South African Airways / discrimination

South Africa Review updated:

I booked a flight ticket online with SAA, but do not have a credit card and had to select the pay later option. Only to discover that the only pay later option available is to pay cash at a ticketing office or airport office. This in itself was a nuisance as I have to travel to get to the nearest airport, but to add insult to injury I have to pay an additional R200 "service fee" to pay CASH at one of these facilities!!! Other airlines offer the option to do a direct bank transfer or pay into their bank account at a bank branch. I think it is ludicrous in today's day and age that I should be discriminated against for NOT owning a credit card - the inconvenience of having to travel half a day to get to the nearest airport (not to mention the petrol cost) and then still get penalised R200!!! Needless to say I will NEVER fly SAA again.

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  • Ge
      Nov 09, 2008
    South African Airways - poor service
    South African Airways
    South Africa

    I booked a particular seat on a Business Class flight to the US. I checked in on-line a day before to confirm the seat - I verified the seat at the airport. When I was about to board, I was told to wait as my seat was allocated to someone else! I paid about R66k for a business class ticket, just to be treated as a standby customer. Next time I will rather fly via Europe than to fly SAA...

    0 Votes
  • Da
      Nov 27, 2008

    SAA is falling apart. You can alos log your story at

    0 Votes
  • Tb
      Jan 06, 2010
    South African Airways - food
    South African Airways
    United States

    Just yesterday I had my return flight to New York via South African Airways. About two hours into the flight, I was served a vegetarian meal with vegetables and some sort of macaroni cole slaw. I felt fine, until just after I ate the food. I had uncontrollable gas for the entire 15 hours remaining. Then once I got back into the states, I vomited 3 times on the car ride back and later had diarrhea. It is now the day after, and I still feel really crappy - feverish, light-headed, really tired, just been sleeping all day. To sum it up, I'm mad that I trusted SAA's food!!! It didn't even taste good.

    0 Votes
  • Ca
      Jan 29, 2010

    Hey im a south african by nature, and to tell you the truth south african food is delicious. if you dont agree with me than ### you

    0 Votes
  • Pw
      Jan 06, 2011
    South African Airways - south african airways
    South African Airways
    South Africa

    I wish to complain that despite my daughter (14 yrs old) was bumped of a flight to London despite being a silver voyager class member because she did not shout enough where as adults that did were put on a flight. She has been in transit in Johannesburg from Malawi to London, shw was left for 18 hours in Johannesburg with no assistance from SAA ground staff at all, eventually she was put into a hotel room with a 16 year old boy... This is a disgrace Since when have International airlines and Iata advocated such abuse of minors.
    Despite nuerous complaints we are told verbally that this is just a danger with flying there can be no guarantees. we have had no written response to complaints.
    I would like to know exactly what IATA's rules on this are, especially where minors are concerned. I thought being an international body, the health and saftey of minors would have been of principle concern to such governing bodies as IATA as well as the airlines. This is obviously not the case and it seems that he who shouts loudest gets simply to avoid confrontation. I want to know what can be done about this and also who and where we can complain about this. I will soon be writing to the international media regarding this as I suspect it will be the only way someone will do anything about it.

    0 Votes
  • Kr
      Feb 02, 2011
    South African Airways - abandoning customers in egyptian unrest
    South African Airways
    United Kingdom

    South African airways abandoned its customers in Cairo and attempted to profiteer out of their turmoil.

    My Dad arrived at the airport and couldn't get any information from check in staff about his flight. I called South African airways in the UK here and was advised that his flight had been cancelled and they would not transfer him to another flight even though there were seats available. They offered to provide a refund for his flight and to book him on another South African Airways flight to J'berg. The refund was £350 - the new flight was £2017!

    The flight was cancelled because of the curfew but most other airlines were changing their flight times to accommodate the curfew or putting passengers on other flights. Basically, I said it was the airline's decision to cancel the flight rather than reschedule, and they had an obligation to put him on the next available flight - especially given the instability and travel warnings that exist for the country. I have never come across an airline that cancels a flight and then tells its customers it has to pay to get on another flight. South African Airways said the airline couldn't wear the increased cost. They were willing to leave him in Cairo with the current warnings and dangers!.. Unbelievable... So basically South African Airways is willing to abandon its customers in a country that has been deamed so dangerous that consular staff are evacuating and special flights are being sent in to retreive staff. South African Airline was also using the unrest to profiteer. Quite phenomenal.

    0 Votes
  • Me
      Jul 30, 2011
    South African Airways - delays
    South Africa

    Delayed at the Washington Dulles International Airport for 24 hours after a "technical glich" was found once we had already boarded the flight, a flight that was due to stop over in dakar and be about 17 hours. This turned into a nightmare flight from hell as all of the passengers were displaced. As well as this, my personal luggage, two pieces, was lost without even having left the airport. I waited 3 hours before my missing luggage was found. This happened to be at 2am. I am extremely diappointed in the lack of communication between SAA in South Africa and SAA in Washington Dulles Intl. I expect that some sort of reimbursement will take place.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
      Aug 31, 2011
    South African Airways - International flight booking error
    South Africa

    One booking was made for 2 adults through Voyager to fly from JHB to Phuket Thailand. PAyment details were confirmed for both and confirmed that enough miles were in account. Flights confirmed 2 days before departure. AT the airport only one person had a booking. Ground staff unprofessional and treated us like criminals. HAd to pay in over R1000 and wait more than an hour to sort things out ourselves. After holiday emailed complaint to voyager and SAA, after 3 weeks no reply. Phoned and given a new email address for Mr Justice Dlamini. SAA replied quickly with a pathetic offer to refund 4000 miles. I declined and have had NO repsonse from the offices in over a month. Phoned Mr Dlamini he refused to take the call said I should email. Again emialed and two weeks later still no reply. Service has been poor and it is obvious that SAA doent want to acknowledge that their staff made a mistake with the booking. We asked for a refund of the excess paid R1000 and a more relevant compensation for the stress and time spent at the aiport in Johannesburg. Our dream holiday to Thailand was in the balance and the staff treated us like dirt. Not a pleasant experience at all. I have all the emails to proof the complaints and no reponse received.

    0 Votes
  • Fl
      Mar 26, 2012

    We were on a flight from Joburg to perth when we were already on the plane then we were told that the meals is not ready so we have to waite for almost 2 hours to get delivered But then the next morning with our breakfast we was served continental no bread was available and then one lady bring us some bread it was so hard and old we could not eat it, that is not how i know SAA we fly with SAA for the last 20years but this was realy unexceptable.So what is SAA gona do to reward us for this poor service.We pay a lot of money to fly with SAA. My EMAIL IS [protected] Please let us know.Thankyou.

    0 Votes
  • Jv
      Oct 18, 2012
    South African Airways - damaged hand luggage
    south african airways
    South Africa

    on sunday 1 March i boarded a flight to zambia. i had 3 items with me. 1. my normal luggage that was "checked" in 2. a small hand carry case that i normally take on the plane with me. 3. a backpack small.
    as i was about to enter the place a lady approached a group of us and stated that had luggage is not allowed on the plane. The passengers complained.. She continued to state that if we do not surrender our hand luggage that we will be offloaded form the plane. So we had no choice. I refused because i had computer equipment in my case. She then got on her radio and asked for me to be offloaded. I had no choice to surrender my items. I told her that there are computer equipment in the case.
    When we arrived at zambia, people complained hat their baggage was damaged.
    All my computer equipment was damaged. Keep in mind this is not suppose to be "checked" but this idiot of a lady took our baggage ad "checked" it.
    When i complained to South Africa airways, i was laughed off. Well now im taking this to the small claims court. SAA originally asked me to complete a claim form, and this was the last i heard form them.
    SAA already received the first letter which they ignored.
    I now want to know how many other people there is with similar complaints, i want to start a class action against them, and after this i will go to the newspapers and internet sites (facebook, twitter) to tell everybody how crappy their complaints department is.
    if you want to join my court case, please get in touch with me.

    0 Votes
  • Ms
      Dec 26, 2012
    South African Airways - bad service
    South Africa

    Good Afternoon

    I had the worst experience with South African airways. I booked a flight and did arrive a bit late. I didn't have any luggage that needed to check in as my luggage was small enough to take as hand luggage. I was however told that I have to book a new flight.

    I booked a new flight and had to pay and additional amount to change my flight. I flew with flight 308 from Cape Town to JHB. As I entered the plane I was shocked that the plane smelled and the staff was so fake in their friendliness.

    Then when the breakfast arrived it was stale and the bacon was more a biltong, dried out and the coffee was burned or of bad quality.

    The flight landed 2 minutes early but it took me 20 min to get to the airport. Then it took another 25min before the luggage came out.

    I am very upset about this as I had to be at work that morning and had to get there hours asfter i had to be at work.

    I am shocked that they are more into making money and the service that I expected was non-existence!!
    I fly JHB to Cape Town and back at least 1 a month and this was my first time to use SAA, for the price you pay for the flight you would expect better service and more professional staff.

    It is disgusting that the service is of such a standard. I hope that this airline doesn't make it in the future. With all the competition out there why would anyone flu with SAA and pay that price!

    M.S. Kruger

    0 Votes
  • Je
      Feb 21, 2014
    South African Airways - terrible service
    South Africa

    My mother and I were on standby for a flight to Victoria Falls from Johannesburg. The lady at the counter took our passports and saw that we were on standby, we were still talking to her and the she just turned around to talk with one for her colleagues about something else and not our situation then picked up her bag and walked away. That was very unprofessional and rude. Then another lady who took over at the counter told us to come back at 10AM. We came back at 10, then she told us the flight was full and she was so disinterested. She could not even tell us if the next flight has any seats left, even the guy at the next counter was so rude and had no life in him. Why are there no teamleaders or helpful people around when a flight is closing, or when people are on standby and need help. SAA staff in OR TAMBO Airport have a don't care attitude, some of them are so useless. When I was on standby at JFK in New York, the SAA staff there were so helpful. I am very disgusted. Also it looked like only the two of us were on standby. We waited so long to get on but we did not. I am very disappointed with SAA.

    0 Votes

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