TonyBurr
Topic Author
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SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:34 am

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!
 
Leskova
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 3:39 pm

RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:40 am

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!
 
AT502B
Posts: 329
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RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:27 am

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.
 
xpat
Posts: 595
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2004 4:34 am

RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:45 am

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
 
JoKeR
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Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 12:34 pm

RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Tue Mar 15, 2005 5:49 am

Just a quick note to also applaud SAA and JNB Domestic Terminal, truly beyond world class, well done!
Kafa, čaj, šraf?
 
TonyBurr
Topic Author
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RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Tue Mar 15, 2005 4:24 pm

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.
 
Leskova
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RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Tue Mar 15, 2005 6:51 pm

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!
 
MEA-707
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RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Tue Mar 15, 2005 7:37 pm

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 avatar
PM
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Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:05 pm

RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Tue Mar 15, 2005 9:42 pm

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.
 
AT502B
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RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:32 am

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.
 
TonyBurr
Topic Author
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RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:24 am

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 avatar
PM
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RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 3:49 pm

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!
 
Trolley Dolley
Posts: 548
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RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:27 pm

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.
 
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PM
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RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 6:20 pm

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.
 
Ratypus
Posts: 185
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RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 7:16 pm

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.
 
AIR MALTA
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RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 8:38 pm

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)
 
erela
Posts: 149
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RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 10:03 pm

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
 
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PM
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Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:05 pm

RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 10:11 pm

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...)
 
bkkair
Posts: 384
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RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 10:34 pm

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.
 
erela
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2000 7:14 pm

RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Wed Mar 16, 2005 11:45 pm

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?
 
VS045
Posts: 188
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2004 5:33 pm

RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Thu Mar 17, 2005 5:20 am

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 avatar
PM
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RE: SA - An Airline Who Knows How To Do It!

Thu Mar 17, 2005 3:58 pm

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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