Review of South African flight Frankfurt Johannesburg in Business

Airline South African
Flight SA261
Class Business
Seat 7H
Aircraft Airbus A340-600
Flight time 10:15
Take-off 25 Jul 17, 21:15
Arrival at 26 Jul 17, 07:30
SA 57 reviews
By 3017
Published on 19th August 2017
Hello everyone and welcome back to this series of flight reports.

This series covers my trip to Johannesburg, South Africa with LH and SA in Business Class.

Series overview

1st Part
NUE > FRA with LH153 Can be found here: LH153: NUE > FRA

2nd Part
FRA > JNB with SA261 You are here!

3rd Part
JNB > FRA with SA260 Can be found here: SA260: JNB > FRA

4th Part
FRA > NUE with LH142 Cancelled!
FRA > NUE with LH140 Can be found here: LH140: FRA > NUE

Flight information SA261

Aircraft Registration: ZS-SNA
Aircraft Type: A340-600
Boarding (planned): 20:00
Boarding (actual): 20:05
Push Back: 21:00
Departure (planned): 20:45
Departure (actual): 21:15
Arrival (planned): 07:25
Arrival (actual): 07:30
Arrival Gate: 07:41

*All times are local

Flight Ticket
photo ticket_sa261

Pre Flight @ FRA

After my flight from NUE, I had about 60-75 minutes to visit the LH Lounge in FRA.
Flight LH153 arrived at the A-Gates and my next flight to JNB departed from Gate B26.
I left the A-Gates and used the connection tunnel between the A- and B-Gates.
It was very hot in that tunnel, don't know if the AC was not working or what was going on?!
During my walk pass the A-Gates, I was able to see my A340-600 to JNB (ZS-SNA) on the other side of the terminal.
photo img_20170725_192341726

After I arrived at the Gate B26, I went upstairs to the LH Lounge located opposite of Gate B24.
I spent about 45min in the Lounge until boarding started.
Like in Nuremberg, there was a lot of food and drinks available, but I was not very hungry after the meal in NUE and during the flight, so I took some water with me and relaxed / waitd until SA261 was ready for boarding.

Here are two pictures from the LH Lounge - it was not very busy.
photo img_20170725_194304632photo img_20170725_200751771

Flight SA261

Boarding for SA261 started on time and I made my way from the Lounge to the Gate, which was just a few meters away.
It took some time to board the A340-600 with all passengers.

A few pictures from the South African Airways Business Class cabin.
The aircraft it self is about 14 years old. You can see the age of the Aircraft on the cabin as well.
Compared to the pictures of the SAA Business Class in their A330, it looks old.
Nevertheless the seat, the pitch and width of the seat was very comfortable! :)
Initially my seat was 6K - but two girlfriends traveled together and asked if it is OK to change my seat to 7H, so that they can seat next to each other.
I had no problem with that, because my main intention was to work and sleep a little bit during the night - so I changed to 7H on the aisle.
After the change I was not sure, if it was the right decission, because row 7 is the last row in the Business Class section and right next to the lavatory and kitchen - I was not sure if might be bothersome - but it wasn't.
During boarding orange juice or sparkling wine were offered - I chose orange juice.
The leg room was phenomenal, the whole seat could be moved to a flat bed.
An amenity kit andthe headphones were stored in the seat.

Photo taken at the Gate - still bad weather in Germany :)
photo img_20170725_202607422

After that I was not able to make more photos till we were in the air.
And that surprised me:
During the safety video they tell you, that you have to power off your mobile phone completely - even flight mode is not accepted - that was repeated by the stewardesses and stewards.
I used my phone on flight mode and wanted to make a photo during taxiing, while a steward came to me and told me (in a slight rude way), that I have power if off immediately.
I don't know why he was that kind of rude, but I had to power it off …
On every other flight I have been onoard, flight mode was just right and enough - I guess everyone uses his mobile telephone in flight mode during departure, flight and arrival.
I have no clue why they tell you to power it off?!
After the departure, I powered it back on to take some more photos!

Picture after departure and above the clouds.
What a great view across the A340-600 wing :)
photo img_20170725_214056282photo img_20170725_214100886photo img_20170725_214051031

About one hour after departure the dinner meal service started.
Check out the menu card.
Thank good, I put the menu card into my bag before I went to sleep.
On my return flight from JNB > FRA: They collected the menu cards during the night and I did not get it back after I woke up.
As you can see, SAA offers on both FRA > JNB and MUC > JNB flights the same menu.

1st side:
photo menu1_sa261
2nd side:
photo menu2_sa261
3rd side:
photo menu3_sa261

photo img_20170725_215205851

Seasonal Salad first.
photo img_20170725_221302757

Main course
Followed by the Grilled Beef Fillet.
photo img_20170725_223302906photo img_20170725_223557334

And finished with the Mocca Mascarpone Cake.
photo img_20170725_224344272

The food was excellent - very good.
Especially the Beef. Right on the point and very tender.

After the meal service I checked out the inflight system - called AirScape.
Like I said before - the Business Class in the A340-600 looks, feels and is a little bit old - and so is the inflight system as well.
The system was pretty slow, but offered new movies, music and games.
photo img_20170725_214354460photo img_20170725_214359370

I choose the Lego Batman Movie before I did some work and later slept a few hours.
photo img_20170725_230238310

After a few hours of sleep, I woke up when about 2 hours were left until touchdown in JNB.
The breakfast service started 1.5 hours before landing and I choose the Spanish Scrambled Eggs.
photo img_20170726_060508128photo img_20170726_060546217

The rest of the flight was very calm and landing in sunny Johannesburg was very smooth.
Unfortunately my mobile phone accu was empty - the power socket in the aircraft did not worked (on every seat in Business Class).
That also shows, that the Business Class in South African Airways A340-600 is very old and might need some renovation.

Nevertheless, the flight and the Business Class experience was very nice.
I enjoyed it and the total flight time of 10h 16min went by very fast.

After Flight @ JNB

JNB is a very big airport - it took about 15 minutes from the runway to the Gate.
Immigration was very crowded and I had to wait about 45 minutes until I passed through.
WIFI was also very poor in the arrival area.
See more


South African

Cabin crew6.5

Lufthansa Business Lounge West B24 - B


Frankfurt - FRA


Johannesburg - JNB



Information on the route Frankfurt (FRA) Johannesburg (JNB)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 5 avis concernant 2 compagnies sur la ligne Frankfurt (FRA) → Johannesburg (JNB).


La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est South African avec 7.4/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 10 heures et 31 minutes.

  More information


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 409393 by
    st7515 217 Comments
    Thanks for this FR!
    I might be wrong, but it seems these seats are not exactly those featured in the A332 right ? If so, it would mean SAA has 3 different long haul J class, crazy!

    But indeed, the catering seems quite on par with what LH offers on the same route.
    • Comment 409417 by
      Rob777ER AUTHOR 42 Comments
      I took a look at your photos and I assume, that there is not so much difference. The shape of the seat looks identical, the power socket and controller for inflight system are placed on the same spot on the A340. Feel lucky, you got definitely the newer version of the seat on your A332 flight.
      I am jealous, you flew LH between FRA and JNB - I wanted that flight, too ... but in the end it was SAA.

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