Flights with South African Airways

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About South African Airways 

Whether you're embarking on a tailor-made Garden Route & Safari Journey, or soaking up the country's best bits on our Ultimate South Africa holiday, flying with the national carrier - South African Airways - is the perfect way to make your trip even more authentic. And not only will you benefit from great service and value, but the airline's extensive internal network means you can easily tag on as many flights around the country as you like, making the most of your time in majestic South Africa.

Cabin Classes

Economy Class

South African Airways' Economy Class cabins offer customers a spacious layout, boasting a seat pitch of 31-34 inches and a width of 18 inches. Moreover, the 2-4-2 seat configuration guarantees passengers are only ever one seat away from the aisle. In addition, Economy customers also benefit from a generous baggage allowance, which includes one piece of luggage (up to 23kg), plus a free piece of sporting equipment.

Entertainment: With 10-inch seat-back screens, passengers can choose from a range of on-demand in-flight entertainment.

Food and Beverage: The Economy in-flight menu offers delicious cuisine, served with excellent South African wines and a wide range of complimentary drinks.

Business Class

South African Airways' Business Class cabins deliver a warm, world-class experience. Passengers will benefit from 21-inch-wide forward-facing flat beds with a seat pitch of 73 inches, complete with overnight mattress, duvet and full-size pillow and arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration. There's also in-seat power supply, adjustable lumbar support and personal screens. 

Entertainment: Business Class passengers enjoy 12-inch widescreen TVs, showcasing on-demand TV and movies, as well as in-flight audio entertainment.

Food and Beverage: Restaurant quality à-la-carte dining makes up the menu in Business Class; passengers will savour a superb range of canapés, entrees and desserts, accompanied by award-winning South African wines. 


South African Airlines Baggage Allowance


Economy Class passengers are allowed one piece of 8kg hand luggage; Business Class passengers are allowed two pieces. Bags must be no bigger than 56x36x23cm. You are also entitled to carry one small personal item as well, such as a handbag, camera case or small laptop bag.


Checked baggage varies depending on the fare type. Economy passengers are allowed to check one piece of baggage up to 23kg, plus a free piece of sporting equipment. Those travelling in Business Class can take two pieces, up to 32kg per bag, plus an extra piece of sporting equipment. Please refer to the airline for more information. 

In many countries no one bag can weigh more than 32kg by itself. This is for work-place health and safety reasons.

Restricted or Dangerous Goods

The following items are not allowed in carry-on or checked bags:

- Explosives and fireworks, lithium batteries or pyrotechnics
- Flammable gasses, liquids and solids such as matches#
- Oxidising substances
- Pepper sprays or other disabling devices or materials
- Poisons, radioactive materials and corrosive materials

Be sure to call your airline in advance for carriage procedures and approval.

 Always declare items in question to check-in staff at the airport. Check with your airline for specific information on dangerous goods.



Check-in online or at the counter

Airport Check-in

At the airport you can either visit the self check-in kiosks and bag drop (where available) or the South African Airways check-in counter. 

Online & Mobile Check-in

Checking in online or from your mobile with South African Airways couldn't be simpler. You can print or download your boarding pass to your phone from 24 hours and up to two hours before your flight departure. At this time you can also change or select your seat if you wish.

At the airport

- Proceed to check-in counter with passport and itinerary ready
- Go through security
- Continue through customs
- Check the gate number and flight status
- Sit down and get comfy!



Sit back and relax in a South African Airways lounge

South African Airways has lounge facilities across the globe thanks to its inclusion in the Star Alliance, as well as two dedicated lounges located at OR Tambo International Airport.

London Heathrow Terminal 2 lounge – South African Airways & Air Canada

Both lounges at OR Tambo International Airport offer a tranquil and comfortable escape from the hustle of the airport and include internet access, a full service bar and hot food and snacks. And if you need to freshen up after a long flight into South Africa, the SAA Arrivals Lounge offers refreshing showers and a clothes pressing service.

Business Class passengers, Star Alliance Gold members and various SAA Voyager membership tiers have select access to lounges. Please refer to the airline for more details.

Frequent Flyer

South African Airways Loyalty Program

The South African Airways Voyager Frequent Flyer rewards program allows members to earn points when they fly with South African Airways, their affiliated airlines or shop with their partners including hotels, car hire companies, credit card programs and other retail companies. Accumulated points can be used towards flights, upgrades, accommodation, car hire and other benefits with South African Airways and their partners – within three calendar years.

The more you fly with South African Airways, the higher your Voyager status goes; you'll progress through Silver, Gold, Platinum and Lifetime Platinum tiers, each with more and more benefits.