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South African Airways

Customer Reviews

4 star Skytrax Rating
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Seat Comfort 12345
Staff Service 12345
Value for Money 12345
Customer rating from 305 reviews
6/10
4 star Skytrax Rating
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5/10

"can easily be improved"

(Zambia)

Lusaka to Hong Kong via Johannesburg return with South African Airways. Lusaka to Johannesburg, upgraded to Business Class, flight was on time and uneventful. Business Class offering can easily be improved, no drink before departure, no hand towel, first drink only served way after seatbelt sign switched off. No tablecloth when meal served, no snack with drink. All are small things but its the small details that make the difference. Second flight Johannesburg to Hong Kong. Paid the extra R500 per seat for an emergency exit seat, well worth the money - only downside being the crowd around you for the lavatory and during the night the lavatory doors don't auto shut so the light can be bothersome when left open. Flight had to be rerouted via Durban to take on extra fuel due to the heat wave in Johannesburg, added an extra 3 hours to an already long flight and keep in mind, if you have a connecting flight on another airline and you miss it, its your problem to solve - SAA will only assist if the connecting flight was booked on the same ticket. Inflight entertainment system did not work for 75% of the flight, seems to be a constant problem on SAA when I fly with them. Flight crew seem to go to sleep after serving the meal, if you want a drink its self help from the galley. We were told the breakfast would be served two hours before landing, on both flights we were served less than an hour before landing, a mad rush and told no coffee or tea as we are about to land. Return flight to Johannesburg on time, straightforward flight, this time the entertainment system worked, self help from the galley. On all the SAA long-haul flights I've been on, the seatbelt signs are turned on for several hours, even when there's no turbulence, maybe this is so the flight attendants don't have to do anything? Third flight, back to Lusaka upgraded to business class, same offer as before. I can't seem to understand the point of having a priority boarding line when you all end up in a packed bus to the plane - other airlines but on a small bus for higher class passengers, not SAA.
AircraftA320 / A340-300
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteLUN toi HKG via JNB
Date FlownJanuary 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
4/10

"seat would not recline"

(South Africa)

Johannesburg to Chennai via Abu Dhabi with South African Airways, and we boarded the flight with much enthuiasm. Once take off was completed and the plane was in the sky I attempted to recline my seat. The seat would not recline and when I informed the air hostess, she offered to move me to another seat, but not my husband. So I flew for 9 hours either in an upright position or leaning against the window and my feet over my husband. At tea service I was asked how I would like my tea, once I had explained, this airhostess was unprofessional and unpleasant. Our return flight was booked through SAA but was an Etihad Airways operated flight, our flight was late arriving at Johannesburg OR Tambo and at one stage we were diverted to Durban for refueling. On arrival we were told by airport officials that our connecting flights had already departed. We were booked into a hotel at Ethyhad's expense and was told their staff would meet us at our hotel with further travel infortion. This never happened and we were told by both Etihad and SAA that the domestic and international tickets amount to 2 separate contracts and neither airline was willing to reimburse us or get us on another flight to our connecting city.
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJNB to MAA via AUH
Date FlownDecember 2015
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
4/10

"staff were very friendly"

(United Kingdom)

South African Airways from London to Johannesburg on an A340. The airline staff were very friendly however the aircraft was showing signs of age. The entertainment system is bad, very slow and some passengers were complaining that it didn't work at all. The food served was terrible and seat comfort was also not nice, although legroom was fine. Would I fly with them again? Probably not - simply because the quality of aircraft and food were pretty bad and premium economy is another way of saying you've got an extra 2 inches of space. The cabin crew were very good - very friendly and very eager to help in any way they could so top marks there. It's just a pity it's let down by the other stuff.
AircraftA340
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownPremium Economy
RouteLHR to JNB
Date FlownJanuary 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
5/10

"revisit recruitment procedures"

(Malawi)

I really like the high standards of South African Airways having flown with them so many times. On my flight from Mauritius to Johannesburg in October 2015, the late afternoon flight was punctual with an early departure. The pilot provided a lot of flight information throughout. However, one of the cabin crew was unfriendly. I was on a window seat next to a couple, the attendant served drinks to the couple and moved on as if I didn't exist. I pressed the button and it was ignored. Come on SAA, revisit your recruitment procedures as some of these attendants are not fit to be serving customers!
AircraftBoeing 737-800
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteMRU to JNB
Date FlownOctober 2015
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
8/10

"ageing fleet was evident"

(Australia)

South African Airways from Johannesburg to Perth. The SAA Business lounge in Johannesburg is comfortable. Ageing fleet was evident in the A340-600 used on this route. The IFE controls are antiquated and the system froze, requiring a reboot. Meals and service were good, flat beds comfortable. SAA should lower the excessive cabin temperatures they set on long haul night flights - a request to reduce the temperature was acknowledged but not actioned
AircraftA340-600
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RouteJNB to PER
Date FlownJanuary 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
9/10

"passionate business class crew"

(Australia)

London to Johannesburg with SAA, and a great service from a passionate business class crew. Aircraft clean, contemporary, adequate IFE, and food of good quality and well presented. Arrival lounge in Johannesburg is good for a quick shower on arrival, but should be located beyond baggage transfer desks, not before them. The only criticism is that SAA heats their cabins to almost unbearable levels on long haul night flights.
AircraftA330-200
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RouteLHR to JNB
Date FlownDecember 2015
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
8/10

"cabin staff friendly"

(United Kingdom)

London Heathrow to Durban via Johannesburg. This was our second trip to Durban with South African Airways. The flight was chosen because it is the shortest duration flight from London. After reading reviews, I thought we would just grin and bear it. On both trips we have been more than happy with our flights. We found the cabin staff friendly, food was good, the films were OK. The wine was particularly nice! Can't really complain at all for the price and the convenience of a shorter flight (Emirates was 25 hours, SAA was 14 hours). I will book SAA again.
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteLHR to DUR via JNB
Date FlownDecember 2015
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
1/10

"service is appalling"

(South Africa)

I have guest here in Cape Town who flew in yesterday from Paris. One of their bags did not make the trip and they were told it would be on the next flight. In the subsequent 24 hours I have not been able to get one piece of information on the phone. When calling the published number for baggage issues the phone is answered promptly but I am them "put thru to Cape Town" where the phone is literally not answered. I have spent two 30 minute sessions just listening to the phone ring. No recording or direction. This lack of service is appalling.
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteCDG to CPT
Date FlownSeptember 2015
Ground Service 12345
no
4/10

"poor communication between staff"

(Australia)

A few days ago I and my family flew from Perth to Johannesburg. Shortly after take off a crew member offered me six seats between four people at the rear of the cabin. Great! Shortly after another crew member asked me to move even further back to create more room. Still okay. Ten minutes later a third tapped me on the shoulder and said: "you must move because we need this seat for someone else." Note: said, not asked. Half an hour later the extra seats we had been given were allocated to a couple unhappy with their seats elsewhere. Thus no extra room, family split up, worse seats than our original allocation, carry ons all over the plane in a variety of overhead lockers. I accept the original move was based on a desire to help but the subsequent three were presumably the result of poor communication between staff.
AircraftA340
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RoutePER to JNB
Date FlownDecember 2015
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
10/10

"a positive experience"

(South Africa)

Johannesburg to Frankfurt on South African Airways was a positive experience. Food was amazing, staff friendly and the seat was comfortable. We took off and landed on time so what more could we ask for? I would fly SAA again. Keep up the great work.
AircraftA340
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RouteJNB to FRA
Date FlownDecember 2015
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes