After spending two days visiting the attractions near Joburg, we headed for the next stop in SA: Cape Town. We enjoyed a wonderful grill with the company of jet blasts..
Including this stunning beauty, Qatar Airways B788:
Sadly this was the only widebody arriving on the time we had lunch, since most widebodies arrive in morning.
We then shopped in an nearby mall till 90 minutes before the departure time. This is the domestic arrival hall in OR Tambo:
And the check-in hall.
No one was waiting on the bag drop counters apart from a ground staff giving out free papers to passengers.
Domestic departures FID.
For South African domestic flights you can bring your own liquid aboard, which might be a factor on speedy security..It was really quick. Pictures on airside:
There are Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the airport yet you need to register(too complicated!) for just 30min/50MB. Nor there are many commercials in the terminal, mostly restaurants.
We would be leaving at gate D5.
Many information boards were installed.
OR Tambo isn't a photo-friendly airport for certain.
Our ride today, ZS-SJB, a 14-year-old B738. SAA is actually phasing out their B738s, replacing them with A320 series. That makes SAA an all-Airbus airline. (Bad news for our copilot..)
Our neighbor, another B738.
When boarding, there were several thunderstorms approaching the airport. All the operations were paused and landing flights were holding. An SAA A346 even performed a touch-and-go on the runway.
The pitch was bearable for a two hour flight. You can really feel the age of the plane:
This cover appeared to be missing..
Miraculously the pilots still managed to keep our flight leaving on-time. By the time we pushed back the runway directions were changed from 03 to 21. That gave us a good aerial view on Joburg center.
An Air Namibia ERJ135.
Sad face: a BA B744 was written-off due to a collision on JNB ground.
Look at the impressive lineup of the giants!
Some more photos in JNB.
Joburg downtown in distance.
Catering services commenced as soon as the pilots leveled the plane. Two options were available: fish with mashed potato..
which was a bit of tasteless.. And for the second option: beef with rice:
9/10 for the beef, 1/10 for the almost uncooked rice and beans.
Yet it wasn't the worst part: the salad(or appetizer?) was really inedible..
On this flight we tried some booze, all for free even on domestic flights. There were 3 different wines, all from South Africa.
Since I'm not good at wine tasting I have no comments on them.
The lavatory was clean and tidy.
Soon we were approaching. For some reasons I was feeling incredibly bad on my ears during this decent. It wasn't getting better even when we disembark.. Atlantic in sight.
Moments before touchdown: Table Mountain was covered by mysterious clouds.
The International section of the terminal. Three LHR-bound flights were waiting..
And one BA B744 was pushing back.
This is the 'Business Class' section. Configured in a 2-3 layout, there isn't any 'significant' difference with Y seats. Moreover the cabins were divided by a tiny soft curtain so no extra privacy either.
A South African Air Force B738 was in the apron.
Though the baggage were soon on the belt our group was interrogated by a trouble-making local police. We wasted more than half an hour waiting for some nonsense inspections. That's not the way to welcome your guests, Cape Town!
It's such a shame that this flight ends unpleasantly. Stay tuned for next!
Johannesburg - JNB
Cape Town - CPT
For conclusion, the hardware and catering on SAA didn't match the friendly crew members. Thumbs up for the high efficiency in JNB. Various selections on restaurants are more important that shops for domestic terminal. CPT is fresh and modern yet the ridiculous police blew out our good impressions.
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