Flight Number: SA280
Route: Johannesburg to Perth
Class: Business Class
Duration: 9 hours and 5 minutes
Being cocooned in the Baobab Premium Class Lounge in Johannesburg ahead of a long-haul flight to Perth gives you a taste of what to expect on a flight in Business Class with South African Airways.
After spending the past three weeks on a game safari with Bench Africa, I’m enjoying chatting with international travellers about the thrill of seeing the Big Five. We board the A340-300 bound for Perth where we are promptly given a glass of Méthode Cap Classique bubbly, which sets us up for a relaxing experience.
There are 38 business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration on this flight and mine is one of them. I’m in the middle on a forward-facing aisle seat, which is 53cm wide, with a privacy wall that enables me to enjoy my dinner without having to worry if I have parsley on my teeth.
One of the pleasures of this long-haul flight is the fact I can sit upright, adjust the leg rest, and get a lumbar massage while punching buttons on the control panel for the TV (there are more than 100 movies and 100 TV programs to choose from). I love that there is a convenient storage locker for my laptop and backpack, a pigeonhole for my water bottle, and a space to hang up the noise-cancelling headphones.
When the plane has reached cruising altitude, I enjoy a warm bread roll served with a grilled beef fillet, creamy polenta, buttered asparagus, thyme and ginger. After browsing the entertainment selection, ranging from movies to TV and music, I open up my amenity kit pack and check its contents: Crabtree & Evelyn Jojoba Oil Hand Cream and Lip Balm, socks and eyepatches, toothbrush, toothpaste and comb.
When I finish watching Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and The Girl on the Train, I accept a fluffy pillow from the steward, don eye patches and curl up on the lie-flat bed with a 185cm pitch while tuning out to Playlist Africa.
Worth mentioning is the fact the staff keep the cabin lovely and clean, which was greatly appreciated. And, after a breakfast of fresh fruit salad, natural yoghurt, scrambled eggs with corn fritters and beef sausage, I’m more refreshed than I’ve ever been on a red-eye flight and I’m ready to hit the ground running.
South African Airways flies daily from Perth to Johannesburg operating an A340–300 and A340–600 (connecting with codeshare partner Virgin Australia from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide). flysaa.com.au