As I mentioned in this post, our trip from Dallas to Johannesburg was a long one, routed through New York and Cairo. As a result, by the time we landed in Johannesburg OR Tambo airport, we were already tired and worn out. Ready for a shower, a power nap, and some good food. That wasn’t to be as we had another few hours before our flight to Hoedspruit airport and then a drive to the safari lodge.
Although there were long lines at immigration, they were efficient, and soon we were finished with customs, and made our way to the domestic check-in area. The first clerk we spoke to sent us upstairs to Terminal B, where domestic check-in counters were set up. Imagine my amazement at viewing a whole floor of counters! We walked past several before we came across ours. The gentleman at the luggage check-in was very kind and helped us with a ready smile and some welcoming words. Check-in for the flight was equally efficient, and soon, we were headed to security and the gates.
Once past security, we realized we had time on our hands. We logged into our Priority Pass lounge network for available lounges in the airport and found the Bidvest Premier Lounge.
The Bidvest Premier Lounge is on the lower floor from the security area. After checking in using our AMEX Platinum cards (with access to the Priority Pass lounges, among others), we took a set of chairs facing each other. One comfortably settled, Mr. JJ went to look at other amenities in the lounge.
Having visited the lounges in New York JFK and Cairo earlier in the trip, we didn’t hold much hope. But the Bidvest Premier Lounge came as a complete surprise! There was adequate seating for small groups in various sections. A variety of food selections was available, including snacks, and entrees, and drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
But the piece de resistance for us were the sleek restrooms and shower facilities. After nearly two days on the road, albeit in airports and airplanes, and despite changing clothes along the way, we felt grimy and just unclean. The lounge had eight restrooms, each large and comfortable. There were two showers and an attendant who cleaned each one right after use. So we got a towel from her and stood in line. There were others ahead of us, but we didn’t mind. After all, we had nowhere to go, at least for a while!
The shower was clean and the light muted. There were soap and shampoo dispensers; the water pressure and temperature were just right. And, oh so refreshing after two days of travel!! After profusely thanking the young lady, we settled down to enjoy the snacks and light meals.
There was a wide selection of foods, mostly cold but healthy and tasty! There were enough vegetarian options to satisfy our hunger. The staff was around to help when needed and answer questions.
The Bidvest Premier Lounge was the perfect transit lounge for us that morning. We walked in tired, grimy, and just ready to hit the bed. We walked out refreshed, after a warm shower and a light meal! It made a world of difference in being able to enjoy the flight to Hoedspruit and the drive to the safari lodge!
In our travels, we have always relied on lounges to be a source of relaxation on international trips and long transits. While we are forever grateful for the quiet they offer, the amenities can be a hit or miss. This time, the Bidvest Lounge came through for us in a big way! And, reinforced our decision to invest in cards that offer lounge access.