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

"sue for compensation"

(Russian Federation)

Trip Verified | On March 5, we were scheduled to depart at 1 p.m. from Livingston to Johannesburg on Flight SA49. But, without warning, the airline cancelled the flight, and all passengers were transferred to the swing flight SA9040/SA41, which we had to fly from Livingston to Victoria Fall, and only then to Johannesburg. Since we had to catch a flight from Johannesburg to Istanbul at 7:15 p.m., we requested confirmation of the cancellation of the flight in order to return the money, buy other tickets and fly off a normal flight of another airline, British Airways. A Nsw representative from SA refused to do so, assuring us that we would arrive in Johannesburg just 1.5 hours later than the originally set arrival time (15:15 instead of 14:45). That was still enough to catch our plane from Johannesburg at 7:15 p.m. We were denied the return of tickets and sent to board the plane, where we and other passengers were simply blocked for several hours. The plane did not take off at 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. First they sorted the luggage, then it turned out that they did not have a flight permit to fly to Victoria Fall. At the same time, we were not allowed back from the plane and were physically deprived of the opportunity to fly on a flight of another airline, British Airways, which took off from Livingston on schedule at 13:30 and arrived in time for Johannesburg. As a result, we flew to Johannesburg at 6:25 p.m., 3 hours 40 minutes late than the scheduled arrival time. Despite the assurances of the crew that we would be helped to board our flight at 19:15 through the transfer corridor, this was not done. We were just escorted out of the plane and dumped at the airport. When we independently found the South african Airways office at Johannesburg airport and asked us to issue a certificate about the late arrival of the flight due to the fault of the airline, we were rude, our passport was taken away and did not want to give it away. To get the document back, we had to call the police. After that, immediately returned the passport and issued the required certificate. As a result, we lost our flight to Istanbul at 19:15, were forced to purchase tickets for alternative flights at our own expense. One of the passengers became ill at the SA (South African Airways) office, but the spokeswoman refused to call a doctor. The reason for the situation was the greed of South African Airways, which instead of two planes (the airline sold two flights to Johannesburg - from Livingston and from Victoria Fall) sent one plane, which was supposed to gallop around Victoria Falls, picking up and unloading passengers of two flights. At the same time, the airline did not even have permission to fly under such a scheme, but knowing that the flight in time is impossible, denied passengers their law the right to return tickets and tricked them to the plane, which was doomed to fly with great delay. The fact that the airline has problems is already written in the media. But perhaps it's time to stop selling tickets for flights that no airline is going to perform? We are preparing to sue for compensation for late services, denial of the right by law to a forced return of an cancelled/altered flight, and for leaving a passenger in danger in a state threatening his health, an official of South African Airways and refusal to call for medical assistance. We hope that Star Aliance, of which South African Airways is a member, and IATA will also pay attention to the situation.
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Seat TypeEconomy Class
RouteLivingstone to Johannesburg
Date FlownMarch 2020
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
1/10

"wouldn’t refund our charges"

(United States)

Not Verified | My wife and I booked and paid for exit row seats 70 days before departure for the 15 hour flight from JFK to South Africa. We were notified at the gate that we were not in exit rows and not even in the same row. We both had middle seats. When we complained we were told there was nothing to be done. The wouldn’t refund our charges and we are still jumping through hoops. There is absolutely no customer service.
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Seat TypeEconomy Class
RouteNew York JFK to Johannesburg
Date FlownFebruary 2020
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
1/10

"customer care before the flight"

(Italy)

Not Verified | Frankfurt to Cape Town. It's not a review of a flight but about customer care before the flight. SAA canceled my flight, bought two weeks before. Considering it was a multi-track flight (6 flights) i booked all the seats, but after the cancellation of two of these, they erased all the booking seats. I asked to proceed to re-book the seats for free, because I already paid for them. I contacted the customer care on twitter and one operator was good and wrote me he/she rebooked all the 4 SAA flights. After 3 days the seats seems not yet booked and I'm trying again to have an answer from them on twitter, without success. I'm really disappointed.
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Seat TypeEconomy Class
RouteFrankfurt to Cape Town
Date FlownFebruary 2020
Value For Money 12345
no
9/10

"all in all a great flight"

(Australia)

Not Verified | Maputo to Perth via Johannesburg. Two great flights. Maputo-Johannesburg: The A320 is a brand aircraft with the new cabin. The seat is a comfortable leather, similar to the ones on the A330-300. The crew were really friendly. We had a delay leaving Maputo because our engines wouldn’t start due to a faulty APU. The captain and first officer were very nice and told us the situation. Johannesburg-Perth: The A340-300 was showing it’s age. I believe our plane was made in 2003. The economy seats were a bit old but comfortable. There was lots of legroom for the 8hr flight. The food was great and the service was amazing. The entertainment system was quite old but had up to date movies so you wouldn’t get bored. The two things I found a let down. The arm rest wouldn’t go all the way up due to the remote for the IFE situated there. Also how you couldn’t store any baggage during takeoff or landing if you are seated in the aisle. But all in all a great flight.
AircraftA320 / A340-300
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Seat TypeEconomy Class
RouteMaputo to Perth via Johannesburg
Date FlownSeptember 2019
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
10/10

"a very pleasant flight"

(Switzerland)

Trip Verified | Cape Town to Johannesburg. Once again a very pleasant flight on SAA. The cabin crew was extremely professional and friendly. I fly many different airlines regularly and SAA ranks in my top 3 due to their excellent service. Their hard product may not be very competitive (still very comfortable though) anymore, but they surely make up for it in service and catering.
AircraftA330
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Seat TypeBusiness Class
RouteCape Town to Johannesburg
Date FlownJanuary 2020
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
5/10

"carry on luggage were weighed"

(Canada)

Trip Verified | Washington to Accra. South African airways was the most affordable way for me to travel. If you are flying out of Washington, be mindful of your carry on luggage. All pieces of carry on luggage were weighed at least 3 times. If anything was over the limit, you were obligated to pay. If you go with South African, expect bad behavior and rudeness.
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Seat TypeEconomy Class
RouteWashington to Accra
Date FlownJanuary 2020
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
no
8/10

"definitely fly SAA again"

(South Africa)

Trip Verified | Johannesburg to Cape Town. I was skeptical given the strike that only recently ended but I was pleasantly surprised by the ease and speed of the check-in. The plane was on time and the ground staff were excellent. Boarding was beautifully done and quick. We had a bus gate but that's a small qualm. Seats are old but comfortable. There were warm smiles all through the journey from the cabin crew. Drinks were a bit late in being served due to turbulence but we were informed accordingly. When they did come through, I was able to get more than one beverage. We arrived on time and my luggage was intact. Will definitely fly SAA again.
AircraftA320-200
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Seat TypeEconomy Class
RouteJohannesburg to Cape Town
Date FlownJanuary 2020
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Wifi & Connectivity 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
10/10

"friendly crew on board"

(Germany)

Trip Verified | Johannesburg to Cape Town. Good flight, very friendly service, helping and take care of customers. Good food, nice lounge before departure. Nice to fly with a friendly crew on board.
AircraftA320
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Seat TypeBusiness Class
RouteJohannesburg to Cape Town
Date FlownJanuary 2020
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
7/10

"6 across in Business not acceptable"

(South Africa)

Trip Verified | Cape Town to Johannesburg. I've flown SAA over 50 times over the last 2 years, and without exception every flight has been on time. Crew have been consistently good. Now the moans, just flown on the A350 in Business, lovely aircraft, but 6 across in Business is not acceptable for a long haul flight these days, made worse by the fact that the seats on the A330-300 are 1-2-1 and are superb. There's no consistency. I travel to Europe regularly in Business and avoid SAA simply due to the seats on the older aircraft, they've been the same for over 15 years.
AircraftA350
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Seat TypeBusiness Class
RouteCape Town to Johannesburg
Date FlownDecember 2019
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes
9/10

"Keep up the good work"

(South Africa)

Trip Verified | London to Johannesburg. I have been a SAA gold card holder for years and will always support them. However Mango their codeshare internal partner are another story, some times internal flight connections after a long haul are not available with SAA and I end up on Mango who honestly have a terrible ontime record I can’t remember the last one that was actually on time. Keep up the good work in the times of change ahead.
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Seat TypeEconomy Class
RouteLondon to Johannesburg
Date FlownDecember 2019
Seat Comfort 12345
Cabin Staff Service 12345
Food & Beverages 12345
Inflight Entertainment 12345
Ground Service 12345
Value For Money 12345
yes