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. Robert says:

    Hand and Arm Massage actually was on the menu until not that long ago and then removed.

  2. Hurrah for the JNB refurb; long overdue.

    Ref Elemis; there are also some pay for add-on options now.

  3. London to Rio next month with BA – £1500 bussiness class one way (no return available) or 75000 avios and £450 tax – is that good value for my avios or should I pay the cash.

    I’m even torn about neither and flying Norwegian economy for £290 one way and keeping them for another day but Iv been keeping them for years doing the same thing.

    • Titus Adduxas says:

      1.4p per Avios sounds good to me.

    • Do you need 140 (or is it 160) TPs?

    • Michael says:

      Only you can really decide if it’s a good idea to burn them or not. There are better avios redemption’s out there than seats on BA i.e Qatar, Cathay

    • marcw says:

      Have you looked flying with Iberia from Madrid? Savings could be significant.

    • Latam are currently offering one way in business from Lisbon via Madrid for around £500 if you don’t mind convoluted routes

    • There is a Business Class one way fare from Lisbon to Sao Paulo with LATAM/Iberia for around €500 – 600 if you don’t mind positioning to Lisbon and from São Paulo to Rio.

  4. Down the Back says:

    Have anyone ever had a shave in either Spa in T5 ?

    I’m not surprised the shave has disappeared, I don’t know anyone who has had a shave at the spa in T5, any time I asked there was never anybody who could do a shave available even at 28 days out. More recently I had a conversation with one of the therapists whilst having a facial (no shave available) and she told me there were very few people trained therefore insured to give shaves but even the ones who are trained will not do it because there simply isn’t enough time to do it properly in the time allocated, therefore they always just say no one available to do it.



  5. Michael says:

    “Jet lag eye reviver” seems to have been removed without a replacement. Our favorite, and the only one we book in advance … 🙁

    • That’s what I’ve booked for next week!

      • Michael says:

        Us as well! I have asked YouFirst to let me know which of the new treatments would be similar.

        • I called them earlier and they said the treatments we have booked will still take place and that the news ones have gone onto the website too early!

          • There seems to be some kind of treatment with an eye massage device now; it doesn’t make it clear whether there’s a human involved!

  6. Michael says:

    The Slow lounge is actually far better than the BA lounge was. A major upgrade for First Class passengers!

  7. OT -sorry
    If you have a gold card with the 2 lounge passes do you actullay have to have the plastic lounge cards on you to use them or is it all linked electronically to your gold card and you just need to present that?

  8. William says:

    Well, I think I’ve been lucky then, as the only time I flew Club World and went to the Elemis spa I got the neck and shoulders massage as a walk-in, though I have to say it was very early in the morning 🙂

  9. OT – looking to get the IDC plat card for my trip to the states this summer, but I can’t see the card when I follow the referral link from my Plat (even when selecting “show all cards”). Does anyone know if it is possible to get referral points, and if so what I’m missing?

    • Peter K says:

      The IDC is not a UK card so I imagine you can’t refer yourself to it from a UK amex.

  10. Michael says:

    Where is article 3 today?

  11. Prins Polo says:

    In the BA Elemis Spa, I’ve never been able to get a walk-in appointment.

    In the VS spa (both Clubhouse and arrivals lounge), I never had to wait more than 15 minutes for a walk-in appointment…

    • Agreed. It always seems they have 1 therapist working (normally either hiding away or busy) when I go in.

      I was also told that I am not able to book for the Arrivals Lounge even though I am now Gold. Not sure if thats correct but wasnt given much of a choice.

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