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SAA / disgusting customer service

South Africa Review updated:

Myself and my 6 year old son arrived at CPT airport, wrapped bag, proceed to check in counter.With attitude he told me that our bags are over weight & I must read the sign board, I said to him that I will pay in for the difference and he then said I must read the sign board.He then applied that I was trying to bribed him.The attitudes got worst between us.Then told me that I cannot pay for the extra weight I must go sort it out.I asked how and where and then once again was told its not his problem and I should stand on a scale at home and weigh my bags before I come to the airportand it sure looks like I need one!Management claimed to have been there through out the whole conversation.The manager told me to take my bags somewhere/wherever and unpack my bags and move some stuff into my hand luggage to make the bag lighter. From there the manager and check in assistant ignored me flat and would not help or answer any of my questions. I then took the bags off the scale and went to the side of the airport where the baggage wrap plastic is .I then started unpacking all my luggage onto the floor and in front of passing passages. A Swiss porter and the plastic wrap baggage people came to me and offered their assistance in telling me what to do and helped me weigh the bags to make sure I have the correct baggage weight. Therefore I had to rewrapped my bags at my own expense again!I went back to the check in counter, approached the manager who ignored me and then finally he told me to go back to the check in assistant that I saw at first and then he refused to help me and told me that I am rude, I went back to the manager and I was tossed between the 2.Finally decided to check me in and I was escorted by a Swiss port person to the aircraft as I was now late.Eventually got on the plane, sat down, to top it on the airhostess messed a cup of coffee all over me.Landed in JHB and my bag does not pitch. Went to the lost luggage department and get told to wait and they can try track the luggage down.While waiting at JHB airport I go to SAA Voyager counters to try at least get hold of someone/manager who can maybe be more of a assistance, I must call the call centre for customer service.CPT advices us that they are too busy today to track the bag.SAA blames ACSA and ACSA blames SAA for my luggage being lost.

Cb
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Comments

  • Ri
      Jun 22, 2009
    SAA - do not book on line
    Richard Israel
    Miami
    Florida
    United States

    Trip to South Africa via SAA on coach class, customers beware:

    I travel to South Africa two to three times a year on business and to visit family. The last trip in May ‘09, roundtrip, was a nightmare both ways.

    This was a flight from Dulles Airport to Johannesburg. The time on the plane, from takeoff to landing, was 18 hours because of an hour plus stop in Senegal. It was an Airbus with seats no bigger than seats in a Volkswagen bug. I was surprised that an airliner would allow people to be crammed in such a small space for so many hours.

    Between your seat and the back of the seat in front of you there was approximately 2 feet. When the food was served, the stewardess’ refused to ask the seat in front of you to raise their back so that you would have some room to move your arms to eat. The return trip was not much better.

    It is obvious the SAA is cramming passengers into these Airbus planes. Ask to speak to the Cabin Manager, forget it, he just wont come back to coach. Ask why they are still showing films from last month, the response is a shrug.

    I suggest that anyone traveling to South Africa consider other carriers that are more concerned with passenger comfort than squeezing an extra few rows of seats in their planes.

    Richard Israel
    Florida, USA

    0 Votes
  • Nr
      Jul 03, 2009

    We are still trying to locate our bags after 3 weeks from the Jberg Dulles flight. - The airline neither picks up the phone nor returns calls.

    We are forced to file a formal complaint with DOT. It is an amazingly incompetent airline

    0 Votes
  • Ku
      Sep 09, 2010
    SAA - no amendments to incorrect booking allowed
    SAA
    United States
    flysaa.com

    I made a incorrect booking via the SAA web site for a flight in December. Went to bed and lodged a query the very next day to say that I would like to amend it. They don't want to, saying I must upgrade my ticket or book a new one. I could understand it if the flight was a week later, but it's 4 months before the flight. Please let me change the flight or refund me please. I have proof of all my queries lodged.

    0 Votes
  • Ja
      Sep 10, 2010
    SAA - she should not be in customer service
    SAA
    United States
    flysaa.com

    We returned from the UK on 14th September, flight SAA 221 after a fantastic holiday. The lady who served us, seemed like she was having a VERY BAD evening: no smiles, no common courtesy with an abrupt, rude way. Before the breakfast was served, I had to visit the lavratory, but had to queue during which, to my horror, I heard her bite a customer's head off when the customer enquired about her vegetarian breakfast. This word exchange went on for a while and boy, she did not back off. Her service was SHOCKING and I overheard other customers talk about her on the bus at the airport! The gentleman serving the other side of the plane seemed lovely- all smiles and jokes. I wished I sat on his side of the aircraft as my experience would've been extremely pleasant. I could not see his name on his badge, but he was more mature, over 48 I would say, and wore specs. He certainly understands what customer service is about, but with Kim, you will surely lose customers. Kim, if you hate your job, find another one and leave customer service to those who enjoy it. SAA and South Africa can't afford more bad publicity, especially on an International flight months before the World Cup.

    0 Votes
  • Ts
      Sep 20, 2010
    SAA - do not book on line
    SAA
    United States
    flysaa.com

    I booked three tickets to Capetown on 29th September for December. My bank sent a SMS confirming the credit card transaction.

    SAA issued me an online confirmation with reference number and said tickets would be issued within12 hours. I had a look today and nothing.

    My wife and I spent three hours on the phone today. I won't go into the call centre joke of eighteen calls. It was beyond rediculeous.

    SAA say they have cancelled the tickets because they have not received payment . My bank wont refund as they say they have outhorised and passed the money to SAA.

    This seems a very common ocurence as i browse through SAA complaints. How can your systems be in such a mess SAA!

    I have booked and paid, as a customer I have done my bit. I am not changing my dates or want anything from you apart form what we agreed when you took my booking and I paid.

    0 Votes
  • Mi
      Nov 17, 2010

    My experience was not much different, crammed space, entertainment from two months ago, bad service in total. I must however admit this bad service I only found with the international flights and not on the domestic flights.
    Further more, and this is not meant to be racist, but all the African staff members seemed to be angry/moody and I got the feeling that they reluctantly wanted to serve anyone in general.
    Upon me questioning one of the staff members about the the entertainment system, she rudely responded that its not her fault, turn and walked away. I mean hell! It was a simple question and she got all upset about it. Then when the cabin lights were turned off and most people were sleeping, I woke up wanting to have some water. I activated the service bell and 10 minutes later I got up to fetch it myself only to find everyone else was helping them selves too. The steward was happily siting and reading his news paper. Seriously wtf is going with SAA?

    Honestly this is unacceptable!

    0 Votes
  • Ec
      Dec 17, 2010
    SAA - baggage broken
    SAA
    South Africa

    I flew on Thurs evening from Joburg to Cape Town with my husband, and when we got to our destination and started unpacking the luggage we noticed that the lock had been broken off our one bag. Subsiquiently it was the bag with the christmas presents in, which I thought would be safe and having a lock on it would be fine. I opened the bag to find that all the christmas presents had been opened, wrapping paper still in the bag and some missing and that all the presents were now scattered throught-out the bag damaging some of them. I have flown many different airlines and this being the first flight on SAA I would not be happy in recommending it to anyone as the bags were locked and then yet still the bags were broken into and things mishandeled. As of yet I am still trying to get hold of SAA customer care line, and have now seen that their working hours are not 8-5, as when I called at 4pm on a friday their offices were already closed!

    0 Votes
  • Ch
      Jan 05, 2011
    SAA - delayed flight and no food
    SAA express
    South Africa

    My wife, child and I had I flight booked from East London to Johannesburg on 1 Jan 2017. When we checked in the lady said after standing in the line that it is the rong place we need to fall into the long line if our flight is at 15:05, this is only for the 17:00 bookings. Then once we booked in, they said the flight is delayed but they don't know how long. We waited almost 2 hours before boarding the plane and then the captain announced that we won't receive any food due to the delay they could not arrange for the food to come on board. I then had to arrange our pick-up from OR Tambo to be there later. Will SAA refund us for the delay and no food. Paid R2600 for very bad service.

    0 Votes
  • Wo
      Jan 11, 2011
    SAA - saa is useless - unhelpful and just plain rude
    SAA
    United States

    We booked our senior PM on a flight to George - leaving Sunday 1:25. Due to bad weather the flight was delayed. It took him 3 days to get to George, all of which he spent at OR Thambo trying to get any form of assistance. SAA could not offer any updates, a re-route, refund or any other solution. It was embarrassing and dispicable to say the least. All of my other staff who flew one time, were re-routed to PE and transferred at no additional cost. I spent in excess of 4 hours on the phone to SAA who could not assist in any way at all. I was referred to manager Ray Watts and after holding for over 45 min for him was told he was refusing my call. SAA we will never be using you again for any of our company bookings... you are useless - unhelpful and just plain rude!!

    0 Votes
  • Ki
      Jan 19, 2011
    SAA - saa refuse to fix problem they created
    SAA
    United States

    I booked a return flight for 2 to Cape Town. I submitted the booking and R4536 was deducted from my credit card (confirmed by an sms to my phone). An error message then popped up to tell me that SAA had a problem with their booking system. On receipt of this I mailed SAA about this. They replied a week later to say they refunded me the money and that I must rebook online. Online prices for the same flights are now R8500 but SAA flat our refuse to fix the problem and rebook my flights at the correct price. I have problems with SAA every time I have flown with them. I am a frequent flyer and will NEVER fly SAA again. Their attitude stinks!!

    0 Votes
  • Ch
      Aug 01, 2011
    SAA - $2550 to change flight by a day
    SAA
    South Africa
    flysaa.com

    I was recently scheduled to fly back from New York to Johannesburg. I called around 10 times during the morning to move my flight back to the next day and was eventually advised 2hours and 15minutes before my original departure that I had been moved to the Monday flight.

    At no point was I advised of the change fee. When I arrived at the airport on the Monday, I was charged $2550 (around R17, 000) to change my flight (flight was overbooked and I had no other option but to pay the charge). Had I known this was the change fee, I could have made it to the airport and taken my original flight. In addition the charge is excessive and more than any other one way flight available on their website.

    SAA have declined my claim or any refund indicating that I was automatically moved from my flight as the check-in time was 3hours before departure. Having flown with SAA several times before, this is not their general practice and have never been kicked off my flight when I arrive 2hours prior to a US departure.

    0 Votes
  • Ja
      Sep 22, 2011
    SAA - lost baggage and poor service
    Private
    South Africa

    On 24 Aug 2017 I flew from CPT to Ethiopia with a stop over in JHB. I bought the ticket from SAA as the JHB to Addis flight is a shared flight. When I booked in at CPT I booked my luggage through to Addis.

    On my arrival in Addis I was dismayed to find out that SAA had lost my lugage. Two days of phoning SAA eventually lead to they saying that they had found my luggage and that it would arrive in ADDIS that evening.

    The next morning 27 Aug I went to the airport and found that my luggage was NOT there, more calls and money wasted to find out what was going on, THEY HAD LOST MY BAGGAGE AGAIN. Eventually two days after that I got my bags. By this time I had been forced to buy new clothing & toiletries.
    This plus my phone bill amounted to over R500. I have sent 3 e-mails to their customer services who assure me they will get back to me and then I never hear from them again.

    To make it all worse on the 01 Sept 2017 I flew back to SA, though I did not book my luggage through as SAA claimed this was why it got lost the first time, and low and behold they had lost it again.

    Three times in less than a week and each time it was found at JHB int. Their response SILENCE

    In future when flying to Ethiopia I will book through Aithiopian Airlines as ther atleast know the meaning of the words "customer care"

    0 Votes
  • Ge
      Mar 28, 2012

    i have now been flying SAX(SA EXPRESS) to the DRC for nearly six years and up today this day 28/03/2017 after submitting my application for a Voyager member it still has not been given to me or nobody has told me that i do not qualify for some or other reason!! i have applied several times on line for the Star Alliance membership and then no sucess then i tried the Voyager again and still no sucess !!!what is it that i have to do to get a positive answer from SAA to become a memmber??

    0 Votes
  • Yv
      Jan 25, 2013
    SAA - unprofessional and disappointing
    SAA
    South Africa

    Good day

    On 26 December 2017 I flew via JHB (SA236) from CPT (SA354) to London Heathrow for my 3 week holiday with SAA for the first time internationally. The long flight there (SA236) was not too unpleasant, the staff were friendly, only thing was the facility door in Economy was broken and the bathrooms were so dirty I didn’t even want to use it. Secondly, on my way back, departing 13 January 2017 on flight SA235 to JHB, the flight once again was not too bad, except for the flight attended that was on duty in my isle (seat 38C-Economy). She had a terrible attitude every time she came to offer us something to drink/eat. The morning we were intended to land (14 January 2017) she came to offer breakfast and something to drink and spilled hot coffee all over me and wasn’t even apologetic. I had a new white coat on (that I got as a gift) and another coat I was sitting on, both ruined with coffee stains, my jeans was soaking, my t-shirt was wet and I had no change of clothes with me, as I still had to check in for my next flight back home to CPT (SA323). She eventually, after I asked 3 times, came to take my details down as they were meant to send my items for dry cleaning. It has been almost 2 weeks and I have not heard anything from SAA and both my coats, my white t-shirt and jeans is completely ruined. One of the passengers sitting opposite me, Melissa Heart, witnessed all this. I had to sit for about 5 hours with wet clothes. I will not travel with SAA internationally again, as my first trip with them was highly disappointing.

    I am not a happy customer :(

    0 Votes
  • Te
      Jul 07, 2014
    SAA - voided amex card
    SAA
    Johannesburg
    South Africa

    About 3 yrs ago, I was stupid enough to book 20 odd flights on SAA, and paid with my Amex card.

    This card became .. a 'hot' card, and all flights were cancelled, and any future flights bookings with the same card, are cancelled.

    The card is fine .. Its mine etc, and has credit .. But has been flagged, as high risk, due to the large number of flights booked.

    I have called SAA, at least 10 times, to have the card taken off the 'hot list', and no-one gives a Jot.

    I have lost all patience, with this airline, and its customer service .. Which, seems v poor.

    0 Votes

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