British Airways Johannesburg airport lounge closing today

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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 above.

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.

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British Airways announces Elemis Spa improvements in its business class lounges
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  1. KevMc says:

    Called 28 days out for our first ever First trip last year and half of the options weren’t available (inc shave). Booked a massage each instead.

    Arrived at the allotted time slot and was told ‘You have booked it on the wrong day – it was booked for two days ago’. I enquired as to how I could possibly have booked it for the wrong day when
    a) I had to call to book, and
    b) You had to be physically flying first class to be able to book, and I did not have a flight in any class two days ago.

    …after some mumbling, toing and froing they managed to ‘fit us in’ for what can only be described as an underwhelming experience. When we flew First to Boston later in the year we didn’t bother pre-booking anything and had no great desire to ask as a walk-in.

    For me, the whole ‘spa experience’ is nothing but a marketing ploy to use in their First Class advertising blurb so that they appear to be competing with the big-boys.

    • Lady London says:

      The Elemis spa has the atmosphere f an empty classroom. At most it seems you will find 1 ‘therapist’ and one phone-answerer/ receptionist there. There are quite a few more ‘treatment rooms’ (i.e. cubicles with curtains) that could be used but there are no staff around bar, it seems, 1 or so to actually use them. It feels like an NHS clinic in the 1970’s. I suppose that matches the feel of the bathroom areas in the BA lounges at LHR too.

      It sounds awfully like a PR at Kelly Hoppen donated a few soft furnishings free of charge to BA in return for some publicity?

      Do it like the best if Virgin, BA, or don’t bother. If I was Elimis I’d be seriously embarrassed here. Even if the spa was, perhaps, wrapped up in ant deal to take Elemis products on BA aircraft?

      Time for a refresh on the offering not the cushions.

    • Scallder says:

      This happened to me last month!!! My wife and I were flying F out to Philadelphia – I called at 6:40am 28 days out and they only had 2 slots available but thankfully for the treatments we wanted.

      Turn up on the day and my wife’s appointment was all fine however my appointment had been booked for 2 weeks previous! Absolute joke. The spa staff on the desk were helpful though and managed to squeeze me in.

      Both of our seats didn’t have working IFE so between my appointment and that we got 50k Avios back which for a 80k flight was a decent return (with an 18 month old we wouldn’t have been able to watch much of anything anyway).

      But the complaint I put in they were specifically going to look at how You First could have screwed up the spa booking, so definitely make a complaint.

    • Morgan says:

      Bring back the Molton Brown spa… now that was a proper experience!

  2. Graham Walsh says:

    OT Received in the post the Amex Plat fee increase letter pack. They could have reduced the membership fee increase by not sending out a book of info on Plat benefits. Could have put it all online/via email/PDF.

    • They send me about 250g of glossy card every few months with my referral link, which probably costs about £1 to make and £2 to post.

      • Michael says:

        complete waste of paper and money

        • Shoestring says:

          presumably not, as it must inspire a few people to go ahead & make a referral

          • Charlieface says:

            Not convinced. The link is the same so how do they track whether the mailshot helped. Sometimes I wonder what goes through the marketing guys’ heads in these sort of companies.

  3. Zana711 says:

    O/T but Accor related – seems like Accor is now strictly reinforcing their T&Cs about the need to stay once every 12 months. My account has just been wiped clean of about 17,000 points when in fact, I’ve had multiple emails (and logging into my account just a few days ago) confirmed that the points were valid up to Oct 2019. I haven’t stayed for over 12 months but had the validity of the points seem to have been extended through other activity on my account.

    Anyone know customer service email address to complain? Not easy to find on the Accor website…

    • Peter K says:

      Good luck with Accor CS 🙁

    • Brian says:

      Easier to call. I had points expire – only realised when I went online to use my points for a stay. They told me they could reinstate the points if I had a stay within 30 days, so I booked my stay using cash and the points appeared soon after the normal points posted.

    • Thanks. Will update that recent article.

    • Pangolin says:

      I had the same. They zeroed out my points but OTOH I did get a soft landing from Gold to Silver, FWIW.

  4. OT

    Quick question – do you get the 10,000 bonus MR as soon as you hit£15k spend on the Amex Gold, or only at the end of your statement year (i.e does it lock you into paying the Year 2 fee?)?

    • Shoestring says:

      end of year, you’ll need to wait a month or so, which means you’ll pay the annual fee – but this gets refunded pro rata once you cancel

    • You get the 10k 30 days after renewal. If you then cancel you get 11/12th of the £140 fee refunded.

  5. OT I have something weird and frankly annoying happen. I flew Alitalia to Rome. I took advantage of a last-minute offer to upgrade the return leg to Business (paying an extra 150 euro), crediting the whole lot to Flying Blue. The flight out posted just fine (5XP and 300 miles), but I am told that I do not earn miles or XP on the business class return leg, because the ticket was in Class Z and therefore not eligible. So I am in the paradoxical position that by paying more, I’ve ended up with fewer miles!

    Any thoughts? Comments? Advice? I had really hoped to get 15XP towards Gold Status with KLM. 🙁

    • Jill (Kinkell) says:

      Hard luck. Happened to me…upgraded a leg to CE, but no avios or TPs for the extra cash paid out. 2 calls to CS stated ticket did not warrant points etc, Turned out the ticket was a RFS and not the cash + avios booking that I thought I’d made. Mind you, it was my own fault as I didn’t check the type of booking when the MMB banner at the top of the page enticed me to upgrade for a bit extra as I was sure it was a cash/ avios booking I’d made. Lesson learned! I was pretty hacked off, but I did make the most of f&b !

  6. Aspire is small and very bad place at JNB I just check it via priority pass

  7. Gringo says:

    Istanbul’s *new* airport (IST) doesn’t have any PP lounges. Has anyone managed to get in somewhere with Amex Plat?

  8. Waddle says:

    OT: Curve
    Just tried to pay off some of my Amex balance with Curve and it failed. Don’t know what the issue was. Didn’t bother trying again. This was with my HSBC PWE underlying. Perhaps a clampdown?

    • Gringo says:

      Failed me this morning at ikea- so might just be a technical issue. Virgin+ card underlying.

  9. Shoestring says:

    200 free IB Avios for signing up to Showroomprive with your email address, I used a VPN (Tunnelbear free, Spain) and was using Spain, Spanish as my IB settings, all looked to go OK, no need to give more than your name & email address.

  10. Crafty says:

    OT: Radisson offer, 3,000 bonus points per NIGHT starting with your second stay, up until 31 August. Check your emails – buried in a separate promotional message about Dream Deals coming soon.

  11. Jake M says:

    Somehow BA got the queen to visit their HQ as part of their 100 anniversary celebrations…

    Is it just me that’s sad that mr Cruz wasn’t wearing his infamous high vis jacket 😂😂

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