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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 322 reviews
6/10
4 star Skytrax Rating
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5/10

"an overall tacky feel to it"

(South Africa)

Flew Johannesburg to London Heathrow. The service on South African Airways flights is always pretty good and I cannot find a reason to fault them on that. Even on other flights I've found the staff to be friendly and attentive. The food is nothing to write home about, but its not the worst I've had and it was a pleasant experience. Where it starts to come undone however, is the equipment/aicraft. The A340 feels like it came out of the 90s. The decor is old, the seats are old and it just has an overall tacky feel to it. The LCD (if it was even LCD) screens are so old they're tiny little squares with black lines where the "touch" sensors are. Its a pity because the flight was smooth, and service good but it was let down by equipment that should really have been removed and upgraded LONG ago.
AircraftA340
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJNB to LHR
Date FlownDecember 2015
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Wifi & Connectivity 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
5/10

"crew could not care less"

(Australia)

Verified Review | Johannesburg - Abuja return on South African Airways A330-200 for both flights. After booking managing the booking online is a task as SAA webtool is not the easiest to manage. Check in staff at JNB very cold and could not care less this was at Premium Counters. Lounge at JNB good. Good selection of food and friendly staff. Boarding swift and flight departed on time. Probably helped by the fact that load was around 25% in both Y and J. Crew barring the Pursuer in Y extremely rude and disinterested. A reasonable meal served. Arrived in time into ABV. ABV Airport another story. Return, check in a mess. More to do with the mess in Nigeria on the whole. Same crew operating the return flight. Pursuer recognised me and gave a warm welcome. This was the highlight of trip. Again very poor load. Crew could not care less. IFE and food reasonable. On time arrival into JNB. SAA a good airline but being messed by staff at all levels. A sad story.
AircraftA330-200
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJNB to ABV
Date FlownJune 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
8/10

"cannot fault the service"

(Canada)

London Heathrow to Johannesburg with South African Airways. Smooth check-in facilitated by a courteous and friendly agent. Boarding was orderly and quick. On board, the aircraft was showing its age with worn interior. Flight took off on time and service was prompt. The agent looking after my side of business class was warm, attentive and clearly enjoying her job. Food was tasty and well presented with a large variety of beverages on offer. The seat was fairly comfortable although it was not 100% lie-flat in the sleep position. The IFE was disappointing with a limited selection of new releases so I opted for sleep and got about 7 hours of it. Prior to landing a nice breakfast with fruit, yogurt, cereal and a hot main was offered. The flight landed on time and my bag was waiting for me in a designated priority luggage area by the time I got to the carousel. Aside from the IFE, I cannot fault the service and quality.
AircraftA340
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RouteLHR to JNB
Date FlownJune 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
6/10

"in need of an upgrade"

(Canada)

Johannesburg to Perth with South African Airways. The check-in was quick using the priority service lane although the agent seemed only remotely interested in looking after premium customers. The lounge was crowded and felt stuffy. The bathrooms were not very clean and appeared to lack attention. My seat change request was met by a rather surly gate agent who simply told me to ask for it when I got on the aircraft. On board the aircraft interior looked in need of an upgrade. The seat was comfortable in the upright position but offered poor support when converted into a bed. The service was rushed and lacked warmth. The dinner was bland and my fish was overcooked to the point of being bone-dry. The IFE had a decent choice of movies and I liked the feature showing the view through a tail-mounted camera. The flight left and arrived on time but was unremarkable in terms of FA's service.
AircraftA340
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RouteJNB to PER
Date FlownJune 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
2/10

"seats were terribly cramped"

(United States)

My family and I booked this flight from New York to Johannesburg months in advance, taking great care choosing our seats in exit rows and of course paying extra for the added legroom. Our seats were terribly cramped, especially by the window, where the metal seat belt strap dug into our hips. It was ridiculous. We are slender people and we were very uncomfortable. Two out of our four TV monitors were broken, so it meant 15 hours in the air with nothing to watch. The flight attendants were horrible - extremely rude and cold. The lights were turned off in order to allow sleep over the night-time flight, but the attendants stormed through the cabin throughout the night shining flashlights on the passengers to make sure no one was breaking their rules. The food was average airline food - edible at best. I will never fly South African Airways again.
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Cabin FlownPremium Economy
RouteJFK to JNB
Date FlownMay 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Wifi & Connectivity 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
6/10

"seats were comfortable"

(Ghana)

Verified Review | Flew South African Airways. Check-in and boarding for Accra-Johannesburg went smoothly. The seats were comfortable with enough legroom given the class travelled (2-4-2 configuration). Choice of movies was decent. The hot lunch (choice of chicken with rice or beef with potato) on this day flight was average and what can be expected of airplane food. Flight attendants came round once to serve lunch and that was it. On a 5 1/2 hour flight one would expect another drink and snack offered before landing. Flight attendants were in a rush to serve the food and were abrupt, with no smiles and not showing any interest in the passengers, to the point of being absolutely rude when asked a question as if it was an infringement of their precious time. Once the lunch was served, the flight attendants disappeared for the remainder of the flight. This in great contrast to the attitude of the flight attendants on the 55 minute connecting domestic Johannesburg-Durban flight, who were under much more time pressure to go round with snacks and drinks yet did their job with friendly smiles and enthusiasm. Seats on this flight (3-3 configuration) were comfortable with enough legroom). Quick luggage delivery at both arrivals in Johannesburg and Durban and easy re-check-in at Johannesburg. Pity though that customs cannot be cleared in Durban.
AircraftA340-600 and A320-100/200
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteACC to DUR via JNB
Date FlownJune 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
10/10

"willing to go the extra mile"

(South Africa)

I was arriving on South African Airways from Washington DC via Ghana and landed at OR Tambo international airport on 3 June 2016. The aircraft landed at 18:45 before I had to make my way through immigration and baggage claim. My connecting flight to Port Elizabeth was departing at 19:45 and I was in danger on missing my flight back home. The flight was about to close, however, a very helpful check-in personnel helped me in my time of need. I would have had to stay overnight in Johannesburg if it wasn't for her. Thank you for having staff who are willing to go the extra mile for customers in need.
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJNB to PLZ
Date FlownJune 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
8/10

"happy and attentive crew"

(Australia)

Verified Review | Lounge was OK at Johannesburg, no possibility of a Bloody Mary in the morning and a substandard coffee had to suffice. Staff friendly and reasonable food choice. Boarding not prioritised so those needing assistance, parents with kids in strollers, premium and remaining passengers all part of the same throng. On board a very happy and attentive crew who could not have been more helpful. Very pleasant three hour flight from Johannesburg to Mauritius with reasonable quality food and wine. Bags waiting for us at the carousel. In all a really enjoyable flight with South African Airways thanks to the crew.
AircraftA340
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RouteJNB to MRU
Date FlownMay 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
6/10

"food not a strong point"

(Australia)

Verified Review | Check in via QF in Perth was slow, only three staff for all passengers, one for premium, the other for pre printed boarding passes, the third for economy. Pre printed desk seemed to have an aversion to taking passengers from the premium queue which was about 50% as long as economy at our stage of check in. QF lounge friendly and just adequate re offerings. Boarding efficient and South African Airways flight left on time flying from Perth to Johannesburg. Mature crew who were efficient and warmed up somewhat over the duration of the flight. Food not a strong point at either dinner or breakfast and was pretty much economy standard. Wine mixed in quality but served graciously. IFE very old so did not bother choice was limited. Comfortable duvets and got 7 hours sleep. Arrived on time early in the morning where you have JNB to yourself.
AircraftA340
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RoutePER to JNB
Date FlownMay 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
4/10

"in need of an upgrade"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | Had a horrible 13 hour flight from Johannesburg to Hong Kong with South African Airways. Aircraft seemed very dated and in need of an upgrade on the interior. Seats did not seem very ergonomic and tray tables did not have any conveniences like a coat/jacket hook. Still had the double headphone port on the seat handle so very difficult to get in and out of seat when people wanted to go to the bathroom. Sound kept going off and kept requesting the attendants help but they could not resolve the issue. Screens on the TVs are ancient and very dark. One of the most frustrating things is undoubtedly the cabin announcements - the sound goes off but your video keeps playing and the announcement comes through your headphones blaring at a higher volume than you were watching at - you have to quickly remove the headphones until the announcements are done. When the seat in front reclines you have almost no room unless you recline as well and have to tilt the screen quite a bit. Bathroom ergonomics were also very poor - cramped and not very practical compared to other flights. The return flight had a wait of almost 45 min to get our bags. Overall the flight was a nightmare despite the food not being too bad. Would avoid the airline going forward unless I know its a newer plane.
AircraftA320
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJNB to HKG
Date FlownMarch 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no