As sad as it was to have to leave Cape Town, I was very much looking forward to flying South African Airways based on the previous trip reports that I had read. While probably not as plush as some other airlines, I would say that South African does a real good job at embracing their African heritage as is demonstrated by the design of their planes and lounges.
With a 6:10AM push back, we got to the Cape Town Airport fairly early and after clearing security, we immediately went to the South African Airways Lounge.
I must admit that early morning flights are not my favorite as it takes me a while to wake up so I may have initially judged this lounge a little too harshly that morning. After looking back at the picture, I see that the lounge is quite nicely designed, however, I do remember not being very impressed due to the lack of food choices early in the morning.
As I mentioned, the lounge is quite nicely designed with rooms that offer a unique experience. Take the picture below as an example. This particular room in the lounge served as a media room that was showing the news. It is uniquely designed and looks like the hull of a ship. With the room empty in the early morning, it looked very cool but I wonder what it would be like when the lounge is busy.
The lounge also featured a cool conference table set up that allows people to work in the lounge and is supplemented by computers for those that didn’t bring their laptops.
As I mentioned previously, my biggest problem with this lounge is the lack of good food choices. There was coffee available from an automated coffee machine and instead of water bottles, the lounge offers water from dispensers which offered still and sparkling water (machine to the right of the coffee machine).
I found that the only thing on offer was muffins when we first got to the lounge, along with bread and jams. Not exactly what I would call a full spread.
Later on, we were offered a bit more food but it was all cold food and I’m not a huge fan of having cold cuts and yogurt in the morning. The only thing that was hot were croissants (in the silver serving tray) and while they were quite good, I was left wanting.
The lounge is quite large and is uniquely shaped so there seems to be plenty of area to find some privacy. I even found a “kids” area but I don’t know many kids that would find this part of the lounge particularly exciting.
We were only in the lounge for 45 minutes or so before we went to catch our plane to Johannesburg. While I found the lounge adequate, it certainly is not one that I would rate better than average.