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From start to finish the worst experience I've ever had flying or even on the ground. Rude, dismissive, arrogant, dirty planes, very poor quality of service. And the benign way that they handled a serious complaint from me, tells me why South African Airlines is the worst airline I have ever flown. I flew business class.
Over the last few weeks we tried to contact SAA reservation in Australia in order to change our flight from Manu to Capetown. The website of SAA that suppose to enable change does not work and we tried about 12 times to contact SAA offices in Sydney or Perth. We had to wait each time 20-50 minutes with no response.
The only reason we chose one star was because we couldn’t choose lower. We received absolutely shocking service from the staff at the Port Elizabeth International (not close to being an international airport) airport. They overbooked their flight and although we arrived a whole 2 hrs before boarding they denied our boarding and rebooked us on a flight 3 hrs later which made us miss our connecting flights which they say is not their issue as we didn’t book with them although it’s impossible to book direct from PLZ to NL. We had desk staff (Devon) walking away from us and managers (no name given) going on lunch break in the middle of the issue without any solution leaving us high and dry to deal with everything ourselves.
At the end we were offered a R1000 discount voucher to anywhere in SA (flying with SAA) valid for 1 year, of course as we don’t come from SA their “gesture” is more of a slap in the face than anything else as it’s very unlikely that any international traveler would come to SA in a 12-month turnaround, book a flight with the same disappointing air carrier, and not forgetting that R1000 is not even a quarter of an actual ticket price within SA. As an international traveler to South Africa I can honestly say that we will NEVER book with SAA again and can see why they are indeed bankrupt.
I had to cancel an upcoming SAA flight for a 14 yo boy from South Africa who’d been living with for 2 years in NYC. His mother died suddenly last week and we needed to get him home to Port Elizabeth ASAP. In this type of case SAA refund policy requires a scanned, legible copy of the death certificate for refund. I email a refund request with details of the circumstances along with a very legible scan of the mom’s death certificate. In their response SAA refund office they insisted that the scan was an illegible photo of the certificate. The straight lines and square corners clearly shows that it is a scan and EVERY word on the scanned copy is legible. I’ve gone back and forth multiple times and get the same frustrating response. The fact that this involved the death of a boy’s mother makes it more heartless and, really, gross.
The worst online booking system ever! After 6h30 minutes in front of the PC and on the phone for additional 2h I was unable to finish the booking. The price shown is 836 USD, then the payment gives you a mistake, then you call to pay for the booking and suddenly the price is 1,200 USD! CRAZY! Never ever doing this again! VERY frustrated!
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To whom it may concern,
I’m currently writing this review because I have not had any luck/response from emails from my complaints that I had on a flight to Accra. I was a passenger on the South African Airways on a 2/25/19 and I would to make a complaint in requiring a flight attendant name Monday ( Mondae). I felt that he was very rude to me the entire flight. It start off when I asked him for a SWEET bottle of wine. He then stated that he has wine available and he showed me two bottles. I asked him which wine was Sweet he said they were both dry so I decline. He then rude shove the bottles back in the draw and handed me a Coke and a cup of ice.
I don’t appreciate his attitude his job is to serve the passenger. This is just one of my incidents with this particular flight attendant. Hope that his attitude toward passenger will be addressed ASAP. The second incident was when he ask me if I could put my seat up and then without giving me a chance to respond, he rudely pushed my seat up himself.
On the same flight a female flight attendant refused to let me us the rear restroom even though there was a long line at the middle restroom on the plane, I felt discriminated against and treated with ample amount of disrespect, I'm not looking forward to flying with South African Airways in the future unless this issue is acknowledged and resolved.
I have been trying to amend my Surname on my account. I have sent numerous emails with my passport and etickets to claim miles from last year and this year, till today my issue has not been resolved. I've been given emails upon emails to send and resend but nothing has happened, and now been told I have lost my miles from last year almost 60000 worth and my surname issue is still not resolved. Yesterday was eventually given supervisors email and was told will get a response within an hour, it's been 24 hrs nothing. All I want is to correct my name and claim my miles. It's taken almost 100 calls countless emails, tons of aggravation and still my issue is not resolve. My name hasn't been changed and my miles not applied. Apparently you can't speak to a supervisor or manager. You can only email them and they never respond, no fax number either. I'm at wits end. Someone please help!
The costs of air tickets are probably the most expensive cost of an overseas holiday. One of the services you pay for is the in flight entertainment. I flew to Australia on 27 December 2018, and the in flight entertainment was not working, and I cannot sleep on an aircraft, so it was an extremely long and uncomfortable flight. I flew back from Perth to Johannesburg on 11 January 2019, and lo and behold, the in flight entertainment was not working AGAIN! All that we get told is sorry, but sometimes sorry is not enough as the air tickets are very expensive and we expect a better service. I did lodge a complaint on the SAA website on 15 January 2019, and was told that my complaint will be answered in a few hours. However, it is now two weeks later, and still no reply. It gives the SAA brand a very bad name, especially to the overseas visitors on the aircraft.
I am never flying SAA again. They are experts at insensitively bumping passengers from flights when they overbook. I travel to South Africa and Zimbabwe once every 2 years. Because it's an important trip, I make sure to make my travel arrangements well ahead of time, at least 2 months advance. Last time (two years ago) I made this trip from JNB, they tried to put me on a later flight the next day, and I refused as I had nowhere to spend the night and was on a tight schedule. Today they told me I couldn't board because they were overbooked. At first they seemed unapologetic about it stating that they are authorized to overbook. My personal arrangements and the inconvenience to me didn't seem to matter. This only happens to me with SAA. Yes, they provided a meal voucher, and ZAR3000 towards my next flight, but that doesn't match the inconvenience brought about by their actions. I am never flying SAA again, due to their unreliability.
SAA Customer Care. I have just flown back from New York to Johannesburg on SAA on 28 Sep 2018. My Travelstart booking reference ** Ticket number **. I feel it very necessary to write this mail as I have flown a lot on many different airlines and I have NEVER had such a terrible experience as this flight. Could not check in online - I tried continuously during the 24 hours prior to departure and it always said I am ‘on standby’ and seat can’t be selected - because of this false notification, I did not sleep the entire night worrying. I called SAA South Africa and New York, I called Travelstart, I emailed both of them to sort this out. Finally I was told that I could only sort it when I arrive at JFK.
I managed to check in at JFK but the flight was full and I had to sit in the middle of the row of 4 - had the check-in allowed me to, I would have booked an aisle seat because I have a thrombosis in one leg and I need to walk frequently. The flight departed at 11.15 - after a short while we were served ‘lunch’ which was inedible - I tried the chicken. I tried the beef and finally gave up and just ate two biscuits with cheese. The entertainment centre didn’t work for the first 3 hours. After many requests and finally getting up and speaking to several crew members, they eventually re-booted the system.
By 8.30 PM we still had not been served any dinner - after asking a crew member, I was told ‘you can go and collect a sandwich from the galley’ Seriously?? This cannot even be legal that you don’t feed passengers dinner. Some passengers asked for a sandwich, others received no dinner at all. While I was waiting in the galley, a passenger asked a crew member for a cloth to clean the bathroom before she could use it.
I have not flown SAA very often but this was in a league of its own - I have never been on such a terrible flight in my entire life!! I feel 100% dissatisfied with the flight, I was so uncomfortable that I walked the aisles almost the entire night and I think to be told to get a sandwich for dinner is simply not acceptable. I feel that I wasted my hard-earned money by choosing SAA, and I would appreciate a reply which addresses all the above. I have started reading through your list of complaints and I see that there are MANY complaints of a similar nature!!! Perhaps you disregard all complaints as it appears they are repeated continually!! Have you refunded any passengers for the horrendous conditions?? Perhaps further action is required.
South African Airways Company Information
- Company Name:
- South African Airways