Fine Travel's South Africa specialist Donna Baker recently caught up with Suzanne Conradie from South African Airways to discuss South Africa's national carrier.
Am I right to say that South African Airways is Africa’s Most Awarded Airline and has been operating for more than 80 years?
Yes that is correct, South African Airways has been awarded ‘Best Airline in Africa 13 years running and has retained its 4-Star Skytrax ranking for 2016 by the Independent Global Airline Rating Organisation. SAA delivers over 80 years of excellence and innovation and has propelled South African Airways to become Africa’s leading carrier.
How do South African's in New Zealand travel home to South Africa with SAA?
SAA has convenient connections from New Zealand via Perth to Johannesburg, with onward connections throughout Africa. SAA code-shares on Air New Zealand flights between Auckland & Perth, as well as between Christchurch & Perth (seasonal service), which connects daily to the Perth to Johannesburg service, available from Auckland, Wellington & Christchurch including regional cities in New Zealand.
If I was connecting beyond SAA’s hub, O.R. Tambo in Johannesburg, what can I expect?
SAA offers same day connections upon arrival in Johannesburg to anywhere in Africa, in the domestic market SAA has an extensive schedule operating 554 flights in total per week between Johannesburg to Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth, as well as code-share flights between Lanseria to Cape Town and Durban. SAA offers more frequencies than any other airline in South Africa. Regionally, SAA offers 24 destinations across the African continent including Abidjan, Accra, Abuja, Blantyre, Brazzaville, Cotonou, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Douala, Entebbe, Harare, Kinshasa, Libreville, Lilongwe, Livingstone, Luanda, Lusaka, Maputo, Mauritius, Nairobi, Ndola, Pointe Noire, Victoria Falls and Windhoek. Also, SAA’s international network creates links to all major continents from South Africa through 8 direct routes, with daily flights from Johannesburg to London, Frankfurt, Munich, Perth, Hong Kong, New York, Washington, and Sao Paulo.
What kind of aircraft is South African Airways operating from Perth to Johannesburg?
If space and comfort are your primary concerns on your travels, you will enjoy SAA’s A340-300 & A340-600 aircraft operating between Perth & Johannesburg. SAA’s world-class audio visual on- demand technology and a choice of over 100 movies make travelling even more fun for adults and kids alike, enjoy a selection of 15 games including a selection of multiplayer games, 14 radio stations and 170 albums.
If I was travelling on South African Airways as a Business Class Customer, what can I expect from my experience?
South African Airways is awarded with a 5-star sleep rating by Skytrax providing Business Class passengers to South Africa an incredible array of luxury ensuring a good night’s rest with a flat-bed seat that lies completely flat at 180 degrees. Look forward to expertly selected South African wines and a world class fine-dining a la carte menu sure to impress.
As an Economy Class traveller what is the journey like travelling on South African Airways?
Economy Class passengers can enjoy an African inspired menu consisting of a starter salad, main meal, desert or cheese accompanied by a selection of beverages. The A340 provides excellent legroom well above international standards, with a 33-34 inch seat pitch for Economy Class.
What is the name of SAA’s First Class Lounge & Business Class Lounge?
On your day of travel, you can enjoy access to the SAA’s flagship departure lounge, the Cycad First Class Lounge at O.R. Tambo International Airport if you are travelling on SAA and are a Star Alliance member, and are also a SAA Voyager Lifetime Platinum or Platinum Card holder. Also situated on the Mezzanine floor of the international departures terminal is SAA’s Baobab Business Class Lounge at O.R. Tambo, guests can also enjoy the Baobab Lounge at Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London, Harare and Lusaka International Airports if you are travelling on SAA and are a Star Alliance member, and are also a SAA Voyager Lifetime Platinum or Platinum Card holder, SAA Voyager Gold member; SAA Business Class passenger; Star Gold member. (Guests may only use this lounge when they are travelling on an SAA flight)
Which Alliance is South African Airways part of?
South African Airways is a member of the Star Alliance Network the world’s largest and most recognised global airline network. This network allows SAA to offer passengers a service beyond its own direct operations as well as numerous other benefits to customers.
What is the name of SAA’s loyalty Programme and what are the benefits?
SAA’s Voyager Frequent Flyer Programme is considered one of the best Frequent Flyer Programmes around. It is free to join and all members receive a bonus 2500 miles after enrolment. Miles are the currency of our programme and can be earned from flights on SAA as well as from over 50 partners. Which include airlines, hotels, retail outlets & car rental firms. Voyager has five membership levels which are Blue, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Lifetime Platinum. Benefits range from excess baggage allowance, lounge access, preferential check-in, preferential seating to tier activity bonus. South African Airways is also a partner in Air New Zealand’s Airpoints program so Airpoints members can accrue credit on all SAA Operated flights.