This review will be a quick one because I find South African Airways rather unimpressive. As this is my first review of a flight, I would like to focus on three things – IFE, food, overall service, inflight magazine and stewardess uniforms.
I am a bit excited to board the South African Airways as this is my first time with the airline and I always associate the airline to the exotic and diverse country it represents.
Flight SA 287 actually left one hour late from Chek Lap Kok (HKG) because of some issues regarding misdeclared cargoes. Eventually, that cargo was offloaded. We left around one a.m. when the flight should have left five minutes before midnight.
South African Airways food was basically disappointing. Between the selection of beef and vegetables, I chose beef which tastes rather bland. Mid-flight, we were served with some dry noodles and I am not happy with both its taste and smell such that I barely touched it. The breakfast before arrival JNB was a decent meal of eggs, beans and some sausage. I give the food onboard South Africa Airways a measly one star rating.
IFE onboard SA flights is standard fare and I was sitting at the exit row. I asked for that particular seat because of good legroom. The check-in in HKG obliged without charging me anything! Actually it’s now a practice of airlines to charge for things like exit row seats. The screen on my seat was stowed in the armrest. Setting it up was physically a struggle as somehow the hinge was resisting. Screen resolution is similar to the ones I’ve seen in other airlines. The selection of movies, TV shows and programs were good.
I like the plain blue uniform of South African Airways. The neckerchief is also nice and it reflects the logo of the airline as well as the notion that South Africa is a Rainbow Nation. What I also like about South African Airways is that its cabin crew are very diverse. Truly, a new age has come to South Africa.
Sawubona is a good read. It is thick enough and the contents are interesting and the photos are spectacular. Inflight magazines are barely read these days but I would definitely recommend Sawubona.
I will give it three stars. The aircraft is modern and clean but the biggest let down is the food. If you are a food connoisseur please forget South African Airways. Service onboard is polite and pleasing. The domestic cabin crew however are more accommodating than the ones in the international flights.
I also know that the airlines nowadays are finding it difficult to balance seat pitches and profitability. But like most airlines that I’ve been with, South African Airways has narrow seats and poor seat pitch which is lucky for me as I chose the exit row. Would I recommend this airline? For a regular non-eventful flight – yes. But for comfort and luxury – no.
This particular screen gives everyone a good view of the flight. You can also choose this view on your personal screens
On departure JHN, I noticed that Biman Bangladesh and Cubana planes are sitting there. Perhaps these are official flights as many leaders attended the funeral of Nelson Mandela
Categories: Flight Reviews