✅ Trip Verified
| Cape Town to London via Johannesburg. I will start with a few positives about the experience: The staff are personable and the meal service is conducted quickly to allow the maximum sleep time on the JNB-LHR route. Access is provided to an arrivals lounge, which is essential as the airlines serves only powdered coffee. Now for the many negatives, these relate primarily to the seat and to the airline's schedule instability. The aircraft was the advertised A330-200. These are widely marketed as lie-flats by the airline and independent websites, however they are angled at about 170 deg and uncomfortable for sleeping. SAA is rare in having a different Business Class seating product on each long-haul aircraft type and also unusual to go from the extremely comfortable and 2-metre long long lie-flats on the A340-600 back to an angled version. The schedule is unstable. I was booked on SA354 at 17.05. SAA did not inform either my travel agent or me of the change in flight plans, it was only by chance that I had wifi access and attempted an online check-in to notice we had been rebooked on SA346 at 15.00. This flight operates 2 hours earlier than our original booking. For much of our trip we were in the bush and off grid so would have missed the flight if we had been coming from elsewhere. This lack of communication of a significant flight change is terrible, as we would have missed the flight had we turned up for a 17.05 departure. On check-in it became apparent that the SA352 at 16.05 was cancelled and passengers being moved from SA352 to SA354. However, a 5-hour wait at JNB was not expected or particularly welcome and no attempt was made to move us to the earlier SA234 from JNB to LHR. Staff professionalism - staff chatted in the galleys throughout the night on both LHR flights, which disrupted sleep despite ear plugs. Furthermore, my request if a snack might be available before the breakfast service commenced, only to be told there are no snacks on board. Other airlines on similar flight lengths would at the very least be able to offer a pack of nuts or crackers.