Information on travel and restrictions


South African Airways Flights

One of the oldest airlines in the world, South African Airways (SAA) operates both domestic and international service from its hub in Johannesburg (JNB) and is the flagship carrier of South Africa. With 21 destinations within Africa, 11 direct inter-continental routes and an additional 22 code share routes, it is one of the largest and most experienced airlines.

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Seating Options

Travellers have the option of economy or business class seating on all South African Airways’ Boeing and Airbus aircrafts. Within economy class there are up to four fare levels determining frequent flyer points accrual, date change and cancellation flexibility and baggage allowance. There is currently no Wi-Fi available in either class of service.

Economy Class

All seats in economy class feature a pitch between 31 and 34 inches, a seat width of between 17 and 20 inches (both pitch and width varies by model and series of aircraft) and most with a personal, seat-back TV. There is no laptop or general power source in the economy class cabin.

Business Class

South African Airways’ fleet of Airbus aircrafts offers business class passengers a lie-flat seat with a pitch of 73-74 inches, a width of 20.5-24 inches (depending on the model and series) and all seats are outfitted with a personal TV and a laptop power source. The Boeing 737 keeps business class seats reclinable, with a width of 20.5 inches and a 36 inch pitch. There is no general or laptop power source and the TV is shared.

In-flight Options


All international flights in both cabins feature the latest in Hollywood movies, acclaimed international TV shows, world news, sports and documentaries, various music channels and a variety of interactive games using a personal, on-dem and entertainment system. A duty free seat-back catalogue gives travellers the opportunity to shop en route.


All meals on board are complimentary and generally feature three courses, a starter, a main and a desert. Carefully chosen and prepared, generous portions are proudly served alongside award winning South African wines and other beverages of choice, also complimentary.


South African Airways’ online check-in allows travellers to check-in online within 24 hours to departure and to print their own boarding pass. Online check-in closes four hours prior to departure for USA flights, three hours prior to departure for all other international flights and two hours for all domestic service. Seats can be chosen during this time however they cannot be changed once selected. Check-in can also be done at the airport with a South African Airways representative where standard check-in times apply (three hours prior to departure for international and two hours prior for domestic).

Checked Baggage

Checked baggage allowance varies slightly by destination. Economy class passengers travelling to or from USA and Canada are allowed two pieces of checked luggage, with each piece not to exceed 62 inches/157cm (combined length + width + height) and not weighing more than 50lbs/23kg each. Business class per piece weight allowance increases to 70lbs/32kg but size dimensions remain the same.

To most other destinations, passengers may check two pieces of luggage, with the total weight not to exceed 44lbs/20kg in economy and up to 66lbs/30kg total weight for those in business class (size dimensions remain the same as above). As there are exceptions to the above information based on routing, please check with the airline directly at time of booking.

Excess, overweight and oversized bags will incur an additional fee (including some sports equipment which is generally carried free if included in your total free allowance). Baggage fees differ from city to city and country to country and may also be based on routing. Please check with the airline directly for details.

Note: Star Alliance Gold and Voyager members are allowed additional baggage. Check with the airline directly for details.

Carry-on Baggage

For all flights on all routes, South African Airways restricts cabin baggage to one piece of luggage with maximum dimensions not to exceed a total of 45inches or 115cms (length + width + height) and must weigh less than 18lbs or 8kg. All carry-on bags must fit either in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you. In addition to the above, a personal item such as a purse, briefcase or laptop is permitted. Infants under the age of two have no checked or carry-on baggage allowance.


The current fleet of 54 planes is comprised of both Airbus and Boeing produced aircrafts and includes 11 Airbus A319-100 series planes, two A320-200’s, 6 A330-200’s, 1 A340-200, 8 A340-300’s, 9 A340-600’s and 13 Boeing 737-800 series planes. (not included are 5 Boeing 737 cargo planes)

Alliances, Clubs and Lounges

Since 2006, South African Airways has been a key partner in the Star Alliance, code sharing on many African routes for their North American and European partners. Their frequent flyer program is aptly named Voyager, with which accrued air miles can be redeemed for air tickets, car hire discounts and other benefits and rewards and partners 32 other airlines with SAA. Star Alliance members, SAA business class travellers and Voyager Platinum Members have complimentary access to SAA’s Cycad First Class Lounge and

Baobab Business Class Lounge

in O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg as well as Star Alliance partner lounges worldwide.

The Last Word

South African Airways flies to 30 international destinations in 26 countries, servicing six continents and has been voted Africa’s Best Airline by Skytrax, year after year. The company slogan is "Africa’s Most Awarded Airline".

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