South African Airways-Flight Questions

Mar 2nd, 2006, 10:17 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 80
South African Airways-Flight Questions

As we reach our final days prior to our trip I have a few questions about SAA.
First, our tickets say via SAL (we fly from Atlanta to Johannesburg)I know it is just a gas stop...anyone know which airport/location?
Second,are there any outlets on the plane. (to plug in the laptop or dvd player)
Third, our tickets say something to the effect of you must re-confirm with SAA three days prior to your flight or they can give up your seats…is that common? (I haven’t traveled much but don’t recall doing that before)
Fourth, (and for veteran travelers I am sure this is a dumb question) If we fly from FL to Atlanta (delta) and then fly (saa) to Johannesburg….will we have to re-check in and get a new boarding pass in Atlanta and re-check our bags…OR
will everything be taken care of in FL and we just get on the other plane in Atlanta (I am concerned b/c SAA ticket says that you must check in 3 hours in advance)
Finally, we were mailed paper tickets...Must you carry around this ticket or does SAA also run on e-tickets?
megtr is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2006, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,536
The refuelling stop is at Sal Island. You can google if you want to see where it is.

Outlets on plane - I don't know. Have never looked for them.

Third, I have never re-confirmed my flights (4 trips on SAA). BUT I'm not telling you not to confirm yours!

Fourth, you should be able to check your bags in Florida for the whole trip and they will give you boarding passes for the ATL/JNB flight. (I'm assuming you are flying to ATL on Delta.) When you go to check in at the airport, you are on an "international flight" (if there are seperate lines) and you have to check in your luggage at the counter (not with the sky-caps at the street).

Fifth, you do need the paper tickets. That is what they use.

Have a great trip!
sundowner is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2006, 11:04 AM
Posts: n/a
Hope I can answer some of your questions:

SAL is Isle de Sol at Cape Verde Islands. Just a stop for passengers to deplane; rarely do any board. You're on the ground for maybe an hour, and they don't allow ongoing passengers to deplane. If flying overnight, there isn't much to see here - it'll be dark.

Confirming tickets - some airlines still require this, but usually if there is an OK next to your flight details, this isn't required. To be certain, SAA is who should provide the answer. If you find that you are nowhere near a phone, be sure that your ground outfitter/tour operator in SA does this for you.

Outlets for DVD or laptops - have the foggiest, and I've never had the need to plug in anything and don't care to do so. SAA should be able to answer this for you.

Your Delta and SAA flights are partner/code-shares, so when you check-in at FL, they will thru-check your bags to your destination. Be certain to ask the agent that they have done this, and ask to see the luggage tag showing your FL/ATL flight number and the ATL/JNB flight number. Your bags, at ATL, will automatically be transferred from one plane to the other and should be waiting for you when you deplane in JNB. At the same time, you should receivethe boarding passes for both flights. The same procedure should be done when you return home.

3-hr check-in - despite the fact that the flight from FL/ATL is domestic, you have to check-in at minimum 2-hrs (though if SAA says 3-hrs, then be there 2.5 hrs prior) as your destination is an International flight. Inasmuch as the FL leg is a legal connecting flight, you don't have to worry about the 3-hrs in ATL. Bye the way, how many hours between the FL/ATL connection? Of course, others who may have done a similar connection more recently may have other input.

Paper tickets - Boy, do I wish I would get paper tickets - I hate E-tickets; never have the feeling I'm going anywhere with just a number on a piece of paper. But yes, you have to keep those tickets safe and don't loose them. Though Delta/SAA may have you on file electronically, you don't want to chance having to have to jump thru hoops with all kinds of ID to prove who you are, or the worst - can't get on your flights or have to pay for new ticket. Keep these safe here at home (once in Africa) and be sure to bring them to the airport.

Believe me, it's all rather painless and Africa is waiting at the other end!

Happy travels.

Mar 2nd, 2006, 01:50 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 107
Thank you so much for all of the info. We have a 3 hour layover in Atlanta which should be plenty of time...but I am just worrying about every thing at this point.
mgtr is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2006, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,536
My flight lands in ATL at 8:42 AM so I have less than 2 hours to connect to that 10:30 flight. It's always been enough time (knock wood).
sundowner is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2006, 02:50 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 107
We have the 10:30 flight as well...
I did think of one more question...
What is the baggage limit for SAA...limit for carry on? (from Atlanta to Johannesburg)
Also what is the baggage limit for SAA within South Africa (our flight is from Johannesburg to Cape Town) is it different?
Thank You!!!
mgtr is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2006, 05:11 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
we flew SAA last trip JFK-JNB and they didn't weigh any carry on bags, so we took both our duffels (18#ea) and backpacks (16#ea) on the plane. There was an attendant at JFK who said the carry-on could not weigh more than 15# but he didn't weigh it. A few people who were obviously struggling with their carry-ons, he made them gate check it.
matnikstym is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 01:55 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 189
South African Airways is the worst airline I have ever flown with so good luck!! They could not even get our booking right - however you will love Africa - diverse culture and scenery - we are planning to go back but use another airline
Karen246 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2006, 02:44 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7,391
Other than the amount of time in the air, sfo-jfk-sal-jnb, I enjoyed SAA. The seats were comfortable (economy), good choice of movies, free drinks, the food going was good, coming was almost inedible though, and everyone we came in contact with from SAA were polite, friendly and professional.
matnikstym is offline  

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