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SAA - How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways...

SAA - How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways...

Old May 3, 17, 5:29 am
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: CPT
Programs: BA BD SA
Posts: 4,415
Unhappy SAA - How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways...

Rather than turn the other thread into my personal SAA whinge I have started a new one so everyone can join in.

To my previous litany of woes immediately I can add ...

The call centre number for companion bookings never gets answered. After another call with 2 hours on hold I selected different option and was told I needn't bother with selecting the correct option for companion bookings.

I was also advised that I should do my booking via the standard telephone reservations line so that they can issue both PNRs and the main ticket; then to call Voyager to get the companion ticket issued. This is to ensure that the same fare is available when the companion ticket is booked, which is a requirement.

Not mentioned is that using the phone incurs a booking fee of R250 per ticket. But a small price to pay to ensure smooth issuance, maybe. Except you also have to laboriously spell out all the names phonetically, then repeat it all, which is extremely tedious.

But I've saved the best for last: neither SAA's web site nor its reservation line shows the fare that is available on matrix.itasoftware and purchasable on third party web sites like Expedia. And yet SAA offers a best price guarantee for fares on flysaa.com!

My expectations of SAA are very low... and yet they still manage to disappoint me at almost every turn.
Cheetah_SA is offline  
Old May 3, 17, 11:49 am
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Cape Town
Programs: BA Exec Gold , Emirates Skywards Plat , SAA Voyager Silver.
Posts: 1,521
I jumped ship last year and now only fly BA ( Comair) and then EK internationally now. Never looked back , besides losing *A gold this week but that has been switched with Skywards Plat status. BA (Comair) is utterly fantastic ....
Flame3601 is offline  
Old May 3, 17, 11:12 pm
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: CA
Programs: UA.AV
Posts: 67
I have never experienced quality service on SAA and I have mainly flown them in First/Business. Too much nonsense behind the scenes, friends looking after friends etc. They certainly seem to be in an accelerated downward spiral now.
Cymbo is offline  
Old May 4, 17, 12:46 pm
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 714
I've been laughed at by other FTers for saying this but ... I'm never really about the actual trip itself. Sure, I'd love to fly J all the time and be pampered end-to-end by some super airline pouring on the perks. For me back some time ago (10+years) I was doing that somewhat often while other times riding in the cheap seats. All in all, it never really bothered my where I was, just as long as I got there, I was fine. Its a metal flipping tube at 50,000 feet for 18+ish hours. I just want to get there (or get back) and get it over with.

On a day to day basis, esp. on all the long hauls back and forth, I don't have a problem. Have I had an occasional flight attendant screw something up, try and make my life miserable or a crew be generally inattentive, sure. But, with all my travels, it all tends to average out into a great big ... meh! SAA delayed my luggage. I fly them a lot, so, on average, if you do something a lot, it's gonna result in problems. Even people who sit on the couch all day in repetition will have problems sitting on the couch over time.

I still stand behind my statements regarding SAA's US CS department in Florida. They have never once let me down. I had to go through it several times with them sure or, in some cases, pay when I wished didn't have to. But, it got done.

That said, I've noticed that the SAA's local (e.g. in SA) airport staff, whether check-in, gate agents or ticket office staff have been particularly curmudgeonly lately. They just don't seem to like people and that generally makes things bad for the flying masses - whether it be silly "policies" or something. Unhappy people plus unhappy travelers adds up to a lot of unhappiness. That just gets me. Having said what I said, I just want to get on that metal tube and be at 50,000 feet for the next 12-18 hours and be at peace for that time. Please Mr. gate agent, security theatre person, etc. just let me be on my way thank you.

SAA's financial woes are a joke. It's a train wreck and all SA is doing is propping it up and keeping cronies in clover.


Ever forward.
jsnydcsa is offline  
Old Jul 1, 17, 9:15 am
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: JNB
Programs: Flying Blue, Miles and Smiles, Hhonors, ICHotels
Posts: 1,095
Originally Posted by Flame3601 View Post
I jumped ship last year and now only fly BA ( Comair) and then EK internationally now. BA (Comair) is utterly fantastic ....
And just last week, the CEO of SAA - DooDoo, took a Comair flight from JNB to CPT when she had to appear in a meeting.
roadwarrier is offline  
Old Jul 14, 17, 5:46 am
Join Date: Sep 2011
Programs: Thai, Cathay, Lufthansa, Delta, SPG, Hilton, IH, LHW
Posts: 146
They are simply appealing! Had an issue, sent an email to customer service....the proper email as first the desk at SAA Durban gave me a wrong email...got an acknolewdgement of my email, and a person name that would reply to me. Guess what, more than 2 months now, not a single reply. They have nice food in flight and nice wine with decent planes....this is all...sad reality. I join the millions of South African who are sad at the way this airline is servicing their customers!
maisondubonheur is offline  

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