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Welcome to FlySAA

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Check-in Boarding Procedures

Check-in Boarding Procedures information

Avoid missing your flight by arriving at the airport early. The following guidelines will ensure that you understand our departure deadlines so that you fly on time.

Domestic check-in

Passengers are required to check in at least 90 minutes before flight departure.


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International check-in

Prior to check-in, profiling and boarding of passengers for immigration purposes may be necessary. This process may require you to provide evidence of confirmed accommodation, sufficient funds and valid return or onward air tickets.

There are different check-in times for certain flights:

  • USA flights: check in three hours before flight departure
  • Other international flights: check in at least two hours before flight departure, irrespective of travel class

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Check-in closure times

  • Check-in for domestic flights closes 30 minutes prior to departure.
  • For all classes of travel, check-in for regional and international flights closes 50 minutes prior to departure.


  • Flights departing from Johannesburg to Luanda, Lagos, Sao Paulo and Kinshasa close one hour prior to departure.
  • Flights departing from Lagos close two hours prior to departure.

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Boarding gate closure times

Boarding for all flights begins at least 45 minutes before the scheduled time of departure, with gates closing 15 minutes prior to departure on domestic flights, and 20 minutes for international flights. Passengers who fail to present themselves at the boarding gate before the stipulated time for closure will be denied travel without compensation.

Since boarding times vary across our network, please check your boarding pass carefully. Thank you for helping us to maintain our high standards of punctuality.

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Self check-in kiosks

These user-friendly touchscreen devices allow you to do everything you could at a check-in counter. Now you can select your seat and print your boarding pass within seconds. This mode of check-in is available to all passengers with confirmed tickets on South African Airways. All 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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Curbside check-in

Curbside check-in is the most convenient way to check in for a flight; you don't have to carry your baggage through a crowded airport. South African Airways now offers a curbside check-in facility for First Class travellers, Lifetime Platinum members and Platinum card holders.

How it works

  • First Class travellers may check in their baggage as soon as they arrive at the curbside check-in counter at O.R. Tambo International Airport (departures terminal).
  • For First Class travellers, Lifetime Platinum members and Platinum card holders, curbside check-in can also be used to:
      • Update your reservation with your Voyager number (only when flight check-in is open)
      • Add passport and visa information to your reservation
      • Change flights when the fare permits

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