Flying on points from Toronto to South Africa in Business Class made the 31 hours of travel time worthwhile. We started our adventure on Air Canada in those funky looking pods, which, by the way are very narrow and a make you feel as if you’re sleeping in the aisle. We slept most of the way to London where we had about five hours to kill in the lounge. The lounge was a two level place that looked like a kindergarten room – filled with ugly primary coloured furniture and no restful spaces. The food and drink offerings were minimal.
The next 3 hour leg was to Istanbul on Turkish Air, voted the best airline in Europe several years in a row, including 2012. Really? I’m not sure who actually voted. The plane was old and shabby and the crew were surly and inattentive. The one saving grace was the meal was pretty good. Moussaka on an airplane. Yum!
Then we found the Turkish Air lounge in Istanbul and figured out this is what the airline must have won the award for. An architectural beauty, we felt as if we stepped into a luxurious hotel lobby, replete with a cafe, fabulous buffet and gorgeous bathrooms (Turkish bath…get it?).
Flight #3 was the long, almost 12 hour leg from Istanbul to Joburg. Oh, Turkish Air, how I love you! I’m voting in next year’s poll and yes, you’d win! Big, roomy seats, a white toqued chef on board, delicious fare, excellent entertainment system, hospitable crew, plush comforters, fully flat seats. This was a wonderful flight. Of course, the pharmaceuticals didn’t hurt either and we slept about 6 hours.
With a mere 90 minutes to get through customs, collect our luggage and make it to South African Airlines for our last 2 hour hopper to CapeTown, we were pressed for time, but sailed through and made it to the gate just as boarding began. Whew.
We made it!