Vacations & Travel - - Tried & Tested - By Carla Gros­setti fly­

Be­ing co­cooned in the Baobab Premium Class Lounge in Jo­han­nes­burg ahead of a long-haul flight to Perth gives you a taste of what to ex­pect on a flight in Busi­ness Class with South African Air­ways.

After spend­ing the past three weeks on a game sa­fari with Bench Africa,

I’m en­joy­ing chat­ting with in­ter­na­tional trav­ellers about the thrill of see­ing the Big Five. We board the A340-300 bound for Perth where we are promptly given a glass of Méth­ode Cap Clas­sique bubbly, which sets us up for a com­fort­able, re­lax­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

There are 38 busi­ness class seats in a 1-2-1 con­fig­u­ra­tion on this flight and mine is one of them. I’m in the mid­dle on a for­ward-fac­ing aisle seat, which is 53cm wide, with a pri­vacy wall that en­ables me to en­joy my din­ner in peace.

One of the plea­sures of this long-haul flight is the fact I can sit up­right, ad­just the leg rest, and get a lum­bar mas­sage while punch­ing but­tons on the con­trol panel for the TV (there are more than 100 movies and 100 TV pro­grams to choose from). I love that there is a con­ve­nient stor­age locker for my lap­top and back­pack, a pi­geon­hole for my wa­ter bot­tle, and a space to hang up the noise-can­celling head­phones.

When the plane has reached cruis­ing al­ti­tude, I en­joy a warm bread roll served with a grilled beef fil­let, creamy po­lenta, but­tered as­para­gus, thyme and gin­ger.

After brows­ing the en­ter­tain­ment se­lec­tion, rang­ing from movies to TV and mu­sic, I open up my amenity kit pack and check its con­tents: Crab­tree & Eve­lyn Jo­joba Oil Hand Cream and

Lip Balm, socks and eye­patches, tooth­brush, tooth­paste and comb.

When I fin­ish watch­ing Miss Pere­grine’s Home for Pe­cu­liar Chil­dren and The Girl on the Train, I ac­cept a fluffy pil­low from the ste­ward, don eye patches and curl up on the lie-flat bed with a 185cm pitch while tun­ing out to Playlist Africa.

Worth men­tion­ing is the fact the staff keep the cabin lovely and clean, which was greatly ap­pre­ci­ated. And, after a break­fast of fresh fruit salad, nat­u­ral yo­ghurt, scram­bled eggs with corn frit­ters and beef sausage, I’m more re­freshed than I’ve ever been on a red-eye flight and I’m ready to hit the ground run­ning.

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