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South African Airways

New York City, New...
posts: 93
reviews: 2
South African Airways

My wife and I will be flying from JFK to Capetown with a layover in Johannesberg in August and I have a couple of questions:

Can anyone tell me if the aircraft servicing that route has in-seat entertainment systems?

Is the food at least edible, or would we be wise to stock up on snacks and whatnot for what will be a very long flight?


posts: 106
reviews: 3
1. Re: South African Airways

SAA flies A340-300 or 600 on this route depending on time of year. Both have personal TVs.

Have a look at seat guru:



We always travel with some snacks as not all meals are appealing, but SAA are well known for quality of food and wines.

The flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town would is on a domestic aircraft (737 or A319/320) with no personal entertainment. It is about a 2 hour flight. Depending on time of day you will get either a snack or a meal.

Cape Town is a fantastic destination, but August is winter in SA and it is cold and rainy in Cape Town. Chances are you will not be able to go to the beach which is one of the attractions of Cape Town.

Edited: 9:56 am, January 27, 2011
New York City, New...
posts: 93
reviews: 2
2. Re: South African Airways

Thanks for the quick reply. We know that it is winter in Capetown in August. We have a tendency to travel in off-season and hope for the best.

Perth Western...
posts: 1
reviews: 32
3. Re: South African Airways

Hi There

Based on the food offered on my flight last week of ten hours, I would suggest that you either take snacks or eat well before you board. The food, and I use that term loosely (prepared in South Africa) was the most disgusting I have ever been presented. My partner and I had the same meal for dinner and didn't even look vaguely similar, both were inedible... Its a shame, because the food (prepared in Australia) going over to SA was delicious. I guess its a bit of a hit and miss type thing...

My plane going over to SA was an A340 600 with personal entertainment units. Coming back it was a very old A340 200 with no seatback entertainment only the really old fashioned drop down from the ceiling monitors which are a waste of time...

I hope this helps.

Calgary, Canada
posts: 3,286
reviews: 44
4. Re: South African Airways

To my shame have no idea what type of plane we flew from LHR>JHB and back again from CPT but the food was adequate to good (better than Air Canada) and there was SBE with decent choices.

The only beef I had was that the leg room was extremely snug.

Los Angeles...
posts: 1
5. Re: South African Airways


South African airways has aquired two 340-300 from Iberia:

These two aircraft DO NOT have 34" legroom in economy, DO NOT Have personal screens in Economy, DO NOT have flat bed product in Business, DOES NOT have on demand person TV in Business.

SAA cannot provide information when these aircraft are rotated to Washington/ New York.

Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,415
reviews: 159
6. Re: South African Airways

Regarding food it really depends on the person, what one person loves another hates but the food is never great is it? . We always buy something after security to take on board.

posts: 4,421
reviews: 40
7. Re: South African Airways

I would ask the regulars at the SA forum. Many of them frequently fly SAA and they can assist with personal opinion.

I've only done the DL routes.

However, I have been to CPT and beaches have never been of interest to me, unless I'm visiting the penguin colony or Cape Point which really aren't in Cape Town proper. We also travel off season. Good idea! so much more to see than beaches, IMHO.


Auburn, California
posts: 2
reviews: 7
8. Re: South African Airways

We recently flew SAA round-trip from JFK to Johannesburg, with a nightmare stop in Dakar on the return flight.

I can safely sat that the cabin crew on both flights was the most unprofessional and least courteous in our considerable travel experience. The flight attendants did the absolute minimum in terms of serving meals, drinks and keeping the cabin tidy. Even at that, they seemed to resent doing it.

We were not alone in arriving at this opinion.It was vocally shared by passengers throughout the economy section, where I know better than to expect generous legroom or good food. What I do expect, however, is to be treated with courtesy and common concern.

Edited: 9:00 pm, April 25, 2011
posts: 4,421
reviews: 40
9. Re: South African Airways

I am always surprised by the climate in Capetown--please check wunderground.com or weatehr.com for updates but it much more temperate than Joburg

posts: 2
reviews: 15
10. Re: South African Airways

i wholeheartedly agree with every word of this. I had a direct Johannesburg to JFK flight and the flight crew was absolutely awful. I have a mushroom allergy and the morning omelets had mushrooms in them. i couldnt eat it so i rang the call button for over 5 minutes and got no response. Finally i stop the attendant as he's going by and tell him, asking if i can please have the other selection instead. He then proceeded to lecture me for not telling the airline ahead of time that i have a mushroom allergy. Seriously. it was strange. He was a horrible flight attendant for 15 hours. The food sucked. the cabin temperature THE ENTIRE FLIGHT was at least 80 degrees. and it took 1 hour from when we parked at the gate until our bags hit the baggage claim carosel. horrible.