Hello from South Africa! It’s not often that travel actually exhausts me, but after doing two back-to-back redeyes and traveling for almost 48 hours, I’m just about ready to hibernate.
Last night I flew from Frankfurt to Johannesburg on a South African Airways A340-600 (I was supposed to fly out of London, but that flight got canceled). Even though I’ve heard mostly negative things about SAA, I was still excited to finally fly with them.
SAA’s longhaul fleet has fully flat beds in a 2-2-2 configuration, so the seats are quite narrow, though at least they’re flat. As you’ll see below, it’s not exactly the most stylish or modern product out there.
The soft product is what intrigued me most. The service was… how shall I say… well intentioned. The crew meant well, but there was no flow to their service, and due to them not serving in a consistent manner, I couldn’t really tell whether they were constantly forgetting about me, or if they were just really slow.
The food I actually did have was good, though the meal service isn’t especially extensive (you get a soup or a salad or an appetizer), and they were out of my first choice for the main course.
I’ll of course have a full trip report upon my return to the US, so stay tuned for that, as I’m already drafting it now.
I guess to sum up my overall feelings, the airline has a lot of potential, though has an outdated hard product and a disorganized soft product. You guys have asked for more business class reviews on average carriers, so I guess the conclusion of having “potential” is a common theme among many of them.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you guys with the below 10 pictures of my South African Airways business class experience: