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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7/10

"as usual the service was rushed"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | Overall, a pretty good flight from Johannesburg to Dakar, although the seats were old (first seat did not recline, second seat the audio was not working, and the third seat was finally OK). However, they are very comfortable and a mattress and duvet are provided. The crew were very friendly, but as usual the service was rushed: five minutes after serving the cocktails, they showed up with the starter, followed by the main dish another 5 minutes later, it would be nice if they would let the customers relax, especially if the business cabin is less than half full and the flight departed at 7pm. On an 8.5 hour flight, no second service was provided which is poor. Was it worth the €2500 fare? No. The friendliness of the crew and the amarula saved the experience on SAA.
AircraftA330
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RouteJNB to DKR
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

"avoid OR Tambo International Airport"

(Australia)

Verified Review | South Africa is a wonderful destination if you avoid OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg. SAA staff, particularly in the business class lounge, were rude and incompetent. They could not explain the layout of the airport, an important skill one would assume when the airport has no maps and the point of departure for Flight SAA 280 changed back and forth from Gate A15 to A01 to A18, a journey of several hundred metres through and around retail outlets. After several delays we were allowed to board the aircraft only to discover that the baggage handlers had loaded the stowage bins for the forward compartment into the rear of the aircraft and vice versa, not a comfortable mistake when the aircraft is facing a 10 hour flight over the Indian Ocean. The skipper explained to the hot, tired and thirsty passengers that the reshuffling of the containers would take 10 minutes, in fact it took 40, and to add insult the only in-flight entertainment was a tumbling kaleidoscope of photographs, projected on small screens, of apparently happy and competent ground staff.
AircraftA343
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RouteCPT to PER via JNB
Date FlownDecember 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
8/10

"seats were comfortable and seat pitch was great"

(Greece)

Verified Review | JNB-VFA-CPT. Not problem of the airline but getting through immigration at JNB is a hustle. Airplanes were clean and new. Going to VFA we had 20 min delay and returning we had 1 hour and half delay. Service was good and if you ask they bring you pillow and blanket. Food was great also, in the international and in the domestic service. E-check in was 24 hours before flight time but in the domestic flight you could not change seat selection. Seats were comfortable and seat pitch was great. Overall a good experience.
AircraftA320, Boeing 737
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJNB to CPT via VFA
Date FlownDecember 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
2/10

"my worst business class experience"

(Australia)

Verified Review | Perth to Johannesburg with South African Airways was my worst business class experience. Seating ordinary and food diabolical with no real choice. 11 hour flight and no snacks available, despite raising the issue twice. Unfortunately I have a return flight booked in a few weeks. Not looking forward to it.
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RoutePER to JNB
Date FlownDecember 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
8/10

"revive belief in the joy of flying"

(United States)

Verified Review | Durban to Johannesburg. South African Airways aircraft might be a bit older but they are clean and comfortable. Ground staff seem knowledgeable and friendly, while flight crew are courteous and quite personable. Food is a bit amateurish, but what do you expect from short domestic flights? For someone like me, who correlates domestic flying to a form of torture due to years of flying with airlines in the US, SAA will revive your belief in the joy of flying, regardless if they are domestic or international flights.
AircraftA320
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteDUR to JNB
Date FlownDecember 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
1/10

"worst customer service imaginable"

(United States)

Verified Review | New York JFK to Harare return via Johannesburg. One of the worst travelling experiences I've ever had. On my leg from JFK to Johannesburg , the entertainment system on my seat was not working. I had to spend the flight with no TV while everyone else around me enjoyed their entertainment systems. When asked, the air hostess stated she had attempted to reset the system but failed and since she was not an engineer, there was nothing else she could do. I asked if I could be moved to different seat, but that could not be accommodated. One my flight back to JFK, the airline lost 1 of my 2 suitcases. The suitcase literally vanished into thin air and has not been able to be traced. I called the airline for 2 weeks straight with no one able to give any information regarding my bag. I literally called SAA at least 50 times, each time getting a different service agent who was less helpful than the last. This trip was an absolute nightmare - I'm still missing my luggage and have not been compensated for it. Not a single person from SAA has contacted me and they have the worst customer service imaginable.
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJFK to HRE via JNB
Date FlownNovember 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
8/10

"positives offset the negatives"

(United States)

New York to Johannesburg with South African Airways. The legroom on our 15 hour flight was excellent. The crew were the friendliest I have experienced. The flight left and arrived on time. On the southbound flight, the audio was not working, the window had so much condensation I was unable to enjoy the views and the window shade was filthy. However the route map kept me entertained. We were well fed. A generous lunch; stroganoff, pasta salad, cheese, cheesecake and a snickers bar. Excellent. Halfway a smoked chicken sandwich and a pre-landing cheese pancake breakfast with fruit, yoghurt and a croissant. The positives offset the negatives and the time passed by. I was able to sleep a little. Overall, I enjoyed the flight and the fact that we flew nonstop. We saved over 10 hours by doing so. On our return flight, the entertainment worked on my row but not in the row behind me where my friend was sitting. Also a wonderful friendly crew. We left on time and arrived 40 minutes early. I enjoyed both flights and was impressed by the legroom, the food and the crews. However flying out of Johannesburg, they are fussy with luggage weight. We were 2.5 kilos overweight on one suitcase and the check in agent made a fuss about it asking me why I had so much stuff. When I told her I would pay for the excess luggage she told me she did not know how to calculate the extra fee. She told me I would be excused this time.
AircraftA340-600
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteJFK to JNB
Date FlownOctober 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
2/10

"to date, silence prevails"

(Australia)

Verified Review | Perth to Johannesburg flying on 1 September 2016 was cancelled and chaos followed; no-one at the airline knew what was going on. Eventually we were told that we would be checked in at a hotel for the night. We had to cart our luggage for the best part of 500 metres to wait for the bus in the cold of the night. We waited for 45 minutes. Naturally, as the substitute flight did not take off until 1600hrs the next day, we lost our connection to Cape Town and one night accommodation at the Table Bay Hotel at the Waterfront. In addition we lost half a day's tour of Cape Town. The worst part is that we had pre-paid for our seats as we wanted to have a window and aisle seat at a cost of AUD$66. When we checked in on the substitute flight to Johannesburg we were allocated the middle seats - the very ones we were trying to avoid originally. We complained to SAA by sending several e-mails to its customer service from 28 September 2016 but to date, silence prevails. The mission statement of SAA was that it cared for its customers first and foremost. We certainly do not believe in it.
AircraftA340
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RoutePER to JNB
Date FlownSeptember 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
1/10

"strongly advise to avoid SAA"

(Australia)

Verified Review | Windhoek to Johannesburg (SA73) with South African Airways in economy (Star Alliance Gold member). I experienced the most appalling behaviour of a flight purser in 40 years of travelling by air. Despite the fact that the cabin was less than half empty, this employee offended not only me but a myriad of other passengers by not even considering using her discretion to allow a second piece of hand luggage (consisting of expensive camera equipment) onboard. This resulted in a major inconvenience, as I had to – instead of remaining in transit - go through immigration in Johannesburg (a queue miles long), pick up my second hand luggage from the carousel, go through immigration and security again (another mile queue) to catch my connecting flight to Nairobi (SA184) at such a tight timeframe that I almost missed it. In the light of this experience I, as a frequent and mostly premium class traveller (Star Alliance Gold and OneWorld Platinum/Emerald) and travel agent, will not only no longer consider SAA for any of my future travels, but as the owner of a travel agent I will also strongly advise all my clients to avoid flying SAA.
AircraftBoeing 737-800
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownEconomy Class
RouteWDH to JNB
Date FlownOctober 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
8/10

"the service was excellent"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | Johannesburg to Durban. The service was really good, it was my first time flying business class and the purser was fabulous. It wasn't the new A320's as I had expected but it was really comfortable and clean, they had a option of continental breakfast or a fruit platter which looked really good but I just wanted something to drink as I just got off another flight. Left ahead of schedule and arrived early. Short flight, but the service was excellent and boarding was really fast and the gate staff was friendly.
AircraftA320
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Cabin FlownBusiness Class
RouteJNB to DUR
Date FlownOctober 2016
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes