South African Airways Reviews | Opinions of South African Airways shared by travelers



South African Airways

South African Airways logo
IATA code:SA
ICAO code:SAA
Alliance: Star Alliance
Overall Satisfaction:
2.4 out of 5
28.6% of people who wrote a review recommend flying with South African Airways.
42.9% of people who wrote a review think South African Airways offers a good value for money.
71.4% of people who wrote a review think South African Airways offers a very poor customer service.
Classes of service
Economy
85.7%
Business
14.3%
First
0%
Customer Service
Excellent
14.3%
Good
14.3%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Very Poor
71.4%
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How is South African Airways ranked...?
#1
41.5 total score
7 reviews
29% Recommended
43% Value for Money
2/5 Customer Service
#2
32 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
3/5 Customer Service
#3
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#4
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#5
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#6
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#7
13.3 total score
2 reviews
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#1
78.7 total score
8 reviews
75% Recommended
88% Value for Money
3.8/5 Customer Service
#2
50 total score
2 reviews
50% Recommended
50% Value for Money
2.5/5 Customer Service
#3
50 total score
2 reviews
50% Recommended
50% Value for Money
2.5/5 Customer Service
#4
41.5 total score
7 reviews
29% Recommended
43% Value for Money
2/5 Customer Service
#5
38 total score
2 reviews
50% Recommended
50% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#6
100 total score
1 review
100% Recommended
100% Value for Money
5/5 Customer Service
#7
86.7 total score
1 review
100% Recommended
100% Value for Money
4/5 Customer Service
#8
81.3 total score
1 review
100% Recommended
0% Value for Money
4/5 Customer Service
#9
73.3 total score
1 review
100% Recommended
100% Value for Money
3/5 Customer Service
#10
73.3 total score
1 review
100% Recommended
100% Value for Money
3/5 Customer Service
#11
32 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
3/5 Customer Service
#12
26.7 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
2/5 Customer Service
#13
26.7 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
100% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#14
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#15
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#16
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#17
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#18
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#19
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#20
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#21
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#22
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#23
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#24
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#25
33.3 total score
2 reviews
0% Recommended
50% Value for Money
2/5 Customer Service
#26
17.5 total score
7 reviews
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1.6/5 Customer Service
#27
14.4 total score
5 reviews
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1.2/5 Customer Service
#28
13.3 total score
2 reviews
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#29
13.3 total score
2 reviews
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#30
13.3 total score
2 reviews
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#1
75.8 total score
15 reviews
73% Recommended
73% Value for Money
3.9/5 Customer Service
#2
56.9 total score
23 reviews
48% Recommended
48% Value for Money
3/5 Customer Service
#3
100 total score
1 review
100% Recommended
100% Value for Money
5/5 Customer Service
#4
73.7 total score
4 reviews
75% Recommended
75% Value for Money
3.5/5 Customer Service
#5
73.3 total score
1 review
100% Recommended
100% Value for Money
3/5 Customer Service
#6
71.7 total score
4 reviews
75% Recommended
75% Value for Money
3.5/5 Customer Service
#7
69.6 total score
5 reviews
60% Recommended
80% Value for Money
3.4/5 Customer Service
#8
66.7 total score
4 reviews
50% Recommended
100% Value for Money
3.3/5 Customer Service
#9
52 total score
10 reviews
40% Recommended
60% Value for Money
2.7/5 Customer Service
#10
52 total score
10 reviews
40% Recommended
70% Value for Money
2.6/5 Customer Service
#11
50 total score
2 reviews
50% Recommended
50% Value for Money
2.5/5 Customer Service
#12
46.7 total score
4 reviews
50% Recommended
50% Value for Money
2.3/5 Customer Service
#13
44.8 total score
7 reviews
43% Recommended
43% Value for Money
2.3/5 Customer Service
#14
41.5 total score
7 reviews
29% Recommended
43% Value for Money
2/5 Customer Service
#15
34 total score
2 reviews
50% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1.5/5 Customer Service
#16
31.5 total score
10 reviews
20% Recommended
30% Value for Money
1.7/5 Customer Service
#17
29.2 total score
8 reviews
13% Recommended
25% Value for Money
1.8/5 Customer Service
#18
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#19
13.3 total score
1 review
0% Recommended
0% Value for Money
1/5 Customer Service
#20
41.7 total score
25 reviews
32% Recommended
40% Value for Money
2.3/5 Customer Service
#21
36.3 total score
17 reviews
29% Recommended
29% Value for Money
2.1/5 Customer Service
#22
32.4 total score
36 reviews
22% Recommended
19% Value for Money
2.1/5 Customer Service
#23
31.8 total score
12 reviews
17% Recommended
25% Value for Money
2.1/5 Customer Service
#24
25.9 total score
39 reviews
10% Recommended
21% Value for Money
1.7/5 Customer Service
#25
23.9 total score
11 reviews
9% Recommended
9% Value for Money
1.7/5 Customer Service

South African Airways Reviews

"A good trip on an SAA A319"

Review

I received my ticket print out from a Travel Agent in S.Africa, but when I tried to use the ‘Confirmation’ code on my ticket to manage my booking – the SAA Website- (which was very slow operating) explained that at present tickets issued by Travel Agents do not bear confirmation codes which can be accessed to manage the booking and make seat or meal requests until 24 hours prior to departure. Only tickets issued by the SAA registered offices can issue tickets with ‘Manage my booking’ codes.
24 hours prior to departure I checked in on line for my connecting flight from Mauritius and got my Boarding cards for both the Air Mauritius and also the connecting South African Airways flight and also the seat request information that I sought.

(See my review of JNB Tambo International Airport if you’re interested).

I boarded the South African Airways Airbus A319 flight at Gate A5.
The plane was crowded with every seat taken.
The flight was safely and smoothly and professionally operated.
The cabin crew were very good. The cabin announcements were informative and helpful and regularly repeated. The two female Afro-South African cabin attendents were happy and friendly and helpful – very good service. Meal service OK.
The flight deck announcements were informative and helpful too.

A slightly larger Aircraft to operate the route would make it more comfortable.

For the return trip 3 days later it was a similar story. I was able to check in on line 24 hours ahead of departure, and was issued with both the SAA boarding card and also the connecting Air Mauritius boarding card.
Both were-issued at the Airport – so I wasted some paper!
The flight was on time and well run smooth trip. Cabin service very good.Meal service OK.

However the A319 is crowded when full – not a spare seat to be seen.

Conclusion
Value for Money:Yes
Customer Service:Good
Cabin:Economy Class
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"Rude Reeza, the flite attendant with attitude"

Review

I flew on South African Airways #322 from Joburg South Africa to Dar Es Salaam Tanzania on Sunday October 27. The flight left and arrived more or less on time, and my only complaint was the flite attendant. A guy named Reeza (or Riza?) was serving the tea and coffee. He had some sort of attitude with me. I asked for just plain tea and he gave me a weird look. He asked me if I wanted it with milk or sugar. I said just tea please. He looked at me again and said, in a rather haughty tone, "The expression is 'tea without milk.'" I wasn't sure if he expected me to repeat after him so he could grade my English or what. I am American, and I am 55 years old. I speak English and am about 20 years older than this guy, and it's unusual for younger people in Africa to be rude to older people. I said just tea again and he finally gave me the tea. When he came by to collect the meal plate, I asked if his job required him to correct the passengers' English. He said he was "not able to understand me" although he seemed to have understood everyone else around me. I told him his attitude had offended me and asked if he might want to apologize. He said he had nothing to apologize for. I asked for his name and told him I would report his behavior. He immediately said he would also report mine. At that point it was clear he had some sort of an attitude or grudge towards me. I don't know why. Maybe he does not like Americans? But if you work as a flight attendant, you can't really pick who you don't like, and then mistreat them. It's your job to be polite to everyone. I speak English the way I was taught, just as he speaks as he was taught. When he left, I spoke to the man next to me, who was Tanzanian. He agreed the flight attendant was rude, and had no reason to speak to me that way. He also agreed that the attendant should have apologized to me. I will write to South African Airways, and lodge a complaint, but they never respond to such emails, so I am putting this online for anyone who reads these things. Thanks. Carl Henn

Conclusion
Value for Money:Yes
Customer Service:Very Poor
Cabin:Economy Class
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"Great flight crew"

Review

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!!

Conclusion
Value for Money:Yes
Customer Service:Excellent
Cabin:Business Class
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"Cancelled Flight Resulted in Missing Husband's Mother's Funeral in Cape Town."

Review

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.

Conclusion
Value for Money:No
Customer Service:Very Poor
Cabin:Economy Class
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"Baggage Break-in"

Review

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!

Conclusion
Value for Money:No
Customer Service:Very Poor
Cabin:Economy Class
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"Luggage Break-Ins"

Review

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.

Conclusion
Value for Money:No
Customer Service:Very Poor
Cabin:Economy Class
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"Don't Fly with this lot"

Review

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.

Conclusion
Value for Money:No
Customer Service:Very Poor
Cabin:Economy Class
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