South Africa’s First Open Access Arrivals Lounge


OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg will soon be home to the first arrivals lounge in South Africa that is open to all travellers, regardless of airline or travel class.

Famed for its award-winning departure lounges at airports throughout the world, Menzies Aviation, whose VIP Shongololo departure lounge was recently voted the best lounge in the Africa/Middle East region, is the first private operator in the country to introduce an arrivals lounge.

The creation of the Sesfikile Premium Arrivals Lounge at OR Tambo, which opens in April, comes after Menzies identified the need of international and business travellers to not only depart in style, but also to be able to freshen up and relax before the next leg of their journey or for business meetings after tiring flights.

“Although arrivals lounges are a regular feature at many international airports, particularly in Europe and the USA, most South Africans and foreigners visiting the country have not yet had the chance to incorporate them into their itineraries. We believe the Sesfikile Lounge will rapidly become a popular destination at OR Tambo,” says Giles Wilson, Menzies Senior Vice President for Africa, the Middle East and India.

Wilson says arrivals lounges are of particular benefit to long-haul business passengers, especially those from Europe, who need to do business on the same day as their arrival in the country.

“It provides a vitally important opportunity to catch up on business and freshen up prior to important meetings. Most long-haul flights arrive in the morning. To save valuable business time and work around late morning check-ins offered by most hotels, arrivals lounges have become a convenient option.”

In the past, passengers had to make do with public restroom facilities and check their emails at noisy airport coffee shops, but the arrivals lounge will now enable them to freshen up in style and enjoy drinks and eats as well as complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi.

The tranquil and elegant private shower and bathroom facilities, which will be serviced after each use, will further invigorate even the weariest traveller before they head on to their next destination, says Wilson.

The Sesfikile Lounge will be situated adjacent to the South African Airways Arrivals Lounge at OR Tambo. In addition to passengers who will be able to access it as part of their airline partners’ services, the Sesfikile Premium Arrivals Lounge will also be open to walk-in travellers.

“We intend to raise the bar in terms of the offering at arrivals lounges as we have done with Menzies’ departure lounges, which are renowned and recognised for their luxury throughout the world. And as always, the real Menzies difference will be the superior quality of our service, which will ensure customer satisfaction owing to our fierce commitment to the highest standards,” Wilson says.

This article was written by GWEN BOSMAN

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Born in Zimbabwe and living in South Africa, Miriro is a seasoned publishing editor and writer, having worked with leading brands in investment, business leadership and entrepreneurship. Passionate about Africa’s development, Miriro is also a dynamic marketing consultant with 10 years experience working with startups and large multinational corporations. With a heart for travel, Miriro spends her time discovering the nooks of crannies of Africa’s hidden gems, taking the roads less travelled, meeting the beautiful people and enjoying their food and culture. She enjoys tackling complex strategic challenges in the passion-to-entrepreneurship pipeline, particularly focused on the implications of 4th Industrial Revolution and workforce automation on Africa's travel and tourism industry. Miriro is currently the Managing Editor of Nomad Africa magazine.

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