South African Airways / incompetence!
I'm not sure whether writing this letter will have any effect in improving the service of SAA or maybe just relieve myself of bundled agitation of dealing with continuous incompetence of bumbling idiots as found in SAA mainly ground staff I may add.
Knowing how busy domestic departures gets at OR Tambo I purposely was there 2.5 hours ahead of flight departure Sunday 9th March, to be found in a manageable queue of about 25 people. This was soon dispelled as going to be smooth, as there was of course 1 individual manning a check-in counter for this queue and he was taking on average anything from 10-15 mins booking in a person, amongst chatting to his friends with no sense of urgency. This combined with individuals who just pushed in from the side of the queue allowed people who have been waiting for 1.5 hrs only to get more and more angry. To top it all the pretty dolled up SAA ladies strutted around as if they were God's gift to someone (definitely not SAA customers) and eventually one of them decided to open up another check-in only to serve 1 customer and then take a friendly telephone call and disappear now leaving a queue in excess of probably 150 people seething in anger. Of course SAA will never have any form of communication in the form of an announcement or a manager manning his staff, talking to customers (probably too terrified they will get killed for being incompetent) just to let us know what was going on. I thought the cherry on the cake must have been when one of the computer terminals started bellowing out smoke only to be told by a client that it was burning whom they thought was shouting at them for service and ignored him till he really raised his voice in concern for the developing fire which was then approached in a circus like panic. Trying to tell them to just switch off the computer which would kill power to the item fell on deaf ears. So a lot of bellowing clouds of dry powder from extinguishers later it was doused.
Only after I had to threaten death to one of the "managers" of SAA (who only came into view with the fire) to open up another terminal was such that he said quote "I didn't realize there was only one person" assisting the ever growing queue which by this time was almost in the car park I'm sure... Well to cut a long story short (this could go on for ever & ever), I had my ticket and off to the gate only to wait there till almost boarding time to then be told to board through another gate and then have your flight delayed by almost an hour, REALLY was the cherry on top and of course zero communication from SAA in this regard is always relevant.
We won't even talk about the food on SAA planes, fish or beef... I think those of you whom have flown will know what I'm talking about, as the food goes quite well together with SAA service as one putrid experience! Experiences of SAA of this nature are now more common place than not and seem to happen almost every time I fly and I do fly once a month every month. I just hope this rot does not cascade into the maintenance section of SAA as we will be in for some scary flights.
Mr W. van der Merwe
Seriously happy SAA Customer... NOT!
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