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South African Airways

South Africa’s pride and joy of the travel industry, have effectively become one of the main airline travel providers in Africa. South African Airlines provide the largest air travel network in Africa and travel to even more locations, simultaneously internationally as well as domestically within South Africa, than any of their competitors.

South African Airways, otherwise referred to as SAA, originally known as Union Airways until 1934 when the South African government took over all assets and liabilities and renamed it South African Airlines (SAA). It is the national flag carrier for South Africa with headquarters based at Airways Park, OR Tambo International Airport.

South African Airways are very proud to remain the national air carrier of the South African public, and are dedicated to the very best criteria in every single thing that they actually do. From comfortable hospitality as well as luxurious airport terminal lounges to  in flight eating produced by celebrated culinary experts, this airline deliver a world class encounter every time.

SAA boasts a fleet of 58 aircraft that operate from its OR Tambo International Airport hub to 38 destinations worldwide with 24 in Africa. SAA’s domestic market operates a total of 554 flights per week including code-shared flights between Lanseria to Cape Town and Durban with more frequencies offered than any other airline in South Africa. SAA flights is a ‘Star Alliance’ member and has code share agreements with 29 other airlines. With ‘Mango’ as its low cost carrier, both SAA flights and Mango flights hold first and second place as South Africa’s most timeous airlines. For loyal customers SAA flights offer their ‘Voyager’ frequent flyer programme where miles are earned on both local and international flights including flights with ‘South African Airlink’, ‘South African Express Airways’ and ‘Airlink Swaziland’. The more you fly, the more prominent your Voyager status becomes affording you additional benefits when flying or with their growing partner network, an exchange of miles for awards within three calendar years.

Not only do South African Airlines offer domestic flights South Africa but are also fairly competitive in the global market when it comes to international flights to the consumer market. They are a proud carrier in the South African market and are consistently bringing families and friends together both locally and internationally flying from popular destinations such as Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town daily. South African Airways flies to 38 destinations worldwide from its hub at OR Tambo International Airport, using a fleet of 54 aircraft.

South African Airways Baggage Restrictions

Checked Baggage

If you are flying a domestic flight Economy Class then your baggage is not permitted to exceed 23kg(1 item only)  whereas Business Class travellers are not permitted to exceed 32kg(1 item only). If exceeding 32kg (70lb), the piece of baggage must be checked as Cargo at specified cargo rated. If you are flying internationally then you are permitted to carry 2 items of baggage with the same weight restrictions as above. Children and Infants paying at least 50% of the adult fare are entitled to the same baggage allowance as adults. Infants not entitled to a seat shall only be permitted to 1 piece of luggage at 10kg and collapsible buggy or car seat.

Carry-on Baggage

In additions to the checked baggage allowance, each passenger is permitted to carry, without additional charges, hand baggage suitable for placement in the closed overhead rack or under the passenger’s seat with maximum dimensions specified by the carrier subject to space availability and may not weigh more than 8kg.


Travelling SAA With Children

If your child has to travel alone, take advantage of SAA’s ‘Unaccompanied Minors’ service. A child aged between five and 11 years travelling without a parent or guardian 16 years and older may utilise the service while children under the age of five years may not. SAA rate a young passenger as a child that is 12 years old but has not yet turned 16 and for fare purposes is considered an adult. If using the ‘Unaccompanied Minors’ service you should inform SAA of any critical information pertaining to the child, for example if they’re first time flyers, language spoken, medication or if any special meals will be required. South African Airlines will do their utmost to ensure that your child is left with happy memories of their flight experience and to help achieve this, SAA request that you explain to your child the importance of their passport and tickets and that the child knows who is collecting them on arrival. If your child is flying on different airlines, it is your responsibility as the parent, to receive confirmation from each airline that your child is travelling alone. Unaccompanied minors may only travel if prior authorization has been received from SAA and should reach their destination before 20h00 on direct flights, except for connecting flights provided the connection is not the next day. During any transit stops, cabin crew or ground staff will oversee your child. The child must be in possession of written consent from parents or guardians and must be escorted by an adult to the airport where they should remain until the flight has taken off. An SAA flights representative will escort your child through all controls and security taking care of their travel documents right up to getting them comfortably seated. The cabin crew will be notified of all relevant information pertaining to your child before the flight and will regularly check that your child is relaxed and entertained. On arrival your child will be handed over to an SAA host who will escort them through immigration to arrivals and before transferring them to the appointed parent or guardian, who should under no circumstances arrive late, will check that the required proof of identification is in order.


Waiting At The Airport

While waiting for your flight at O.R. Tambo International Airport, ‘Business Class’ travellers can relax in the ‘Baobab Business Class Lounge’ with a view of the ORTIA runway. Also available at Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London, Cape Town, Harare and Lusaka International Airports where passengers can enjoy a cigarette in the smoker’s lounge or if wanting a bite to eat there is a self-service food area and a staffed bar as well as free Wi-Fi, internet, built-in private entertainment screens and for those with children, a colourfully decorated children’s area. The ‘Baobab Business Class Lounge’ is SAA’s flagship departure lounge for business travellers or ‘Star Alliance’ members and if your ‘Voyager’ status is ‘Lifetime Platinum or Platinum’ you may have two guests, as a ‘SAA Voyager Gold’ member or ‘Star Gold’ member you’re welcome to one guest. ‘SAA Voyager Silver’ members and ‘Business Class’ travellers are not permitted guests. The International Departures ‘Cycad First Class Lounge’ at O.R. Tambo International Airport is available to ‘SAA Voyager Lifetime Platinum’, ‘Platinum’ and ‘Star Alliance’ members, ‘SAA First Class’ and Thai Airways ‘First Class’ passengers affording luxury and tranquillity including snooze rooms, showers for revitalisation, an enclosed cigar lounge, internet, an audio-visual entertainment room, built-in private entertainment screens, private boardrooms and an à la carte menu with a range of supreme dining options and a fully service bar. ‘SAA Voyager Lifetime Platinum’ or Platinum’ members are welcome to bring two guests while Lufthansa ‘First Class’, and ‘Lufthansa Hon’ members travelling on LH573 are allowed one guest.


South African Airways Contact Details

Within South Africa

Tel: 0861 FLYSAA (0861 359722) (0861 606 606) Office hours: Daily (including Public Holidays) from 06h00 to 22h00


Tel: **27 11 978 5313 Office hours: Daily (including Public Holidays) from 06h00 to 22h00 (GMT+2) Voyager Share call: 086 000 3145 (within South Africa) Office hours: Monday – Friday, from 07h00 to 21h00 Office hours: Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays from 08h00 to 14h00 International Tel: 27 11 978 1234 Fax: 27 11 978 1551 Email: voyager@flysaa.com Registered mail: Voyager, Isando, 1600, South Africa Office hours: Monday – Friday, from 07h00 to 21h00 Office hours: Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays from 08h00 to 14h00

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