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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 327 reviews
6/10
4 star Skytrax Rating
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7/10

"flight attendants were miserable"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | Johannesburg to London with South African Airways. The flight was excellent, the inflight entertainment was good and even the food was acceptable. However, the flight attendants were the most miserable bunch I've ever met. I was sat next to one as I had an exit row. I smiled and said hello when they first came to their seat and got no response. Even later in the flight when they came back, I got nothing. I presume something must have gone wrong for them - they did all look exceptionally tired. It's a shame as other SA Airways flights were good with no staff issues.
AircraftA330
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJNB to LHR
Date FlownAugust 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
1/10

"cancelled due to technical issues"

(South Africa)

Johannesburg to Frankfurt with South African Airways. After checking in for this flight, the 279 passengers were informed it was delayed to the next morning at 07:00h. All passengers were managed by 3 employees of SAA. We were put up in the Southern Sun Hotel. Airport Shuttle has a 14 seat capacity. By the team I reached Frankfurt at 18:00h the following day my transatlantic connection to Toronto was long gone. I was put up in the airport hotel in Frankfurt and rebooked to Canada the next morning. Reached Sudbury after a 60h trip. On the same trip, my return flight SA208 Washington to Johannesburg was also cancelled due to technical issues. I was rebooked with British Airways via London - by that time SAA must have realized that they are not able to fly passengers - never again.
AircraftA340
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJNB to FRA
Date FlownAugust 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
1/10

"entertainment system didn't work"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | London Heathrow to Johannesburg with South African Airways for the first time. The entertainment system didn't work the whole journey (11hrs flight), the food had no choice by the time it got to my row, it was very cold. I normally travel with Emirates as last minute booking but I thought I would try South African which has left me completely in shock. I paid a lot of money for this service and the same problem on my way back to London. Very disappointed and would never use again.
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteLHR to JNB
Date FlownAugust 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
3/10

"seating was comfortable"

(New Zealand)

Johannesburg to Cape Town. Boarding was not good. Very steep stairs and no control by staff. Seating was comfortable. Drinks were nice. I was surprised that some passengers were given 3-4 small bottles of wine each. Food was nice. Disembarking was quick. Cabin staff were a bit abrupt and showed annoyance with some passengers. What puzzled me was how people ignored warnings about mobile phone use and kept using them during takeoff and landing. No communication from the cockpit and a brief announcement by cabin staff just saying thank you for flying with this airline. In the safety briefing they left it up to the video which did not show me where the nearest exit was.
AircraftA320
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJNB to CPT
Date FlownAugust 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
1/10

"dishonest about our connection"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | Flight was booked through an agent for Lufthansa operated by SAA. We arrived at Johannesburg Airport for our flight only to discover it was cancelled and re-scheduled for the following morning, but cannot blame SAA as they apparently communicated with the agent who did not inform us. I must commend SAA for the hotel booking at the airport overnight. The next morning we checked in and asked about our connecting flight from Germany which was operated by another airline and we were informed it was not yet booked but we will find out in Germany as an agent from SAA will be waiting on the ground. However, on arrival it was not the case and found our way to Lufthansa service desk where we were assisted. Upon enquiry about the connecting flight we were told that SAA booked us on flight that departed at 2pm the same day yet they were very much aware that their flight would arrive at 6pm. The next connecting flight was only available the next day at 11am - yet another night we had to spend. This time on airport chairs and cabins without showers - very uncomfortable night as non could book at a hotel as we required visa's to leave the airport. I was fortunate to be allowed to go out on an emergency visa due to a condition but I had to leave my husband behind at the airport. My disappointment is directed at the manner in which SAA was dishonest about our connection in Germany even after we took the initiative to enquire before departure in RSA as we would have elected to board an overnight flight rather than being stranded in another country and left on our own. This non disclosure of our connection also affected other arrangements we had initially booked at our destination for both accommodation and other flights since Washington was not our final destination.
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJNB to IAD via MUC
Date FlownAugust 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
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