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 364 reviews
6/10
4 star Skytrax Rating
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1/10

"never set foot on SAA again"

(United States)

Trip Verified | I booked a flight for two people on SAA going from Cape Town to Mauritius via Johannesburg on airline website. Never have I had this happen and we travel out of country every 3 months on average. The first part of our vacation was spent in Cape Town. Using ET from LAX, we had no problems, very pleasant flight. Now were ready for our second city so its back to the airport to head out for Mauritius. The SAA counter looks at my passport and says," You can't leave the country on this ticket". Why? "This is not your ticket. Your Passport says Gregory but your ticket says Greg". I tried to explain to her this is very common for Americans to shorten names. She say," Your Ticket much match your Passport Exactly" . I wanted to say, with that logic my GF can't fly either because her ticket doesn't have her middle name as does her passport but I thought better. They told me I had to cancel my ticket and buy one from them. I said, how can I cancel someone else's ticket? what If "Greg" shows up, since you people think Im not Greg? The lady didn't appreciate that lol. They ended up charging me 800USD to go from Cape Town to Mauritius. I was stuck. The sales counter even had the nerve to ask, what about your return flight, aren't you going to buy it now? I said, I worried about that in Mauritius. I believe this is a legal scam they pull to shake down customers. The sales lady say had i bought my original tickets on "Their" website, they would have just issued me a new ticket no charge. Forgive me if I don't believe. Once in Mauritius, I called my ticket broker and they said because i was a "No show" on the first leg of the flight, my return ticket was cancel and they couldn't update my name in the system. I decided to buy two new return tickets. Needless to say, I will never set foot on an SAA aircraft again. Lesson learned.
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteCape Town to Mauritius via Johannesburg
Date FlownJanuary 2018
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
3/10

"was a huge disappointment"

(South Africa)

Trip Verified | Johannesburg to Hong Kong. SAA was a huge disappointment for my daughter and myself. The seats and TV screens were dirty. The selection of movie were old and outdated. They hostess informed us they have run out of certain drinks on the first service order. When all the lights were shut down in cabin I assume that means we can all have a nap but it was impossible, the staff never stopped talking, this went on for hours. We would like to support our local airline but after this flight will rethink my future travel decision.
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJohannesburg to Hong Kong
Date FlownDecember 2017
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
10/10

"consistently excellent service"

(United Kingdom)

Trip Verified | East London to London via Johannesburg. Huge credit to SAA for providing a consistently excellent service onboard and on the ground. For passengers departing South Africa to Europe and many other routes, they have an amazing deal for excess baggage with an extra 3 bags allowed at 450 ZAR per bag (just over GBP20) compared to KQ, BA and ET all charging 7 times that - a massive advantage for long term residents travelling heavy. Good entertainment and (three) nice meal choices, with unlimited, quality alcohol throughout the overnight flight to London and also on the short domestic flights continue to set them apart. Don't expect never ending smiles from young staff, but this is part of the appeal. Very sad to hear SAA are pulling out of East London next year. We experienced some hectic storms on both journeys, but both pilots kept passengers updated and transfer at ORT was efficient.
AircraftA319 / A330
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteEast London to London via Johannesburg
Date FlownNovember 2017
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
1/10

"administrative fees for cancellation"

(Belgium)

Trip Verified | After many years travelling with South African Airways I must say that I had the most horrible customer care experience of my life. Another bad experience was some years ago and it was again with SSA, so this time I promise myself that I will never fly again with this airline and strongly recommend to avoid them. After request of cancellation of 4 tickets for very serious health problems with 2 month notice communicated to the airline company we received a feedback that administrative fees for cancellation were amounting to almost the total of what we had paid for our tickets. A real shock. In the same occasion the other airline company with which we had booked another segment of the trip refunded us against a minor cancellation fee.
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteWindhoek to Livingstone via Johannesburg
Date FlownDecember 2017
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
1/10

"filthiest plane I have ever been on"

(Zambia)

Not Verified | Johannesburg to Durban. Flight was on time, no great shakes for a 50 minute domestic flight. A drink and a sandwich severed during the flight. However - this must have been the filthiest plane I have ever been on and I have been on hundreds. The dirt, grim and filth on the table and seats was beyond a joke.
AircraftBoeing 737
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJohannesburg to Durban
Date FlownNovember 2017
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
4/10

"most of the time above average"

(Zambia)

Not Verified | Johannesburg to Lusaka. To be fair, most of the time SAA flights are above average. This time round was not one of them. My Qatar Airways flight was delayed in Doha, I spent over two hours on my mobile trying to change my flight for the next day, can't wait to see the bill, and nothing was resolved. I spoke to four different people, each time having to start at the beginning of my story, only to be told I have to visit an SAA office. Pretty hard when you are in Doha and they don't have an office there. At the end it cost me the same price as the ticket to have it changed once I got to Johannesburg airport. Once on board we taxied to the runway only to turn back and park for close on three hours due to a technical fault - we were not allowed to disembark. As I said, to be fair, this is the first delay I have encountered after 40 or so flights.
AircraftA319
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJohannesburg to Lusaka
Date FlownNovember 2017
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
7/10

"Flight Attendants very friendly"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | SA378, 11 Oct 17, Cape Town to Johannesburg. Nice presentation + ample food. Scrambled eggs tasted like powdered eggs - bland, the rest was tasty. May I suggest that Cabin Services introduces warm bread-rolls on all its flights (Domestic, Regional and International) which is almost standard on all Asian carriers and on BA International. Its the little attention to detail that passengers appreciate. Nothing worse than eating fridge cold bread wrapped in a plastic packet. Check In staff in CPT not overly friendly or welcoming - maybe because of the 04H30 check in? Flight Attendants very friendly. Purser was very attentive. New interior on A320 beautiful. SA190 / 11 Oct 17, Johannesburg to Mauritius. Lunch meal (Fish option) was bland, boring, lacking in flavour and colour. Cold bread roll as above. Lots of drinks on offer. Flight attendants on this flight friendly. Lady Purser was super friendly. One attractive YC FA was abrupt, unsmiling and didn't look like she enjoyed her job. Also noticed many elderly and over-weight crew? Does SAA still apply the BMI weight to height ratio as some airlines? Aircraft A340-300 cabin looked tired with old unresponsive PTV's and in need of refurbishment. Glad it was only a 3H30m flight. SA191 / 22 Oct, Mauritius to Johannesburg. Dinner service (Chicken option). Very nice (warm bread roll would have added an extra touch). Entire crew on this flight very professional and friendly, especially the Business Class stewardess who went out of her way to talk to and offer my American seat mates on honeymoon (New York bound on SAA that night) a bottle of MCC champagne. They were super impressed and the lady is a true asset to SAA. New A320 interior very attractive. SA375 / 22 Oct, Johannesburg to Cape Town. Dinner service (Chicken curry option). Excellent meal and yummy dessert. Very bland and boring starter. No bread roll with this meal which was OK. Same friendly Purser as on SA378 / 11 0ct 17. Male crew member serving Business Class had a great sense of humour. This crew worked as a Team, with all four crew members helping each other in YC. Old A320 cabin looked tired. All boarding Gate staff were friendly in CPT, JNB and MRU.
AircraftA320, A340-300
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownFirst Class
RouteCape Town to Mauritius via Johannesburg
Date FlownOctober 2017
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
10/10

"crew we had made all the difference"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | I fly South African Airways fairly regularly, but I must say SA77, Windhoek to Johannesburg, 12 Sep topped it. The crew we had on this flight made all the difference. Well coordinated, a CSD that had the flight and crew firmly under control, anticipated client needs well and had a good sense of humour. Good job SAA.
AircraftA320
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RouteWindhoek to Johannesburg
Date FlownSeptember 2017
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
2/10

"don't care about customers"

(Brazil)

Verified Review | SAA is randomly putting me and my wife in terrible seats, even if I have previously booked my seats. It's my fifth trip with SAA this year, 4 from and to Sao Paulo and Johannesburg, and today we are flying from JNB to Mauritius and the same situation happened again. They just don't care about customers, if the flight is empty, they just cancel the flight and put the customers from 2 or 3 empty flights in one full flight, giving random seats to me and my wife, and you just say that flight is full. I was previously checked in seats 14D and 14E, which was 3rd row in the aircraft map; and my new boarding pass is row 71, because the computer randomly put me in row 47 in between 2 other people. And the excuse is the same, that the flight was cancelled, but you can check same flight number in both boarding passes. It is not the first time, and the other times were far worse, because when we buy from partner airlines, you don't even give the option to choose the seat, even if you call SAA or the partner airline.
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJohannesburg to Mauritius
Date FlownSeptember 2017
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Wifi & Connectivity 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
8/10

"Really impressive service"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | East London to London via Johannesburg. Really impressive service on SAA to deal with a late departure on a domestic flight by an hour with an already tight connection onto a long haul flight from Johannesburg. On boarding and making the cabin crew aware of my concern, they smiled and reassured that I would make it no problem. This was confirmed when the captain announced during his pre-take-off message that he was aware of a passenger connecting to London, (and some others onto Munich), that he had alerted this to the ground staff in Johannesburg, and that there would be staff waiting at the gate on arrival to whisk us through to the connecting flights - exactly that happened! It was a pleasure to see everything work as promised, and took the stress out of a worrying situation. SAA must be commended (somehow despite their near bankruptcy - but that is another story!) for offering generous food and alcohol (giving two bottles of wine instead of one; two liqueur miniatures etc) on their flights - a notable contrast to their two competitors Virgin and BA on this route where cost cutting is so obvious. Cooked breakfast and three dinner options still offered, and flight attendants that enjoy their jobs and want to serve their customers. Only gripe was on boarding on the return at LHR, five people were struggling to locate their seats (a family had been split up across the totally full plane), and no staff were present or visible to assist - they all were in the galley before takeoff chatting, and when I went back to let them know if someone could assist they looked irritated... Small blemish though on 4 very good flights. My luggage on the return was not on the belt in Johannesburg - after a worrying 15 minutes, the baggage enquiries desk confirmed it had mistakenly been transferred onto my next flight, and it was there at my final destination. Keep in up SAA!
AircraftBoeing 737 / A330
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteEast London to London via Johannesburg
Date FlownAugust 2017
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Wifi & Connectivity 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes