Saturday, July 23, 2016

British Airways in South Africa

South Africa's British Airways (BA-ZA)is a franchise of UK's British Airways (BA-UK) operated by Comair. BA-ZA looks more or less correct, but it is not the same. They don't run up to Europe, but they do run around southern Africa and are full Oneworld alliance members, so I was able to book a flight with American miles.  I wanted to get from Cape Town to Denver, but the BA-UK flight from CPT wasn't available for mileage awards. BA-UK had space in first on the A380 in JNB, so I booked CPT-JNB-LHR-DEN on a single American award in first class.
BA-ZA Uses 737's
The Uber from the Westin (great hotel) to the Cape Town airport was about $10. Crazy cheap since the city's airport bus is $7.50. It also took no time at all and I arrived about 2.5 hours before my flight. This was a problem since the staff won't check you in until 2 hours prior. They are inflexible in this policy, so I killed a half hour and checked in. I wanted to check my bag to Denver, but due to an industrial action, bags weren't making connections in JNB. Begrudgingly I agreed it would be best to pick up my bag at JNB and recheck it. I also only received a boarding pass for my first segment.
SLOW Lounge CPT Domestic - Amazing
Security was a breeze, liquids of any size allowed and helpful private staff.  I strolled around the domestic terminal to enjoy the views and then went to the SLOW lounge (another Comair owned brand). This is the best domestic airline lounge I ever visited. It was two floors with sweeping views of the field. The design was modern and relaxing with ample food on both levels. They also had baristas on both levels. The lounge was impeccably clean and well maintained.  The Loo With a View was a fun and silly idea.  The food spread was great and rotated over to lunch around 10:30. Ample beer and soda options offered too. I left with fully charged devices and a full stomach.
Business Class Seats and Space
The 737-400 to JNB was parked at a stand gate and bus boarding process was slightly unruly. I made it on board and enjoyed a row to myself. The interior felt dated and cramped, but the staff was cheerful and hustled. The views departing CPT are stunning and that was the extent of the inflight entertainment.
Um? Lunch?
Lunch looked less than appealing. I think it was beef. The Johnnie Walker Black and Coke were perfect. I also enjoyed the cheese dessert option. Lunch didn’t bother me since I filled up in the lounge and planned on going direct to the BA-UK lounge at JNB to refill.  Interesting trip, but enjoyable.
Fairwiew Makes Good Wine Too

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fuel Stop Text

Arrival change for fuel stop
As of 6:48 Jun 14
UA1105 DEN-EWR will arrive
late.
Departs: 7:55a
Now arrives: 3:14p
Subject to change

Thanks United.  How a 737 can't make it 1,600 miles with a tail wind is baffling. It forced me to rearrange flights to get to my final destination before midnight. I don't get too stressed from irregular operations, but this one was an exception.
Not Cool

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Coup Fizzles

We need coups more often, it'll increase the odds of success and help others learn how to do it better. With the lack of recent pan-European wars, they are also the best movie plot starting point.
Back to Normal

Monday, July 11, 2016

Happy Airshow Week

The Farnborough Airshow opens today and Boeing and Airbus are fighting for the biggest PR splash.  Airbus has a big website for the show and Boeing released their 20 year aircraft forecast. Expect new product announcements (nothing new, but enhancements to the current line up) and purchase announcements.
Boeing 20 Forecast

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Post 747

This is my 747th post, so I thought I'd share a photo to commemorate the occasion.
I Love the 747

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Fun SPG Moments

The best aspect of points programs is how they make the unattainable a reality. SPG's Moments auctions are a great example of experiences that can only be had with points (they also have a bunch of show and sports tickets available). I liked the VIP at the Farnborough Airshow experience, but couldn't make it out.  Good value on some listings too.
Qatar & SPG Make an Amazing Experience

Monday, July 4, 2016

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Good Luck

If you want a four day weekend, travel will be simpler and cheaper if you fly Saturday and Tuesday. Avoid the Friday to Monday trip pairing.
Make Your Own Luck and Avoid CRJ's