Bits: BA Johannesburg lounge closing today, BA Elemis Spa improvements, 4000 Accor points (=Avios) via Europcar

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‎News in brief:

British Airways Johannesburg lounges close today

The two British Airways lounges in Johannesburg, Club and First, close today for a five month refurbishment.  Re-opening is currently planned for October.

During the closure, passengers will be split between Comair’s SLOW Lounge (First Class passengers only, NOT Gold card holders) and the Aspire Lounge (Club World and Gold and Silver card holders).

The SLOW lounges have a good reputation, but I don’t know anything about the Aspire facility.  This is the lounge used by Iberia, although it is dropping its Jo’burg service.  A photo is below.

There is little information about whether the two separate lounges will remain after the refurbishment or whether a ‘Concorde Bar’ will be introduced for First Class passengers – not Gold card holders – as is seen in Dubai.

New cushions and treatment menu at Terminal 5 Elemis spas

While we’re on the subject of lounges, British Airways has also announced a refresh to both the Elemis spa menu and the spas themselves at Heathrow.

It is a collaboration with interior designer Kelly Hoppen, and does appear relatively minor.  We are only talking about rugs, curtains, throws and cushions being replaced.

The treatment menu has also changed although some of it appears to be more of a rebrand.  How is the new “Pre-Flight Reviver – Neck & Shoulder” different from the previous “Sleep Soothe Neck & Shoulder Massage”?

However, three new massages do appear to be new including the “Hand and Arm Massage,” “Eye Massage Treatment” and “Leg and Foot Restore”, with the last one only available to First Class travellers. The grooming and shaving treatments seem to have disappeared.

You can see the new menu on the British Airways website here.

Remember that First Class passengers can pre-book Elemis spa treatments via the website above, which is very strongly recommended.  I’m not sure that my wife has ever, in 20 years of premium BA flying, managed to get a treatment on a walk-in basis …..

BA Elemis Spa Heathrow unveils Kelly Hoppen new soft furnishings

Up to €80 of Accor hotel vouchers or 4000 Avios with a Europcar rental

If you find yourself booking a car soon, Europcar has an interesting offer with Le Club AccorHotels, the loyalty scheme for Ibis, Novotel, Mercure, Sofitel etc.

If you book by 2nd June for rentals completed by 30th June, you will get:

2,000 Accor points for a 6-7 day rental

4,000 Accor points for a 8+ day rental

Shorter rentals will just earn the standard rate of Accor points – 250 points for 1-4 days or 500 points for 5 days.

Your rental needs to be in France, Germany, Australia, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Belgium and the UK.

1 Accor point is worth 2 Eurocents of credit towards an Accor hotel stay or 1 Avios point if you convert to Iberia Plus.  Do not convert to BA as you only get 0.5 Avios points per Accor point.  You can easily move your Avios from Iberia to British Airways Executive Club via ‘Combine My Avios’.

Full details are on the Europcar website here.

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  1. Re Elemis spa:-
    Maybe we were just lucky, but last summer my wife and I flying in First to PHL both had the neck and shoulder massage as walk -ins -booked in main T5 but received in T5b where we were departing from.

  2. Kerry Kenton-Clarke says:

    Not been able to get a walk-in at T5 for quite a few years – there’s more chance of a walk-in at the T5 arrivals spa (although it’s a long time since I’ve been in there so maybe that’s changed!). The last couple of times I’ve flown first I’ve not even been able to get a reservation even when trying to book several weeks in advance – I seem to recall the best I was offered was about 5 hours before a flight!! I get the feeling they’ve cut back on the number of therapists.

  3. Sam Wardill says:

    The Slow Lounge at JNB is great. Really good buffet plus they will cater to order.

  4. It’s also very difficult to get bookings for the T5 main spa, even 28 days out! My last BA F was an 8am departure with the spa opening at 7am and the running late it was not the relaxing start I had hoped for.
    Compared to the old T4 spa faculty the current offer is poor and won’t be improved by some new drapes and a few scatter cushions!

  5. David S says:

    To be fair, the Elemis experience (only used it once) was very underwhelming. So we don’t even bother trying a walk-in nowadays.

  6. OH and I have managed to get walk up treatments on 2 out of 3 CW departures. I also managed to pre-book treatments for both of us for our first F next week – I called 29 days before speculatively but the You First CSA was able to book us in.

  7. Yorkieflyer says:

    Used the Aspire in JNB when coming back with IB at Christmas. A cut above UK Aspire lounges with a reasonable evening food buffet and waiter service for drinks with very friendly efficient staff. Slow lounge is smarter decor, furnishings and better food

  8. OT – Tesco offer! They are currently doing 25% off 6 bottles and this can be stacked with current reductions, e.g. Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec is reduced from £16 to £13 and also stacks with the 25% off.

    Ocado are doing the same offer but the eligible wines are ridiculously overpriced.

    • There’s also a double points coupon this month (well, I’ve got one), so if you’ve got party plans for the summer this could all be useful!

  9. Jonathan says:

    My OH is gutted that the spa has stopped HD brows….whatever that is.

  10. Simon says:

    We were flying first from LHR to NRT two weeks ago and both got walk in appointments. Had tried to book a month in advance and were told there were no spaces available to book and to try the walk in on arrival. Must have been lucky.

  11. Nigel the Pensioner says:

    T5 spa walk in bookings open at 7AM. Never had a problem booking as a walk in at that time. Likewise Ive never had a problem with later flights out East as I guess its a little quieter and passenger arrivals to the lounge are more spread out during the afternoon.
    Its a way of passing 15 minutes but the staff change like the UK weather…… Shame. I do wonder about the viability of the service but then its another little extra over and above other airlines for the marketing people. I did like the simple on board treatments that Virgin used to do in Upper.
    I wonder if AC has thought of charging for Spa treatments in Avios, tiered according to BAEC status with Gold getting it free?!! That would show the perceived value of the service by passengers.

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