Travelling with Infants
SAA offers special assistance to make travelling more enjoyable and comfortable for our youngest flyers and their parents.
An infant is any person under 2 years of age. An infant must be accompanied by an adult at all times and during the flight they will be seated on the adult’s lap.
Every aircraft is equipped with toilets with diaper boards and adequately sized overhead stowages to ensure a smooth travel experience for parents travelling with infants.
Baby bassinets can be reserved subject to availability and full details can be found below.
Baby restraint devices are available to secure an infant during take-off, landing and when seat belt signs are illuminated. A cabin crew member will offer the device to a parent prior to take off.
Additional blankets and pillows are available should a parent require them. As there are a limited number of extra blankets and pillows on each flight, it is recommended that they are requested prior to take off.
On long-haul flights, children’s activity kits are available to entertain children. These contain games, colouring books and other activities. Our inflight entertainment system also offers a variety of kids’ games, movies and programmes.
Infants are required to sit on an adult’s lap, so for a more pleasurable flight and extra legroom, it is highly recommended that you select a bulk head seat in advance. Seat selection is available on flysaa.com whilst making a booking. In the event you have already made your booking, we highly recommend you visit Booking Management to select your seat at your earliest convenience, as these seats are sought after.
The use of a baby bassinet is restricted by the infant size and weight. Infants not exceeding 10kg and 75cm are eligible for a baby bassinet, subject to availability. We highly recommend eligible customers reserve a bassinet at their earliest convenience, by calling their nearest SAA office.
At a bulkhead seat, a cabin crew member can help to position a baby bassinet after take-off, once the seat belt signs have been switched off. The crew member will be required to confirm the age, weight and length of the infant prior to bringing the bassinet, to ensure the safety of the infant. A bassinet cannot be used during take-off and landing and can only be used during the flight when the seat belt signs are off. If the seat belt signs are illuminated, the infant must be removed from the bassinet.
To book a seat for a child under the age of 2, simply select the child category on flysaa.com, instead of the infant category. Your infant will be charged a child fare (instead of an infant fare) and they will be allocated a separate seat. When asked for their date of birth, simply complete the form using their normal date of birth.
Customers choosing to book a separate seat may want to consider taking a child car seat onboard and full details can be found below.
For customers who have purchased a separate seat for their child or infant, there is the option to take onboard a child car seat for their comfort. Please note, car seats may only be used by children not exceeding 36 months.
Please refer to the table below to ascertain whether the car seat will fit on the aircraft you will be travelling on.
A340-600/300 A330-200 A319-100 B737-800 A320-200 A330-300 A350-900 Pitch 33/34” 32" 32" 32" 31" 32”/31”/30” 31” Width between armrest 17" (43.18cm) 17.5" (44.45cm) 17.6" (44.7cm) 17.5" (44.45cm) 17.5" (44.45cm) 16.98” (43.15cm) 19.9” (45.7cm)
- The car seat must be forward-facing and secured to the passenger seat by the aircraft seatbelt.
- The seat must be fitted with a single release-type harness, which must secure the infant’s lap, torso and shoulders.
- Harness straps must be a minimum of 25mm wide, and any metal lift-type adjustment device must require a positive angular lift to operate.
- The child must not be able to loosen the release device.
Infant or child Fly-Tot cushions / Air Beds may not be used onboard our flights.
Requests for baby meals can be placed on flysaa.com whilst making a booking. After a booking has been made, a request can be placed using Booking Management.
All meal requests must be ordered at least 48 hours prior to the day of departure. Kosher meals must be ordered at least 72 hours prior to the day of departure.
A wide selection of soft drinks and fruit juices are available for children onboard, without the need to request them in advance. Milk and food you carry onboard for your child can be warmed up by our cabin crew.
Infants are permitted 1 piece of checked baggage up to 23kg plus 1 collapsible pram or buggy and car seat, free of charge.
Infants paying 50% of the adult fare are entitled to the same checked baggage allowance as adults.
If you are travelling from an eligible airport, we invite you to use your pram or buggy until you reach the aircraft door, afterwhich it will be checked into the hold by a member of staff. Please enquire at the airport check-in desk to understand if this will be available to you.
On arrival at your destination, your pram or buggy may be available for you to use as soon as you disembark the aircraft. If not, it will be available to collect on the baggage carousel. Please ask a member of staff on the aircraft to understand if this will be available to you.
Infants are also entitled to take 1 bag onboard the aircraft for their bedding, napkins, feeding bottles and food. This bag is free of charge provided it meets the standard cabin baggage dimensions and weight.
Book your and your child’s SAA airfare on the same day, and qualify for lower fares for your child
Not all SAA fares include infant fares.
SAA offers priority boarding for all customers travelling with infants and children.
Parents travelling alone with infants can also request a Meet and Assist Service on flysaa.com whilst making a booking. After a booking has been made, this request can be placed using Booking Management . The Meet and Assist service includes a member of SAA staff meeting the family at the check in desks and assisting them through security until they reach their gate. It must be noted that the staff member is only there to assist and may not carry the infant.
Once onboard, cabin crew can assist parents with stowing any baggage as well as making them more comfortable. On landing, cabin crew are available to assist with disembarkation, once all other customers have disembarked.
A ground staff member will be available to assist from the aircraft to the baggage collection area.
- Cabin crew members are available throughout a flight to assist travellers. Our cabin crew will always do its best to assist with any specific requirements.
- Cabin crew members are discouraged from carrying children, but at a parent’s request, they will watch children while the parent goes to the toilet. It is important to note that should a cabin crew member be permitted to carry a child, in the unlikely event that the child is injured, the airline will not take responsibility for any injuries sustained by the child.
- Prior to take off, a cabin crew member will brief a parent travelling with an infant or a toddler less than 2 years on important safety information. This is an opportunity for the parent to make requests or clarify any information that will make their flight more comfortable.
- Children aged 2 years and older cannot be seated on an adult’s lap for take-off and landing and must occupy their own seat.
- Baby restraint devices are available to secure an infant during take-off, landing and when seat belt signs are illuminated. A cabin crew member will offer the device to a parent prior to take off.
- A cabin crew member will assist with heating bottles in hot water.
- Nappies are not available onboard, so we encourage parents or guardians to pack an adequate supply in their cabin baggage.
- For safety reasons, travellers are not permitted to sleep on the floor. This includes infants and young children.
- All SAA aircraft have toilets equipped with diaper boards. A cabin crew member will direct the parent to the closest toilet with diaper board as these differ accoridng to aircraft types.
- Walking around the cabin is discouraged to minimise any injuries that can be caused due to turbulence, etc. It is recommended that the seat belt is fastened throughout the flight.
- On long-haul flights, particularly those that depart at night, parents or guardians can request that the cabin crew serve their children a meal first, before other travellers.
Cabin crew members are well trained in first aid to deal with medical emergencies relating to infants, children and adults. First Aid training relating to infant and child CPR, choking, allergies and other treatments is renewed annually. All SAA cabin crew members are registered with the Resuscitation Council of Southern Africa.
Onboard medical emergency procedures make provision for health care professionals to be called upon to assist with medical emergencies. Depending on the severity of the emergency the flight deck may divert to the nearest destination to afford the patient access to more suitable health care facilities. Onboard medical equipment includes a comprehensive Doctor’s Kit, First Aid kits, an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and Oxygen.