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SAA South African Airways Passenger Reviews and SAA Customer Trip Reports



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South African Airways Customer review :  2 September 2014 by Michael Little    (Australia)

Rating : 7/10

Score 7 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Business

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Perth-Johannesburg-Cape Town and return in Business. I was able to use the Qantas lounge at Perth airport. On the outward international A340 flight boarding was smooth; returning the boarding process at Johannesburg was slow due to Australian security requirements. The seats on the A340s were comfortable though the planes are showing their age. The outward Asian vegetarian meal was very bland; the meal loaded at Johannesburg was much better. The service was friendly in both directions. The two domestic flights in B737s were smooth and pleasant. The seats were comfortable and the food was fine. Overall SAA offers a good basic business class (no frills) and good value for money.



South African Airways Customer review :  2 September 2014 by R Scholten    (Netherlands)

Rating : 0/10

Score 0 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Johannesburg to Cape Town (SA343) on old Boeing 737-800. Online check in and seat selection was not possible. Flight was delayed for 30 minutes (for unknown reasons). Crew was not friendly (really unfriendly). They snarled when you asked something. I fly a lot, but I've never experienced such an unfriendly crew before. I mentioned in my reservation that I was vegetarian, but during flight only chicken sandwiches were available. Next time I'll fly British Airways instead of SA.



South African Airways Customer review :  2 September 2014 by R Scholten    (Netherlands)

Rating : 0/10

Score 0 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Business

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

SA8300, Johannesburg (South Africa) to Maun (Botswana) in Business Class. Check in took a very long time and was chaotic. Spacious and comfortable lounge at JNB Airport. Good food selection, but I'm very disappointed in the selection of magazines and newspapers. I picked 3 newspapers, but all of them were at least one week old. Why no fresh newspapers? For unknown reasons the aircraft had a delay of 40 minutes. Inflight service was worse. I ordered a special meal (vegetarian) and received a confirmation by mail, but on board vegetarian meals were not available. I had nothing to eat. That's a shame, especially when flying business class. In addition only one drink was served, and the rest of the time the crew did not care about the passengers. The worst of all was that (afterwards) the SA-customer service told me that I didn't order a special meal, while I had a confirmation of the ordered meal. Inflight entertainment was also worse, no newspapers, no screen, no inflight magazine, et c. Seats were quite comfortable, but were just like economy seats. However, the middle seats were also used in Business Class. Give me one reason why I should fly business class with SA? No meal, not more seat space, no priority check in, etc. This is the second negative experience with SA. I will never fly South African Airways again.



South African Airways Customer review :  29 August 2014 by Ternouth Ian    (New Zealand)

Rating : 6/10

Score 6 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Durban to Harare, SA1613, 1st July 2014. Ground staff usually good, some of the other staff not so. They managed to leave the entire baggage for the whole plane behind - that has to be a first! Seats pretty firm. Some cabin staff great but some a bit messy. Pilot announcements friendly and helpful.



South African Airways Customer review :  29 August 2014 by Adam Kidron    (USA)

Rating : 1/10

Score 1 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

I am an ultra-frequent flier Diamond Skyteam (Delta), Executive Platinum Oneworld (AA), 1K Star Alliance (UA) have travelled SAA on the New York JFK to Johannesburg route (flights 204/203) 10 times this year (5-round trips). Of these flights (9 in coach and 1 in business) only 1 has been remotely satisfactory. On 7 the entertainment system has not worked properly (on 4 not at all). On 7 flights the temperature has been either boiling of freezing and the cause of a multitude of complaints. On 3 flights I did not get the meal I ordered and on the flight I took in business the cabin smelled of the toilets, and the seat power went out, which meant that the seat could not be moved for 90 minutes. In the coach cabin, there is no seat power, and the entertainment system is contained in a steel box under the seat which eats up the vast majority of the leg room. On top of all of this, complaints whether written in flight or emailed do not get resolved. SAA on the New York to Johannesburg route is to be avoided.



South African Airways Customer review :  15 August 2014 by S Vaughan    (Australia)

Rating : 0/10

Score 0 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

My partner and I visited South Africa in July 2014. We flew into Johannesburg from Cape Town on Saturday, 19 July at 4.45pm for our flight to Perth at 10.30pm. We immediately went to check in, only to get to the front of the queue and be turned away as they had simply over booked our flight by 50 + people. We were not at all satisfied with the service as we had not only booked these flights a year prior to flying but we were expected back to work on the Monday. We explained this to the one lady in charge, and the comment back was "give your boss this letter and he will understand". Not at all something you tell unhappy customers. We were then told there was nothing they could give us for this inexcusable inconvenience. Many of us fought this matter and received free tickets to return (exclusive of taxes). Although we would love to return with a brand new mortgage and job commitments, we are not able to use these tickets within a year. There were customers who received nothing and others who received $500 each. Why there wasn't a reimbursement structure in place before turning away customers, I don't know? If I were to recommend anything to people looking at flying from Perth to JHB, fly via Air Mauritius. The service, flight, food and service is 100% better!



South African Airways Customer review :  9 August 2014 by A Marais    (South Africa)

Rating : 7/10

Score 7 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

I flew from Johannesburg to Hong Kong on August 1st, 2014. Service provided by the cabin crew member who was working on my aisle was excellent. He was very friendly and professional. Went to the galley area during the long flight to stretch. The cabin crew member working there at the time was very unfriendly and almost rude. Later when asking another cabin crew member for a drink in the same galley area, I was met with a dry expression, handed my drink, I said 'thank you', with no acknowledgement from this crew member, not even a smile. The overall product is quite good, delicious food, huge selection of drinks, often very good service. However there are also extremely rude and unprofessional staff. This is not an isolated experience. Before landing, one of the crew members complained to the purser about the cabin crew on the flight. He expressed his views in detail, with passengers nearby. This crew member spoke so loudly that it was impossible not to hear him. I found this extremely unprofessional to say the least. It was very unsettling.



South African Airways Customer review :  4 August 2014 by A Gil    (South Africa)

Rating : 5/10

Score 5 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

I flew to Windhoek on SA078, 25 July. I was very pleased to have had the opportunity to fly on the 320. The seats were so spacious with lots of leg room but I was so disappointed with the service. The dinner was served and the drinks trolley arrived once everyone in my part of the cabin had already finished their dessert. SAA has never placed a bottle of water on the trays as many airlines do, and their service is not constant. We ate our dinner without anything to drink. What a pity as the airfares are not cheap on this route.



South African Airways Customer review :  28 July 2014 by J Tieman    (Belgium)

Rating : 8/10

Score 8 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Business

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Johannesburg - Mauritius, business. Boeing 737 800 2x3 configuration. Very efficient and pleasant crew. Seats were just ok in a quiet old 737 but nothing to complain on for a 3hr 40min trip. Departure and arrival on time with smooth boarding. Meal service was excellent with champagne and canapés, high quality starter followed by a tasty main dish followed by cheese and dessert. Above my expectations for as business product for a regional flight. Worthwhile to try!



South African Airways Customer review :  26 June 2014 by Derek Salter    (South Africa)

Rating : 10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Business

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Business Class from CPT to VFA via JNB. Easy check in - spacious lounge with helpful staff and pleasant snacks. Business seats on the new A320 narrow and are basically economy seats with the middle seat not used. Much better seats on the A319 and the B737. Food good for the short flights and staff helpful on both flights.



South African Airways Customer review :  26 May 2014 by Pamela Rule    (UK)

Rating : 10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

I want to thank SAA more for making my trip to South Africa so comfortable. As a with limited walking ability, I was assisted and looked after throughout the whole return trip. The food offered and served was fantastic, and to be able to use proper utensils was a pleasure. The trip was easy for me, as the requested wheelchair was always there to either meet me, or take me to the aircraft. Thank you.



South African Airways Customer review :  26 May 2014 by Khanyile Mthobisi    (South Africa)

Rating : 10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

JNB-DUR. Ground staff were friendly, they even checked an extra bag for me even though it wasn't part of their codeshare agreement with Delta. Flight was ahead of schedule and landed early. It was pretty cool and they served us good wraps and dessert.



South African Airways Customer review :  8 May 2014 by A Pontes    (South Africa)

Rating : 9/10

Score 9 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Business

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

SA 234, JNB to Heathrow. A good flight experience, food was enjoyable. Captain's announcement was friendly, sincere and fun. Had a good crew.



South African Airways Customer review :  28 April 2014 by Blackman Kenneth    (UK)

Rating : 5/10

Score 5 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

I booked up 6 months in advance and by the time of my flight to JNB both the aircraft and my seat allocation had changed to my detriment, cabin staff were good, food was ok but how I longed for the seat I had originally booked as it had extra leg room and was near to the toilets, needed as I'm an oldie. Flight back was the same story, SAA really couldn't care less what you booked or where you sit. That is now two 'not so good experiences' flying to and from SA, one with SAA and one with Lufthansa.



South African Airways Customer review :  25 April 2014 by W Horn    (USA)

Rating : 5/10

Score 5 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Flew from IAD to JNB and returned 2 weeks later. My very positive impression of the flight to Jo'burg was tempered by two items. First, the rather lacklustre service provided by the crew on the return flight and by the (possibly) worst economy seats in the industry. I'm a little over 6 feet so I'm rarely very comfortable in economy seats, but these go past just discomfort. I also have an issue with SAA's seat selection process. I purchased tickets 8 months before the flight. SAA's website allowed me to make seat selections at that time. Apparently that means little or nothing as those seats weren't available when check-in time arrived. I know seat selections aren't guaranteed, but really, why bother?



South African Airways Customer review :  23 April 2014 by Rob Thompson    (UK)

Rating : 5/10

Score 5 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Travelled London Heathrow to CPT via JNB and back (4th and 20th April 2014). The good: Our in-flight experience was good to excellent, including the service from staff. Dinner on Heathrow to JNB flight was excellent. There was also a lot more legroom than expected for economy class on the new aircraft. The in-flight entertainment system however could be improved when compared with other carriers recently flown. The bad: The online booking system - was subject to several late revisions to our reservations for CPT to JNB / kept splitting our seats up / final booking ended up on Mango airlines. On check in discovered we not even on the CPT to JNB passenger list / Mango airlines apparently not informed of us by SAA. The matter was resolved by Mango. We then discovered the new SAA excess baggage rules at O.R. Tambo airport (JNB to LHR leg)! I felt the check in staff were unprofessional and unapologetic. Be warned - 2 suitcases at 31kg + 29kg for 3 people equals 14kg of excess baggage (our 6 year old's unused baggage allowance was not considered). Also O.R. Tambo direction/ signage confusing and could be improved (although all staff helpful in re-directing us). I will recommend SAA to others for the excellent in flight aspect, but suggest avoiding O.R. Tambo if possible / else ensure additional transit time and phone and double check your return flight details a few days before flying.



South African Airways Customer review :  3 April 2014 by R Naidoo    (South Africa)

Rating : 10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

I flew on 1st March from Durban to Johannesburg (return). The planes were clean and spacious. The food was decent and the staff were very helpful. South African Airways has increased their service exponentially from the last time I flew them. Planes I flew on: an A319-100 and A737-800.



South African Airways Customer review :  28 March 2014 by C Kay    (UK)

Rating : 10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Business

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

SA528, 26/3/14, Durban - Johannesburg. Excellent experience from check in to arrival. Can't fault them.



South African Airways Customer review :  28 March 2014 by G Lyons    (South Africa)

Rating : 7/10

Score 7 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

JNB-Perth return. Dep 6/3/2014, return 24/3/2014, SA280. Very attentive and friendly cabin staff. Nice meals. Good legroom. But unfortunately the personal entertainment system was broken on both the outbound and return flight. Airbus A340-600.



South African Airways Customer review :  26 March 2014 by C Kay    (UK)

Rating : 10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Business

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

First ever flight with SAA. Johannesburg - Durban. Flight was on time and bags were off quickly, but the service was outstanding. Friendly FAs, very tasty steak and pasta snack, and excellent South African wine (with refill).



South African Airways Customer review :  18 March 2014 by M Nelie    (Mauritius)

Rating : 3/10

Score 3 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Initial trip: Mauritius - Jo'burg - Buenos Aires. Done itinerary: Mauritius - Jo'burg - Sao Paulo - Buenos - delayed 30 hours. We flew on Thursday pm from Mauritius to Jo'burg (spent overnight in Jo'burg because there was no connection on the same day) and were supposed to fly Jo'burg to Buenos Aires on Friday morning. When we presented for check in 2 hours prior to departure, the lady told us the flight was overbooked and unfortunately we won't make it, she was not able to give us any other information. After a 30 minute discussion, a manager came to us and we must admit he was quite efficient. He gave instruction to another counter girl and she managed to find us 2 seats on the next flight (30 hours later) to Sao Paulo and then a connection flight from GRU to Buenos. So instead of arriving at destination Friday 5pm, we arrived Saturday 11pm, lost 1 day and 2 nights. Otherwise, the aircraft's were all new and decent, leg room acceptable, proper service and food just correct for an airplane meal!



South African Airways Customer review :  28 February 2014 by Bernard Stauffer    (South Africa)

Rating : 10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

I was on a business trip from Cape Town to Nairobi, via Johannesburg. Although SA flies a small plane on this route (A319), the service was excellent and the food of very high quality. All flights where on time. South African is still one of the best airlines in Africa. The only downside was the price of the ticket as there is no competition on this route (same price as flying to the US).



South African Airways Customer review :  30 January 2014 by H Gers    (UK)

Rating : 10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

My son flew assisted on and SAA flight from Jo'burg to London early December. I choose SAA as after living in SA for 17 years I knew the cabin crew were really good with kids. My son is only 8 and this was his first trip alone to London. From Jo'burg airport all the way through to Heathrow his father and I were absolutely impressed with their level of service and the way they handled my son. He came off the plane very excited about his trip and very relaxed because the staff had put him at ease. They ensure he had his choice of meal, covered him up to help him sleep and he tells me the cabin crew made him laugh and talked to him about his trip to the UK. The ground staff who work for SAA were also great. Prompt, professional and very caring. I would absolutely fly my son with SAA again.



South African Airways Customer review :  30 January 2014 by Miriam Thielke    (USA)

Rating : 10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Business

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

My husband and I traveled to and from Cape Town, South Africa on SAA in January 2014. We had a very pleasant experience. The staff was professional and very accommodating to our every need. The food was delicious. The seating in business class was very comfortable. The choice of movies was adequate and timely. The cabin and bathrooms were clean and neat. I would highly recommend SAA to any one traveling to Africa.



South African Airways Customer review :  28 January 2014 by A Handley    (UK)

Rating : 0/10

Score 0 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Travelling back from South Africa. Flight CPT to JNB delayed due to bad weather. Told that connecting flight to LHR would be held. But on getting to gate found it had left without us. Stranded in JNB airport at 10pm, no SA staff, no contact number, nowhere to stay. Next 23 hours a complete nightmare. Unhelpful, rude and arrogant SA staff at JNB. Will never fly with South African Airways again, if you are just hope nothing goes wrong.



South African Airways Customer review :  16 January 2014 by D Ito    (Germany)

Rating : 5/10

Score 5 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

JNB-CPT in Dec. on time flight. One female cabin crew was very kind to family and passengers in couples. Always asked "Would you like soft drink, coffee/tea and water? Drink with ice?" and served with cups. She asked me and a business man next to me "drink?" and gave us a coke can without cup and gone without smile.



South African Airways Customer review :  14 January 2014 by D Panos    (UK)

Rating : 8/10

Score 8 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Business

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Flew SA235 from LHR to JNB in business by spending some Star Alliance miles. Check-in at T1 was quick and easy, with the boarding pass reflecting my pre-chosen seat. Star Alliance lounge at T1 is still awful (no fault of SAA), heavily overcrowded at peak times and under-lit. Priority boarding a bit chaotic but once on-board staff were quick to provide refreshments and help out with baggage etc. Pushback was delayed 30 min due to the usual evening take-off traffic jam at Heathrow, which the staff kindly used to serve another round of drinks. Upon takeoff food and drinks were served quickly, and food was surprisingly good. I got the last of the "lighter" meal choices though and was seated up in row 3 - not sure why their algorithm assumes that most passengers would be keen for a heavy beef stew or rich chicken curry right before trying to sleep on an airplane but there you go. I would recommend pre-booking the veg meal or sitting right upfront if you want to have something lighter before sleeping. After dinner I managed to get pretty comfortable in the A340-600 flatbeds, and slept for a good 6 hours in total. I believe the A330 has the newer interior and also operated the LHR-JNB route, but the seats in the A340 were adequate for sleeping. Only real disappointment is the ICE system, as the screens are very outdated compared to some competitor airlines - however, this was not an issue for me as my goal was to sleep as much as possible in this flight. Flight arrived 30min early in JNB despite the 30min delay on takeoff, and pilot did a good job of avoiding most of the turbulent weather which he warned us about on takeoff, so all in all a very nice flight.



South African Airways Customer review :  13 January 2014 by Louis Minnaar    (South Africa)

Rating : 10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

SAA 190 and SAA 191 to Mauritius, Airbus A330-200. Service was excellent and the cabin crew was professional and friendly. The Airscape in flight entertainment system was top class with the newest movies and TV series available. The seats are extremely comfortable and spacious for economy class compared to other airlines. And the Beef Stroganoff was scrumptious! Very impressed with SAA service and cabin quality.



South African Airways Customer review :  9 January 2014 by Bruce Stevenson    (Malawi)

Rating : 1/10

Score 1 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Malawi to Auckland and return via Cape Town. Unfortunately for SAA the Auckland to Perth sector was with code- share Air New Zealand - which was far superior in all respects. The SAA planes were relatively old and the seats were hard and uncomfortable. The cabin attendants were generally helpful, but lacking in spontaneity. The food was bland and the in-flight entertainment was even blander. The air-map did not function at all. On the flight from Jo'burg to Cape Town our seat numbers were changed three times. We had deliberately booked a widow seat months in advance so that we could see the country from above, but were changed at the last minute to middle seats. We then found that the rear economy section was almost empty. Cabin staff ignored the lowly cattle-class passengers and were busy reading the paper and chatting amongst themselves. We arrived in Cape Town but our luggage did not. SAA staff were not helpful in reuniting us and our bags. We were told that it would take 3 hours to get our bags to us, but no calls were made to us even though we left our phone contacts. Finally after about 15 attempted phone calls we got our bags sent to us, but no apology.



South African Airways Customer review :  8 January 2014 by David Husband    (Australia)

Rating : 5/10

Score 5 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

SA23, HRE-JNB. Flight arrived late from JNB due to 'technical problems'. No info supplied at HRE. We took off 1 hour after scheduled departure. To its credit SAA supplies a hot lunch, even on a short hop like this. However no headphones; drinks came well after the meal (fish and veggies -edible!) and the seat was hard and did not recline. Efficient offload in JNB for a change! That said, SAA needs to lift its overall game and not rely on past glories.



South African Airways Customer review :  2 January 2014 by Faiza Brown    (South Africa)

Rating : 2/10

Score 2 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Business

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

As a family of 6 (including 2 senior citizens and 2 children) we have just arrived at OR Tambo on SAA from Hong Kong. The attendants in the Business Class cabin really made us feel as if they are doing us a favour by serving us. This was in complete contrast to the impeccable service experienced by another Star Alliance partner hours earlier. As we have a 3 hour waiting time before our flight departs for Cape Town, I am now sitting in the SAA Baobab lounge where the breakfast spread is dismal. There is no cereal and breakfast this morning is limited to muffins, 2 different types of Danish and 2 types of pre-packed sandwiches. I eventually decided to go the Diners Club lounge to get some decent breakfast. My kids were still waiting in the Baobab lounge and asked whether they could have some crisps as there was not much to eat, I enquired with the gentleman behind the bar. His response was, "no it is not 11 o'clock".



South African Airways Customer review :  2 January 2014 by Lebogang Mokhiza    (Australia)

Rating : 4/10

Score 4 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

My wife and I and my wife's friend and our 3 yr old son flew from Sydney to Johannesburg on 2/09/2013. We had a connecting flight from JNB to Cape Town which was at 6pm that evening, we came off a 13 hrs flight straight to a flight to Cape Town. We were not impressed with the flight attendants, and the plane was in a very poor condition my seat was completely broken.



South African Airways Customer review :  23 December 2013 by K Anderson    (Switzerland)

Rating : 9/10

Score 9 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Flew Cape Town to Jo'Burg and found the flight really good across the board from wonderful, professional service to economy seats with above average space. Food was however mediocre and has deteriorated over the last 2-3 years. Overall, definitely worth it and much more so than BA on the same route.



South African Airways Customer review :  18 December 2013 by Mashishi Collins    (South Africa)

Rating : 7/10

Score 7 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Johannesburg to Durban on 16th December scheduled for 6.55am, flight SA 531. I was really not impressed with one of the flight attendants serving food. Because I was sitting at the rear and was one of the last to be served, he did not bother to serve me or ask the usual chicken or beef or if I wanted the sandwich or not. Fortunately I was not hungry. I was not impressed that such a basic service was missed. Some cabin crew members are still failing in this area.



South African Airways Customer review :  29 November 2013 by Loh Kenneth    (Singapore)

Rating : 4/10

Score 4 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Was taking the Entebbe-Johannesburg flight today and at the check in counter, the staff didn't know how to do a check through to Singapore even when I gave them my electronic ticket number and Booking Ref. Not one but 2 of them (senior ones) said that they cant find it on the system and asked me to go into the lounge to go online and show them the actual e-ticket. On my second attempt I asked a junior staff and he managed to do the check through with the same Booking Ref and Electronic ticket no. This isn't the first time I have encountered such bad service.



South African Airways Customer review :  28 November 2013 by Joerg Boese    (Germany)

Rating : 5/10

Score 5 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Business

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Johannesburg-Windhoek, Business Class. Boarding on time, but very chaotic. Boeing 737-800 looks very old. Not very comfortable seating. Plane is delayed for 40 minutes 'as 12 meals in Economy are missing'. I can't believe it. As a result food was almost inedible because it has been put in the oven at boarding and was completely overcooked. Upon takeoff some (minor) parts of the cabin ceiling fell off. Sad performance, sad airline.



South African Airways Customer review :  26 October 2013 by David Lord    (Canada)

Rating : 2/10

Score 2 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Our trip from JNB to JFK a week ago was a disaster. Started okay and managed to watch one movie (flight almost full) then after the meal was served the seat belt sign went on and remained on for the duration of the 16 hours flight. When I tried to get up to stretch I was told to sit down as the seat belt sign was on. When I tried to go to the washroom I was told to return to my seat. Most of the flight attendants (except 2) changed into slumber gear and disappeared until about 3 hours before landing. One of the remaining FA's slept on the back row middle seats and the only time I saw the other one was when he hurried through the cabin once offering water. My entertainment console packed it in and when I asked about it (before they all retired for the night) the staff member said she would call up front to have it reset. Obviously, the front staff member in charge of resetting was gone for the night as it did not come on until 3 hours before landing.



South African Airways Customer review :  23 October 2013 by D Taylor    (UK)

Rating : 3/10

Score 3 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Heathrow to Johannesburg return, Airbus 340. Outward: Flight full, sat on runway for 5 hours while pilot explained that there was a rudder problem. We were fed dinner on the runway by a very grumpy crew while watching our bags being offloaded. Put up in London hotels overnight. Mid day next day we were collected again and taken to Heathrow - put on the plane after 3pm. Sat again for 2 hours as they had not refuelled this plane. Eventually took off nearly 24 hours late. Lost an entire day and this was not a holiday. SAA claim they were exonerated as the crew had worked over hours. Return flight was on time. Organisation during the delay was chaotic - airline staff on the ground did not seem well briefed.



South African Airways Customer review :  19 October 2013 by J Tydeman    (UK)

Rating : 6/10

Score 6 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Flew Jo'burg to Heathrow with SAA. A rather chaotic boarding process in which those at the rear of the plane ended up often boarding last because they didn't embark via seat rows. It therefore took twice as long as it needed to, to get everyone seated. The cabin was boiling hot and as is often the case we were seated for a very long time before the plane went anywhere without so much as a glass of water, though of course those in business class were busy quaffing champagne as we baked. Dinner and drinks service was good and served by efficient and fairly friendly crew, unlike our outbound flight. IFE is really not up to scratch now compared with the competition and my handset kept jamming, with TV programmes and games taking an age to load. Seats are rock hard so very uncomfortable for a long night flight but one of the crew helpfully suggested that my partner re-locate to the empty seats in the row in front of us, which meant we both (and those next to me) had more room.



South African Airways Customer review :  8 October 2013 by M Stevenson    (New Zealand)

Rating : 1/10

Score 1 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Auckland to Cape Town with the Perth to Cape Town section flown by SAA. I have travelled on countless airlines and this has to be close to the worse experience. No inflight entertainment from Perth to Jo'burg. The meals were terrible (worse than normal for airline food), the crew were rude and unhelpful. I was hungry half way through the flight and wanted a snack, but was told there was no snacks and had to wait for the meal service several hours later. Next time I will book Qantas. Thank goodness for Air New Zealand, their average service was fantastic in comparison. In summary do not fly SAA, look for options, if you have to fly with them, don't expect too much.



South African Airways Customer review :  8 October 2013 by Riaan Nagel    (South Africa)

Rating : 10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

I flew Johannesburg - Munich route. Service overall was excellent, including the food, staff friendliness and in- flight entertainment, offering movies from all walks of life and in many languages.



South African Airways Customer review :  3 October 2013 by H Nicholls    (South Africa)

Rating : 10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

My wife and I flew South African Airways to Perth Australia in April and returned in May. Both flights were excellent we really enjoyed the flights. The cabin staff were very good, entertainment excellent. We will be flying South African Airways again.



South African Airways Customer review :  2 October 2013 by Terri Capozzi    (USA)

Rating : 1/10

Score 1 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

My daughter and I attempted to check in at Johannesburg's OR Tambo airport for our flight to Victoria Falls Zimbabwe. Although we were timely and had paid nearly 8,000 rand each for our tickets, we were not allowed to check in. We were told that the airline had overbooked the flight. Told that, although another group had not yet checked in, we were not going to be issued boarding passes unless someone failed to appear. My daughter was able to get on the flight but I had to remain behind and spend the night at the airport Holiday Inn. The airline paid for the hotel and my meals, but I asked for a rental car instead of a hotel so I could drive to Vic Falls and only miss half a day of riding. I was refused. The airline gave me a free domestic flight anywhere SAA flies in Africa to be used in the next year. I live in the US and have little or no chance of getting back to Africa in the next year. When I got on the plane, I saw at least ten empty seats in business class. I missed a full day and a half of my six day riding tour. My daughter and I were split up during our vacation and left to travel separately. South African Airlines personnel were polite, but just passed me around like they were completely helpless.



South African Airways Customer review :  25 September 2013 by Enoch Osana    (Uganda)

Rating : 8/10

Score 8 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Entebbe to Johannesburg, 15th Sep and back 21st Sep, flight SA161 and SA160 respectively. I was jolted out of my sleep by a loud announcement that 'after rebooting several times, the TV screens at the back have failed to function and we apologise for the inconvenience'. Come to think of it, even on 15th, those screens never worked and the whole flight seemed like one of our typical bus rides. That aside, the rest of the things were pretty good. I would definitely choose SAA for my next flight down South!



South African Airways Customer review :  23 September 2013 by B Byers    (USA)

Rating : 9/10

Score 9 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Business

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Flew IAD-JNB-CPT and back on the A343 in business class. Good food, very good IFE, FA's were quite good and paid the right amount of attention to passengers while letting them sleep during this 20 hour journey. Far superior than my experience with US carriers such as UAL. Flat bed seats are good and I arrived with little or no jetlag even though I was six time zones away from home.



South African Airways Customer review :  18 September 2013 by Terri Capozzi    (USA)

Rating : 1/10

Score 1 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

After spending almost 800 dollars months ago for a round trip ticket from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls, my daughter and I were denied a boarding pass because the airline overbooked its only flight of the day. While trying to resolve this, we learned that there was a group that had also not yet checked in, but the airline made the decision that my daughter and I, though we arrived first and in a timely manner, would have to wait standby until this larger group arrived and they were given boarding passes. Because one person did not show up, we were given one boarding pass. I sent my daughter ahead without me and I am sitting in a Holiday Inn near the OR Tambo Airport waiting to fly out tomorrow. To make up for missing two days of my tour, the airline has given me a voucher for a domestic flight on their airline to use in the next year. As I am halfway around the world from home, this voucher is useless. Although polite, staff just shuttled me from person to person, place to place. So instead my daughter is alone in Zimbabwe and I am alone in Johannesburg South Africa. This is utterly wrong.



South African Airways Customer review :  27 August 2013 by P Mohanram    (Canada)

Rating : 10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

I flew SAA from Mumbai to Cotonou (Benin) via Johannesburg. I arrived early enough in Mumbai to get an exit row seat. That was brilliant - great legroom and very comfortable. The other seats also seemed nice. Plane was an Airbus 330-200. IFE was great - but I slept for most of the flight. I usually get an Asian veg special meal - but it was one of the default options. Flight landed a bit early at Jo'burg. Spent an hour or so shopping. On the flight to Cotonou, I was upgraded to business class because of my Star Alliance status, I guess. This was a day flight on an Airbus A 319, so the business class was not lie flat, but rather a wider and nicer seat and with much better meals. Flight was punctual though it included 1 stopover at Pointe Noire, Congo. Cotonou airport was a mess, but that has nothing to do with SAA. Bottom line, I will fly SAA again, even if it means a few hours extra. My alternative was Ethiopian or Kenyan, but these don't have daily service to Benin and included 1 leg in an unknown African airline, which have to avoided like the plague for their terrible safety records. SAA was pricier, but I got comfortable seating, wonderful warm service and good food.



South African Airways Customer review :  22 August 2013 by Simon Erinn    (USA)

Rating : 3/10

Score 3 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

They are a real hodge podge of excellent and completely inept service. Pros: The inflight entertainment, okay legroom, inflight attendants, and meals were above average. Cons: On the return flight from JNB-JFK, I checked in 2.5 hours before the flight and was told I couldn't fly. My confirmed, reserved seats were still available, but they'd loaded too much cargo. After 2 hours of staff bickering with each other they finally allowed us on the plane but had given my family's seats away to someone else. When they finally issued our seats we were scattered and all 4 of us were in the worst possible, non-connected middle seats. No apology for the inconvenience. The inbound flight from IAD-JNB did not have these issues and remitted a higher rating. But it felt like customer service roulette. They did however misplace one of our luggage items and took 4 days to get it to us.



South African Airways Customer review :  22 August 2013 by Greg Jones    (USA)

Rating : 8/10

Score 8 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Business

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

We just got back from a trip to South Africa (DC to Cape Town and elsewhere). My three most favorite words in the English language are now lay-flat seats. The flight attendants were very good and attentive. For more than 40 hours in the air (round trip), I never once had to hit the call button or hunt down a flight attendant to seek service. My glass always seemed to be filled. Now, I must admit, their food is not all that great, but still, it is much better than best cuisine you'll ever get in coach. Besides, on a trip as lengthy as what we faced, having space and comfort trumped food. In the comfort and space department, SAA certainly delivered. We landed feeling very fresh and ready to go. Besides, once we landed in county, we had more than our fare share of food. So, not overeating in transit was even a bigger plus. If I ever go back, I'd fly SAA again.



South African Airways Customer review :  22 August 2013 by H Blumenthal    (France)

Rating : 1/10

Score 1 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Business

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

My experience was on the Douala to Libreville (continuing to Johannesburg) flight in the evening. I bought a business class ticket but got a low-cost coach airline service. At check-in, whatever weight you will pay extra for a 2nd piece of checked-in luggage. On board, business seats are coach seats and worst is the service: dinner is an extremely bad sandwich (dry bread with no more than 1 ounce of chicken) and a choice of sodas, no wine, no beer.



South African Airways Customer review :  7 August 2013 by L Hibbert    (UK)

Rating : 4/10

Score 4 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

My flight to South Africa with my 6 month old was fine, in fact quite enjoyable. Unfortunately our return flight could not have been any worse due to the over booking and re-seating process. We were we tossed from pillar to post as the seat we had been allocated was taken to re-seat a mother and daughter. I was then offered another seat which was next to another re-seated passenger, obviously put out as he had been downgraded due to the plane being overbooked. I was then re-seated for a final time in between 2 people. It was certainly not ideal with a 7 month old as I could not get up easily if I needed to settle my son. I felt the service in this case fell well below the standard I expected and below that which I experienced on the outbound flight.



South African Airways Customer review :  25 July 2013 by V Naidoo    (Australia)

Rating : 9/10

Score 9 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

DUR to JNB (SA 562) on 24-Jun-13. Enjoyed this flight, not only because I had an emergency exit seat (which was more spacious compared to other airlines) but also because the service by the FA's was brilliant. The food was also notably good and the flight arrived on-time.



South African Airways Customer review :  15 July 2013 by AJ Gill    (South Africa)

Rating : 9/10

Score 9 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Flew on SA531 Johannesburg to Durban on 12 July. The economy class service was excellent and efficient. I was very impressed with the service on this short flight.



South African Airways Customer review :  12 July 2013 by Athi Rulashe    (South Africa)

Rating : 6/10

Score 6 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

SA078. From JNB-WDH. Boeing 737-800, good tasting food, chose the chicken option which was well cooked. Service on the other hand was below average as one of the air hostesses was unfriendly to one of my friends. Inbound flight from WDH-JNB was a very pleasant experience. Flight SA075: A Star Alliance Boeing 737-800 jet was a little outdated on the seats but the service was very good, before I knew it, a hot lunch was being served and tasted great for airline food, good portion size and plenty of water after a long tour of Namibia. Very smooth landing on both flights. Looking forward to flying with South African Airways in the near future.



South African Airways Customer review :  9 July 2013 by R Fisher    (USA)

Rating : 7/10

Score 7 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Business

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Flight from JNB to LHR was an overnight flight in business class. Service was very attentive, wine nice, and food good for airline fare. Service was better than Lufthansa, on par with Turkish Air, and much better than United or US carriers. Only problems was the seat and video. In could not get the lumbar comfortable for sitting (minor problem) but sleeping was difficult. Felt that there were rods in the sear when I put it in the lie flat position. The video system seemed to run all the movies in sync and did not give a menu of choices.



South African Airways Customer review :  5 July 2013 by Derek Salter    (South Africa)

Rating : 10/10

Score 10 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Day trip to Johannesburg from Cape Town. Early morning flight from CPT to JNB and then evening return. Both planes fairly full. Left slightly late on both occasions but made up time. Did on-line check in so went straight to security. Boarding easy. Upgraded on first flight which was very pleasant - more comfortable seat and extra leg room. Staff on both flights helpful and courteous. Food - business and economy excellent - full cooked meals - for a short two hour flight.



South African Airways Customer review :  4 July 2013 by Joyce Wesson    (South Africa)

Rating : 7/10

Score 7 out of 10

Cabin Flown

Economy

Value for Money

Seat Comfort

Staff Service

Catering

Entertainment

Recommended

Travelling from Heathrow to Cape Town via Johannesburg is horrendous. Please bring back direct flights. The journey from Heathrow to Cape Town involves long walks and long waits between flights. I found it more than a little tiring as an older person.




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