We are delighted to offer you a fantastic opportunity to experience luxury travel at its finest. With South African Airways Step-Up Cabin Upgrade you tell us what you're willing to pay to upgrade your seat from Economy Class to Business Class.

Once you have obtained confirmed flight tickets, you will be sent an email notifying you about potential availability of seats for upgrades, along with a link to our Step-Up Cabin Upgrade Offer page, where you can start bidding.

If you do not receive an email and have confirmed flights, you may check your eligibility below.

All it takes is 3 easy steps

  1. Place your bid:

    Make us an offer by selecting the amount you would be willing to pay for an upgrade from Economy Class to Business Class.

  2. Payment information:

    Enter your credit card details. Your credit card will only be charged if your offer is accepted.

  3. Review and submit:

    We will advise you 24 hours prior departure if your offer is successful

After completion you will receive an email confirming your request to upgrade your seat, which can then be used to change or cancel your request. You will also receive an updated e-ticket with your new travel information and the amount you offered will be deducted from your credit card.


Your credit card will not be charged unless your offer is successful

  • 1. The following terms and conditions ("Terms and Conditions") shall apply to an offer (“Offer”) made by you (“you”) to South African Airways (“SAA”) for an opportunity to upgrade from the economy class ticket purchased by you for travel on SAA to a business class ticket on that same flight (“Upgrade”). Offers can only be made on selected flights operated by SAA (at its sole discretion) on condition that you possess a valid and issued SAA Economy Class ticket for the concerned flight. Upgrades shall not apply to code shared flights or flights operated by other airlines. The Offer shall apply solely to the single flight sector (i.e. one way) to which it is made and not in respect of additional flight sectors within the same itinerary.

    2. All persons who submit an Offer must have reached the legal age of majority in their country of residence at the time their Offer is submitted. The parents of underage passengers and/or the adult responsible for such passengers may obtain an upgrade on their behalf. You shall be deemed to have the authority to act on behalf of and to bind the person or persons named or included in the Offer to these Terms and Conditions.

    3. An Offer, when submitted by you in association with a booking made with SAA, whether made directly with SAA or indirectly through other means, and presented to SAA, shall entitle the person or persons named in the Offer, subject to these Terms and Conditions, to be considered for an Upgrade. If more than one passenger exists in the original flight booking, the upgrade offer shall apply individually to each passenger in that original booking. The offered amount will, accordingly, be multiplied by the number of persons included in the original flight booking. Prior to submitting your credit card details you will see the total amount for the upgrade. Your submission of an Offer constitutes a contractually firm and binding offer which SAA is entitled to either decline or accept.

    4. Persons may only submit one Offer per flight which corresponds to the purchased ticket issued on South African Airways ticket documents 083, and offers must always be made and paid for by using a credit card.

    5. SAA is under no obligation to accept your Offer, and it makes no representation that you or any passenger will be upgraded. The acceptance of any Offer is at the sole discretion of SAA.

    6. SAA Step-Up Upgrade is not eligible for the following bookings: Tickets booked using Voyager miles for Journeyblitz or Saverblitz, and free or rebate tickets.

    7. By submitting an Offer, you agree that your Offer will remain open for acceptance by SAA at any time up to 36 hours prior to the scheduled flight departure time. You may revise or cancel your Offer for as long as your Offer has not already been accepted by SAA. Once your offer is accepted by SAA, you are legally bound to complete payment for the price stated in your final Offer and you shall not entitled to withdraw from your Upgrade, except and to the extent as described in these Terms and Conditions.

    8. In the event that SAA cancels a flight and re-accommodates you on another flight, any Offer
    you made in relation to the original booking may be transferred to the new flight(s) subject
    always to availability of seats in Business Class and at the sole discretion of SAA. If, for any
    reason, there are not enough seats available in the higher class of service to fulfil your
    Upgrade (only where your original Offer has been accepted), any amounts paid by you for
    the Upgrade will be refunded to the credit card that was used to pay for the Upgrade.

    9. There will be no refunds, credits, or exchanges once your Offer has been accepted by SAA,
    except under the following conditions:
    • The flight for which your Offer was accepted and on which you were upgraded is cancelled.
    • The flight for which your Offer was accepted and in respect of which you were upgraded is
    cancelled, and SAA re-accommodates you on another flight but in the class of service of your
    original booking.
    • Your Offer was accepted and you were given an Upgrade, but you were not able to be
    seated in the upgraded class of service for reasons attributable to SAA, including, but not
    limited to, a change in equipment, a delay in the connecting flight that resulted in your
    missing the connection on which you were upgraded, but excluding reasons attributable to
    your own actions.
    For the avoidance of any doubt, if the refund is approved, the amount paid for the Upgrade
    will be refunded to the payment card that was used to pay for the Upgrade.

    10. Should refunds be approved, they will be processed in the currency in which the Upgrade
    amount was charged. Such refunds will be limited to the amount charged by SAA for the
    upgrade and no bank related charges will be refunded by SAA.

    11. The fare conditions for the original ticket you purchased shall remain in effect and will be
    applicable even if your Offer has been accepted and you have been upgraded, including, but
    not limited to, cancellation policies, change fees, and rules relating to the accrual of frequent
    flyer miles.

    12. SAA does not guarantee specific seat assignments to passengers whose Offers are accepted
    and who are upgraded.

    13. The amount of Baggage you may carry with you is determined separately and individually for
    each Flight Segment in accordance with the conditions and limitations applicable to the
    corresponding Flight Segment.

    14. The fare conditions for the original ticket you purchased shall remain in effect and will be
    applicable even if your Offer has been accepted and you have been upgraded, including, but
    not limited to, cancellation policies, change fees and penalties. Mileage accrual will be
    awarded to SAA Voyager Members based on the amount spent for the original ticket and the
    upgrade. Additional baggage is given only on the single specific sectors in respect of which
    the upgrade is awarded, for more information on baggage allowances please click here.

    15. In the event that your Offer is accepted and your credit card is charged the Offer amount but
    the Upgrade is not provided, you shall be entitled to apply for a refund. Your request must
    include the original boarding pass for the flight in question. If you are not able to provide the original boarding pass for the flight in dispute, SAA is under no obligation to refund you for the amount you paid for the Upgrade.

    16. If you cancel or miss your flight in respect to which the Upgrade applies through no fault of SAA, no refund of the Upgrade fee shall be issued by SAA.

    17. If you are travelling with an infant, the cost of the upgrade would be 10% of the bid price and would be chargeable separately at the departure airport subject to the travelling adult's Step-Up Cabin Upgrade bid being successful.  

    18. SAA reserves the right to modify and otherwise change these Terms and Conditions at its own discretion. Except as provided for in the preceding sentence, no amendment, modification or waiver to these Terms and Conditions shall be binding on SAA unless made in writing and signed by an authorized officer of SAA. By submitting an Offer, you accept all of the terms and conditions of the SAA Step-Up Upgrade.

    19. These terms and conditions should be read in conjunction with the SAA Conditions of Carriage which are available on flysaa.com.

  • What is the StepUp Upgrade Service?

    SAA offers its passengers the opportunity to upgrade from Economy Class to Business Class by submitting a bid to SAA.  SAA will evaluate all bids for that specific flight and inform you within 24 - 3 hours prior to departure whether your offer has been approved or not approved.

    Who can make an offer?

    • Passengers that hold a valid economy class ticket issued by SAA with a ticket number starting with 083 for a scheduled flight operated by SAA.
    • You may submit your StepUp Upgrade offer up to 4 hours prior to departure.

    Passengers not eligible for a StepUp Upgrade?

    • Flight bookings which are not yet confirmed
    • Free or Rebate Tickets
    • SAA Voyager Journeyblitz or Saverblitz tickets

    Which destinations is the StepUp Upgrade applicable for?

    The Step Up programme is available on all SAA operated flights with ticket numbers starting with 083.

    Can I use the StepUp Upgrade on SAA flights operated by its partner airlines?

    The SAA StepUp Upgrade is available for SAA operated flights only, where the ticket issued by SAA starts with 083

    How does the StepUp Upgrade Work?

    1. Book your flight on flysaa.com or your travel agent.
    2. You might receive an invitation email from SAA telling you about the service with a link to submit your offer.  If you go to manage reservation, there will be a link to check whether your flight is eligible and to submit your offer or on the Step Up page, you can check your eligibility by clicking here.
    3. Enter your offer
    4. Enter your credit card details for general verification, review and confirm your offer
    5. You will receive an email which will contain your offer details for each leg of your flight.
    6. You may use this confirmation email as a link to cancel or change your offer up to 4 hours prior to departure.
    7. From 24 hours prior to departure all offers submitted are reviewed and the available seats in business class will be assigned.  If your offer has been accepted, you receive an email confirmation of your upgrade within 24 - 3 hours prior to departure.  If your offer is not accepted to you receive and email informing you on thus.
    8. You may proceed to check-in online for your Business Class seat.

    If you booked your flight through a travel agency and the email in the booking is that of the travel agents, the travel agent may submit a bid on your behalf or they may forward the email to you and you may bid for yourself.  Alternatively you may check your eligibility and place your bid by clicking here.

    What will happen if I make an offer and it is successful?

    You will receive an email 24 – 3 hours prior to departure informing you that your offer was successful.  Your credit card will be charged by the amount you offered and a new ticket will be emailed to you.

    What will happen if I make an offer and it is not successful?

    You will receive an email 24 - 3 hours prior to departure informing you that your offer was unsuccessful.  Your credit card will not be charged and your original travel ticket remains the same.

    Does the SAA StepUp apply on a Roundtrip?

    All flight legs/segment where the SAA StepUp Upgrade is available will be listed and you will have the opportunity to make your offer on any or all the legs you choose.  You have to make your offer per leg in your itinerary; some legs in your itinerary might not be eligible.

    Will there be additional taxes charged to the upgrade offer?

    No, the offer amount includes all taxes.  If there is a special type of tax in a specific country this will be shown to you throughout the offer process and will be charged as an additional amount to the offer.

    What happens if I have to cancel or change my flight after I’ve submitted an offer?

    You may cancel or change your offer any time prior to departure as long as SAA has not accepted your bid.  If SAA has accepted your offer, you may contact us and we will evaluate if we can move the StepUp Upgrade to your new flight date.

    What happens if I have to change or cancel my trip after SAA accepts my offer?

    After your offer has been accepted by SAA, the upgrade amount is no longer refundable.

    What happens if I cancel my offer by mistake?

    You have up to 4 hours prior departure to correct your offer, re-offer or cancel the offer.

    How does it work when traveling as a couple or family?

    SAA StepUp Upgrade considers all passengers within the booking. 

    Note: The upgrade cost for a travelling infant would be 10% of the accepted bid price and would be charged separately at the airport at the time of departure. 

    Travelling with a colleague who does not want to use the StepUp Upgrade?

    Please contact SAA’s contact centre and ask for the booking to be split, you will receive a new booking reference, once that is done you may submit your individual offer by clicking here.

    Can Voyager members redeem their miles for SAA StepUp Upgrade?

    No, Voyager members can redeem their miles for upgrade in the same way they currently doing.

    Will I earn Voyager miles for the SAA StepUp Upgrade?

    Yes, you will earn SAA voyager miles for the upgrade.  You will earn the base miles as per your original ticket plus additional miles for the cabin upgrade bid spent.

    Will the SAA StepUp Upgrade change the conditions of your ticket?

    No, the same fare rules apply as the original fare purchased including change fees and cancellations penalties.

    Can I choose any amount I want to bid?

    Yes.   The system has a strength indicator which is a guide to show you the strength of your bid; this does not guarantee the bids success.  The minimum and maximum bid amount set, is a guide on a fair value of the upgrade.

    Can I offer different amounts for each of my legs of the upgrade?

    Yes, you can offer different amounts for each eligible leg.

    If I have an existing offer and want to use a different credit card, how can I change my card information?

    You need to cancel your current offer first.  You will be able to submit a new bid using your preferred credit card only after the cancellation of your first offer.

    Will I be refunded the amount I bid if the flight I was upgraded on has been cancelled?

    If SAA cancels your flight, SAA will try to accommodate you on the next flight in an upgraded cabin.  If SAA is unable to honour the upgrade, then your bid amount will be refunded back to you.

    What are the benefits of an Upgrade from Economy Class to Business Class?

    • You are entitled to priority check-in and boarding at the airport.
    • You have access to SAA’s lounges.
    • On-board, enjoy SAA’s 180 degree lie flat beds (on certain destinations), cuisine by award winning South African Chefs and a selection of award winning South African wines.
    • On the segment of your flight you have been upgraded to, you are entitled to the business class baggage allowance.  Click here, to see your baggage allowance for your destination.

    When one segment of my trip is upgraded, what is my baggage allowance?

    Additional baggage allowance applies only on the segment that has been upgraded.  All other segments normal economy class baggage rules apply.

    If you have any concerns or need clarification, please email: Ticketingsaa@flysaa.com

What to Consider when Making Your Offer

The success of your offer depends on a combination of factors

  • The amount offered for the upgrade
  • Other competing offers
  • The original Economy Class fare you purchased
  • Your SAA Voyager status
  • The number of seats available for upgrade

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