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SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!  
User currently onlineTonyBurr From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1032 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3896 times:

I arrived today LHR-FRA-JNB on LH in C class. I use to love LH, but what a horror story! Then I switched to SA from JNB-DUR. A short flight, under one hour, but what a fantastic experience. The "new" JNB doemstic terminal is beautiful. The check in with SA went very quickly and smoothly, the plane was immaculate, the crew friendly and welcoming. We left early, arrived early. Even on this short flight they served a hot lunch in Business and a very nice deli type sandwich in Economy. They are a first class airline! I cannot imagine what they would be like on a longhaul, but once they join Star Alliance (anyone know when?), I will drop LH with pleasure and stick with SA on my South African journey.

Well done SA!

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 1, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3874 times:

I can only agree with you - in both Y and C class, SAA is above LH in my view...

By the way - why don't you book SAA under LH's flight number? That way, you'll still be flying on a Star Alliance flight number, but on a more comfortable plane?

Regards,
Frank



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineAT502B From South Africa, joined Dec 2004, 347 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3834 times:

I agree with you- that new JNB terminal for domestic is stunning. It used to be such a dump, but that is now just a distant memory  thumbsup 


I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning.
User currently offlineXpat From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 634 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3794 times:

I cannot disagree, SA short haul in economy is a class act. Long haul is good too, however, sitting on any plane for more than 15 hours can be grueling. But they try and make you as comfortable as possible.


The only thing we have to fear is the sky falling on our heads. -Asterix
User currently offlineJoKeR From Serbia, joined Nov 2004, 2238 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3783 times:

Just a quick note to also applaud SAA and JNB Domestic Terminal, truly beyond world class, well done!


Kafa, čaj, šraf?
User currently onlineTonyBurr From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1032 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3613 times:

Leskova, can you book SA under an LH code and still get the Star Alliance (UA) Frequent Flyer Miles toward elite status? I thought they told me it had to be a pure LH flight to get that. Has it chnaged? That would be wonderful if I could fly SA.

User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 6, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3545 times:

Not sure how it works on SA)">UA, but the last few times a friend flew to South Africa, she used the LH codeshare to fly on SA, and got full status miles on Miles & More - the same, as if she had used LH.

I just called up SA)">UA (it's just a local call, and I've got a day off today...) and they confirmed that you wouldn't be getting any miles on SA)">UA - you really do have to wait until SA is a full Star Alliance member (just read in today's "Die Welt", that *A's CEO said that SA would be a full member before the fourth quarter of this year).

Well... I guess you'll have to put up with LH for a while longer... but at least you know, that it'll be over soon...  Wink

Regards,
Frank



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4328 posts, RR: 35
Reply 7, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 3497 times:

SA has good on board service but when I flew them last year, both our flights out (LHR-JNB) and in (JNB-FRA) were a few hours late, especially at FRA it was a mess, we landed 5 hours late and no representative around and LH wasn't prepared to do anything with 200 passengers who missed their connecting LH flights within Europe.


nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlinePM From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 6914 posts, RR: 63
Reply 8, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 3445 times:

Hmm, I'm going to have to offer a different opinion. I've found SAA Economy Class domestic and medium-haul flights (i.e. on 737-800s) "OK" but not exceptional. But my only two long-haul flights (from JNB to Perth and back on 747SPs in Economy) were poor. The cabin staff were surly, lazy and rude, the food indifferent and the planes old and rickety. OK, they have new planes on the route now but I wouldn't look forward again to flying with those flight attendants.

User currently offlineAT502B From South Africa, joined Dec 2004, 347 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 3373 times:

Quoting PM (Reply 8):
Hmm, I'm going to have to offer a different opinion. I've found SAA Economy Class domestic and medium-haul flights (i.e. on 737-800s) "OK" but not exceptional. But my only two long-haul flights (from JNB to Perth and back on 747SPs in Economy) were poor. The cabin staff were surly, lazy and rude, the food indifferent and the planes old and rickety. OK, they have new planes on the route now but I wouldn't look forward again to flying with those flight attendants.

Actually they use early 1990's vintage A340-200's to Perth at present, So hardly new! Give me a 747SP any day Big grin



I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning.
User currently onlineTonyBurr From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1032 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 3271 times:

Leskova, thanks for the update on code sharing. I look forward to the day (whenever that REALLY happens) that SA is a full member of Star Alliance.

User currently offlinePM From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 6914 posts, RR: 63
Reply 11, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 3142 times:

Quoting AT502B (Reply 9):
Actually they use early 1990's vintage A340-200's to Perth at present, So hardly new! Give me a 747SP any day.

Wow - It's Emirates next time I go!


User currently offlineTrolley Dolley From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 3126 times:

While not wanting to put a play down the experiences of others, it should be noted that the crews on the JNB-PER sector have about 24 hours rest, after a long overnight flight and 5 hour time change. No wonder the service you received was awful. SAA looks like it is reviewing the domestic/short haul meal service. It could be on the way out.

User currently offlinePM From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 6914 posts, RR: 63
Reply 13, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 3089 times:

Quoting Trolley Dolley (Reply 13):
While not wanting to put a play down the experiences of others, it should be noted that the crews on the JNB-PER sector have about 24 hours rest, after a long overnight flight and 5 hour time change. No wonder the service you received was awful.

That certainly sounds unreasonable but I'm afraid the service was just as bad on the way out - JNB to PER.


User currently offlineRatypus From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 177 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 6 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 3060 times:

Thanks for the info about the crew rest on the JNB-PER sector, Trolley Dolley. Have to say, I flew JNB-PER in economy and was pretty happy with the flight - plane was a relatively old (?) A340-200 but perfectly ok inside, food was pretty decent (wine was definitely good!) - and the crew seemed friendly. Its also the only flight I've ever managed to sleep on - but that might have more to do with having been on an overnight coach from Harare the night before, and being awake at the SA border from 2am until 5am. Bonus!

Overall I got a good impression of SAA long-haul - maybe not as polished as BA or Qantas, but very good nonetheless.


User currently offlineAIR MALTA From Malta, joined Sep 2001, 2501 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (9 years 6 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3034 times:

I have flown SA from JNB to CPT and back in December for 142 euros (1148 rands) and the service standard was very high. I was really impressed. They come with some peanuts and a drink and they serve afterwards a hot meal. You have also IFE on board those nice B737-800. While eating you can laugh with those hidden cameras shows.

Now lets compare it to Europe.

I have flown LH from Vienna to Frankfurt and I got a Toblerone stick and a coffee in a tiny yellow plastic cup : AWFUL.

I have flown AF from Vienna to Paris CDG and I got some nice drinks including red wine and a snack and a small cake : Average

I have flown BA from Vienna to London LHR and I got the all day deli box with yoghurt, cake and juice. And you could should a hot ciabatta sandwich with ham and cheese or only cheese : Good

But the standard is a way behind SAAs. Bravo SAA though I am concened about the new measures they will take in the future for the domestic flights.

I would like to know how is the standard in BAs South African domestic flights.



Next flights : BRU-ZRH-CAI (LX)/ BRU-FCO-TLV (AZ)
User currently offlineErela From Finland, joined Oct 2000, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 years 6 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2985 times:

Flown SA a few times, previously ZUR-JNB-ZUR and LUN-JNB, funny they still operate 737-200 but in good condition.. A340-200 nice, the airline is exotic from Scandinavian point of view!

Surprised to see compliments towards BA from some of you guys, I've personally flown them ages ago but heard so much criticism lately.. though size goes up, service down. But maybe I'll have to change my stereotypes..

Juhana


User currently offlinePM From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 6914 posts, RR: 63
Reply 17, posted (9 years 6 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2983 times:

Quoting Erela (Reply 17):
the airline is exotic from Scandinavian point of view!

I thought Finns objected to be called Scandinavian?! You're Nordic, surely? eyebrow 

(OK - perhaps a little off-topic...)


User currently offlineBkkair From Thailand, joined Aug 2001, 409 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (9 years 6 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2965 times:

I also flew the 747SP from BKK-JNB about 3 years ago. Food and service were disgusting, not to mention in the interior or the SP.

Since then, SA have transformed themselves into one of the best airlines in the world (in my opinion). I have switched from CX to SA when going to South Africa. The service is magnificent (better than CX), the planes are all new (346's and 738's) with a full bed and duvet in J class (compared to CX's "lie flat" seat) and the food is much, much better than CX on longhaul. Even shorthaul, domestic in South Africa, SA still offers great services - even competing with so many LCC's.


User currently offlineErela From Finland, joined Oct 2000, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (9 years 6 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2928 times:

Quoting PM (Reply 18):

PM, us not being Scandinavian is something tought by our magnificent geography teachers in primary school  Smile Perhaps right but if I say nordic usually people from Tanzania don't know what I'm talking about but Scandinavia already has some meaning  Wink

OK, still off topic but..

Juhana

Btw, Air Tanzania still going strong?


User currently offlineVS045 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 192 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (9 years 6 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2864 times:

I would say that SAA's best route is JNB-DUR. The best service, on time, good planes etc. However, medium-haul is definitely not SAA's strong point, although it is getting better. Long-hual is good too.

Cheers,
VS045



4 engines 4 long haul
User currently offlinePM From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 6914 posts, RR: 63
Reply 21, posted (9 years 6 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2783 times:

Quoting Erela (Reply 19):
Btw, Air Tanzania still going strong?

Actually, (and coming full-circle and getting back on topic!) Air Tanzania have been taken under SAA's wing and have improved dramatically over the past year or so. "Still going strong" implies a record of success and achievement; if that's true, it predates my arrival in Tanzania (in 2000)! Back then ATC was a dreadful joke. I know several cases of where passengers boarded a flight for destination X but were delivered to a different airport because ... Well, who knows why?! Anyway, they now have 3 737-200s (two leased from SAA) and have had at different times SAA Dash-8s and J41s. A present they fly a leased F.28-4000 (in full ATC colours) giving them a current fleet of four. I've flown them six times (DAR-NBO-DAR, DAR-ZNZ-DAR, DAR-JNB-DAR) and each flight has left and arrived (at the right airport!) on time and the service has been just fine. That's SAA's influence and - contrary to my experience on the JNB-PER route (above) - I welcome it.


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