Saturday, October 13, 2007

Rating South African Airways

We booked our tickets in April with departure from Oslo to London Heathrow, travelling on with South African Airways to Johannesburg. The rating confirms South African Airways as a reliable airline for the traveller, but the comfort on board is the airlines biggest potential, as there was extremely little space on economy.

Punctuality: BBBBB

The airplane left both London Heathrow and Johannesburg on schedule.

Price: BBB

We paid all in all around €1000 round trip, including taxes. A reasonable price for the ticket, but the airline experience is definitely not worth it. It was a very long and uncomfortable trip.

Comfort: B

Both flights took around 11 hours, and both were nights flights, leaving in the evening and arriving at the destination early next morning.

Both flights were an agonizing experience. The seats were very close to each other leaving absolutely no room for the legs. The airline showed, ironically, several videos on how to exercise in order to increase blood circulation. Ironically, as there were no room to do the recommended exercises while seated.

The seats were were narrow as well, so if you are slightly obese, there will be very little room for you. It was extremely difficult to leave your seat without considerable discomfort for the other guests. And when those in front of you decided to lean back their seat was uncomfortably close to your face.

I will strongly warn those of you with a increased risk of heart disease to choose South African Airlines, due to the unsatisfactory conditions on economy class.

Food: BBB+

Meals were included in the price. On the way down we were served an interesting and very spicy chicken dish. On our way back to London the lamb served was tasteless. The desserts were too sweet for my taste, but thank God for the salad, but the cream dressing served on the way back had a very strong and bitter taste. Biscuits and cheddar cheese. Yum!!

Breakfasts were better. Omelet and bacon/sausage tasted well but followed by a rather tasteless fried tomato. Yogurt and fresh fruit. Very good and freshly brewed coffee.

Drinks: BBBBB

All drinks were free, included sparkling wine and hard liquor.

The total score: BBB+

South African Airways is a once in a lifetime experience.

As comfort goes, it is one of the worst experiences I have ever had. I strongly warn passengers choosing South African Airways flights to South Africa. With so little space, the airline may, in my opinion, risk lawsuits if passengers suffer from circulatory diseases during or immediately after the flights. I therefore strongly recommend South African Airways to reduce the number of seats in economy to increase more comfort for its economy class passengers.

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