swells, you’ll glance up and enviously watch the smartly dressed business people in an airy, glass-enclosed bubble, sipping on wine or coffee and smiling serenely, which is easy for them to do away from the madness of the crowds. If you’ll be travelling domestically in South Africa, use the guide below to find the best pre-flight sanctuaries.
- Classy Seating
If you’re in Cape Town International Airport, and have an FNB Platinum Credit Card (additional R250 per person), a Voyager Miles Card, or are on a British Airways Business Class seat, you can gain access to the coveted SLOW Lounge. This quiet escape is available if you arrive three hours before your flight, and it’s filled with hot coffee, complimentary beverages (including alcohol), business facilities, newspapers, and more.
Alternatively, you can pay a one-time card fee of R149 to be let into the BID VEST Premier Lounge on the fourth floor of the Domestic Level, which comes with showers, beverages, complimentary Wi-Fi, light snacks, and a smoking room.
- Chill Out
Those in Joburg waiting for a connecting flight, or those who want to unwind before take-off, should head to the Letsema Xpress Spa, near Terminal A at O.R Tambo Airport in Johannesburg. Here, you can enjoy a blend of Shiatsu and Chinese massage techniques, visit their Oxygen Bar, get a mani-pedi, wax, enjoy an aqua massage, or grab a quick shower before boarding. Booking early will ensure you get your spot.
Once you’re done here, you can head to the Shongololo Lounge and, for the sum of R250, get to enjoy first-class amenities.
- Fine Living
At the King Shaka / La Mercy Airport, you can enjoy an ice-cold beer and social atmosphere at Rhapsody’s Pub & Grill (which comes with a smoking lounge). If you’re not a pub fan, there are three lounges located on the second level of the passenger terminal. The lounges are the SAA Business Class Lounge the British Airways Comair Lounge (both exclusively for business class ticket holders), as well as the BIDAir Hospitality Lounge. Out of the three lounges listed, you can only enter the BIDAir Hospitality Lounge for the fee of R149.
The Image Studio near the Domestic terminal is a hair and beauty salon, which is great for those who are after a pre-flight wash and blow-dry, or a quick touch-up on their nails.
Author Bio: Roseanna McBain is a writer for TravelGround. She enjoys hiking on the weekends, braais with friends, planning future trips around the world with her husband, and reading fantasy novels in winter, if she’s not out exploring South Africa.