SAA Airline info

SAA plane
SAA plane
Background

As the national carrier, South African Airways offers extensive global reach when it comes to flight routes across South Africa and the rest of the world. SAA operates daily domestic flights to and from all major cities within SA including Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Richards Bay.

Internationally it covers 30 destinations in 26 countries across Africa, Europe, North and South America, Australia - most recently adding direct flights to Dublin, Beijing and New York City. In 2011 the airline received a full vote of confidence after passengers voted it the Skytrax 2011 Best Airline in Africa. The national carrier is also the first airline on the African continent to join the Star Alliance group, which means flying to long haul destinations seamlessly and for less time and money.

Check in

- Checking in at the airport

Check-in for opens 2-hours before departure and closes 40-minutes before takeoff. Passengers travelling to the USA must check in at least 3 hours before departure. On all other South African Airways international flights, passengers must check in at least two and a half hours before takeoff.

- Online check in

SAA does offer online check-in for all passengers. It opens 24 hours before flight departure, and closes three hours prior to the scheduled departure. There are also special bag drop counters for passengers with checked baggage who have checked in using flysaa.com or a self service check-in kiosk. If you have printed your own online boarding pass, proceed to the bag drop counter, where your baggage will be tagged and sent to the aircraft.

- Mobile notification

SAA offers time-saving mobile check-in via m.flysaa.com but it is available for domestic flights out of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London only. All you need to do is submit your e-ticket number or booking reference at the check-in screen, download your online boarding pass
and show it to security for scanning.

- Self check in

You are able to print your own boarding pass with the SAA self service check-in kiosks available at OR Tambo's Domestic and international departures, Durban's Domestic departures only, Cape Town International's Domestic and international departures and Port Elizabeth's Domestic departures only.

There are also special bag drop counters for passengers with checked baggage who have checked in using flysaa.com or a self service check-in kiosk. If you have printed your own online boarding pass, proceed to the bag drop counter, where your baggage will be tagged and sent to the aircraft. The self-service check-in kiosks close 90-minutes before flight departure time.

- Pre-seating

Passengers are able to pre-seat themselves when checking in online as well as with the self-service kiosks.


Onboard services

- Wifi

No wifi on flights as yet, but they do offer free wifi in their lounges on the ground.

- Food

Meals aboard SAA are included in the price of the ticket, so you don't need to carry cash or a credit card to pay for your snacks. They describe their food as a "menu of culinary delights" created by their team of celebrity chefs. Alcoholic beverages, including a range of great South African wines, are available on all flights.

Special meals are offered on selected flights only. Order and confirm these meals no less than 24 hours prior to departure time.

Of interest: South African Airways is the first airline to be granted honorary membership to the South African Chefs' Association, ensuring the impeccable quality you deserve.

- Entertainment

SAA offers a wide selection of in-flight entertainment in the form of movies, music and even interactive games on flights lasting longer than three hours. The complimentary inflight magazine, Sawubona, is available on all flights.

Audio and video: Every seat on certain SAA aircrafts* is now fitted with audio and video on-demand systems (Sony P@ssport or Panasonic 3000 system).

* International flights only: Airbus A340-600, A340-300 and Boeing B747-400s, Personal Television Viewing: Business Class passengers travelling on Airbus A340-200 are eligible for PTV, an endless stream of acclaimed TV shows, documentaries and the latest movies.

Main screen: Economy Class passengers travelling on Airbus A340-200, B737-800 and A319 aircraft are spoilt for choice with a long list of feature films, sitcoms and documentaries. Airshow maps keep you informed about your flight - distance, altitude, timings, etc.

- Cabin features

All SAA flights have both business and economy class sections. Certain flights also cater for first class. On most of the aircraft, business class offers passengers the luxury and comfort of flatbed seats.

- Loyalty programme

Frequent SAA flyers can get more out of their travelling experience by joining the airline's Voyager Premier Rewards Program. The Miles you earn by flying South African Airways, or through the use of their partner network, can be exchanged for an array of different awards. The more frequently you fly South African Airways, South African Airlink, South African Express Airways, or Airlink Swaziland during a calendar year, the more prestigious your Voyager status becomes.



Baggage control

SAA has introduced the piece baggage concept on all its flights - effective 5 August 2012.

Travel Between

Business Class

Economy Class

Domestic (within South Africa)

1 piece at a maximum of 32kg (70lb)

1 piece at a maximum of 23kg (50lb)

Worldwide – USA / Canada

2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each

2 pieces at a maximum of 23kg (50lb) each

Africa and South America

2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each

2 pieces at a maximum of 23kg (50lb) each

Africa and Europe / UK

2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each

1 piece at a maximum of 23kg (50lb)

From Blantyre / Lilongwe to London

2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each

2 pieces at a maximum of 23kg (50lb) each

Africa and Asia / Japan

2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each

2 pieces at a maximum of 23kg (50lb) each

Africa and Australia / New Zealand

2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each

1 piece at a maximum of 23kg (50lb)

Africa and Africa: except Libreville / Doula and Lagos

2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each

2 pieces at a maximum of 23kg (50lb) each

Africa and Libreville / Douala

1 piece at a maximum of 32kg (70lb)

1 piece at a maximum of 23kg (50lb)

Africa and Lagos

3 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each

3 pieces at a maximum of 23kg (50lb) each

South America and Australia / New Zealand

2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each

2 pieces at a maximum of 23kg (50lb) each

South America and Asia / Africa

2 pieces at a maximum of 32kg (70lb) each

2 pieces at a maximum of 23kg (50lb) each

Check out the SAA site for full details.

Plane facts

South African Airways is one of the world's oldest airlines having been formed on 01 February 1934, just over 30 years after the Wright Brothers made the World's first powered flight on the 17 December 1903.

The most prestigious Airline on the continent SAA, is indeed leading the industry by taking Africa to the world and bringing the world to Africa. Being the only African airline that is a member of the Star Alliance, which is the world's largest global airline network, they offer over 20 destinations into Africa and a total of over 700 destinations globally. Our national carrier has one an array of awards since 2008. The list goes something like this:

• ‘Air Cargo Award of Excellence' from Air Cargo World magazine.
• ‘Best African Cargo Airline' from Air Cargo News.
• ‘Airline of the Year' from CBC African Business Awards.
• ‘Africa's Leading Airline' from World Travel Awards.
• ‘Best Airline to Africa' from UK-based Travel Weekly in its Globe Travel Awards (for the 17th consecutive year).
• ‘Best Airline based in Africa' from OAG, a global flight information and data solutions company (for the 10th consecutive year).
• ‘Best African Airline' from Telegraph ULTRA in the UK (for the 9th consecutive year.)
• ‘Best Airline in Africa' and ‘Best Cabin Crew in Africa' by Skytrax, research advisors to the aviation industry (for the 6th consecutive year).



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