Topic Author
Posts: 954
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2000 7:12 pm


Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:28 pm

At long last-a short vacation to visit my elderly parents

Got picked up at 6pm by Airport Link-very efficient
service and was at Johannesburg International by
6.30pm.On arrival kerbside a porter open the door of
the micro-bus and my baggage was put on a trolley
for the short walk to departures past the kerb side
First Class check in desks to security.There you show
your ticket,passport and your baggage is weighed
before going to check in.This took only a matter of
minutes.There was no one at check in which took
about 30 seconds.From there to security again where
your handbaggage is Xrayed.Nice touch at this point
was a gift from Airports Company of a Belgian chocolate
with a wish for Happy Christmas.From there to passport
control which was about one minute.By 6.40pm I was
in the transit lounge for 9.20pm departure.I must
say the lounge is great-with a huge window for viewing
Sat down and had a cold drink there and enjoyed the view.At 8.30pm the flight was called and in about 5 minutes I was on board.Again the passport and boarding
pass was checked before boarding.Security is excellent
here now!Before entering the aircraft were 2 employees
of SAA checking on handbaggage
747-400 Dont have rego
Was surprised on board to see an old friend who is
flight purser or as is known on SAA-Flight Leader.
35K was my seat number.I knew there was an empty
seat next to me but the following London flight was
delayed so the flight was chokka block.Glad to see
PTV on the aircraft in economy-however it did not
work.10 minutes into the flim and it stopped.Cabin crew
tried to reset but alas no luck-Engineering problem
according to the announcement so it was the main
screen for the duration of the flight.
Had a very nervous pax next to me-every sound on board she asked what is that?Eventually she slept but
awoke and asked me if everything was OK as she had
dreamt the plane was falling.
Pushback 4 minutes early and at 2120 we were airborne
No turbulance at all.Cabin crew member on my section
of the cabin was great.Very friendly.Came around every
hour in the night with a tray of water and juice.

I must say the food has improved and was tasty
Ostrich Salad-Never had it before-slightly sweet but
very tender
Beef Casserole with Savoury Rice which had a slightly
oriental taste
Tart with Custard Sauce-a bit chewy but bland

Fruit Salad
Scrambled Egg with Sausage Bacon and Mushrooms
Croissant with preserve

We landed some 25 minutes early in Heathrow after
a pleasant flight ahead of a Cathay 747-400 and
BA 747-400 behind us.We were at the gate within 7
minutes of landing.
Terminal One was empty at this time but what a long
walk to arrivals.Passport control was quick-hardly checked it-Thank goodness I have a EU passport as
the other lines were long.Baggage was a joke as it took
about 40 minutes to arrive on the carousel.The carousel
was so loaded that bags were falling off but I eventually
got mine and went through customs-not an officer in
sight and into arrivals to connect to LBA.I took the
lift from arrivals to departures and that is when the
joke started.What a mess!
In the British Midland line there must have been at least
150 persons ahead of me.Check in line took nearly
one hour.When I got to check in I could not even get
a window seat on the BM 737-500 so got aisle 20D.
Proceeded through security and went to Gate 7 for the
short flight.Never flown BM before so I was looking forward to the short hop.Went on the arm to board but
was surprised to find it lead down metal stairs and on
to the tarmac where it was cold and then on to the aircraft.Seating comfortable-interior subdued blues
Again nice cabin crew-one attendant wearing a Father
Christmas hat.Push back was 10 minutes late due to
refuelling but we will airborne within 10 minutes.Flying
time was some 35 minutes and we touched down 5
minutes early.Was surprised to get a full hot breakfast
including hot beverages on such a short full flight
Well done British Midland!
Again no arm into the airport and we had to walk through the rain to the terminal.Saw EI F50 and 2
BA EXPRESS J31S on the tarmac
Baggage took a long time and eventually arrived after
20 minutes.
Well that is it!Hope I did not bore and will post my return soon

Happy New Year to ya all!

Posts: 280
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 7:51 am


Sat Jan 06, 2001 4:15 am

Thanks Tony-always nice seeing SAA reports (good ones!!)
Take care
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2000 10:44 pm


Sat Jan 06, 2001 10:01 pm

Thanks for the report!
It seems as though SAA has really got its act together these days, and one rarely hears any negative comments.

Pity your PTVs didn't work properly. Have all SAA 747s on the JNB-LHR route got PTVs now?

And what is up with that marathon walk @ Heathrow? It seems like 5kms of walking to get to the immigration officers! Got to hate Terminal 1!  
Topic Author
Posts: 954
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2000 7:12 pm


Sun Jan 07, 2001 5:23 pm

Hi there!
SAA are only starting now with PTVS on all their 747400s so it is not all systems go yet!
The return flight ex LHR had none at all!
Yes Term one is a mammoth walking experience.I sugggest all elderly and bad walkers request wheelchairs
as there are not walking staircases all the way!


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