Review of British Airways (Comair) flight Port Elizabeth Johannesburg in Economy

Flight BA6242
Class Economy
Seat 3A
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 01:35
Take-off 07 Aug 17, 13:30
Arrival at 07 Aug 17, 15:05
MN 18 reviews
st7515
By 1262
Published on 16th August 2017
Routing :

CDG – MUC / Airbus A320-214 CEO SL D-AIUT Lufthansa LH2239 Economy K / 6 AM Beer City Flug [THERE]

MUC – SOF / Airbus A320-214 CEO SL Lufthansa LH1702 Economy K / Eastern Orient Express [THERE]

SOF – VIE / Airbus A320-200 CEO OE-LBP Austrian OS796 Business C / Vienna coffee [THERE]

VIE – FRA / Airbus A319-100 CEO OE-LDG Austrian OS125 Business C / Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 [THERE]

FRA – JNB / Boeing 747-8i D-ABYO Lufthansa LH572 Business C Upper Deck / I’m leaving on a jet plane, (I know) when I’ll be back again [THERE]



JNB – SZK / Embraer 135 ZS-SWN South African Airlink SA8865 Economy Q / A different kind of animal [THERE]

SZK – MQP / Cessna Caravan C208-B ZS-MLT South African Airlink SA8930 Economy Y / Dreaming of Cessna [THERE]

MQP – JNB / Embraer 140 ZS-ALR South African Airlink SA8828 Economy Q / Outclassing the road [THERE]

JNB – DUR / Airbus A330-200 ZS-SXV South African Airways SA559 Business C / Comfy old cabin [THERE]

DUR – CPT / Boeing 738WL ZS-ZWU British Airways by Comair BA6310 Business U / On the ‘Business’ again [THERE]

CPT – GRJ / Embraer 135 ZS-SWN South African Airlink SA8631 Economy Q / Lost Garden route flightpath [THERE]

> PLZ – JNB / Boeing 737-800 Split Scimitar winglets ZS-ZWH British Airways by Comair BA6242 Economy O / From PE with chill [YOU ARE HERE]



JNB – FRA / Boeing 747-8i D-ABYR Lufthansa LH573 First C Nose / "Luck" [THERE]

FRA – VIE / Airbus A320 CEO OE-LBL Austrian OS128 Business C / Good Morning Austria

VIE – SOF / Airbus A320 CEO OE-LBM Austrian OS795 Business C / Foodstock

SOF – MUC / Embraer 195 D-AEMD Lufthansa LH1705 Cityline Economy K / …6.5 hours later

MUC – CDG / Airbus A319-100 CEO D-AILY Lufthansa LH2238 Economy K / Clap-my-end or "I (don't) love Paris, in the summer…"


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Small touristic bonus of Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and Port Elizabeth surroundings
Bonus : Click here display

To get to the airport, we chose Uber as no other company answered my queries, which is frankly annoying. Should I thank them ? Ok, I travelled in a regular Chevrolet Sonic sedan but our driver was kind and I just spent 56 ZAR or 3.65 EUR. When you think that a basic bus ticket costs 2 EUR in Paris, FR, it gives you some perspective! Whatever the service, you will at best get a Mercedes C Class, so do not spend hundreds of rands, take Uber (and I really am not a fanboy)

Landside, it was not very bright but nonetheless clean and well organized

Here is the regular queue for Traveller class / Executive Club Blue
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The one for web/app drop off
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Ours : Club/oneworld Sapphire-Emerald check-in
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The agent was a regular one but she did her job with professionalism and asked our final destination in case we would need to use an interline agreement. As the itinerary was complex, I said JNB was our final destination, but that was a lie of course! Who would want to explain that you'll take 6 flights in a row. Even SOF would be too much for the tags.
No one at security, very quick !
Airside, it was not too packed and we easily found our way to the lounge
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The Bidvest Premier Lounge is the first lounge you come across upon exiting the elevator, on the left hand side
Behind it, you have the SAA Lounge
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and the toilets
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I don't have a lot of pictures of the lounge unfortunately, it got so crowded at one point that it became impractical.
A lot of guests can enter this lounge because you can pay your entry (174 ZAR / pax) here, which is a lot different than an airline lounge.
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My very light selection
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It has nonetheless a better view than the lower level
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And when there is a view, there is spotting !!

A Robinson reminding me some memories
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There is a flight school here
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General aviation : a famous C210 with retractable landing gear
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Serious stuff arrive, a Safair 734
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Bye, CRJ!
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I love this livery, the painted springbok is just awesome

Then a handsome SAA A319 IAE

Oh, a VLJ
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a B206 !
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And the aircraft I wanted to fly, the Comair 734, going to Durban

Our aircraft finally landed here as well, it is one of the newest addition to the Comair's fleet and was delivered brand new from the Boeing factories, which is very unusual for Comair
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It is equipped with the latest winglets called "split scimitar"
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Boarding was called on-time but not very efficiently. We almost had to fight to get to the priority lane which was not indicated.
The pretty nose
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The split scimitar winglet
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The CFM 56…
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The fuselage…
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Less glamorous… the Mango parked next door! It was dirty as hell
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A… SAA Mechanic for Comair ?
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The door was closed at 1:23PM, very good ! The First Officer which introduced himself over the PA, announced a 1 hour 25 minutes flight at FL350
Inside the cabin, the pitch was honest
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The curtain, though, was a bit annoying because it tilted backwards
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We were the only ones row 3 until a female pax decided to sit across when she saw no one was there
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The overhead panel matched the aircraft's age
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We even had "Sky interior"
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The tray table was large
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The headrest cover was of a basic blank fabric
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No spotting while taxiing, I felt at that moment that I had taken enough pictures, don't you think so ?
Take off video :

Climb to FL350, this BA painted winglet is a bright idea for crowdsourcing marketing
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The curtain tilted even more
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We had a choice between two hot sanwhiches : chicken with green pepper or vegetarian (spinach and feta)
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We took the chicken and it was… spicy ! Probably made with a real strong curry that South African Indians like
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it tasted actually very nice and better than it looked, for sure^^
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Safety card : the front
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the center
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and the rear
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The views confirm what you can see on Google Earth : it is a dry country


I could do a bit of spotting while we had to wait for this SA Express CRJ 700 to land
It is interesting that a lot of the SA Express fleet was painted in the new color scheme whereas their website's fleet page does still not show the new scheme
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ZS-SXI
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And we were at our parking stand next to another Comair 738 at 3:05PM ! Will you a find a better punctuality anywhere else ? I am not sure!
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We reached the luggage belt by 3:12PM after the "door" incident you'll find in the conclusion to laugh a bit.
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Verdict

British Airways (Comair)

7.5/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi6.5
Meal/catering8.0

Bidvest Premier Lounge

6.9/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering7.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Services6.5

Port Elizabeth - PLZ

7.9/10
Efficiency8.0
Access6.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness10.0

Johannesburg - JNB

7.3/10
Efficiency8.0
Access5.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

Once again, an excellent flight with Comair that provided filling hot food for a less than 1.5hr flight. The crew are all very well trained and adress pax with a lot of esteem, like with the actual British Airways.

PLZ : you have to go towards the arrivals to pass security after having dropped off your bags, which is not really obvious; Nice to have two lounges for a small airport, but with a lot of traffic. Everything was clean. No one at security so it was quick, but when all the flights depart, it should be quite difficult to go quickly through it

JNB : the most basic service is to open the damn door of the jetbridge so pax can disembark. What are they thinking of ? A pax had to CALL a written phone number to be able to open the door before the staff finally realized they did not open it and came back... In my (short) entire life, I never saw a pax calling the aiport to open a door ! Hilarious.

Information on the route Port Elizabeth (PLZ) Johannesburg (JNB)

3 Comments

  • Comment 409159 by
    MrMax 144 Comments

    So glad you enjoyed your stay in SA (where I am from). Looking at your photos of Plett makes me want to hop on a plane right now! It looks like the catering on comer has declined since I last flew them (a full meal on a CPT-JNB flight), but good anyways!

  • Comment 515644 by
    sixpackatktw 1 Comments

    Many years ago there was a very reliable taxi company in PE called Hurter Cabs. This was after cell phones became common, but before the days of Uber. I believe they closed a few years ago, which is very sad. These days it is unfortunate but many provincial South African cities don't have reliable phone cabs at all. Most people get around in 16-seater vans with fixed routes - those who can afford it either have their own car or use Uber. Actual on-call cabs are a dying breed, which makes travel that much harder.

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