Review: The Slow Lounge, Domestic – O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa


The Slow Lounge in the Domestic Terminal of the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa is the lounge associated with British Airways Comair franchise that operates in South Africa. The lounge offered a reasonable place to relax before a domestic South African flight and offered great views prior to our flight.

This post is one chapter on our trip to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines AAdvantage & Alaska Mileage Plan. 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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Review: The Slow Lounge, Domestic, O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa

“The Slow Lounge provided a Boutique Styled Business Lounge featuring great South African Wines, Terrific Views and a Wide Variety of Food in a Somewhat Compact Space”

This review is of The Slow Lounge Domestic at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. For another lounge in Johannesburg Domestic, please see our review of the South African Airways Domestic O.R. Tambo International Airport Johannesburg.

Checking into British Airways Business Class:

After arriving on Qatar Airways Business Class Doha – Johannesburg, and dealing with our misplaced / lost baggage issues, we headed land side and were directed upstairs to bag drop. Although there was a manned British Airways connection desk in the usual international arrivals hall, it was not working and we were directed to proceed upstairs.

British Airways Club Check In at OR Tambo International Airport
British Airways Club Check In

There was a bit of a line with the usual BA Travellers, Bag Drop and Club check in lines. I dropped my bag and we headed through security screening to the departures concourse.


Locating The Slow Lounge:

The Slow Lounge is advertised as the “lounge for extremely busy people”. Well, that certainly was us after we wasted three quarters of an hour dealing with ground handlers chasing after lost baggage who wanted nothing to do with us. The Lounge for Extremely Busy People is a bit of a funny tag line as most of everything in Africa runs quite slowly compared to fast paced North America.

The Slow Lounge is located upstairs next to all the usual lounges. It is near the South African Airways Baobab Domestic Lounge Johannesburg, where we visited on a previous visit. After taking the small lift up to the upper level, we arrived to the lounge reception.

The Slow Lounge Domestic at OR Tambo
Map Provided Courtesy of the Airports Company South Africa Website
The Slow Lounge Entrance and Reception

Accessing The Slow Lounge:

The Slow Lounge is accessed through partnerships between British Airways, Comair Limited VIP, and the First National Bank (FNB) and RMB. As the premium lounge for British Airways’ franchise Comair, this is your most likely route to get in.

The SLOW Lounge welcomes the following guests travelling with any British Airways flight operated by Comair Limited:

  • British Airways Executive Club Gold and Silver cardholders
  • oneworld® qualifying cardholders
  • British Airways Credit Card lounge access cardholders
  • Qantas Club Card
  • British Airways Club (Business Class) customers

The above guests may invite one travel companion to the lounge, subject to capacity and provided that they are travelling on the same flight.

If you happen to be premium bank card holder for First National Bank FNB Premier or FNB Private accounts makes you eligible for exclusive access to the SLOW Lounges when travelling on any flight:

  • FNB Premier Cheque account or Credit Card
  • FNB Private Clients Cheque account or Credit Card
  • FNB Private Wealth Cheque account or Credit Card
  • FNB Business Platinum
  • FNB Business Black

Clients of RMB Private Bank may access the SLOW Lounges when travelling on any flight if they are in possession of their RMB Private Bank Cheque or Credit Card.

The lounge is also affiliated with Skyteam alliance members Air France, Alitalita, KLM and Delta Airlines and is likely accessible based on business class code share flights purchased through their respective ticket agencies.

Access today was granted courtesy of our British Airways Club Business Class Johannesburg – Cape Town flight.


Inside The Slow Lounge Domestic O.R. Tambo Johannesburg:

After we were admitted, we entered into The Slow Lounge. Entering inside, The Slow Lounge was a nice small space. There were lots of loungers around with several places to sit. The loungers were set up in several banks of seating facing the windows.

The Slow Lounge – Lounge Seating
The Slow Lounge.- Dining Area
The Slow Lounge – Buffett Area

The Slow Lounge, like many Johannesburg lounges, was located on the upper levels of the airport. As a result, there were fantastic views of the apron and aircraft around it.

British Airways Comair B737-4 Parked at the Gate

Food and Beverage: The Farmer’s Bounty

There was a surprising amount of food available for a domestic lounge. The food was all spread out on a buffet table. The food looked pleasant but really tired. It was almost as if it had been sitting out all day or 4+ hours and had a bit of a stale look to it. Still, it would have looked impressive based when it would have been initially presented.

The Farmer Bounty
The Buffet Area of the Slow Lounge

South Africa is a large wine producing country. It seems only fitting that South African wines be properly showcased at every opportunity. In The Slow Lounge, there were wine purifier machines where you could get a pour of several South African wines just by helping yourself to a glass.

The Slow Lounge Wine Machines
Cederberg, Stone Town, Buitenverwachting and Beyerskloof Wines on Feature

There was also a barman and fully stocked bar where several Gin and Tonic’s were being mixed by the British clientele that were visiting. The Bar was a nice focal point for the lounge itself.

We didn’t get too much time in The Slow Lounge thanks to the bag fracas situation. It was a nice place overall and a place I’d be interested in returning to at some point if I was ever back in the area. I’d almost say that you can’t really go wrong with most lounges in South Africa as they are all reasonably well appointed. We had a quick drink and a check of email over the wifi which was strong and easy to connect to.

We spent a little time here before heading onwards to our British Airways Comair Club Johannesburg – Cape Town flight down to the Mother City.

My Thoughts of The Slow Lounge at OR Tambo International Airport Domestic:

The Slow Lounge Johannesburg at O.R. Tambo International Airport is a small intimate space. The lounge offers a full bar, including a wide variety of South African wines by the glass showcasing the South African Wine Regions. The lounge also features great views of the O.R. Tambo Domestic apron where there are great plane spotting opportunities.

If you regularly between Johannesburg and Cape Town, do you have a preferred choice between British Airways Comair, versus South African Airways?

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