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Joined: Sun May 30, 1999 11:37 am

South African Airways

Tue Jun 15, 1999 8:05 am

I would like to know if anyone has ever flown South African Airways. If so, whats your impression of the service?

Thank you.


RE: South African Airways

Tue Jun 15, 1999 8:34 am

I flew SAA many years ago in the sixties and early seventies. At that time they were a top-notch airline with very friendly service, as I recall. There was a really good article in the March issue of Airways Magazine about how SAA and how it is going through a transition period as they try to modernize its fleet and improve its market share and revenues.

I don't have much information about them but they have a good website at and it seems that they are trying hard to win over travelers by treating them well

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RE: South African Airways

Tue Jun 15, 1999 9:15 am

Hi there

I am originally from South Africa living in Aussie now... and thus used to fly SAA all the time.

WHat I have seen was a decline in the late 80's and then in the mid 90's a jack up of service etc....
They are now back where they were in the 70's.

Their service is good, the crews are all friendly.
The food is also good.
They dont operate the most modern of fleets though - and dont have PTV's in economy yet - I think they will soon though.

Just recently I took a flight from Caoe town to London and back which was good - get to the airport early though as there are long queues from London as usually there are 3 flights a night to South Africa - and all leaving within 1 1/2 hrs of one another (that is if you are going to London?)

Their domsetic services are good too - but not as god as their international.

Safety wise - they have never "crashed" - Only once have they crashed not due to error or bad maintenence, but due to the fact that idiots in Joburg airport let a bomb on board.

I rate them up there - better than Qantas, but not as good as say Virgin!

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RE: South African Airways

Tue Jun 15, 1999 5:43 pm

I flew SAA 5 years ago from Milan Malpensa to Johannesburg and then took lots of domestic flights.
The international flight was on an old 747 SP, but it was all right, with especially a very friendly crew.
I would say it was an average intercontinental flight, better than say the US carriers but not as good as SR, SQ , Lauda or Virgin
Go for it anyhow, SAA is a very reliable company.You will enjoy their friendliness.
Veni, vidi, vici.

RE: South African Airways

Thu Jun 17, 1999 1:59 am

I took SAA in 1991 from Joburg to Frankfurt....Very good flight up there with say BA, Quantas....but not an SQ or VS....
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RE: South African Airways

Thu Jun 17, 1999 2:44 am

Hi I'm Ben,
I have flown South African Airways, the service on board is quite good. Their planes look clean inside. The meals are very good. On long hauls, you get hot breakfast, you can even choose between scambled egges or poached eggs. Of course at dinner time, you have meal options like on most long haul carriers. Even on a short flight, you get a hot meal at lunch time.
The crews are friendly, sometimes they let you go to the cockpit during the flight, which US airlines don't allow. A couple of years ago, I was flying South African Airways from Johannesburg to Cape Town, it was an A300 and I was sitting near the aisle. The flight attendant spilled tea on my shirt, so she took me to the rear of the plane. She cleaned my shirt for me, she felt so sorry, I said: " problem". She was friendly.
South African Airways is the best airline in Africa. I like their latest livery.

Ben Soriano
Brussels Belgium
Ben Soriano

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