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Topic: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2012-10-14 13:46:25 and read 26668 times.

Feedback always appreciated.


http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/140SABANNER_zps3d2a5aac.jpg

I > Background:
I had been in a remote African country (name withheld as it gives away the client …) for 3 weeks and decided to “reward” myself for a mini 4 day weekend. South African Airways (SAA) was having a Business Class sale and since I had never crossed between Africa and Australia, decided to do my “get-away” in Perth.

Upon searching, this might be the first trip report in JCL on SAA’s crossing over to Australia. AF Cabin Crew has an excellent report on YCL on Qantas’ offering (the only other nonstop between mainland Africa and Australia) at Qantas Airways QF63 SYD-JNB Economy Class (by AF Cabin Crew Oct 10 2008 in Trip Reports).

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport:
South African Airways (SAA) is the biggest South African airline (3rd biggest in Africa) and operates from its hub in Johannesburg to all six continents. Besides its own operations, it plays an important role in the Star Alliance. Currently led by charismatic Siza Mzimela (one of the best airline CEO’s out there), SAA has launched a new focused campaign to enhance connectivity in Africa and expand to new and fast growing markets such as South America (EZE/extra GRU), India (BOM/DEL on cards), and Asia (PEK), while retracting from stagnant markets in Europe.

I have had a love/hate relationship with SAA’s online booking engine and so was pleasantly surprised to be able to quickly book my ticket at www.flysaa.com. Within minutes an electronic ticket was generated and delivered to my email inbox, and I was able to view and edit all the necessary information (including seat selection) on the site. Pretty impressive job overall. Of course, only domestic itineraries could be changed online – but that is an advanced function for most airline IBE’s.



b) At Airport:
I had a long layover on a Sunday in JNB and since I had never been to Pretoria, decided to take the Gautrain and visit. South Africa’s racial divide is still obvious as my fellow white people were in shock that I planned to get down at the main train station and walk to the key sites. In fact, they scared me enough to take a taxi, that when I got down I started looking for one. However, it was Sunday, and taxis apparently had to be phoned in. So I asked an extremely friendly train agent whether it was OK to walk, and she said I’d be fine. For the first ten minute of my walk, I was nervous (a rarity for me in new environments). But soon enough, you get the realization (like in Latin America), that the line between “danger” and “paranoia” is not as clear as one may think. I had a brilliant day in Pretoria walking around and then taking the Gautrain back. See pictures at the end of the trip.

Anyways, back at JNB using the excellent Gautrain, I made my way to the check-in counter for SAA. The “Star Gold” and “Business Class” queue was long and moving at snail pace. It took a good 20 minutes until I got served by a rather indifferent agent who went about mechanically issuing my boarding pass without ever looking away from her computer – not a terribly positive first impression.

Thankfully, Immigration and Security was rather quick, and I soon made my way to South African’s flagship CYCAD lounge. The J class section is above average – but nothing out of this world. It had basic food and drinks and a working bar complete with rather affable bartenders. The showers were rather nice and I was able to find a “hidden” quiet corner in the middle of a rather busy lounge.

An hour before departure, I made it to the gate and was greeted by another security check. This one apparently mandated by the Australian government (never have seen it before) went through my liquids again before letting me in to the gate area. At the gate, I was astonished to see the amount of duty-free alcohol Australians bought. Don’t think I have EVER encountered the volumes like on this flight. Can someone please educate me? Is alcohol that much more expensive in Australia? Anyways, the gate area had all sort of people – including an obnoxious “outback” type (with hat and all) who literally cursed at “black pigs”. I made it a point to move away from him. Next, I chatted with a tremendously friendly Kiwi who told me of all his travels in southern Africa and inspired me to visit countries that would not necessarily have been my priority. As I chatted with him, I also realized the boarding time had passed and no agents were to be seen. Soon thereafter, an announcement was made that departure was delayed by over an hour. No explanation or apology was given – again, very poor ground service from MPV. Anyways, when boarding was announced, a surprisingly organized queue ensured that final departure pushback would be limited to “only” 90 minutes …

Upon entering the aircraft, the purser greeted me and took me to my seat. He did not seem super friendly, but was happy enough to take me to my favorite seat of “1A”. This is usually one of my favorite parts of any long haul trips – taking seat 1A on an overnight flight between 2 exotic points and looking around the other passengers to see who else is on board. It is what I imagined travel would have been “back in the day”.

After a little while, sparkling wine/OJ/water was offered, and I settled in with some sparkling wine. J load was around 50%, and Y was booked at 95%.

Airport - External:

(Johannesburg Airport)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9591_zpsd65e94b8.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9594_zps524641a4.jpg

Check-in:

(SA Check-In: Way Too Long)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9597_zps8b9c3301.jpg



Airport - Internal:

(Pre-Security @ JNB)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9592_zps05da7441.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9595_zps149fb697.jpg
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(Random dancing – how cool!)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9601_zps60362d17.jpg

(A Little over the top)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9588_zpsa17d3af2.jpg

(FIDS: Love the exotic places)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9606_zpsa0b972c1.jpg

(Post-Security @ JNB)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9609_zpsa516b6e1.jpg



Scenes of the tarmac:

(Hello 380’s)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9590_zpsa93fed06.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9545_zps8b1ce839.jpg
*
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9616_zps95a89958.jpg
*
(But, I still prefer the 747 – the true Queen of the Skies)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9619_zpsf3b6ad7a.jpg
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(And, other action)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9546_zps3e587d6c.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9547_zps1f088d3d.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9603_zps4dfcd1b2.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9604_zps74c136f7.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9623_zpse9bb4fb4.jpg



Lounge

(Hello rival)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9626_zps8b3ffe39.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9627_zps51884253.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9629_zps7c466d84.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9628_zpsf85fb489.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9631_zpsf6372b23.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9632_zpsb8d3c3ab.jpg



Boarding:


(Gate Area: Additional security Check)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9634_zps5bb48a27.jpg
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(Is alcohol in short supply in Perth?)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9635_zps709802d5.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9638_zps04a1b7fd.jpg

(Chaotic, but organized Boarding)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9639_zps6921c4f6.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9640_zps8d7b311b.jpg


III> In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions:
On the ground:

+ Water/OJ/Sparkling Wine (Menu said, Moët & Chandon – this was not the case)
+ Water bottles distributed
+ Amenity kits
+ Newspaper

In the air:

+ Hot towels
+ Dinner service
+ Hot towels
+ Breakfast service

b) Aircraft + Seats:
When SAA introduced their J class, it was best-in-the-industry. It still is a really nice full-flat bed and it still is impressive. I was able to sleep a good 5 hours on them. The seat is also comfortable in other position and there is enough legroom to feel airy and comfortable. It seems like the cabin had recently gone through an uplift, and this was most noticeable in the bathroom which no longer had those 1990 lighting. Interestingly, SAA still has probably the most amount of random crèmes, oils, etc. present in a J class lav.

Aircraft:
(Stunnng 343)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9620_zps13a2b01c.jpg



Views from Aircraft:

(Goodbye JNB)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9650_zps9d91c3e1.jpg

(Leaving the eastern coast of one continent, to embrace the western of another)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9708_zps55139a13.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9712_zps6a2a643b.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9714_zps392f20c1.jpg
(Howdy Perth!)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9720_zpsba7dd047.jpg



General Seat Views + Seat Legroom

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9701_zpse602835e.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9675_zps6e46b384.jpg

(Legroom)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9646_zps08649de6.jpg

(Around Seat)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9647_zpsb3dbf8f6.jpg



Seat Recline + Angle View:

(Recline)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9683_zpsf8a4d2ba.jpg

(Angle view)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9641_zpsbacf70f1.jpg



Cabin:

(Always chose this when booking)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9734_zps7c2f2696.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9674_zpsf9a273cb.jpg

(Bathroom)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9673_zps3adf8b21.jpg
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(Random amenities)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9672_zpsfc764e7a.jpg



c) Meal + Beverage:
Menu cards were distributed soon after take off and service seemed a whole lot more organized than my previous flights on SAA. Dinner service commenced with an appetizer featuring chicken in a small tart – a little weird overall, but perfectly acceptable. This was followed by a smoked salmon and prawn salad, which was served alongside a seasonal salad and warm bread. All of it was excellent and I appreciated the several rounds of bread being distributed during the entire meal service. For the main course, there was a generous choice of 4 including garlic and chili lamb cutlets, a Morocco chicken thigh, fish fillet, and an Indian vegetable jalfrezi. I ended up with the fish and this seemed to have been the wrong choice. While the risotto and the vegetables were good, the fish itself was drier than I would have liked. It just did not seem fresh and the portion was odd. Thankfully, the dessert of dark and white chocolate mouse (or, raspberry and litchi) was very nice and downed by an excellent glass of South African port. I am a self proclaimed port connoisseur and was actually pretty impressed to have discovered a low-end South African port that is truly good. At the end of the service, there was a cheese plate that I skipped. Overall, an average J class dinner experience, but a lot better than other recent SAA JCL experiences.

I had earlier told the crew I was going to be sleeping until descent into Perth. However, the super turbulent flight meant that I was awake early. The male purser seeing this jumped into service and offered to make me a quick breakfast. I appreciated this and thought the fruits offered were fresh and excellent. One could always pamper themselves more and go for the full breakfast – which included cheese frittata, a continental cold cut option, or a combination of cereal/yoghurt.

(Menu)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_1477_zps570de71c.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_1478_zps1359df72.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_1479_zps28b0123f.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_1480_zpsdc71ba19.jpg

(Pre-departure)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9643_zpscfbebaea.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9644_zpsf6968894.jpg

(Dinner service)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9664_zpseb350416.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9665_zps65f195a9.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9668_zps6183fa02.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9671_zpsb53bd66d.jpg

(Pralines placed when I woke up)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9689_zps5e47885e.jpg

(Self Bar)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9679_zps5537aaa2.jpg

(Fresh fruits @ breakfast)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9696_zps11810649.jpg



d) Inflight Entertainment:
IFE on SAA consisted of individual non-AVOD screens featuring some non-descript movies. To complement this (and I guess, go with this “ambience”), you get a pair of crappy headphones which below to Economy Class more than anything. Actually, I am scared to ask that they give out in YCL. Thankfully, the in-flight magazine continues to be good. But, when will SAA give better headphones?

(SA IFE – with those terrible headsets)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9656_zpsc67c2a1c.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9659_zpsaaf88255.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9661_zps4453c340.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9667_zpsd9edcb77.jpg

(Appreciate the camera)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9697_zps9c895227.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9730_zps02799e2a.jpg

(But, do we know where we are going?)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9654_zpsf59edfc6.jpg
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http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9652_zps42d9d1d3.jpg

(Correcton at last – but why the 2 lines? Planned and actual? Thoughts?)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9707_zps3e85ee5a.jpg

(“In-flight magazines”, Boarding Passes, etc.)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_1476_zpseb7bd825.jpg



e) Crew:
Seldom do I have crew who grow on me during the flight. This SAA crew went on that “seldom” category. J class service was delivered by a very senior crew consisting of the male purser, and supported by another woman and man. Initially, I found them to be very detached and they seemed to be friendly with only fellow Afrikaan passengers. During boarding, there were not many pleasantries and they were always quick to disappear into the galleys. While doing the various components of service (giving blankets, menu, food service, etc.), there was never an eye contact or an interest to engage with the customer. After the meal service, I started a brief chat with the Purser and it seems he warmed up after that. Like many of my conversation with white South Africans, it was about the “old South Africa” and the “old boys club feeling” that was over and the new South Africa. Interestingly, the only black crew member was a woman in YCL. We chatted about SAA, the airline business, how the flight crew gets 2 days in Perth and the cockpit crew gets 1 day, and about the future of the airline. Upon finding out I worked in aviation, his demeanor seemed to have change. Hallelujah! We had made a connection, and almost immediately the service approach had changed. He offered me several glasses of sparkling wine and once I had fallen asleep woke up to some nice pralines. He again helped whip a quick fruit tray at breakfast – and played a prank of knocking my bathroom door and pretending it wasn’t him when I was changing out of my PJ. All this reminded me of why I usually like South African crew I have encountered in other airlines such as VS and EK. Sadly, the other 2 crew members were not as warm, and they went about their duty. C’est la vie.


IV> Post-Flight:
The delay landing in Perth meant that we were held on the plane until the immigration counters became less busy. This was a first for me! Anyways, the process itself was rather quick and I probably encountered the friendliest and most hassle free entry to Australia. This is not usually the case, so I was happy!

(Hello Perth Airport)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9731_zps1972d597.jpg



V> Impressions + Scores:
I have always had inconsistent experience on SAA, and never had anything exemplary. This flight was no different – BUT, a vast improvement from the past. While the hardware is still very good (6+ years later, Garuda just installed these seats I believe), there are pieces that need immediate replacement – foremost, their IFE. While my crew were inconsistent, there is again room for improvement, and as the male purser demonstrated, they are clearly capable of lifting their game. This inconsistency is limited not only to the onboard crew, but also to the ground crew. Speaking of the ground service, wouldn’t it be nice if the premium service is improved? At their home airport, I just don’t see why they would not open up more premium counters.

As South Africa faces enhanced battle from the Middle Eastern carriers, it does need to pick up its game. Under Ms. Mzimela, they have made the right strategic choices for network and fleet. However, this needs to be carried onboard and the service does need a “refresh”. To get you from point A to B, I’d recommend SAA. In fact, if you are looking for a good bed in JCL, SAA is a winner. However, if there are competing options, I would pay a higher price to have a more refined level of service anyday. Overall, neither thumps up or down.

http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/140SASCORE_zps79a3f3c7.jpg

So how did SAA stack up with the rest of the competition? Well, the new graph will tell you below. Feedback appreciated on what people think. I had to write a macro for this!
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/140SABAR_zps4aee975e.jpg



VI> Other Trip Reports:

PREMIUM:
9.27: JET AIRWAYS **FIRST** (110): LHR-BOM: 10/2010
9.27: THAI AIRWAYS **FIRST** (108): BKK-LHR: 07/2010
9.00: All Nippon: ANA (133): NRT-FUK-BOM: 12/2011

8.66: Brussels Airlines (93): FIH-BRU: 01/2010
8.64: Turkish Airlines (59): JFK-IST: 11/2008
8.63: Jet Airways (88): JFK-BRU: 10/2009
8.61: Air Canada (49): YYZ-SCL: 06/2008
8.54: Turkish Airlines (77): GRU-DKR-IST: 04/2009
8.36: Kingfisher (98): BOM-HKG: 01/2010
8.30: Jet Airways (74): KWI-BOM: 04/2009
8.23: United Airlines (72): SFO-SYD: 03/2009
8.11: Aeroflot (33): MOW-DEL: 09/2007
8.05: Air India (80): CCU-JFK: 06/2009
8.04: Korean Air (40): NRT-ICN: 10/2007
8.02: Delta Airlines (24): JFK-CDG: 08/2007
7.82: UNITED AIRLINES **FIRST** (110): SFO-ICN: 10/2010
7.82: Singapore Airlines (06): EWR-SIN: 09/2006
7.66: Sri Lankan (104): DEL-CMB: 07/2010
7.64: Royal Jordanian (91): AMM-YUL: 12/2009
7.61: China Southern (103): LOS-DXB: 04/2010
7.57: Pakistan Airlines (102): ORD-BCN: 06/2010
7.55: Air Canada (132): YEG-LHR: 06/2011
7.46: LAN (55): YYZ-JFK: 09/2008
7.38: AMERICAN AIRLINES **FIRST** (112): LHR-JFK: 10/2010
7.38: CATHAY PACIFIC **FIRST** (109): HKG-LHR: 10/2010
7.36: Turkish Airlines (134): IST-LAX: 10/2011
7.25: Iran Air (88): BOM-IKA: 12/2009
7.23: Air Pacific (120): NAN-APW-HNL: 01/2011
7.23: Virgin Atlantic (81): BOS-LHR: 07/2009
7.14: Swiss (52): SCL-GRU: 06/2008
7.11: Aer Lingus (105): MAD-IAD: 05/2010
7.11: Austrian (79): VIE-JFK: 06/2009
7.07: Privatair (84): BOM-FRA: 08/2009
7.02: Qatar (68): DOH-JFK: 01/2009
6.96: Etihad (61): JFK-AUH: 12/2008
6.93: Delta Airlines (18): SEA-JFK: 11/2006
6.92: South African (140): 02/2012
6.91: Lufthansa (139): ASM-JED-FRA: 02/2012
6.88: Egypt Air (123): LHR-CAI: 03/2011
6.84: ConViasa (65): CCS-DAM: 01/2009
6.82: Air Burkina (106): BKO-OUA: 06/2010
6.81: Air Canada (17): ICN-YYZ: 10/2006
6.75: Afriqiyah + Libyan (113): CAI-TIP: 11/2010
6.70: KLM (32): EBB-AMS: 08/2007
6.52: Emirates (99): LHR-DXB: 02/2010
6.39: South African (97): EZE-JNB: 01/2010
6.36: Privatair (60): MUC-BOS: 12/2008
6.29: TAM Brasil (96): POA-EZE: 02/2010
6.25: Korean Air (45): NAN-ICN: 10/2007
6.21: Iberia (87): BOS-MAD: 10/2009
6.11: A SKY (107): OUA-COO: 06/2010
6.11: TAP Portugal (53): GRU-OPO: 06/2008
6.00: Gulf Air (75): BOM-BAH: 04/2009
5.88: African Express (89): DXB-NBO: 11/2009
5.75: Singapore Airlines (16): CCU-SIN: 10/2006
5.64: SATA Azores (101): BOS-PDL: 04/2010
5.64: NorthWest (46): ICN-NRT-SEA: 10/2007
5.54: Ethiopian Airlines (95): ADD-BOM: 01/2010
5.46: Icelandair (83): KEF-BOS: 08/2009
5.39: LOT (54): WAW-JFK: 06/2008
5.21: Egypt Air (73): CAI-IST: 02/2009
5.11: Tunisair (115): TUN-ORY: 12/2010
5.07: TACA (66): JFK-SAP: 01/2009
4.89: TAAG Angola (117): TMS-LAD: 12/2010
4.42: Air France: CDG-JNB (25): 08/2007

ECONOMY: Long + Medium:
9.26: Air India (48): JFK-DEL: 02/2008
9.04: First Air (129): YEG-YFB: 06/2011
8.74: Japan Air Lines (130): NRT-BOS: 04/2012 – INAUGURAL
7.99: WestJet (131): YYZ-YYC: 06/2011
7.38: Avianca (01): BOG-LIM: 07/2006
7.07: Sri Lankan (62): KWI-CMB: 12/2008
7.00: LAN (94): IPC-SCL: 01/2010
6.81: STP Airways/Euro Atlantic (116): LIS-TMS: 12/2010
6.74: Air Asia (136): VTE-KUL: 12/2011
6.67: Air Malta (124): MLA-FRA: 04/2011
6.63: Vladavia (126): KHV-PEK: 06/2011
6.41: Air North (127): YEV-YEG: 06/2011
6.41: Avianca (78): JFK-BOG: 05/2009
6.41: American Airlines (58): LHR-BOS: 11/2008
6.39: Condor (85): SEZ-FRA: 09/2009
6.26: Jet Blue (21): CUN-JFK: 02/2007
6.11: Caribbean Airlines (119): POS-FLL: 01/2011
6.06: Air Canada (04): YYZ-YVR: 09/2006
5.89: USA 3000 (19): PUJ-BDL: 01/2007
5.85: Spanair (69): MAD-LPA: 02/2009
5.80: Canadian North (128): YEV-YVQ-YZF-YEG: 06/2011
5.79: Air New Zealand (42): RAR-NAN: 10/2007
5.52: Aerolineas (86): USH-AEP: 10/2009
5.46: TAP Air Portugal (23): OSL-LIS: 05/2007
5.19: Air Europa (70): LPA-MAD: 02/2009
5.16: Iberia (71): MAD-BOS: 02/2009
5.11: Air China (82): FRA-PEK: 08/2009
4.59: IR Aero (125): IKT-VVO: 06/2011

ECONOMY: Short
8.56: Paramount Airways (38): BLR-MAA: 09/2007
8.56: Kingfisher (64): HYD-CCU: 12/2008
8.24: Kingfisher (14): IXA-GAU: 10/2006
7.87: Indian (34): BOM-MAA: 09/2007
7.72: Alliance Air (13): CCU-IXA: 10/2006
7.57: Indian Airlines (10): DEL-CCU: 09/2006
7.23: West Jet (03): YYC-YVR: 09/2006
7.15: JetLite (37): BOM-GOI: 09/2007
6.98: Air Koryo (100): PEK-FNJ: 04/2010
6.96: Maldivian (137): MLE-TRV: 12/2011
6.96: Lao Airlines (135): VTE-KUL: 12/2011
6.70: Spice Jet (09): CCU-DEL: 09/2006
6.63: Air Fiji (44): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.63: Jazeera (67): DAM-KWI: 01/2009
6.58: Air Tran (02): EWR-MDW: 08/2006
6.48: Air India Express (63): CMB-MAA: 12/2008
6.44: CO Micronesia (39): ROR-YAP: 10/2007
6.41: Pacific Sun (43): NAN-SUV: 10/2007
6.37: Buffalo (138): YZF-YXY: 10/2007
6.37: Skybus (47): SWF-CMH: 02/2008
6.33: Kenya Airways (29): NBO-BJM: 08/2007
6.33: Sky Europe (56): LTN-BTS: 10/2008
6.31: Indigo (15): GAU-CCU: 10/2006
6.31: easyJet (57): BUD-LTN: 11/2008
6.22: Air Link Swazi (28): MTS-JNB: 08/2007
6.22: Air India (36): HYD-BOM: 09/2007
6.13: Adam Air (07): SIN-CGK: 09/2006
6.13: Air Rarotonga (41): RAR-AIT: 10/2007
6.04: Suriname Airways (118): PBM-POS: 01/2011
6.00: Transairways (27): INH-MPM: 08/2007
5.95: Air Canada (05): ALB-YYZ: 09/2006
5.85: SAS Norge (22): OSL-AES: 05/2007
5.81: LAM Mozambique (26): JNB-MPM: 08/2007
5.69: Air Deccan (12): IXZ-CCU: 10/2006
5.67: Rwanda Air Exp (30): KGL-NBO: 08/2007
5.52: Sevenair (114): TOE-TUN: 11/2010
5.37: Felix Airways (92): SCT-SAH: 12/2009
5.11: Aero Republica (76): BOG-CCS: 04/2009
5.07: Go Air (35): MAA-HYD: 09/2007
5.04: Biman (121): DAC-CGP: 01/2011
5.00: Sky Airline (51): IQQ-SCL: 06/2008
4.96: United Bangla (122): CGP-DAC: 01/2011
4.96: Valuair (08): CGK-SIN: 09/2006
4.78: Air Comet Chile (50): SCL-IQQ: 06/2008
4.74: Fly 540 (31): MYD-LAU: 08/2007
4.33: Viva Aerobus (20): ELP-MTY: 02/2007
4.11: Air Sahara (11): CCU-BOM: 09/2006

(Note on Codes: Y – Economy, J – Business, F – First :: I/D – International/Domestic :: SR/MR/LR – Short/Medium/Long Haul)
(Note on Date: Dates are modified to be +/- 3 days from actual flight date to not reveal actual flight pattern)

VII> Other Pictures:

(SA’s JCL Amenity Kit: I have not got these in several colors)
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9698_zps37a15a0a.jpg
*
http://i90.photobucket.com/albums/k251/abrelosojosnow/SA280/IMG_9700_zpseb923b81.jpg

(Finally, some images of Pretoria)

*

*

*

* Unbiased view on how an actual traveler may view the flight
* Not a professional photographer (so please keep in mind)
* Commitment that I won’t identify myself to the airline as “reviewing them”


[Edited 2012-10-14 13:49:39]

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: SRQKEF
Posted 2012-10-14 15:15:30 and read 26394 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Upon searching, this might be the first trip report in JCL on SAA’s crossing over to Australia.

Before continuing on reading, I'll comment that I think I saw a report by member thaia346 on SA's JCL offering from Oz to S-A. Could be wrong though.

Look forward reading now!
Sveinn  

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: ordjoe
Posted 2012-10-14 16:56:58 and read 26038 times.

Another great SA Linhas Aereas">TR Alex. I have a friend in LHR who takes SA a lot and feels the same as your assesment, it is hit or miss. To me seems like a decent J product, there are better and worse ones out there. As you said you got a fare sale on this ticket it probably was a decent value for the price.

Thanks a lot and keep the TRs coming.

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: Avianca
Posted 2012-10-14 17:10:36 and read 25999 times.

another great report! one hint more to make together in the future a travel... but its impossible to get in contact with you  

I had always in my bookd to cross the south pacific, south atllantic and south indiean ocean.... well so far only made the south pacific on SCL-AKL route on LA, and I always thought to make it on the MH service ex EZE to KUL that is unfortunatley gone hence I think the only way I still have a chance is with SA EZE/GRU-JNB and than on to PER or SYD.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
So how did SAA stack up with the rest of the competition? Well, the new graph will tell you below. Feedback appreciated on what people think. I had to write a macro for this!

just looks amazing, I think Airliners should award you simply a Doctor honoris causa for trip reporting!!!!

cheers and regards from the Admirals Club in BOG, just waiting my last leg to CCS from a hardcore TA/CM trip during the last wekend...  

Avianca

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: Quokkas
Posted 2012-10-14 18:53:38 and read 25724 times.

Hi Alex,
Another fine report and despite your protestation of not being a professional photographer, you have done a good job.  
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I made it to the gate and was greeted by another security check.

Yes this happens from time to time. I have been told that it is a special search for drugs during one boarding. I was once travelling with my mother, who was in a wheelchair. They said to her to wait to one side and someone would come and check her. After about half an hour no-one came so we just went past the queue to the gate and presented our boarding passes. No one stopped us.

As far as the spirits are concerned, they are not cheap in Perth even if bought at the so-called duty free on arrival. But many people like to bring back wines as the quality of South Africa's wines has improved. We (18+) can bring in 2.25 litres of alcohol duty free.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Menu said, Moët & Chandon – this was not the case

Oh, did they offer you something decent instead?  
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Actually, I am scared to ask that they give out in YCL.

From memory, the same.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Upon finding out I worked in aviation, his demeanor seemed to have change. Hallelujah! We had made a connection, and almost immediately the service approach had changed.

The crew can be good and it can be bad. On one trip they were friendly but forgot to bring out cutlery with the meal. On another they simply disappeared.

Of course it is hard to generalise from one report, but it appears that the inconsistency is still there. Shame really.

Thanks for sharing,
Roy

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: EddieDude
Posted 2012-10-14 21:09:26 and read 25465 times.

Hello Alex! Very, very enjoyable trip report as always. Congrats but, mostly, thanks a lot for the patience to write it and upload the pics. When are you coming to Mexico?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
An hour before departure, I made it to the gate and was greeted by another security check. This one apparently mandated by the Australian government (never have seen it before) went through my liquids again before letting me in to the gate area.

That happened to me earlier this year at JNB as I got to the gate for my flight to ATL. I wonder if this is a requirement for all flights to the U.S., Australia, the U.K. and other destinations.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
South African’s flagship CYCAD lounge.

It looks quite good. How does it compare to other flagship lounges you may have visited?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Dinner service)

Actually everything seems quite yummy on pics.

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2012-10-14 21:36:29 and read 25412 times.

Quoting SRQKEF (Reply 1):
Before continuing on reading, I'll comment that I think I saw a report by member thaia346 on SA's JCL offering from Oz to S-A. Could be wrong though.

Look forward reading now!
Sveinn  

= I think you might be right on this one. I am going to continue searching. So, I hope you read the report  .

Quoting ordjoe (Reply 2):

Another great SA Linhas Aereas">TR Alex. I have a friend in LHR who takes SA a lot and feels the same as your assesment, it is hit or miss. To me seems like a decent J product, there are better and worse ones out there. As you said you got a fare sale on this ticket it probably was a decent value for the price.

Thanks a lot and keep the TRs coming.

= Thanks for the kind words. I have quite a few in the pipeline - work has been tough, so less time to get caught up.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 3):

another great report! one hint more to make together in the future a travel... but its impossible to get in contact with you  

= Sorry man. I have seen my apartment only once in the past 3 months - when I was back to vote on election day. Initially, the plan was to vote in London, but that did not work out. I will call when I am back. BTW, I am thinking of ConViasa to EZE ... and AR return. Thoughts? Loads are shockingly poor and since RM is non-existent, good cash prices are available. I have been impressed with their Altea integration though ...

Quoting Avianca (Reply 3):
I had always in my bookd to cross the south pacific, south atllantic and south indiean ocean.... well so far only made the south pacific on SCL-AKL route on LA, and I always thought to make it on the MH service ex EZE to KUL that is unfortunatley gone hence I think the only way I still have a chance is with SA EZE/GRU-JNB and than on to PER or SYD.

= It is funny because I have never done yet   ... my routing has been SCL-IPC-PPT and then taken PPT-SYD. I too wanted to do MH and was sad they took it offline.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 3):
just looks amazing, I think Airliners should award you simply a Doctor honoris causa for trip reporting!!!!

= Haha. Too kind my friend.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 3):
cheers and regards from the Admirals Club in BOG, just waiting my last leg to CCS from a hardcore TA/CM trip during the last wekend...  

Avianca

= You are becoming the expert on TA/CM. I think Star could justify alliance membership in LATAM only by your flying!

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 4):
Another fine report and despite your protestation of not being a professional photographer, you have done a good job.  

= Thanks mate.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 4):
Yes this happens from time to time. I have been told that it is a special search for drugs during one boarding. I was once travelling with my mother, who was in a wheelchair. They said to her to wait to one side and someone would come and check her. After about half an hour no-one came so we just went past the queue to the gate and presented our boarding passes. No one stopped us.

= Is it only for flights ex-JNB? I have never had it on any other flight to AUS.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 4):
As far as the spirits are concerned, they are not cheap in Perth even if bought at the so-called duty free on arrival. But many people like to bring back wines as the quality of South Africa's wines has improved. We (18+) can bring in 2.25 litres of alcohol duty free.

= Aah. Ok. Also, Perth is so bloody expensive!

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 4):
Oh, did they offer you something decent instead?  

= Yes. It was either South African or Chilean ...

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 4):
The crew can be good and it can be bad. On one trip they were friendly but forgot to bring out cutlery with the meal. On another they simply disappeared.

= Agreed.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 4):
Thanks for sharing,
Roy

= Thanks for stopping by Roy.

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 5):

Hello Alex! Very, very enjoyable trip report as always. Congrats but, mostly, thanks a lot for the patience to write it and upload the pics. When are you coming to Mexico?

= Hey - I am in CUN mid-Jan. You in DF?

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 5):
That happened to me earlier this year at JNB as I got to the gate for my flight to ATL. I wonder if this is a requirement for all flights to the U.S., Australia, the U.K. and other destinations.

= I have flown ex-SA to a few different places and have not had it on flights to U.K. at least.

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 5):
It looks quite good. How does it compare to other flagship lounges you may have visited?

= Pretty poor, mostly because it is way too crowded and the food offering was not so nice. Did you use a lounge when you were there?

Thanks everyone for stopping by.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: Quokkas
Posted 2012-10-14 22:18:14 and read 25319 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 6):
= Is it only for flights ex-JNB? I have never had it on any other flight to AUS.

Yes, I have only ever seen it in JNB, nowhere else.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 6):
Also, Perth is so bloody expensive!

You can say that again. The benefits of living in an isolated city, rapid population growth and a mining boom.

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: Avianca
Posted 2012-10-14 22:37:51 and read 25276 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 6):
= Sorry man. I have seen my apartment only once in the past 3 months - when I was back to vote on election day. Initially, the plan was to vote in London, but that did not work out. I will call when I am back. BTW, I am thinking of ConViasa to EZE ... and AR return. Thoughts? Loads are shockingly poor and since RM is non-existent, good cash prices are available. I have been impressed with their Altea integration though ...

I can imagine, your agenda must be creazy! the Conviasas trip and AR return sounds great count me in!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 6):
= It is funny because I have never done yet ... my routing has been SCL-IPC-PPT and then taken PPT-SYD. I too wanted to do MH and was sad they took it offline.

a must for you, or even better the new AR EZE-SYD nonstop including 20 hour delay  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 6):
= You are becoming the expert on TA/CM. I think Star could justify alliance membership in LATAM only by your flying!

well I rather think I will be guility if TA/CM will go bankrupt jeje.

for the mentioned trip I paid just 20.000 miles + 110 USD taxes... but with 8 flights, were 5 flights were C/Y flights and I got 3 free upgrades + my today flight SAP - PTY was delayed 4 hours even their was no difference for me as I had anyhow a connection later at night CM provided me a 200 USD voucher + free lunch in PTY... I will try to make in the next days a trip report of the flights.

cheers
Avianca

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: debonair
Posted 2012-10-15 03:35:27 and read 24746 times.

Fantastic SA Linhas Aereas">TR! As always...

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Currently led by charismatic Siza Mzimela (one of the best airline CEO’s out there)
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Posted Sun Oct 14

VERY, very disappointing -you are not up-to-date my dear friend (very strange to see): Vuyisile Kona is the CEO of SAA!

For more: http://mg.co.za/article/2012-10-12-00-new-saa-boss-faces-bumpy-ride

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
decided to “reward” myself for a mini 4 day weekend.

WOW, just for 4 days you flew from SA to OZ? So in the end, how long did you stayed in Perth?

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: eg777er
Posted 2012-10-15 07:15:44 and read 24330 times.

Nice report, especially with the airside shots from JNB.

Are you sure you were on an A340-300 though? The interior overhead bin design, length of the J cabin and the exterior shots from the fin camera would suggest you were on an A340-600.

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: je89_w
Posted 2012-10-15 07:47:43 and read 24247 times.

Excellent trip report! Obviously these Africa to Australia reviews aren't too common!

Quoting eg777er (Reply 10):
Are you sure you were on an A340-300 though? The interior overhead bin design, length of the J cabin and the exterior shots from the fin camera would suggest you were on an A340-600.

Yes, you were on an A346. For me, the giveaway was the takeoff shot (with the Trent 500 engine).

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2012-10-15 07:57:56 and read 24225 times.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 7):
You can say that again. The benefits of living in an isolated city, rapid population growth and a mining boom.

= Ya. I was broke most of the time. The city reminded me a lot of Calgary in Canada.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 8):
I can imagine, your agenda must be creazy! the Conviasas trip and AR return sounds great count me in!

= Sounds good. Do you know the the HAV-LAD flight seems to be gone?

Quoting Avianca (Reply 8):
well I rather think I will be guility if TA/CM will go bankrupt jeje.

for the mentioned trip I paid just 20.000 miles + 110 USD taxes... but with 8 flights, were 5 flights were C/Y flights and I got 3 free upgrades + my today flight SAP - PTY was delayed 4 hours even their was no difference for me as I had anyhow a connection later at night CM provided me a 200 USD voucher + free lunch in PTY... I will try to make in the next days a trip report of the flights.

cheers
Avianca

= Haha ... and then AV can rise  . Are we expecting trip reports?

Quoting debonair (Reply 9):
VERY, very disappointing -you are not up-to-date my dear friend (very strange to see): Vuyisile Kona is the CEO of SAA!

For more: http://mg.co.za/article/2012-10-12-0...-ride

= Ya. I got a text after the report was out. I knew the Chairwoman had quit - but did not thinks he would follow it as well. This is bad news.

Quoting debonair (Reply 9):
WOW, just for 4 days you flew from SA to OZ? So in the end, how long did you stayed in Perth?

= 3 days. You don't need more  .

Quoting eg777er (Reply 10):
Are you sure you were on an A340-300 though? The interior overhead bin design, length of the J cabin and the exterior shots from the fin camera would suggest you were on an A340-600.
Quoting je89_w (Reply 11):
Yes, you were on an A346. For me, the giveaway was the takeoff shot (with the Trent 500 engine).

= You're both right. My itinerary said 343 but I know it upgauged to 346. I think I have major jet lag!

Thanks for stopping by all.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: SRQKEF
Posted 2012-10-15 09:17:22 and read 24061 times.

Hi again Alex,

Yet another great report by you! SA seems very nice, and I love that tail logo! Colorful and bright.

Also, that new chart is awesome! Definitely a keeper.   

Looking forward to your next report,
Sveinn  

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: EddieDude
Posted 2012-10-15 09:41:46 and read 23984 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 6):
Hey - I am in CUN mid-Jan. You in DF?

Yes, I am in D.F. and will be in mid-January. Let's meet! I can do CUN or you are welcome in MEX.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 6):
Pretty poor, mostly because it is way too crowded and the food offering was not so nice. Did you use a lounge when you were there?

I see. I used the Priority Pass lounge. I was there only for a brief time, but it was alright. They had a limited food offering, but the cookies, the sandwiches, etc. were all quite yummy.

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: 817Dreamliiner
Posted 2012-10-15 11:12:46 and read 23751 times.

Hey Alex

Another fantastic report! Well done!

Regarding the IFE moving map, ive actually seen that happen a few times, it happened on my flight to ANU on BA in June. I think its a glitch in the system or something.

Thanks for sharing your report, looking forward to your next reports 

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: Carfield
Posted 2012-10-15 12:48:47 and read 23583 times.

Thanks for another fascinating trip report!

SAA Business Class looks pretty decent, and at least the seats look super comfortable.

Your comments about the F/As are pretty consistent with other passengers, who flew SA up front before.

Thanks,
Carfield

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: SRQKEF
Posted 2012-10-15 12:52:21 and read 23575 times.

GA & SA In Jakarta To Perth & Cape Town (by thaia345 Jan 5 2012 in Trip Reports)

Here it is! His name is thaia345 not a346, sorry, my mistake.  

anyways, again, great report.
Sveinn  

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: themit9
Posted 2012-10-18 06:56:45 and read 22454 times.

Hi abrelosojos,

I have been reading your reports on A.NET for sometime now but only joined earlier this year, so I think this may be the first comment from me on one of your reports. The structure is great and I really enjoy your unbiased and consistent reporting style.

The report was especially relevant to me as back in the day I did a handful of flights with SAA from LOS-JNB and around South Africa back in 2001. This was in Y but I recall their service being quite good. Can't see myself ever flying them again but you never know. Their J seems up to scratch (although below average on your ranking I notice). Nothing amazing but gets the job done.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
So how did SAA stack up with the rest of the competition? Well, the new graph will tell you below. Feedback appreciated on what people think. I had to write a macro for this!

Well first of all excellent work on taking the time to do a macro. The result is interesting- people with statistics backgrounds may analyse it in their way, but the spread of results looks pretty even between 4.00 and 9.25 showing that your ranking system works- although some may weight different aspects of traveling differently- but that's opinion for you.

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: Stretch 8
Posted 2012-10-18 09:29:54 and read 22289 times.

Very good report, thank you!

I have a fond memory of my trip to SA in October 2007; flew on one of the last SAA 744 flights from LHR to JNB (cattle class on the upper deck!), and then back CPT to LHR on the SAA "Star Alliance" A346. Would love to visit beautiful South Africa again; next time I will do the direct flight from my home airport of IAD to JNB.

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: planiac787
Posted 2012-10-18 14:54:35 and read 21965 times.

You always go the extra mile to make stunning trs! In my opinion you are one of the finest writer in this section.
Two thumbs up! SAA J class looks good , but i dont think i am going to be taking them any time soon.
I might be flying from delhi to milan on jet airways. I dont think any one has actually done a tr on that route. So I am pretty excited. Your comments and suggestions will always be welcomed!
For the mean time here are the trs i have written. Please do tell me where can I make improvements

Thanks & Cheers

Pradat.

DEL-LHR-DEL Y Class. Many Pics! (by planiac787 Aug 15 2012 in Trip Reports)

Atl To Delhi Via Newark On United Airlines (by planiac787 Jun 15 2012 in Trip Reports)

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2012-10-18 22:30:06 and read 21699 times.

Quoting SRQKEF (Reply 13):
Hi again Alex,

Yet another great report by you! SA seems very nice, and I love that tail logo! Colorful and bright.

Also, that new chart is awesome! Definitely a keeper.   

Looking forward to your next report,
Sveinn  

= Thanks Sveinn. This makes me happy as I put in some effort to get the chart to work and be visually appealing and informative.

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 14):
Yes, I am in D.F. and will be in mid-January. Let's meet! I can do CUN or you are welcome in MEX.

= Will let you know. I am supposed to be there middle of Jan.

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 14):
I see. I used the Priority Pass lounge. I was there only for a brief time, but it was alright. They had a limited food offering, but the cookies, the sandwiches, etc. were all quite yummy.

= Hmm. Do you remember the name of the PP lounge?

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 15):
Hey Alex

Another fantastic report! Well done!

Regarding the IFE moving map, ive actually seen that happen a few times, it happened on my flight to ANU on BA in June. I think its a glitch in the system or something.

Thanks for sharing your report, looking forward to your next reports 

= Thanks a lot. BTW, I am going to be in ANU next weekend. What beach should I go to to have complete seclusion  ? Flying on LIAT from DOM.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 16):
Thanks for another fascinating trip report!

SAA Business Class looks pretty decent, and at least the seats look super comfortable.

Your comments about the F/As are pretty consistent with other passengers, who flew SA up front before.

Thanks,
Carfield

= Thanks mate.

Quoting SRQKEF (Reply 17):

GA & SA In Jakarta To Perth & Cape Town (by thaia345 Jan 5 2012 in Trip Reports)

Here it is! His name is thaia345 not a346, sorry, my mistake.  

anyways, again, great report.
Sveinn  

= Of course! Thai345 is one of the best premium trip writers on A.Net!

Quoting themit9 (Reply 18):
I have been reading your reports on A.NET for sometime now but only joined earlier this year, so I think this may be the first comment from me on one of your reports. The structure is great and I really enjoy your unbiased and consistent reporting style.

= Welcome to A.Net, and thanks again for your kind words. Every trip writer has different styles, and my tries to place the emphasis on the average consumer.

Quoting themit9 (Reply 18):
The report was especially relevant to me as back in the day I did a handful of flights with SAA from LOS-JNB and around South Africa back in 2001. This was in Y but I recall their service being quite good. Can't see myself ever flying them again but you never know. Their J seems up to scratch (although below average on your ranking I notice). Nothing amazing but gets the job done.

= Exactly. What were you doing in Africa?

Quoting themit9 (Reply 18):

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
So how did SAA stack up with the rest of the competition? Well, the new graph will tell you below. Feedback appreciated on what people think. I had to write a macro for this!

Well first of all excellent work on taking the time to do a macro. The result is interesting- people with statistics backgrounds may analyse it in their way, but the spread of results looks pretty even between 4.00 and 9.25 showing that your ranking system works- although some may weight different aspects of traveling differently- but that's opinion for you.

= Thanks for noticing. Really appreciate it as I put an effort in building this.

Quoting Stretch 8 (Reply 19):

Very good report, thank you!

I have a fond memory of my trip to SA in October 2007; flew on one of the last SAA 744 flights from LHR to JNB (cattle class on the upper deck!), and then back CPT to LHR on the SAA "Star Alliance" A346. Would love to visit beautiful South Africa again; next time I will do the direct flight from my home airport of IAD to JNB.

= YCL was in the upper deck? I had no idea! Was it 3/3?

Quoting planiac787 (Reply 20):
You always go the extra mile to make stunning trs! In my opinion you are one of the finest writer in this section.
Two thumbs up! SAA J class looks good , but i dont think i am going to be taking them any time soon.
I might be flying from delhi to milan on jet airways. I dont think any one has actually done a tr on that route. So I am pretty excited. Your comments and suggestions will always be welcomed!
For the mean time here are the trs i have written. Please do tell me where can I make improvements

Thanks & Cheers

Pradat.

= Thanks Pradat for the kind words. I really am flattered. Look forward to the DEL-MXP report - do it before it gets axed!

Quoting planiac787 (Reply 20):
DEL-LHR-DEL Y Class. Many Pics! (by planiac787 Aug 15 2012 in Trip Reports)

Atl To Delhi Via Newark On United Airlines (by planiac787 Jun 15 2012 in Trip Reports)

= I am having trouble with the pictures. Is this normal?

Thanks again for stopping by everyone.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: nethkt
Posted 2012-10-18 23:20:39 and read 21636 times.

This is one special flight to me. To fly in the southern hemisphere across the continent is just cool.
I always dream of flying on PER-JNB and SYD-EZE route, esp in Business class.
So part of the dream comes true! But by looking at your trip report lol many thanks for sharing.

I also noticed the a/c you were on was not the -300, I think I saw so many business class seats in the cabin in one section.
I couted at least 42 seats so no airlines would squeeze 42 seats in zone A of a 340-400!

The flight looks ok if not spectacular. I think the whole in-flight service is just at industry's standard.

Anyhow, thank you for sharing your trip once again, will keep following on the next reports.
Cheers,
net-hkt

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: 817Dreamliiner
Posted 2012-10-19 00:00:13 and read 21602 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 21):
= Thanks a lot. BTW, I am going to be in ANU next weekend. What beach should I go to to have complete seclusion  ? Flying on LIAT from DOM.

Interesting! Hoping for a report on that trip! While your at it you can take a day trip to MNI  or a site seeing tour of the volcano with Caribbean helicopters(I think thats the name of the company). Regarding the beaches in ANU, im not really an expert and they do claim they have 365 beaches (yea right), but did a google search and found this one, it might be a bit biased though lol   :

Quote:
Near Johnson's Point on the southwest coast, Turner's Beach is idyllic. This is one of the best places to lie out in the tropical sun, cooled by trade winds. The beach has fine white sand and gin-clear waters. If the day is clear (as it usually is), you can see the volcanic island of Montserrat.
http://www.frommers.com/destinations/antigua/0175020389.html

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: stipica
Posted 2012-10-19 16:55:21 and read 21277 times.

Hi Alex !
nice like always but not happy with SA expected more

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
one of the best airline CEO’s out there

looking for a new job ... but you're late heheehhe

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
For the first ten minute of my walk, I was nervous (a rarity for me in new environments). But soon enough, you get the realization (like in Latin America), that the line between “danger” and “paranoia” is not as clear as one may think

I was brutally attacked and robbed in broad daylight in the square in front of Barcelona Cathedral ... so rest my case

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
not a terribly positive first impression

hmmm

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
but nothing out of this world

hmmm

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Is alcohol that much more expensive in Australia?

I think that now you know the answer hihihi

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
including an obnoxious “outback” type (with hat and all) who literally cursed at “black pigs”.

better to remain silent ...but ...

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
again, very poor ground service from MPV

hmmmmm

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Love the exotic places

yes HKG GRU SYD IST FRA IAD are really exotic heheheheh

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I am a self proclaimed port connoisseur

  Abri you too !!?? hehehe

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Upon finding out I worked in aviation, his demeanor seemed to have change. Hallelujah

no no no no this is very low behavior in my book for the service industry ... so what about others who are not in the airline business ... hmmmm

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Sadly, the other 2 crew members were not as warm, and they went about their duty. C’est la vie.

I have more respect for consistent service or better to said "they did not know" ...hmmmm

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Garuda just installed these seats I believe

yes ...progress is evident in your knowledge ...hehehehhe glad

ok too many hmmmmm this time ... maybe I'm too tired ... respect and thanks ...stipica  

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: idlewildchild
Posted 2012-10-19 19:51:18 and read 21131 times.

Thanks for this report. I'm doing JFK-JNB-JFK come February in J and was wondering if they've had some upgrades to their service. Now I have a greater sense of what to expect and what not to expect.

Sounds like it's an OK product but far from great. You get a few good hours sleep, an OK meal and so so service. Though I would hope for more on a 15+ hour trip, I guess it will come down to the bed working well.

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-10-20 07:14:51 and read 20855 times.

Hey Alex

Another nice and detailed report.
SA still has one of the more attractive Bus class cabin. However some improvements need to be made (p.ex AVOD)
Sorry to hear about the mediocre crew as well.

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: The777Man
Posted 2012-10-20 12:16:55 and read 20729 times.

Hi Alex!

Thanks for another excellent report with very nice pictures !

SA looks okay onboard but nothing very special. Food wise it seems very good with four choices and good that the seat is a proper flat bed and that it's comfortable. I would have expected a bit more from them especially service wise.

Very bad with the very long line for check in ! Especially for J/Star Gold there should hardly be any wait.

Very cool that you tried this route which is something that would be fun to do. I have yet to do an Indian Ocean crossing.

The new diagram is great!

Looking forward very much to your next report!

The777Man

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: signol
Posted 2012-10-20 15:38:25 and read 20581 times.

Hi Alex,

excellent as always! Always nice to see JNB in a report, and SAA as well.

They do seem to be so-so in service and provision, you shouldn't have to chat to crew to bring out the best in them.

And a thumbs up for the new graphics, very nice!

Thanks

signol

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-10-21 00:21:28 and read 20305 times.

Hi Alex,

great report, SA's J Class product looks fine. However, I remember that there was an AVOD IFE system on my A346 flight last year. AFAIK, all A343s and A346s have AVOD.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(A Little over the top)

What I noticed at first is an A330 picture, but JNB is served by the A343...  

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Actually, I am scared to ask that they give out in YCL.

The same thing? Here's what I got got last year:

Africa's Best Airline? FRA-JNB On SAA A340-600 (by PlaneHunter Sep 23 2011 in Trip Reports)

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
It seems like the cabin had recently gone through an uplift, and this was most noticeable in the bathroom which no longer had those 1990 lighting.

1990 lighting on an A346? I doubt that. Are you sure you didn't see that on a SA A342 flight?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
All this reminded me of why I usually like South African crew I have encountered in other airlines such as VS and EK.

I met a very nice South African FA on a ICN-DXB flight on EK. I liked him much better than all the others on that flight.


PH

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: dc9northwest
Posted 2012-10-21 09:44:01 and read 20090 times.

Hi Alex,

Thanks for another nice report!

Pretoria seems ok, good to know there's nothing to worry about in central Pretoria.... There's a lot of horror stories from South Africa (well I guess mainly Johannesburg) and it's hard to tell how true or untrue they are.

Good to see this unusual route I keep forgetting about!

As a couple of people said above: nice new graphics  

Lotsa travel for you... curious, how many hundreds of flights did you take in 2012 (or will by the end of the year)? If you don't know, that's fine, just curious.

Any Chicago plans anytime soon?

Anyway, thanks again! Much appreciated!

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: FlyingRoo82
Posted 2012-10-22 01:08:12 and read 19812 times.

Thanks for the great trip report. As an ex-South African, it's good to see a positive review of SAA and also some pics of Pretoria and OR Tambo. I've flown SAA a few times in Y between Perth and Jo'burg - next time hopefully in J!

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: eastafspot
Posted 2012-10-22 03:24:43 and read 19740 times.

Hi Alex

As always your reports are among the very best...

Good to see that meals quality has improved since your last experience, and also the crew seems better that your previous flight from EZE   .

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
to South African’s flagship CYCAD lounge

Do you know if this is a SAA lounge, a Star Alliance lounge (it mentions only LH outside) or the International terminal lounge?


Many thanks for another African chapter


Léonard

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: MHTripple7
Posted 2012-10-24 21:42:16 and read 19118 times.

Thanks for this great trip report! I love South Africa and flew on SAA in 2008 from JNB to CPT (classic route). My experience with SAA was wonderful, and I had absolutely no complaints.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
In fact, they scared me enough to take a taxi, that when I got down I started looking for one. However, it was Sunday, and taxis apparently had to be phoned in. So I asked an extremely friendly train agent whether it was OK to walk, and she said I’d be fine. For the first ten minute of my walk, I was nervous (a rarity for me in new environments). But soon enough, you get the realization (like in Latin America), that the line between “danger” and “paranoia” is not as clear as one may think. I had a brilliant day in Pretoria walking around and then taking the Gautrain back. See pictures at the end of the trip.

Wow, YOU getting nervous? I can't even imagine. I'm glad you ended up enjoying Pretoria though!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
It took a good 20 minutes until I got served by a rather indifferent agent who went about mechanically issuing my boarding pass without ever looking away from her computer – not a terribly positive first impression.

I agree, not the best impression - especially for J class.

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Soon thereafter, an announcement was made that departure was delayed by over an hour. No explanation or apology was given – again, very poor ground service from MPV. Anyways, when boarding was announced, a surprisingly organized queue ensured that final departure pushback would be limited to “only” 90 minutes …

How disorganized. Although I am convinced that African airlines just don't leave on-time. There's just no hope for it ever happening.

Glad to know your experience improved as the flight went on, that's definitely a good thing! I'd love to try SAA longhaul someday, maybe from a U.S. airport.

It will be interesting to see what SAA's future has in store for them.... I think I read they were recently bailed out again.

Thank you for sharing!

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: adamspotter
Posted 2012-10-27 14:52:26 and read 18546 times.

Hi abrelosojos,

Another excellent report as usual, really enjoyed it!  
SAA looks quite nice overall. Although not that impressed with the crew and those headphones sure look like Y class and similar to LHs in one of your reports  
The food looks quite ok, shame the fish didn't taste that well though..
Ground handling at JNB doesn't look all to impressive this time!
Great pictures of Pretoria!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Don’t think I have EVER encountered the volumes like on this flight. Can someone please educate me? Is alcohol that much more expensive in Australia?

Well it is a long flight :P

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(FIDS: Love the exotic places)

Some nice cities there!

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(Stunnng 343)

What a beauty!

looking forward to your next report!

cheers,

Brendan

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: deltamartin
Posted 2012-10-28 13:52:17 and read 18253 times.

Hello Alex!

Nice report as usual, and good to read that you had a nice experience with SAA's J class!
The seat does look quite nice but sad to hear that they don't even have AVOD on their IFE screen. Is this their latest IFE offering?

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
So how did SAA stack up with the rest of the competition? Well, the new graph will tell you below. Feedback appreciated on what people think. I had to write a macro for this!

I like the graph! Looks very nice and a nice addition to your reports, and I hope you'll keep it around!  

Martin

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: KHI747
Posted 2012-11-12 08:26:40 and read 17406 times.

Hi Alex/Abrelosojos -

Whenever i am on the TR section of A.net,i make it a point to seek out your reports as they are always so interesting and enjoyable to read and see. Its epic that you get to squeeze in these exotic long hauls inbetween a few days off work !

The bar chart is a nice touch - very analytical of you i must say !

Back in 2010 i transited through JNB twice travelling to Maputo and i quite liked the terminal. Infact i will always remember JNB to be the first airport where i saw the A380 - AF bird next to our EK B77W. Strange considering that we just flew DXB-JNB yet i didnt see any EK 380's at DXB at that time. The long hualers parked at the remote stands (BA,VS,CX etc) seems almost like a constant at JNB during the day - i saw pretty much exactly the same line up but i think it also inluded an LX343 and MH B772.

As for the wine,maybe a fellow A.netter Aussie has already commented on it above,but maybe its a liking for South African wine and perhaps its not abundantly available in Perth?

Keep the TR's coming Abrelosojos.

BTW - i sent you a PM a couple of days back - did you receive it? Kindly revert.

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2012-12-16 10:40:16 and read 16467 times.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 22):
This is one special flight to me. To fly in the southern hemisphere across the continent is just cool.
I always dream of flying on PER-JNB and SYD-EZE route, esp in Business class.
So part of the dream comes true! But by looking at your trip report lol many thanks for sharing.

= Well, one day soon my friend. Life is good like that. I have never crossed from Australia to Latin America and this is my last "frontier".

Quoting nethkt (Reply 22):
I also noticed the a/c you were on was not the -300, I think I saw so many business class seats in the cabin in one section.
I couted at least 42 seats so no airlines would squeeze 42 seats in zone A of a 340-400!

= As I mentioned above, it was a 346.

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 23):
Interesting! Hoping for a report on that trip! While your at it you can take a day trip to MNI  or a site seeing tour of the volcano with Caribbean helicopters(I think thats the name of the company). Regarding the beaches in ANU, im not really an expert and they do claim they have 365 beaches (yea right), but did a google search and found this one, it might be a bit biased though lol   :

= Antigua was really nice ... though, the airport needs a major renovation as the post immigration area is way too small. I could not make it to MNI as flights were sold out!

Quoting stipica (Reply 24):
looking for a new job ... but you're late heheehhe

= I am late in a lot of things these days ... my backlog of A.Net reports is close to 60!

Quoting stipica (Reply 24):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
For the first ten minute of my walk, I was nervous (a rarity for me in new environments). But soon enough, you get the realization (like in Latin America), that the line between “danger” and “paranoia” is not as clear as one may think

I was brutally attacked and robbed in broad daylight in the square in front of Barcelona Cathedral ... so rest my case

= Agreed. It really can happen anywhere. Sorry to hear about your BCN experience.

Quoting stipica (Reply 24):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Love the exotic places

yes HKG GRU SYD IST FRA IAD are really exotic heheheheh

= I love looking at departure boards at some airports and see the endless possibilities ...

Quoting stipica (Reply 24):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
I am a self proclaimed port connoisseur

  Abri you too !!?? hehehe

= We can open a great bottle when we meet ... and finish it  .

Quoting stipica (Reply 24):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Upon finding out I worked in aviation, his demeanor seemed to have change. Hallelujah

no no no no this is very low behavior in my book for the service industry ... so what about others who are not in the airline business ... hmmmm

= I agree. As you know, I never say I am doing a report ... in this instance just mentioned that I do airline management and their tone changed. Sad indeed.

Quoting idlewildchild (Reply 25):

Thanks for this report. I'm doing JFK-JNB-JFK come February in J and was wondering if they've had some upgrades to their service. Now I have a greater sense of what to expect and what not to expect.

Sounds like it's an SA Czech Airlines">OK product but far from great. You get a few good hours sleep, an SA Czech Airlines">OK meal and so so service. Though I would hope for more on a 15+ hour trip, I guess it will come down to the bed working well.


= Are you just going to JNB?

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 26):
SA still has one of the more attractive Bus class cabin. However some improvements need to be made (p.ex AVOD)
Sorry to hear about the mediocre crew as well.

Greetings
Marc

= I agree Marc ... but maybe, it is time for a refresh?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 27):
SA looks okay onboard but nothing very special. Food wise it seems very good with four choices and good that the seat is a proper flat bed and that it's comfortable. I would have expected a bit more from them especially service wise.

= Perfect summary Lars!


Quoting The777Man (Reply 27):
The new diagram is great!

= Thanks a lot.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 27):
Very cool that you tried this route which is something that would be fun to do. I have yet to do an Indian Ocean crossing.

= I am thinking UU 777?

Quoting signol (Reply 28):
And a thumbs up for the new graphics, very nice!

= Thanks.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 29):
uoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Actually, I am scared to ask that they give out in YCL.

The same thing? Here's what I got got last year:

= Oh wow. My thoughts confirmed.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 29):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
It seems like the cabin had recently gone through an uplift, and this was most noticeable in the bathroom which no longer had those 1990 lighting.

1990 lighting on an A346? I doubt that. Are you sure you didn't see that on a SA A342 flight?

= No no ... was referring to the last SA 340 aircraft I was on.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 29):
Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
All this reminded me of why I usually like South African crew I have encountered in other airlines such as VS and EK.

I met a very nice South African FA on a ICN-DXB flight on EK. I liked him much better than all the others on that flight.

= My 3 standout EK crew members have been British, South African, and Indian.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 30):
Pretoria seems ok, good to know there's nothing to worry about in central Pretoria.... There's a lot of horror stories from South Africa (well I guess mainly Johannesburg) and it's hard to tell how true or untrue they are.

= Sometimes you just got to go see for yourself. We have this same paranoia in Latin America.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 30):
As a couple of people said above: nice new graphics  

= Thanks.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 30):
Lotsa travel for you... curious, how many hundreds of flights did you take in 2012 (or will by the end of the year)? If you don't know, that's fine, just curious.

= I have taken 312 flights this year.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 32):
As always your reports are among the very best...

Good to see that meals quality has improved since your last experience, and also the crew seems better that your previous flight from EZE   .

= Oh God. Remember that EZE flight with the totally detached crew!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 32):
Do you know if this is a SAA lounge, a Star Alliance lounge (it mentions only LH outside) or the International terminal lounge?

= I believe Star Gold.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 33):

Thanks for this great trip report! I love South Africa and flew on SAA in 2008 from JNB to CPT (classic route). My experience with SAA was wonderful, and I had absolutely no complaints.

= Thanks so much mate. I have a feeling though that you're a little biased towards southern Africa in general   ...

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 33):
Wow, YOU getting nervous? I can't even imagine. I'm glad you ended up enjoying Pretoria though!

= I know right. I told it to my Israeli better half and was mocked for a while ...

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 34):
What a beauty!

looking forward to your next report!

cheers,

Brendan

= Thanks Brendan.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 35):
Nice report as usual, and good to read that you had a nice experience with SAA's J class!
The seat does look quite nice but sad to hear that they don't even have AVOD on their IFE screen. Is this their latest IFE offering?

= Yup. I believe latest IFE.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 35):
I like the graph! Looks very nice and a nice addition to your reports, and I hope you'll keep it around!  

Martin

= Thanks Martin.

Quoting KHI747 (Reply 36):
Hi Alex/Abrelosojos -

Whenever i am on the TR section of A.net,i make it a point to seek out your reports as they are always so interesting and enjoyable to read and see. Its epic that you get to squeeze in these exotic long hauls inbetween a few days off work !

= Thanks a lot man. Means a lot.

Quoting KHI747 (Reply 36):
The bar chart is a nice touch - very analytical of you i must say !

= Thanks. It is the consultant in me.

Quoting KHI747 (Reply 36):
Back in 2010 i transited through JNB twice travelling to Maputo and i quite liked the terminal. Infact i will always remember JNB to be the first airport where i saw the A380 - AF bird next to our EK B77W. Strange considering that we just flew DXB-JNB yet i didnt see any EK 380's at DXB at that time. The long hualers parked at the remote stands (BA,VS,CX etc) seems almost like a constant at JNB during the day - i saw pretty much exactly the same line up but i think it also inluded an LX343 and MH B772.

= JNB is like GRU in that aspect.

Quoting KHI747 (Reply 36):
Keep the TR's coming Abrelosojos.

= Thanks. Will do sir.

Quoting KHI747 (Reply 36):
BTW - i sent you a PM a couple of days back - did you receive it? Kindly revert.

= Nope  . Email it to me ... much more efficient.

Thanks a lot again for stopping by everyone.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: 817Dreamliiner
Posted 2012-12-16 13:06:54 and read 16325 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 37):
= Antigua was really nice ... though, the airport needs a major renovation as the post immigration area is way too small. I could not make it to MNI as flights were sold out!

Glad you enjoyed Antigua, your right about the terminal, but you may have noticed that theres a new terminal going up next to the old one, hopefully it will be a major upgrade from the current one... Too bad you couldnt make it to MNI, not really surprised flights were sold out, especially now that we are celebrating 50 years of festival celebrations this month. Im on my way back there in a couple days, im doing another trip report, though it will be similar to the one in June... But hopefully something interesting will happen like in my last 2 reports 

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: EddieDude
Posted 2012-12-16 15:59:59 and read 16170 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 21):
= Will let you know. I am supposed to be there middle of Jan.

Awesome! Hope your plans will not change.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 21):
= Hmm. Do you remember the name of the PP lounge?

Bidvest I believe.  

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: Lufthansa747
Posted 2012-12-16 20:21:47 and read 15840 times.

Nice report as usual from you A.

Doesn't look too bad, in fact that looks about on par with my QF F SYD-JNB, was worst service I ever had in F. Of course the SYD F lounge is great and later my flight LHR-HKG was superb, but it was not at all on SYD-JNB.

Your taxi story sounds so familiar, I was told of a 2-hour wait for a taxi in JNB, so I braved it with this shady guy and his more shady Corolla. Not recommended in JNB I guess... Sure enough he was back the following morning like clockwork and I only paid him for both trips when back at JNB. His beat up car looked a bit funny in front of the Intercontinental Sandton...

Regards,

Lari

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: SR 103
Posted 2012-12-16 23:50:47 and read 15678 times.

Thanks for the informative report as I have often wondered what service would be like on these South ocean crossings with SAA. They are definitely on my to do list.

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: The777Man
Posted 2012-12-17 01:55:15 and read 15553 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 37):
I am thinking UU 777?

It would be nice but I'm not sure they will fly the route much longer and it's probably expensive. I flew UU a few years ago RUN-CDG and posted a report.

Maybe I'll try MK to PER or HKG something like that. Perhaps something else.

The777Man

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: idlewildchild
Posted 2013-02-16 23:56:05 and read 12873 times.

Jut flew JFK-JNB-CPT and my experience mirrors this report in J. Thanks for saving me the time!

Flights were on-time and adequate. Seats were too, meals were very so-so. I ordered lacto-ovo VGML. Fruit was great, main course not so much. Arrival breakfast at JNB agin so-so. On board service overall polite and solid - again nothing over the top. Because they're the mat direct route jfk to South Africa, I do recommend them.

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: lukeyboy95
Posted 2013-02-20 02:39:51 and read 12184 times.

Hi Alex,

Quoting abrelosojos (Thread starter):
So I asked an extremely friendly train agent whether it was OK to walk, and she said I’d be fine. For the first ten minute of my walk, I was nervous (a rarity for me in new environments). But soon enough, you get the realization (like in Latin America), that the line between “danger” and “paranoia” is not as clear as one may think. I had a brilliant day in Pretoria walking around and then taking the Gautrain back. See pictures at the end of the trip.

Yes, very true. So much paranoia in R.S.A, and it seems to only get more intense as the ANC continues to hold power.

But, the truth if it is mostly a safe and charismatic country for the innocent visitor!

SAA looked fair, I wonder if the Aussie market is quite a cash-cow for airlines these days with such a strong Oz dollar.

Best

Luke

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2013-02-23 22:31:17 and read 11018 times.

Quoting 817Dreamliiner (Reply 38):
Glad you enjoyed Antigua, your right about the terminal, but you may have noticed that theres a new terminal going up next to the old one, hopefully it will be a major upgrade from the current one... Too bad you couldnt make it to MNI, not really surprised flights were sold out, especially now that we are celebrating 50 years of festival celebrations this month. Im on my way back there in a couple days, im doing another trip report, though it will be similar to the one in June... But hopefully something interesting will happen like in my last 2 reports 

= Well, ANU is still a better terminal than PLS which definitely needs a make-over! It continues to amaze me how many terminals in the Caribbean are way beyond peak capacity! I am thinking of tagging a MNI visit to a work trip to BGI. Let's see.

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 39):
Awesome! Hope your plans will not change.

= Hey. Did you get my PM? I am in TLC for an airport project.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 40):
Nice report as usual from you A.

= Thanks.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 40):
Doesn't look too bad, in fact that looks about on par with my QF F SYD-JNB, was worst service I ever had in F. Of course the SYD F lounge is great and later my flight LHR-HKG was superb, but it was not at all on SYD-JNB.

= What happened that qualified it to be the "worst service" ever in F for you? I am curious as you're a global flyer and would be interested in your opinion.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 40):
Your taxi story sounds so familiar, I was told of a 2-hour wait for a taxi in JNB, so I braved it with this shady guy and his more shady Corolla. Not recommended in JNB I guess... Sure enough he was back the following morning like clockwork and I only paid him for both trips when back at JNB. His beat up car looked a bit funny in front of the Intercontinental Sandton...

= Amazing isn't it.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 41):
Thanks for the informative report as I have often wondered what service would be like on these South ocean crossings with SAA. They are definitely on my to do list.

= Thanks. So no future plans? Do you have a Z w/ SAA?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 42):
Maybe I'll try MK to PER or HKG something like that. Perhaps something else.

= I am actually going on MK from MRU to HKG later in the year. I will be writing a TR.

Quoting idlewildchild (Reply 43):

Jut flew JFK-JNB-CPT and my experience mirrors this report in J. Thanks for saving me the time!

Flights were on-time and adequate. Seats were too, meals were very so-so. I ordered lacto-ovo VGML. Fruit was great, main course not so much. Arrival breakfast at JNB agin so-so. On board service overall polite and solid - again nothing over the top. Because they're the mat direct route jfk to South Africa, I do recommend them.


= This is a good assessment. Did DL remove their CPT flight?

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 44):
Yes, very true. So much paranoia in R.S.A, and it seems to only get more intense as the ANC continues to hold power.

= Either way, ANC or not?

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 44):
SAA looked fair, I wonder if the Aussie market is quite a cash-cow for airlines these days with such a strong Oz dollar.

Best

Luke

= I am sure the Oz $$$ helps. But also prevents inbound tourism as well.

Thanks a lot for stopping by everyone.

Saludos,
Alex

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: lukeyboy95
Posted 2013-02-24 04:02:27 and read 10734 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 45):
= Either way, ANC or not?

The scourge of that country! Out!

Best wishes, Venezuela on the radar for next year. Best

Luke

Topic: RE: South African SA 280: FEB/12: JNB-PER: J Cabin
Username: idlewildchild
Posted 2013-02-24 07:44:38 and read 10603 times.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 45):
Quoting idlewildchild (Reply 43):

Jut flew JFK-JNB-CPT and my experience mirrors this report in J. Thanks for saving me the time!

Flights were on-time and adequate. Seats were too, meals were very so-so. I ordered lacto-ovo VGML. Fruit was great, main course not so much. Arrival breakfast at JNB agin so-so. On board service overall polite and solid - again nothing over the top. Because they're the mat direct route jfk to South Africa, I do recommend them.


= This is a good assessment. Did DL remove their CPT flight?

Not sure on Delta. I'm a Star guy out of NYC. Just returned MSU-JNB-JFK. Your pictures of JNB capture it perfectly, including the J class lounge, which I was in for 8 hours. The shower was odd in that there were no plug-ins except the one for special hair drier, no shampoo (I double checked) and one towel with a small towel. No toothbrush or any other amenity and no hooks to place clothes. Compared to the Sky Team London shower experience, though getting the basic job done, it was the minimum. Having said that the actual shower head, the rain style, was quite good. Still, I was grateful during the 8 hour layover, before the 16 hour 10 minute flight to get cleaned up so I didn't stink up the cabin!

Is it me or are flights more turbulent now a days? We bounced/banged for 4-5 hours out of JFK on 12FEB/SA204 and had a good 2 hours of rocking/rolling out of JNB on Friday night's SA203 on the way to JFK, and then another hour about 2 1/2 hours out of JFK. I've had more turbulent flights in the last couple of years than I remember previously - maybe it's just my luck has changed.

The return JNB-JFK crew was very good, particularly the flight attendant that looked after my section. She was almost devastated when my IFE crashed and didn't come back to life with 5 hours to go. Nothing could be done and she was genuinely upset, rebooting my seat at least 3 times and then the entire aircraft in an effort to get it working, all to no avail.

I chose an inside aisle for the all night, night flight. At my age, bathroom access becomes important and I didn't want to have to jump and crawl over someone from the window or have someone jumping or crawling over me.

On take-off (which was borderline dramatic using every ounce of runway to get that fully loaded A346 to lift off) the front left lav door slammed open and broke, leaving us one bathroom for the 48 J class passengers, which ultimately was OK, especially since the one working was on my side. My favorite part of the head purser's effort to repair was taking a coffee pot to it with gusto. I said to the guy next to me, "now that f/a's seen a thing or two in his life!"

Again your opinion of the food is completely accurate. I had the KlingClip fish and it was dry and so so. The breakfast fruit was delicious but the pancakes were horrendous and uneatable. Their mid-flight snacks are OK, nothing terribly special either.

And yes, the seats are good, especially with both the under and over blankets. I so wanted to take one of the blankets but they are all accounted for!

Anyway AbreLosOjos - my eyes are wide open to SAA, the good and the not so great. Overall, considering their aircraft utilization and route map, they do a good job of getting you a very long distance in a professional manner. No SQ, CX or TG but definately competitive with an LH, BA or DL. Thanks for letting me piggy back on your report - I could never do it to your standards and I left the camera in my checked bag!


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