• 25K Mile (with Baby) Trip Report: Part 7 – JNB InterContinental & SAA Economy to CPT

    by  • March 29, 2017 • Credit Cards, Luxury Hotel, Miles & Points, Travel • 0 Comments

    Previous Trip Notes:
    25K Mile (with Baby) Trip Report: Part 6 – Mauritius & Hilton Resort & Spa
    25K Mile (with Baby) Trip Report: Part 5 – Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai & EK703
    25K Mile (with Baby) Trip Report: Part 4 – Dubai, Al Maha & Sheraton Mall of the Emirates
    25K Mile (with Baby) Trip Report: Part 3 – IAD & EK232
    25K Mile (with Baby) Trip Report: Part 2 – Trip Report Setup
    25K Mile (with Baby) Trip Report: Part 1 – Planning

    We landed in JNB right at sunset:

    We were in the front of the plane, and I was itching to get off, grab our bags, check into the hotel, and watch the final three quarters of the Michigan vs. Michigan State football game. We made it to the baggage claim in record time, and then waited. And waited. And waited. Luckily, the airport offered 10MB of free WiFi, and I was able to follow along with CBS Sports Twitter feed. But we just waited soooooo long. Finally, about 45 minutes after arriving at the baggage claim, our bags arrived. At least, most of them. Another 10 minutes and our final bag came. We lugged them through customs, which was rather quick, and followed signs to the InterContinental – attached to the airport.

    The directions were not the best, often forgetting to place wayfinding at critical decision points. Add that with the fact that their luggage carts are specifically designed to be used on ESCALATORS, and it was quite the adventure:

    Escalators Designed for Luggage Carts

    Escalators Designed for Luggage Carts

    After getting lost once, we were finally given good directions and made our way to the hotel.

    The hotel itself was extremely nice. Beautiful lobby. 24-hour gym and pool. And the rooms were nice as well.

    InterContinental JNB

    InterContinental JNB

    InterContinental JNB

    InterContinental JNB

    InterContinental JNB Check-In

    InterContinental JNB Check-In

    InterContinental JNB Lobby

    InterContinental JNB Lobby

    InterContinental JNB Room Welcome Foyer

    InterContinental JNB Room Welcome Foyer

    InterContinental JNB Bathroom

    InterContinental JNB Bathroom

    InterContinental JNB Room with Crib

    InterContinental JNB Room with Crib

    InterContinental JNB Room Seating Area

    InterContinental JNB Room Seating Area

    InterContinental JNB Room Desk

    InterContinental JNB Room Desk

    I logged into my VPN and was able to watch a victorious 4th quarter while eating room service. Life was good. We had an early morning flight, so we put the baby to sleep and followed shortly thereafter.

    We woke up rather early and walked back to the airport. We made it to South African Airways check-in, and made our way to the check-in counter. We received our 3 boarding passes but nothing for the lap-child pass. I asked if we needed a pass for the baby and was told we did not. That didn’t sound right, but I had never traveled in Africa before.

    So we headed to the security queue, which was rather lengthy and made it to the front. And BAM. No lap-child pass, no entry. So now I had to run back to check-in, which had a massive line, and we were starting to race against the clock. Luckily a manager was walking by and I explained what had happened. She quickly took me to a computer, only to find out that the baby had been book on her own flight later that afternoon! Needless to say, it was fixed – and rather quickly – and I made it back to security, but at that point we were moving with haste.

    I flew down to the Bidvest Premier Lounge to grab some snacks and coffee for the plane. It was a nice lounge, and grabbed enough to hold us over on a relatively short flight in (gasp) economy. There were plenty of pastries, cheeses and drinks. While I wasn’t in the market for alcoholic drinks in the morning, the alcohol was locked up, apparently not being offered in the morning.

    By the time we arrived at the gate, they had begun boarding. We jumped on the flight, which was similar to any domestic economy class flight, except they did provide a small breakfast.

    It was a quick 11 hours in Johannesburg, that consisted of the airport and an attached hotel; however, we were on our way to three nights in Cape Town, with plenty of exploration planned.

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