Review of SA Airlink flight Mpumalanga Johannesburg in Economy

Airline SA Airlink
Flight SA8828
Class Economy
Seat 13C
Aircraft Embraer ERJ140
Flight time 00:55
Take-off 23 Jul 17, 10:10
Arrival at 23 Jul 17, 11:05
4Z 13 reviews
st7515
By 609
Published on 14th August 2017
Routing :


CDG – MUC / Airbus A320-214 CEO SL D-AIUT Lufthansa LH2239 Economy K / 6 AM Beer City Flug [THERE]

MUC – SOF / Airbus A320-214 CEO SL Lufthansa LH1702 Economy K / Eastern Orient Express [THERE]

SOF – VIE / Airbus A320-200 CEO OE-LBP Austrian OS796 Business C / Vienna coffee [THERE]

VIE – FRA / Airbus A319-100 CEO OE-LDG Austrian OS125 Business C / Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 [THERE]

FRA – JNB / Boeing 747-8i D-ABYO Lufthansa LH572 Business C Upper Deck / I’m leaving on a jet plane, (I know) when I’ll be back again [THERE]



JNB – SZK / Embraer 135 ZS-SWN South African Airlink SA8865 Economy Q / A different kind of animal [THERE]

SZK – MQP / Cessna Caravan C208-B ZS-MLT South African Airlink SA8930 Economy Y / Dreaming of Cessna [THERE]

> MQP – JNB / Embraer 140 ZS-ALR South African Airlink SA8828 Economy Q / Outclassing the road [YOU ARE HERE]

JNB – DUR / Airbus A330-200 ZS-SXV South African Airways SA559 Business C / Comfy old cabin [THERE]

DUR – CPT / Boeing 738WL ZS-ZWU British Airways by Comair BA6310 Business U / On the ‘Business’ again [THERE]

CPT – GRJ / Embraer 135 ZS-SWN South African Airlink SA8631 Economy Q / Lost Garden route flightpath [THERE]

PLZ – JNB / Boeing 737-800 Split Scimitar winglets ZS-ZWH British Airways by Comair BA6242 Economy O / From PE with chill [THERE]

JNB – FRA / Boeing 747-8i D-ABYR Lufthansa LH573 First C Nose / "Luck" [THERE]

FRA – VIE / Airbus A320 CEO OE-LBL Austrian OS128 Business C / Good Morning Austria

VIE – SOF / Airbus A320 CEO OE-LBM Austrian OS795 Business C / Foodstock

SOF – MUC / Embraer 195 D-AEMD Lufthansa LH1705 Cityline Economy K / …6.5 hours later

MUC – CDG / Airbus A319-100 CEO D-AILY Lufthansa LH2238 Economy K / Clap-my-end or "I (don't) love Paris, in the summer…"



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Sanibonani everyone ! This is Zulu language because today we are going to KZN or KwaZulu-Natal. It will take us two flights to get there : MQP-JNB + JNB - DUR

We were dropped off at 7:45AM by a VW Caravelle belonging to Mbombela Tours, very reliable company. The only issue is that we arrived at MQP way too early. But I do not have any regret, you'll hear why…

The terminal was completely empty both landside and airside : so relaxing
Let's start by the landside

And all of a sudden, I hear a choir starting some gospel songs. I did not directly film them because you know, privacy stuff, but damn those voices from the ground staff at security were



The check-in counters opened just 1.5hrs before the flight scheduled take off time. So do not arrive too early, unless you want to hear amateur gospel live ;)
The check-in agent, a very friendly female thought that we were not seated together on the JNB-DUR flight so I told her not to worry because there was not a 5B seat on the A330-200. But that is actually a nice attention.
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I will show you our BP for the next flight on the following FR.
Security was fine : I still removed my computer from the bag and my watch, but not my belt. They did control the BPs as well.
Airside it was as well completely empty

The boarding was called late : 10 o'clock dead for a 10:10 AM departure, short !
We scanned our BPs but mine did not work and I was already approaching the aircraft. I was then forced to come back and scan it again, which slowed the boarding even more !
We were treated to awesome views of this gorgeous new addition to Airlink's fleet : ZS-ALR
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Rolls Royce powered
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Photobomb^^
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Once in the cabin, persuaded to be in an ERJ-135, I went for the last row, near the engines. WRONG ! I did not know they had changed the aircraft type probably after I had done the online check-in so I was "forced" to let a French couple grab my dreamseats. This was just the second thing I did wrongly this very morning

View from the window where another Airlink's ERJ, a 135 this time, was taxiing to its parking stand
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A very rare Bombardier Global Express BD-700 registered M-MDBD, the same that was here a few days ago
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It is time to take off !

This undesired seat still gave me plenty wingviews

The cabin once again showed its age but it seemed it had been well maintained by the former owner. The seat covers indicated that the bird probably operated for American Airlines Connection. A quick search on google confirmed this feeling.

You can see the leather is not in a bad shape
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The safety card was however used, especially mine
Front page
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Center pages
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Rear page
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My mother's was a tad "better"
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The great inflight magazine
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The harbinger announcing the highlight of the return journey
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On the same double page as my next destination… sometimes things are very weird !
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Here is the fleet page
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There was only one female FA on that flight despite the fact it was an ERJ-140. She was easy going and did her job with rapidity and professionalism.
I chose a cheese sandwich and my mother a muffin a bit impractical to eat, along with fruit juices from the same brand we tried earlier on : Ceres.
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The TOD came while we were still eating

Landing on-time into JNB only to wait a few minutes while other aircrafts were taking off
Spotting featuring Comair, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways 77W, South African Airways, Safair 738, SA Express Dash Q400, Kulula 738, Airlink ERJ 135 and Jetstream 41


The annoying treadmills you have to use to get to the security area because no, there is apparently no transfer zone even for domestic connections (I asked my way to an airport staff just to be sure… weird)
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Verdict

SA Airlink

8.6/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi6.5
Meal/catering10.0

Mpumalanga - MQP

9.3/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness10.0

Johannesburg - JNB

5.9/10
Efficiency6.0
Access5.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness6.0

Conclusion

Airlink did not disappoint on this flight as for the others. The staff (both ground and FA) is mostly friendly and quick, the catering is good and the small airports make for a great flying experience without any kind of stress.

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