High Flyer: South African Airways Business Class on SA280

Airline: South African Airways

Flight: SA280

Aircraft: A340-300

Route: Johannesburg to Perth

Seating: Business class

Fare: A$4,361

Flight time: 9 hours, 20 minutes


The cabin

The South African Airways A340-300 business class cabin is split into two cabins, together comprising 38 flat-bed seats and set in a 2-2-2 configuration. This means you’ll have either a window or aisle seat regardless of where you sit.


The business class seats are 60 centimetres wide and seat pitch is 185 centimetres, and all seats face forward. The seats recline to lie-flat position (although not completely flat). Overnight mattresses, duvets and full-size pillows are provided, along with an amenities kit including a moisturiser, lip balm, fragrance, earplugs, socks and toothbrush and paste.


When is the service in business class on any airline not great? Not often at all. The same can be said of this flight. The flight attendants were all polite and obliging. I couldn’t say that there was any over and above – but it wasn’t required any way.


Earlier this year the airline was honoured as one of the top 10 airlines in the World’s Best Business Class Airline Catering category at the World Airline Awards and it shows in the a-la-carte dining menu inspired by South Africa’s finest chefs. The airline also offers award-winning South African and international wines.


Each seat has a personal 12-inch widescreen television from which to enjoy one of over 100 movies (including new releases) and TV shows on-demand via the inflight entertainment system. There are also 15 games, 14 radio station channels and over 170 albums. There are also power sources for those who wish to work or play on their own laptops or keep electronic devices charged.



Each business class traveller is entitled to a two-piece baggage allowance of up to 32 kilograms per bag, and in addition passengers can bring a piece of sporting equipment up to 20 kilograms at no extra cost. As you would expect from a business class ticket, there is dedicated check-in and priority baggage handling available.


Loyalty program

Travellers on South African Airways can earn miles as a member of the Voyager rewards program. You can earn more prestigious status in the program the more frequently you fly with the airline or its partners. Points are redeemable on flights, upgrades, holidays and car rental options and if you reach the Lifetime Platinum status you’ll be entitled to bonus miles, access to private airport lounges, extra baggage allowance and complementary chauffeur service. South African Airways is also a Star Alliance member airline.



The flight departed and arrived on time.


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