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

"Airline changed seating"

(Australia)

Verified Review | Johannesburg to Maun. Callous treatment of 78 year olds disabled persons needing walking canes. Booked tickets 9 months ago to select seats 6A/B. Airline changed seating over time even after gaining boarding pass to end up in the last 2 double seats in plane with no overhead locker. Requested pre boarding but only got pre boarding onto bus. Staff at bottom of stairs to the plane refused to help with hand luggage as "passengers are supposed to carry on the own hand luggage". Ended up last passengers on plane with overhead lockers full and ours filled with emergency equipment, Cabin staff and the back door refused to help as she could not leave her position, so ended up with very cramped seating.
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJohannesburg to Maun
Date FlownJuly 2017
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
8/10

"quite modern and comfortable"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | New York JFK to Johannesburg. Cabin staff was an absolute pleasure, attentive and very professional. The business class cabin is quite modern and comfortable, I'd rate the food pretty okay, so I'll definitely be flying SAA more frequently, although I'd really appreciate some wifi connectivity - it's 2017 SAA.
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RouteNew York JFK to Johannesburg
Date FlownMay 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
2/10

"headaches and hassles"

(United States)

Verified Review | I greatly regretted booking my flight from New York to Madagascar on South African Airways. While this was the most direct route, the headaches and hassles associated with South African's booking system and web services were extensive. As a result, we spent hours trying to do such simple tasks as obtain seats, and had to spend 2 lengthy sessions on the phone with customer service, only to arrive at JFK with the problems unresolved. It is a pity that one of the leading carriers of Africa cannot run a basic website. They claimed our credit cards had been declined but on checking with the bank, there was an ample credit line and no record of any related transaction. Nor was the information concerning excess baggage relevant or accurate. Way too stressful a way to approach a 20 hour journey. Two thumbs down.
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJFK to TNR via JNB
Date FlownMay 2017
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
9/10

"cannot get better on a domestic flight"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | There are only 2 airlines flying within South Africa that have Business Class: BA on old B737s and South African Airways on multiple types of aircrafts. Between Cape Town and Johannesburg, I always choose SA because a lot of flights are on wide body jets. On this trip, I was lucky to get a brand new A330, with the new lie-flat business configuration. It cannot get better on a domestic flight: full bar, 3 course meal, and very private seating. The crew provided a great service and were very proud of the new aircraft.
AircraftA330-300
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RouteCape Town to Johannesburg
Date FlownMay 2017
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
1/10

"so disappointed with SAA"

(Australia)

Verified Review | Perth to Cape Town via Johannesburg. I am so disappointed with SAA, I will never fly with them again. Horrible customer service and even worse I was not seated in a row with the kids (3 kids), thankfully I was changed after kicking up a storm and refusing to sit through a 13 hr flight with 3 seats and someone sitting next to us in the row as well. They eventually told me that I had to pre select the seats although every time I went online it said seating to be selected 3 hours prior to departure. when we arrived to Johannesburg we missed our connecting flight to Cape Town because the flight was delayed in Perth, we had to wait 7 Hours for the next flight because there were no seats, and then to top it off we were offered nothing in the way of the guest lounge or food vouchers. It was actually beyond ridiculous. On the way back we arrived to Melbourne only to be told all our luggage had been misplaced and they had no idea where it was. We received our luggage 2 days later, it was left outside of our house. Also whilst on all of the flights my 5 yr old daughter got nothing to eat. The agent never requested a child's meal which I understand that was his mistake although they didn't even offer my child an adult meal, on every single flight they had nothing for her, why they didn't request the child's meal after the first flight I have no idea. They also gave my nearly 2 year old food for a 6 month old for the infant food. My travel agent has requested an explanation from SAA and so far (after 2 months) have only said sorry and attached their terms of conditions which don't answer a thing as their explanation. The travel agent is offering us a store credit as he feels bad about what has happened.
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RoutePerth to Cape Town via Johannesberg
Date FlownFebruary 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
2/10

"flight has been very disappointing"

(Qatar)

Verified Review | Johannesburg to Durban. I have always preferred using South African Airways for flights within South Africa but this flight has been very disappointing. I was traveling with my 5 year old daughter alone and coming after a night with very little sleep and a day of continuous flying a flight on time would have been much appreciated, but that was not to be we stood in line at the embarkation gate for over half an hour with no explanation on the delay and no estimated time of departure. My little one needed to go toilet and I tried to get any information on the tine without an answer so I had to get her out of line and take her to toilet losing or spot and ending up at the back of the line. When we board I find out that we had been seated separately and not one of the flight attendants tried to explain to passengers to help us sit together the little girl was crying quietly seated next to a strange woman. I will think twice about flying on this airline again.
AircraftA320
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RouteJohannesburg to Doha
Date FlownMay 2017
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
7/10

"the food was great"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | I flew with South African Airways on the 13 January 2017, from Perth to Johannesburg. The staff looked smart and they were friendly. The seats looked old and dirty, but had decent legroom. The food was great. The IFE wasn't too good. The headphones were very tight and the one side wasn't working.
AircraftA340-600
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RoutePerth to Johannesburg
Date FlownJanuary 2017
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
1/10

"seats in business class are worn"

(Namibia)

Verified Review | Windhoek to Hong Kong via Johannesburg. As SAA Voyager member of many years I find that my miles and being a member of this club hold very little to no privileges. This is reflective in how hard it is to even contact somebody at the airline as the phones just ring - I have to employ a travel agent to do this. The bad experience already starts in Biz Class Lounge in JNB - hopelessly overfilled, poor selection of food and drinks and they run out of ice. No departure anouncements. We get onto the aircraft, we find that my wife's seat belt installed incorrectly very much to her discomfort which they could not fix. The electronics in my seat played up which they could not fix either. On the flight to Hong Kong the temprature setting was far too high and cabin staff ignored the request to lower it. The food selection was bland and of very poor quality. No selection of newpapers or magazine - the racks remained empty on both flights. On the return flight my inflight entertainment system broke down in the middle of the movie I was watching. They could not fix. Overall the seats in business class are worn and and the same applies to the blankets and bed mat that cabin crew hand out. After dinner service the Cabin Crew is nowhere to be seen - when I went behind the galley where the door to the cockpit is siuated I actually found a signboard which read "Silence Cabin Crew resting". The airline has been plagued by politcal interference, lack of funding and management - this has also become clearly evident in the passenger flying experience.
AircraftA340
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RouteWDH to HKG via JNB
Date FlownJanuary 2017
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
2/10

"had the worst customer experience"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | I have flown with SAA every year for the last 3 years between London and Johannesburg, and I am normally pretty relaxed with not having the best travel arrangement as I know things happen and go wrong, and you can’t blame the airline. But 3 flights in a row I have had the worst customer experience, and what pushed it over the edge was my flight being cancelled 2 days before Christmas. They knew the flight would not take off from Heathrow when I checked in at 5pm but checked all their passengers in without telling them the flight had been cancelled, and only when they were at the gate ready to board did they inform everyone the flight was cancelled. They gave us an empty promise of EU compensation which they fully knew didn’t apply to the situation we were in, which we all found out afterwards when we tried to receive compensation for the delay. If they had told me when I had checked in at 5pm I could have made alternative arrangement to fly back to SA without missing my connection flight, but they made sure we were all checked in and couldn’t catch any other flights out and only told us the flight was cancelled at 8:30pm. Long story short it was shocking customer service, with very little help and assistance, and ended up costing me £300+ extra to pay for accommodation and changing flights to get home on Christmas day, more than a day later then I should have arrived home. SAA have taken no accountability for the lack of service and communication and refuse to reimburse me for part of my costs incurred. I have been a loyal SAA voyager member for over 20 years, as I want to support my home airline. But I can quite honestly say I will never fly SAA again. And for the amount of money paid for the tickets the quality of the aircraft, service and food is acceptable. I paid £1500 to fly economy, with a TV that didn’t work, food that was disgusting, no charging dock for my phone, and a very disappointing before and after customer service.
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteLondon to Johannesburg
Date FlownJanuary 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
9/10

"thanks to the outstanding crew"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | Early morning flight from Dakar to Johannesburg. The aircraft came from Washington, and a new crew took over. The seats are beginning to show their age, but are still very comfortable (they provide you with a mattress, a duvet and an oversized pillow). The configuration was 2-2-2, but I heard that in the new aircrafts it is 1-2-1. The crew did a fantastic job, especially during the emergency landing in Accra to evacuate a passenger who had a stroke. They were very professional and friendly. However, as usual, the meals are nothing special and SAA should really look at the quality of their catering. Overall, a great flight thanks to the outstanding crew.
AircraftA330-200
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RouteDakar to Johannesburg
Date FlownJanuary 2017
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes