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Welcome to FlySAA

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Check-in Options

Check-in Options information

We offer several convenient check-in options to allow you to manage the details of your travel in a way that suits you:


Online check-in

South African Airways is pleased to offer our internet check-in service - a simpler, smarter and faster way to check in. Select or change your seat, and print your boarding pass between 24 hours and 2 hours prior to flight departure.

View our online check-in demonstration.

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Mobile check-in

Mobile check-in saves time at the airport by allowing you to check in from your internet-enabled phone. Using your mobile phone, go to m.flysaa.com and:

  • Submit your e-ticket number or booking reference at the check-in screen,
  • Download your online boarding pass

On arrival at the airport, show your online boarding pass to security for scanning.

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Self check-in kiosks

Avoid airport queues and print your own boarding pass with our self check-in kiosks. These user-friendly touchscreen devices allow you to select your seat and print your boarding pass within seconds. This check-in option is available to all passengers with confirmed tickets on South African Airways. All self check-in kiosks close 90 minutes before flight departure time.

These touchscreen kiosks are available at the following airports:
O.R. Tambo: Domestic and international departures
Durban: Domestic departures only
Cape Town: Domestic and international departures
Port Elizabeth: Domestic departures only

For a step-by-step guide on how to use a check-in kiosk, click here.

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O.R. Tambo International Airport Kerbside Check-in

This facility is situated on the kerb, when walking towards the new domestic terminal. Here SAA Voyager Lifetime Platinum and Voyager Platinum cardholders can conveniently check-in for their flights.

An exclusive and personal service is offered to customers. Upon arrival a concierge collects the customer's luggage and takes it to the check in desk.

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Bag drop counter

Bag drop counters are specifically for passengers with checked baggage who have checked in using flysaa.com or a self check-in kiosk. If you have printed your own boarding pass, proceed to the bag drop counter, where your baggage will be tagged and sent to the aircraft.

If you are unable to print your boarding pass, you may print it at the self check-in kiosks or proceed to a South African Airways check-in counter. If a bag drop counter is unavailable, a conventional check-in counter can be used.

 

Airport

Bag Drop Counters

O R Tambo International (Domestic departures) Counters: B64-B69
O R Tambo International (International departures) Counters: B15-B16, B37-B38
Cape Town International Counters: 17 - 19
Durban International  Counters: 1 & 18
Port Elizabeth Counter: 3
East London Counter: 8
Mauritius Counter: 10


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Online check-in FAQs

Browse through the following FAQs for answers to common questions. If you are unable to find the answers you need, please contact us for further assistance.

  • Who can use online check-in?
  • How do I use online check-in?
  • What is a booking reference?
  • When is online check-in available?
  • Why am I unable to check in?
  • Why am I unable to perform any check-in transaction?
  • Am I able to check in for my travelling companions?
  • Can I use online check-in if I am travelling with an infant?
  • Can I use online check-in if I have baggage?
  • Can I change my seat after I have checked in online?
  • What about return/onward flights? 
  • Why am I asked to enter passport information?
  • What is Advanced Passenger Information?
  • What should I do when I arrive at the airport? 
  • Will online check-in be available at my departure airport?
  • What is an online boarding pass and how do I use it?
  • Which airports offer online boarding passes?

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Who can use online check-in?

Online check-in is available to most travellers and groups with e-tickets, whether these have been booked directly with South African Airways or through a travel agent. However, there are some exceptions, including:

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How do I use online check-in?

Before you use online check-in, you will need to have the ticket and passport details of all your travel companions. When you have the necessary information:

  • Go to the Manage My Trip page, enter your booking reference and surname and click the login button.
  • Go to the Before You Fly page, and click on the check-in block.
  • Enter your surname, booking reference, and select your departure location. For travel agent bookings, please use your e-ticket number to identify yourself.
  • Select the travellers you would like to check in.
  • You will then have the option of changing or confirming seats.
  • Once you have completed the check-in process, you will be issued a boarding pass for each traveller in your party. Please print and take your boarding passes with you to the airport, so you can check-in quickly.

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What is a booking reference?

A booking reference is the 6-character code given when a booking is made in our reservation system. It is used by our staff to locate your booking records and e-tickets.

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When is online check-in available?

For all passengers who have e-tickets, online check-in opens 24 hours before flight departure, and for most flights, closes two hours prior to the scheduled departure.

Please note that there are different closing times for the following flights:

  • Flights to America: four hours
  • International flights: three hours
  • All domestic flights: two hours

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Why am I unable to check in online?

It may be for one of several reasons. For example,

  • You have entered incorrect flight details; please check your itinerary, and try again.
  • You do not have a confirmed booking.
  • Your travel party may be too large. Online check-in is limited to nine passengers who are travelling on the same booking. Please proceed directly to the airport to complete your check-in.
  • In your booking, you requested to travel as an unaccompanied minor, or you have indicated certain medical and/or special assistance. Due to the special service you require, you will need to complete your check-in at the airport.

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Why am I having problems checking in online?

It may be for one of several reasons.  For example,

  • Our systems may be unavailable due to scheduled maintenance. If this is the case, we apologise for any inconvenience caused; please try again later.
  • You may have entered incorrect travel details. Verify your surname and booking identifier (booking reference, e-ticket or frequent flyer number).
  • If you need further assistance, please email our customer care team at help@flysaa.com or speak to one of our consultants. Please be aware that our call centre agents cannot complete check-in on your behalf. If you have difficulties completing the online check-in process, you will need to check in at the airport.

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Am I able to check in for my travelling companions?

Yes, online check-in is available for up to nine passengers who are travelling on the same booking. If you intend to check in all passengers in your group, you must first have their permission to do so.

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Can I use online check-in if I am travelling with an infant?

Yes, online check-in is possible for both the infant and the accompanying adult passenger. For security reasons, infants do require their own boarding pass, so please make sure that you have printed your infant’s boarding pass as well as your own.

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Can I use online check-in if I have baggage?

Online check-in can be used whether you are travelling with hand luggage and/or checked baggage. Upon arrival at the airport, present your online boarding pass at the bag drop counter.

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Can I change my seat after I have checked in online?

Once you have confirmed your seat using online check-in, you will no longer be able to make further seat changes. This is to ensure that every passenger has the fairest selection of seats available when they check in.

Please note: For operational reasons, South African Airways may have to change a passenger’s seat prior to travel.

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What about return/onward flights?

You can check in for your return flight at the same time as your outbound flight only if the return flight is within 24 hours of your outbound flight. Alternatively, please check in online no more than 24 hours before the departure of your return flight.

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Why am I asked to enter passport information?

The immigration authorities of certain countries require all airlines to provide passenger passport information prior to departure of any inbound flight to ensure safety and security.

If you are travelling internationally, you will be asked for your passport at the airport even if you have entered Advanced Passenger Information (API) online.

Required passenger information for all API countries:

  • Full name
  • Passport number, issuing country and expiration date
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality 

Please note: Information requirements are subject to change at any time.

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What is Advanced Passenger Information?

Please refer to: Why am I asked to enter passport information?

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What should I do when I arrive at the airport?

If you have been issued a boarding pass and need to check in your baggage, please proceed to designated bag drop counters where your luggage will be tagged and taken to the aircraft.

If you are travelling with hand luggage only, and have been issued an online boarding pass, please refer to your boarding pass for further instructions.

Should an online boarding pass not be available on your route, please proceed to a self check-in kiosk or check-in counter.

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Will online check-in be available at my departure airport?

At present, online check-in is available for all South African Airways flights departing from the following airports:

  • Accra
  • Beijing
  • Bloemfontein
  • Bombay
  • Cape Town
  • Durban
  • East London
  • Frankfurt
  • Gabarone
  • George
  • Hoedspruit
  • Hong Kong
  • Johannesburg
  • Kimberley
  • London
  • Manzini
  • Maseru
  • Mauritius
  • Mmabatho
  • Mumbai
  • Munich
  • Nairobi
  • New York
  • Phalaborwa
  • Pietermaritzburg
  • Polokwane
  • Port Elizabeth
  • Richards Bay
  • Sao Paulo
  • Umtata
  • Upington
  • Walvis Bay
  • Washington D. C.
  • Windhoek

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What is an online boarding pass and how do I use it?

To save you time at the airport, South African Airways (SAA) offers online boarding passes for certain airports. You will only receive a boarding pass upon completion of online check-in. Your online boarding pass functions in the same way as a normal boarding pass, and includes your assigned seat, flight details and boarding gate number. 

Print your online boarding pass and bring it with you to the boarding gate, or drop bag counter if you are checking in baggage. If you are unable to print your boarding pass, you may print it at the self check-in kiosks or proceed to a SAA check-in counter.

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Which airports offer online boarding passes?

Currently, online boarding passes are only available to travellers using online check-in, and departing from the following international airports: London, Frankfurt and Munich.

If you are unable to print your online boarding pass, you may print it at the self check-in kiosks, or proceed to a South African Airways check-in counter.

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