Review of South African flight Johannesburg Hong Kong in Economy

Airline South African
Flight SA286
Class Economy
Seat 70C
Aircraft Airbus A340-600
Flight time 13:00
Take-off 28 Feb 15, 17:20
Arrival at 01 Mar 15, 12:20
SA 54 reviews
pwecar
By 4954
Published on 3rd May 2015
Hello and welcome to the last part of my South African trip back on February. I had finally squeezed out time from works to complete this report.

For the previous sections you can find out here:
SA287 HKG-JNB A343 [http://flight-report.com/en/report-9566.html]
SA359 JNB-CPT B738 [http://flight-report.com/en/report-9585.html]
SA334 CPT-JNB A346 [http://flight-report.com/en/report-9625.html]
SA286 JNB-HKG A346 [This Report]

We got out from the domestic section of JNB at 1605, 75 minutes before this flight. There we quickly made our way to the international security in around 5 minutes. To get on a connecting flight, you must get to public landside first, then go through the ordinary security line to get back to airside.

Unlike the domestic security, the international security was a big disaster. Extremely inefficient and slow. That made things worse: only 40 minutes left when we passed the customs. Therefore I didn't take many pictures on this report.

We spent our last rands on a cafe shop. The prices were reasonable, you can grab a big hot crossiant for less than $2.

Some spotting:
photo C360_2015-02-28-22-44-31-725

A Jet Airways A332 with UAE registration. Maybe this bird was wet-leased by Etihad?
photo C360_2015-02-28-22-46-47-710

No time for duty-free shopping…
photo C360_2015-02-28-22-42-28-314

Or Ferrari shopping…The only shop that interests me in the terminal.
photo C360_2015-02-28-22-41-42-142

The new international pier built for football World Cup.
photo C360_2015-02-28-22-47-02-009

Nice to see you again, ZS-SNI…
photo C360_2015-02-28-22-46-06-825

The boarding was already commenced by the time we got there.
photo C360_2015-02-28-22-54-04-262

Usually the airline would pre-assign seats for tour groups on the back of the plane. On the day before I tried to swap to somewhere closer to the cockpit yet failed. And it finally turned out to be a completely full flight, at least in Y. Most of the passengers were Chinese tourists.

Seat was almost identical to the previous flight(the same aircraft XD) so I didn't take any picture. Yet there was something not pleasant: row 70 is the place where the cabin started to curve, so there is an angle between this row and the previous row, making it harder to place your feet. A big miss!!

I was surprised to find out that the FA in my zone is a Chinese. A very nice touch for the vast Chinese tourists that can't speak English. It would be even better if he could speak Cantonese, being a flight heading to HKG.

The dinner was served around 90 minutes into the flight. Three choices were available:
photo IMG_0197
Beef with dry rice..

photo IMG_0198
Tasteless Chicken with potatoes and spinach..

and a vegetable fried rice that we all didn't like.

The curved design really bothered me so I gave up trying to get asleep and head towards the rear galley…And had a really great talk with Jason, the FA on duty.

Time flies and on the midpoint of the flight Jason grabbed some sleep on the crew rest bunk in the cargo deck. I had a glimpse of this mysterious place. Sadly I didn't take pictures because someone was still sleeping safe and sound.

Watched a movie that I didn't like.
photo IMG_0199photo IMG_0200

Finally the breakfast was served. Two options:
Omelette with no surprise..
photo C360_2015-03-01-10-27-24-658

and fried udon noodle with beef that was way too salty.
photo C360_2015-03-01-09-27-55-341
The fruits were not fresh and tasted like artificial stuffs.

Another hour later..Finally on the ground!
photo IMG_0201

The sleepless night finally came to the end.
photo IMG_0202

We then waited another 2 hours to catch the ferry back to Shenzhen airport. Our epic holiday is over. Always reluctant to get back to work..

And it's time to say goodbye with this SAA calendar! Thanks for reading!

See more

Verdict

South African

6.4/10
Cabin3.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi6.5
Meal/catering6.0

Johannesburg - JNB

7.0/10
Efficiency4.0
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness9.0

Hong Kong - HKG

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

The seat(I mean this particular seat, 70C and 70H) were horrible to sleep on so you'd better avoid them at all costs.
Despite the bad seat I would still recommend this airline for its constant great service.

The international section of JNB is modern and clean with adequate shops, though I didn't get time to explore due to the delay and inefficient security guys there.

HKG is always flawless.

Related

9 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 135497 by
    padawan SILVER 1913 Comments

    Thank you for this last report !
    Just like you, I notice that security and immigration were weak in JNB...
    So unusual to get back in the same plane :D
    Nice SAA calendar : was this a present from the crew ?

  • Comment 135509 by
    02022001 4328 Comments

    Thanks ;) Really long flight !

  • Comment 135769 by
    Alex Chan 12 Comments

    Seems SA dont take many advantages compared to CX on this route. CX's IFE product is much competitive than SA's old product. I also want to know the loading on this flight is good or not? Nice report for a rare appearance on Fr.com

    • Comment 315513 by
      pwecar AUTHOR 53 Comments

      Of course this outdated 340 can't compare to the new CX 77Ws in hard product.

      As mentioned on the report, on the return leg it was completely full in Y class(don't know the figure in business) while the outbound leg to JNB was only 50% in a smaller A343.

      But this is not the typical load factor for sure as I took my trip during Spring Festival holidays.

  • Comment 135845 by
    NGO85 GOLD 1871 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this last segment of this interesting series.

    Overall, it seems like this was a poor experience with SAA (although most of the blame falls on the cabin configuration and not the seat itself).

    A Jet Airways A332 with UAE registration. Maybe this bird was wet-leased by Etihad?
    - I always thought 9W was the one doing the leasing since they have an unnecessarily large fleet (TK uses several of their 77Ws). But I think on this route, it is as you say where EY is using a 9W plane and re-registering it as A6.

    Or Ferrari shopping...The only shop that interests me in the terminal.
    - You should go to FCO, all kinds of Ferrari shops there.

    Beef with dry rice.. and tasteless chicken
    - Doesn't sound look good catering, and that spinach definitely was not too easy on the eyes... Breakfast is always going to be disappointing. No midnight snack offered?

    the crew rest bunk in the cargo deck
    - There are stairs down?

    Interesting that the route map on the calendar doesn't have JFK.

    • Comment 315515 by
      pwecar AUTHOR 53 Comments

      Thanks for commenting!

      Overall, it seems like this was a poor experience with SAA -On this particular seat, yes, if you just back and make every effort to get sleep..

      You should go to FCO, all kinds of Ferrari shops there. -As a tifosi of Scuderia Ferrari I always wish to get to Italy..

      Doesn't sound look good catering, and that spinach definitely was not too easy on the eyes...
      -Despite the bad look the spinach tastes not bad.

      Breakfast is always going to be disappointing. No midnight snack offered?
      -Nothing to expect, nothing to disappoint. There wasn't any hot snack available, only some small cookies.

      Yes, the stairs are located at the rear galley. There are 6 bunks installed on the lower deck.

      Interesting that the route map on the calendar doesn't have JFK.
      -Europe destinations and IAD are also missing. The words above the map says SAA -Connecting Africa to the world. I think they wanna illustrate the available connections for the Asia-Pacific destinations.

      It is really sad to see that BOM and PEK have been axed.. PEK is even listed on May.

  • Comment 152258 by
    MrMax 144 Comments

    To answer your question about the Jet Airways 332. Yes, It was wet-leased by Etihad. Etihad uses (I think it's a wet-lease) the Jet Airways 332 for it's once daily flight to AUH.

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