British Airways Opens Refreshed Johannesburg Lounge

Filed Under: British Airways

British Airways has been investing significantly in their premium cabin experience. The airline has refreshed service in first and business class, and has introduced an all new business class suite. They’re also renovating their lounges around the world — for example, in the US they’ve refreshed their lounges in New York JFK and San Francisco.

Well, the airline has now unveiled their latest lounge refurbishment, which is at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo Airport.

The lounge is 880 square meters (~9,500 square feet), and can host up to 247 passengers at a time.

The new lounge not only had updated decor, but also has an exclusive dining area for first class passengers, which it didn’t before. As it’s described, the lounge has a modern lobby bar, a brasserie dining area, an office space, and a seating area with armchairs and banquette seating.

The lobby bar features spirits, beer, wine, and soft drinks. Furthermore, the new kitchen facilities offer an improved dining menu of hot and cold options, including Cape Malay curry, fresh seasonal salads, mezze, local charcuterie, and Indezi river cheeses.

Perhaps the most exciting improvement is a new a la carte dining option for first class passengers (though this isn’t open to oneworld Emerald members).

Here are some pictures of the new lounge:

The new lounge is open to British Airways first and business class passengers, Executive Club Gold and Silver members, and oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members.

British Airways operates up to two times daily A380s from Johannesburg, both leaving within a couple of hours of one another. The lounge is open daily from 4PM until 10PM, so it’s timed well for the roughly 8PM and 10PM departures.

I imagine this lounge will get really crowded in the evenings, given that they have 113 first & business class seats per flight, not factoring in the elite members in other cabins who also get lounge access.

Bottom Line

I’m a big fan of British Airways’ updated lounges, and think they’ve done a great job with decor, as it reminds me a lot of Cathay Pacific’s lounges. It’s also nice that they’re investing in a proper dining experience for first class passengers at some of their top destinations.

Unfortunately oneworld Emerald members don’t have access to that, but at the same time, I see how it could be challenging to offer that to so many people with limited space.

If you’ve visited one of British Airways’ refreshed lounges, what was your experience like?

  1. Ben, are you aware that BA routinely breaks OW lounge access rules by denying access to pax on OW flights? This applies to their North American lounges, don’t know about others. They come up with different excuses like “lounge is full” when it clearly isn’t etc. It has been going on for years.

    It would be great to have a statement from BA and OW about this. Any chance you could investigate?

  2. We are arriving to JNB on Qatar Airways in Business class (qsuites!) and then continuing on to Cape Town on British Airways (one of their subsidiaries..) in First class. Do you think we could use this during our layover? Thanks and keep of the good work!

  3. BA Lounge in Lagos should be upgraded.2 daily flights to Nigeria from LHR.Both could be A380’s if the airports could accommodate the aircraft,so B747’s/B777’s are used.The 4-class services are full most days!!

  4. @Grant @Luke as a BA/Comair business class passenger you have access to the very nice SLOW lounge in the domestic terminal.

  5. @Grant you will leave from the domestic terminal for your onward to CPT so you won’t use this lounge. You will use the “Slow Lounge” in the domestic terminal for BA/Comair flights and its pretty nice. Showers, food, etc.

  6. @amanda those urinals are a good two feet apart so not an issue.

    Plus word on the street is Lucky is called Lucky for a reason ;P so definitely not worried about no dividers

  7. This lounge is in the international terminal so no accessible for the BA flights operated by Comair within South Africa. I’m on my way to JNB and was just thinking about access…

  8. I visited this lounge on December 29, 2019
    We got to the lounge really early (about 5pm for a 10pm departure to London) and had dinner in the private dining room reserved for 1st Class only. There were three employees hovering around the entrance to the dining room, one with a clipboard with a handwritten list of all of the First Class pax for the two flights that night to London. The acoustics were such that we were blissfully unaware that the rest of the lounge had filled-up while we had been enjoying our dinner. The food and wine was very good. When we came out to find a seat in the general seating area it was like being thrown into a daycare center where free candy and crack had been handed-out to everyone. It was wall-to-wall people and loud with children everywhere. The recent remodel was nicely done AND my noise canceling headsets were the best purchase I’d ever made. It won’t take long for this lounge to degrade with the pressure of that many people. The one spot that wasn’t overrun was a long conference table area. After an hour or so we retreated back to quiet of the dinning room until it was time to walk to our gate. I took several photos if anyone is interested in an update I can pass them to Lucky and he can add them.

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