Review: South African Airways A340-3, Cape Town – Johannesburg
Our Aeroplan Business Class Redemption had us breaking out journey on that ticket with a stop over in Johannesburg. Since most of the excitement (for us) in South Africa is down in Cape Town, we needed a short positioning flight to get down there. This segment is the return of that separate segment. We booked this ticket separately on the SAA website on the most commonly travelled domestic route in South Africa.
This post is one chapter on our trip to South Africa, a Safari in the Maasai Mara in Kenya and Mauritius. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
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Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: South Africa, Kenya & Mauritius via South African Airways, Swiss and Air Canada Business Class
- Vancouver Airport Transborder Maple Leaf Lounge
- United Business Vancouver – Chicago O’Hare
- United Club Chicago O’Hare – Concourse B
- United Club Chicago O’Hare – Concourse C
- United Business First Chicago O’Hare – Sao Paolo International
- Intercontinental Chicago O’Hare
- United Business Chicago O’Hare – Washington Dulles International
- Lufthansa Senator Lounge – Washington Dulles
- South African Airways Business Class Washington Dulles – Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport Dakar
- Dakar Technical Stopover
- South African Airways Business Class Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport Dakar – O.R. Tambo Johannesburg International Airport
- South African Airways Baobab Lounge – O.R Tambo Johannesburg Terminal A Domestic
- South African Airways Economy Class O.R. Tambo Johannesburg – Cape Town international
- Westin Cape Town
- A Visit to Robben Island: South Africa’s Most Famous Jail
- Exploring Table Mountain by Cable Car, Cape Town
- Where the Two Oceans Meet: Visiting Cape Point at Cape of Good Hope
- The Test Kitchen
- Le Quartier Français – Franschhoek
- Touring Western Cape Winelands in Stellenbosch and Franschoek
- The Tasting Room
- South African Airways – Cape Town Cyobab Domestic Lounge
- South African Airways Economy Class – Cape Town – O.R. Tambo Johannesburg
- Hyatt Regency Rosebank Johannesburg
- Soweto & Informal Settlement Tour
- SAA Baobab Premium Lounge – OR Tambo Johannesburg
- South African Airways Business Class O.R. Tambo Johannesburg – Mauritius
- St Regis Mauritius – A Beachfront Suite
- St Regis Mauritius – Le Morne Penninsula, Iridium Spa and The House Reef
- Air Maurituis Amédée Maingard Lounge
- South African Airways Business Class Mauritius – O.R. Tambo Johannesburg
- South African Airways Business Class O.R. Tambo Johannesburg – Jomo Kennyata Nairobi, Kenya
- Fairmont Norfolk, Nairobi
- Travelling the Gritty Streets of Nairobi, Kenya
- Air Kenya – Wilson Airport – Ngrende Airstrip
- Fairmont Mara Safari Club
- Locating Elephants, Rhino’s and Giraffes in the Maasai Mara, Kenya
- Being Surrounded by Lions in the Maasai Mara, Kenya
- Dancing with the Elders at a Maasai Mara Village in the Rift Valley, Kenya
- Air Kenya Ngrende Airstrip – Nairobi Wilson
- Swiss Air Business Nairobi – Zurich
- Swiss Air Arrivals Lounge – Zurich
- Swiss Air Concourse D Lounge (non Shengen) Zurich
- Swiss Air Business Zurich – London Heathrow Terminal 1
- Singapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge – London Heathrow Terminal 3
- Air Canada / SAS Lounge – Heathrow Terminal 3
- Air Canada London Heathrow – Vancouver International
Review: South African Airways A340-3, Cape Town – Johannesburg
At about 45 minutes prior to our flight, we left the South African Airways Cyobab Lounge and headed down to the gate area. Today’s flight was being boarded via the bus gate area. As usual, we experienced the African boarding process and all it’s usual chaos. This is how a domestic Airbus 340-300 is loaded. Priority boarding line? Not today… Not even an announcement for Voyager Platinums or Star Alliance Gold’s.
On Board South African Airways A340-3 Short Haul Domestic:
South African Airways
CPT-JNB (Cape Town International – O.R Tambo Johannesburg International)
SA 223 – Economy Class (V)
2:10 PM – 4:10 PM
November 13, 2013
Booked: Boeing 340-300
Flown: Boeing 340-300
On board, we settled into a 2-4-2 economy configuration on today’s A340. It’s a pretty standard layout for the Airbus A340 and it’s nice to have 2 seats to yourself as compared to Boeing’s usual 3-3-3 (or 3-4-3) seats on the comparably sized Boeing 777 series.
The seats had a video entertainment system, but for some reason it was not turned on for the duration of the flight. Those attempting to game the system by choosing a better wide body aircraft over a narrow body for entertainment purposes on the Johannesburg to Cape Town route will be disappointed if this is any indication of the usual experience.
We had a nice smooth flight up to Johannesburg with pleasant views out the window.
The Meal: A Small Lunch Sandwich Snack
Again, reminiscent of flying 15 years ago, we were served a full lunch consisting of an aubergine pepper sandwich, complimentary wine service, moist toilettes and a toothpick.
Arriving to OR Tambo International Airport:
On arrival to O.R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, we taxied to an international gate. Of course, in the organization of all things South African, there seems to be no interior corridor to take us to domestic arrivals. We were off loaded from the plane and immediately out the exit doors down onto the jetway onto the apron immediately below the plane. There were no buses available for some reason so we waited on the apron for 15 minutes for buses to arrive. It’s a bit unusual to have 250 passengers standing around on an apron, but guess it’s business as usual here.
We collected our checked bags before we transferred to the Hyatt Regency Johannesburg Rosebank via Guatrain for the night.
Our South African Airways domestic flight was another reasonable experience offering wine, food and a reasonable wide body aircraft ride for a domestic flight. It’s always a treat to fly a giant wide body Airbus 340 on a domestic flight and this route was no exception.