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How to make travelling by air a breeze

As Easter approaches, South Africans across the country are making plans to visit family and friends, both locally and abroad. This is a particularly busy time of the year, when many people are travelling by road, rail and air.

South African Airways (SAA), the country’s national carrier, has some tips to make travelling by air a breeze:

  1. Book as early as possible. Flights are usually full over the holidays and fewer standby seats are available at this time too. Check for the best deals.
  2. If you have a preference for a particular seating arrangement, use SAA’s online Advanced Seat Reservation System during the booking process. For a small administration charge, you can secure the seats of your choice in advance.
  3. If you require special assistance – or should you have specific dietary requirement for religious or health reasons – specify these during the booking process to avoid delays or disappointment. As 72 hours’ notice is required for some meal types, ensure that you do this in good time.
  4. Make sure you have all of your documentation with you before you leave home. If you are travelling to an international destination, you will need a valid passport with a minimum of two blank pages in it and a visa or visas, if required. If you are travelling within the country, either a passport or an ID document is acceptable as valid proof of identity. Bear in mind that if check-in and security staff are unable to identify you – or if you don’t have valid visas for the countries you’re travelling to – they may not accept you for travel.
  5. Pack your own luggage and don’t carry goods for other people unless you know exactly what they are. Make sure that there aren’t any restricted items in either your check-in luggage or your cabin luggage. For a full list of luggage restrictions, see
  6. Label your luggage clearly and use something unique to make your suitcase or holdall easy to identify on the luggage carousel at your destination. Include your name, cell number (with local and international dialling codes) and e-mail address on the label, but don’t include your physical address or destination for security reasons.
  7. Lock your check-in luggage or have it shrink-wrapped at the airport to protect it against damage or pilferage.
  8. Keep valuables such as cameras, jewellery and laptops with you in your hand luggage. Do not pack these into your check-in luggage.
  9. Allow plenty of time to get to the airport and to check in, taking into account possible delays on the roads or at the airport, especially during peak times.
  10. Should you experience discomfort when on board, medical supplies for minor ailments are available on board. Please ask a cabin crew member for assistance.

We invite you to sit back, relax and enjoy our friendly service, tasty meals and award-winning South African wines. Read your free copy of Sawubona magazine, which you’ll find in the seat pocket in front of you, or take advantage of our in-flight entertainment offering available across our network.

SAA wishes its valued passengers and all South Africans a safe, happy and relaxed Easter.

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