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Home / World airlines / South Africa / South African Airways

South African Airways

Country: South Africa
National flag carrier of South Africa
IATA code: SA
ICAO code: SAA
Membership in the alliance: Star Alliance
Head office: Private Bag X13, Johannesburg International Airport, Johannesburg, Gauteng, 1627, South Africa
Phone number: +27 11 978 1111
Fax number: +27 11 978 5103
Year established: 1934
Main bases and hubs: Cape Town International, Johannesburg OR Tambo International
Fleet: Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Airbus A330-200, Airbus A330-300, Airbus A340-300, Airbus A340-600

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South African Airways. Airline code, web site, phone, reviews and opinions.
Copyright Jeremy Denton

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Reviews & Opinions of South African Airways:

08 June 2015 FURIOUS

DO NOT FLY SAA. I flew from Bloemfontein to Harare over a month ago and booked my luggage direct. Needless to say it never arrived. Over a month later and still no luggage. I have not received ONE phone call from SAA. I have had to call the airport department, Joburg, Bloemfontein and make several trips back to the airport to check myself. I have left numerous messages and been into their head office. No one cares. Even the manager promised to call me back (speaking face to face in her office) and five days later I am still waiting. SAA are now avoiding my calls and I either get cut off or told the manager is busy, in a meeting or on another call. Their service is disgusting.

24 August 2014 Adam Kidton

I am an ultra-frequent flier Diamond Skyteam (Delta); Executive Platinum Oneworld (AA), 1K Star Alliance (UA) and I have travelled SAA on the New York JFK to Johannesburg route (flights 204/203) 10 times this year (5-round trips). Of these flights (9 in coach and 1 in business) only 1 has been remotely satisfactory. On 7 the entertainment system has not worked properly (on 4 not at all). On 7 flights the temperature has been either boiling of freezing and the cause of a multitude of complaints. On 3 flights I did not get the meal i ordered and on the flight I took in business the cabin smelled of the toilets, and the seat power went out, which meant that the seat could not be moved for 90 minutes. In the coach cabin, there is no seat power, and the entertainment system is contained in a steel box under the seat which eats up the vast majority of the leg room. On top of all of this, complaints whether written in flight or emailed do not get resolved... Then there is the bipolar nature of the flight crews, some of whom are apologetic and cool, but the majority of whom are churlish and in one case actually threatening. SAA on the New York to Johannesburg route is to be avoided choose either Delta via Atlanta or BA via London instead.

25 April 2014 Guest

Flew Washington Dulles to Joburg and return. Overall the service was pretty good. Very good outbound fr om Dulles, only fair on the return flight. Beware of economy seating on SAA's Airbus 340-300's. They're hard, don't recline much, and seem designed specifically to cut off blood flow below the waist. The 2-4-2 configuration makes for narrow aisles which is bad since passengers need frequent stretching and walking breaks, but it's hard to walk more than a step or two. Ticketing and baggage service at OR Tambo in Johburg was good and efficient. Unfortunately there aren't many signs directing where to go so it's a little hard to figure out. Fortunately SAA has a lot of staff floating around to direct you wh ere to go. I'd been told that SAA was a horrible experience but found it to be better than expected.

15 November 2011 Frequent SAA passenger, not any more

I flew South African Airways for 5 years. I've spend not less than 55000 US with them. Despite some acceptable service on board. The rest forget about this company. Non polite, luggage arrive days later, damaged, etc. Ive travelled because I didnt have options flying in the south hemisphere unless you go to Europe or middle east and from there to your destination. Prices in routes without competency are abusive, definitely higher in this company. If you need to make any change in your travel they'll charge you 3, 4 times or more than other companies. In South Africa they'll be almost always impolite. In the other country they'll say that they don't know or they need to ask to South Africa. Customer care is just a lie. They don't care about you. After been a very frequent traveler for many years, this year only I've spent 23000 US travelling with them. I needed to travel with my wife and kids because she was diagnosed with cancer and her treatment was a urgent paramount. After explaining the problem, presenting the evidence and begging some support to be able to travel with them, even with 13 days different dates, they offered a seat for me at a price 1500 U$ more expensive than the standard price in the same economy class. Finally Ive used an European company with much more flying distance but the price was 1300 U$ less than what they offered. When Ive informed that Ive already paid the ticket in other company and I was disappointed with them, because they didnt facilitate the option of travelling with my sick wife they offered another ticket 550 dollar more expensive than the standard. Knowing that Ive already paid in other company and in these circumstances I couldnt spoil the money I need for my wife treatment. They didnt care about how desperate I was and the suffering of my family. They didnt care about for how long I flew with them or even the customer theyll be losing. They saw a good business in my disgrace. Just do like me, flight this company in there is not any other option or the price by any other company is much more expensive. Or soon or later youll pay the consequences. But remember if you have a problem this company will take as much as possible from you for any change. They don't care the customer, they're not ethical and they don't care any customer loyalty. They are in Africa to take from Africans and traveler as much as possible given them as less as possible abusing that they are in Africa. SAA is an abuser company. I hope will appear many other companies operation in the southern hemisphere and we'll never again be forced to use them. Even paying more or flying longer distance I'll do my best to not use them. If you are flying with them, don't say later that you didn't know. When you need them more, they'll not be there. Invest in becoming a loyal customer of a serious company. I couldnt imagine how I was ignored by this people. Dont believe it will be different with you.

All Reviews of South African Airways

South African Airways Discussion:

22 October 2017 Guest

Just a follow up to my message sent octobre 2015: after two years now I confirm that SAA has no policy to compensate for lost bag and is not willing to proactively respect international laws by doing so. They simply don't care about passengers. I have finally fill a case to oblige them towards my country law authority.

07 May 2017 Dr Vivek Solanki

Who can please help me I have lost my silver/diamond ring on a flight to Hong Kong on Friday 4/5/17 - Flight No. SA0286 and I was sitting in seat No. 48G

28 January 2017 Guest

It should be the worst airline i had traveled. No concrete answers from staff. They even not able to trace lost luggage. Very Bad Airline. I lost my luggage in South African Airlines and wont use this airline in future.

21 April 2016 Nataliya

Never never never fly with SAA - especially via Johannesburg. My parents' luggage (2 bags) got missing when they had a layover in Johannesburg on their way to Windhoek. And the SAA staff does nothing to investigate it. It's been 2.5 weeks and it is clear now that the bags were stolen. I had to file the claim to get a compensation but people say i won't get anything because SAA never cares about their reputation.

Discussion of South African Airways

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