Review of South African flight Johannesburg Lilongwe in Economy

Airline South African
Flight SA170
Class Economy
Seat 27A
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 02:20
Take-off 18 Aug 19, 10:00
Arrival at 18 Aug 19, 12:20
SA 54 reviews
By 1379
Published on 12th October 2019


Johannesburg o.r.tambo airport

After disembarking the aircraft, we could not find any information regarding our connection flight.  The boarding passes we recieved in Taipei had assigned a boarding area at Domestic Terminal, where the flight to Lilongwe should be leaving from Terminal A (Intl. flights). However ground crew at transit desk were kind to solve this doubt. Security check at transit is thorough, however the officers were rude and impolite. 

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There is nothing much to do at JNB at this hour. 

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Plane spotting is always a good idea. Just love how many A340s are still in action here in Africa. How can you not love these beauties? 

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Our flight SA 170 was assigned to gate A24, which means boarding will be conducted in a remote bay.  

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There was still alot of time before boarding, so we walked around Terminal A for some spotting. You got to be impressed by the presence of the ME3 (esp. Qatar and Emirates) here in South Africa. The terminal is clean and I find it cool to have pigeons flying inside the building.  

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Common boarding area for Gate 20s . Packed with passengers heading to neighboring countries. It was just when an announcement was made stating a gate change for SA170. However the announcement was nearly inaudible leaving ALOT of confused passengers. 

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We followed the ground agent to our newly assigned boarding gate which is all the way on the other end of the terminal. It was a fully packed A320 that day, and well the boarding process was disastrous. No one knew where the line started, so we just packed together like sardines. The passengers consist of Malwaians, South Africans, Japanese, Europeans, Chinese and us Taiwanese.  


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Our aircraft for today, an A320 delivered on Feb 2015. You can see a mix of A319, A320 and A330 on this route. Lilongwe, although the capital and gateway airport for Malawi, does not receive alot of air traffic. Big airlines serving this city are for instance: SAA 320 (1*daily), Kenya 738 (1*daily), Ethiopian using 767/737 (1-2*daily, and code-shares with Malawian), etc..  

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Crew members were friendly. And one thing I noticed was how many carry-ons there was (and how big they were). Overhead compartments were stocked just half way through boarding. So the cabin crew spent alot of time adjusting luggage.  

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I am a big fan for South African's visuals. The seat width and leg room was generous. The touch of leather was superb. However the aircraft was not so clean, with alot of food stains and rice (yeap) here and there. 

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Parked beside this Swiss beauty which just flew in from Zurich. 

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Push back commenced and we departed on time. So eye-gasmic to see this A340-600 giant still in action. 

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Never say no to a window seat. Even if it means limiting your hydration intake lol 

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Bon appetit ~ This is so much better than what was served on a SQ long haul flight. After tasting this meal on just a 2 hours flight, I now know there is definitely something wrong about our SQ flight from SIN. There was 3 choices of meal and a complete beverage round just for a flight to Lilongwe. I am impressed. And the best of all, this meal tasted amazing. 


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We started our descend just right after trays were been cleaned. 

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Welcome to Kamuzu Airport of Lilongwe. There was no air bridge, all flights disembark on remote bays and passengers were shuttled to arrival hall. (Which was a 1 minute walking distance…. and we spent like 20 waiting for the bus and get on and get off… hmm?) 

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South African

Cabin crew7.0

Johannesburg - JNB


Lilongwe - LLW



Nice crew, amazing meal for a 2 hours flight. A good first impression for SAA.



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