South African Airways
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South African Airways Reviews
"Great flight crew"
I had no expectations and what a pleasant surprise the flight was. The crew were very attentive. The 'beds' were flat and pretty comfortable.. I asked for an extra pillow and that was not a problem. The food was most enjoyable as were the wines. After the Qantas lounge being so awful at Perth Airport it was a pleasure to be aboard. I slept well. I consequently flew with this airline internally in Africa and every flight was very good.Well one was delayed!!
"Cancelled Flight Resulted in Missing Husband's Mother's Funeral in Cape Town."
Booked SAA Flight 208 from Dulles on 2/13/2012. Flight was cancelled late in the evening due to mechanical problems. Flight from previous day had been cancelled for same reason. We were going to the funeral for my mother-in-law who passed away on 2/12/2012. This was earliest flight we could get a reservation for. Flight was cancelled and replacement flight did not leave until almost noon on 2/14 causing us to miss the funeral. The airline didn't care - acted like the cancellation was routine. Gave us a voucher for 25% off a future flight that stated it was good for a year but was back dated two months prior to date we received it so it was really only good for 10 months. Nothing can make up for my husband missing his mother's funeral. Seats in economy are horrible - concave shape which provides no lumbar support, requiring you to sit in an unnatural position and bottom of seat is hard as a board! Complaints to airline were met with same lack of interest - sorry you missed the funeral, etc., etc. Food was awful. Flight attendants all had attitudes and one of them was falling asleep while standing up on our return from Johannesburg on 2/29 on the leg of the trip from Johannesburg to Dakar. How safe was that? We plan to book a group tour in 2013 and will look for any airline other than SAA.
My sisters and I travelled to Zimbabwe on Singapore Airlines from Brisbane, Australia then connected onto a South African Airline to Zimbabwe in Johannesburg. During the transfer, our luggage was broken into by baggage handlers at OT international airport and itemes stolen from two of the suitcases.
Earlier on when we checked in the counter staff were very rude and argumentative and refused to track our baggage to confirm if it had been redirected to Zimbabwe. On arrival at Joshua Nkomo Airport we noticed straight away that our suitcase locks were broken as the luggage was brought through into the arrival area and alerted airport official who examined them and made a report. We have since heard numerous stories about luggage break-ins from people who travelled to/through South Africa. Something needs to be done and soon!
Our initial flight was cancelled from JFK to JNB the night before we were due to leave the US, but we weathered that, our next leg was delayed by an hour or so from JNB to HDS, we weathered that too, but from JNB to Livingstone, out of 15 people traveling, the airline personnel broke into 10 pieces of our luggage, and not once in all the 10 legs we took, in all the airports we complained in, all the personnel we complained to, did a SAA employee treat this with any kind of a serious issue, including when we came home and tried to deal with it here.
They made us feel bad for putting anything of value in our suitcases. They told us that employees scan the luggage and then know exactly which pieces to break into. If they know this, why don't they stop it right there and put either more security there, or more cameras? For them to have rifled through 10 pieces of luggage, this took time, which tells me it was not an individual person, but an entire ring of thieves.
Only if you wish to spend the time, go back to the airport, file an immediate report, waste several hours of your VERY precious vacation time, will they do anything about compensating you for damaged luggage.
But you can kiss goodbye anything that may have been stolen. In very fine print, they mention not packing any electronics, cameras, computers or cell phones, but if you didn't read the VERY fine print, they will crucify you that you packed anything of value in your luggage to begin with, and let you know that clearly this is your fault.
Make sure to take anything you value or cherish in your carry-on, and don't bother locking your luggage, they'll just snip the lock
In every other way, they were a great airline, movies, flight attendants, food, seating space, cleanliness, but it definitely ruined the mood that they had so much theft.
"Don't Fly with this lot"
1. 90% of SAA's staff (90% who seem to be female) are the most stuck up, unfriendly, unhelpful and plain useless bunch of airline staff I have ever encountered. This refers to both ground and cabin staff. They seem to think that you are there to serve them and not the other way round.
2. Even though I had checked in online and retrieved my boarding card from their automatic machine at OR Tambo airport, I was told that the baggage drop only opened at 09:00 which was pretty pathetic seeing as how their first flight leaves for Cape Town at about 06:00 and I was on the 08:00. I then had to join the check in queue to drop my suitcase.
3. SAA seem obsessed with baggage weight. They even weigh your hold baggage as you stand in the queue waiting to check in (or in my case drop off) your suitcase. Worse, on my return from CT on the Tuesday morning - when I had a reduced load in my small (correct cabin size) suitcase and wanted to take it into the cabin so I could make a quick getaway at Jo'burg - I was told that it was too heavy at 9.5kg (their allowance is 8kg) and I would have to put it in the hold. When I complained to a supervisor I was told that it would be weighed at the gate and their competitors - who I had said have no problem with hand luggage weight - would get the same treatment. This was a lie as its only SAA that do this. Why??? Probably because it allows them to employ even more useless ground staff to irritate their customers and make more undeserved money from them. Judging by the prices they charge, there is more than enough money available already to allow this. To get around this ridiculous rule, all I did was to remove some books from the case and the weight reduced to 8.8 kg so that was 'alright' but by this stage my blood pressure was in overdrive.
4. I would heartily recommend any of the other airlines in South Africa but on this experience I will never again fly with SAA unless I have absolutely no option. They are an airline's backside.