Springbok747 From Australia, joined Nov 2004, 4387 posts, RR: 11 Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days ago) and read 6000 times:
Oh My God! Not on an SA A343 or the A346 (the 346 is slightly better, but still crap)! Its just plain torture!! Why don't you consider flying via Europe? Much better on a B744.
But, anyways to answer your question - My dad flew on the SA A343 JFK-JNB in May 2004. It seems there was some problem with the IFE..so no IFE throughout the flight. As if that wasn't bad enough, the whole aircraft was jam-packed. Also, they made a 2-hour refueling stop at Sal...and they weren't allowed off the aircraft. Just sitting in those cramped seats for another 2 hours!
IMO, SAA made a very bad choice switching from B744s to these damn A340s. People should enjoy long-haul travel, not be tortured.
At502B From South Africa, joined Dec 2004, 347 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 5991 times:
Yeah thanks Springbok, thats what I've heard, I'm also checking other fares and airlines via Europe. I believe KLM only has a couple of hour layover in AMS, so I'm waiting for pricing on them from my Travel Agent. It's a pity SAA has gone to that cattle car format.
Andz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8349 posts, RR: 11 Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5942 times:
Let me give you some insight from one who has actually travelled on SAA's 346. The seats are tight, there's no denying that. Usually the buklhead row gives more legroom but the seatbelts have airbags in which are awful.
The best block of seats (I don't know how many you are) is 45 DEFG on the overwing exit row. Good legroom and no airbag. The AC and HK seats in the same row have airbags.
Best seat in the house for a single traveller is 74D as it has double legroom.
SAA are repitching the economy seats on all their aircraft this year but there's been no indication of when each plane will be finished.
Other than that the 346 is a great plane to fly on, IFE is AVOD and has always worked fine when I have flown. Each seat has a game controller handset and a phone.
Another alternative is to go via LHR and get an SAA 744 to JNB, upper deck is economy and the seat pitch is 34", better than main deck. IFE is also AVOD.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
At502B From South Africa, joined Dec 2004, 347 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5940 times:
Hey Thanks ANDZ, that was some helpful info. We always had pleasant experiences before on the SA744 back home- but after hearing all the horror stories from friends and relatives about the new seating on the A340's, I was contemplating jumping ship! Anyway I will be flying home this month alone without Wife and kids, so I'll be able to get a test run. I tried for 74D but someone beat me to it.
Thanks again for your help.