This is the fifth report about my roundtrip itinerary from Johannesburg to Casablanca on Star Alliance. If you've read any of the prior entries, go ahead and skip the preamble.
Intra-Africa travel can yield a great value when using United MileagePlus awards, if done correctly. Travel between most city pairs in Africa are usually the same award price, whether they're an hour apart or across the continent. When travelling from far southern Africa to far northern Africa, you can often get a complicated routing through Europe. For someone looking to get from point A to point B, this may be viewed negatively, but for a backpacking AvGeek, it's a huge positive. My itinerary below cost 52,500 Mileage Plus Miles and $192.30 in taxes and fees. It was ticketed as a roundtrip from Johannesburg to Casablanca, but it afforded me an 8 hour daytime layover in Frankfurt, a two night stopover in Cairo, and a 17.5 hour overnight layover in Lisbon. For comparison's sake, a one way Business Saver Award from Frankfurt to Johannesburg is 55,000 miles plus taxes and fees. Even Frankfurt to Casablanca would cost 55,000 miles, a bad value for such a short distance, but that's the price of Europe region to Northern Africa region. I was technically just travelling from Southern Africa region to Northern Africa region and back. The value of itineraries like this are even greater when you consider the high cash price of intra-Africa airfares.
This flight started with a quick Metro ride out to the airport.
Since I took the Metro to and from the airport, I didn't really get a chance to see the outside. Before I went through security I took a peek outside and snapped some pics, but it was nothing special.
The check-in areas at LIS looked like any other airport. It wasn't especially crowded or spacious.
The expedited security for business pax is this thing called the Green Way. There weren't many people passing through security in general and the Green Way actually took a little longer than the regular security line.
The TAP business lounge wasn't big, but had a modern design and free WiFi.
They had food and drinks on the lower level. Both food and drinks were self-serve, the best way to do it in my opinion.
The boarding area for this flight eventually turned into a zoo.
Standard short-haul business product on LH.
Pushed back from the gate . . .
A couple aerial shots of the European countryside . . .
The food was really bland, though plentiful for a short flight. I saw them passing out hot sandwiches back in Economy which I would've preferred over this.
TAP Premium Lounge
Lisbon - LIS
Frankfurt - FRA
Pretty standard short haul Lufthansa flight, no major complaints or compliments. However, I really liked the TAP lounge in Lisbon. I was able to snag a table and spread out with my laptop and a few plates of food. The self-serve buffet and bar were well stocked. WiFi also worked well.
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