Our friendly airport staff are always happy to help you check-in for your flight, issue your boarding pass and check-in your baggage. But why wait in a queue? Checking-in online is fast and efficient and gives you more time to do the things you want to do – whether that’s browse through duty-free or just arrive at the airport a little later.
You can also use the self-service kiosks in the check-in area, allowing you to bypass the check-in counters and take any baggage straight to the drop-off counter. Tap, tap, tap, and you’re good to go.
We walk you through the online check-in process below.
On some services we have arrangements with other carriers known as Codeshare Carriers. This means that even if you have a reservation with us and hold a ticket where our name or airline designator code (SA) is indicated as the carrier, another carrier may operate the aircraft. In such cases the operating carrier’s regulations and baggage rules will apply. If you did not make use of self-service methods please proceed to the operating carriers check in desks to obtain a boarding pass and check your baggage.
Checking-in online is so quick and easy that it will soon become an essential part of your flying routine. It’s so empoweringly addictive that you may never join a check-in queue again. And once you’re holding your self-printed boarding pass, you’ll feel like your journey has already begun.
You can check-in on your computer, tablet or smartphone via flysaa.com or the South African Airways APP.
Flights open for online check-in 24 hours before departure time. If you haven’t already selected a seat, or you want to change the one you have, it’s smart to log in as soon as possible to request your chosen seat where applicable. If you’re travelling in a group you can check-in everyone at once, then print out the boarding passes or have them emailed to you.
Online check-in stays open up to 90 minutes before domestic departures and up to two hours before international flights.
If you don’t have a printer to print your boarding pass, you can print it at the self-service check-in kiosks at the airport or collect it from an SAA check-in counter.
What’s in it for you?
- No more queuing at the check-in counter
- Extra time to spend shopping, eating or just arriving at the airport later
- Pick your own seat, where applicable
- Add your frequent flyer number for more of those lovely Voyager Miles
- Print your own boarding pass or get the boarding pass sent to your phone as a mobile boarding pass
- Go straight to the bag drop-off counter, or straight to the boarding gate if you have hand luggage only.
Online check-in is possible from the following airports:
Joha Accra Cape Town Harare Durban Kinshasa Lusaka Maputo Blantyre Lilongwe Victoria Falls Windhoek Mauritius Abidjan Sao Paulo
*Important: Although online check-in is permitted for flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town to São Paulo, home printed boarding passes and addition of boarding passes to wallet is not permitted. Please complete check-in and proceed to the airport check-in counter for bag drop and boarding pass.
If you’re already on the move, you can still check-in online without being anywhere near a computer. SAA’s mobile check-in has all the benefits of ordinary online check-in, with the added convenience of using your mobile phone.
Mobile check-in opens 24-hours before your departure time and closes just 60
minutes before domestic departure and 90 minutes before international and regional departure. Using your mobile phone, go to www.flysaa.com and:
- Enter your e-ticket number or booking reference at the check-in screen
- Email or save your online boarding pass to your phone
- At the airport, show your online boarding pass to security at the departure gates for scanning.
Mobile Check-in is possible from the following airports:
Mobile Check In
Domestic International Cape Town Accra Johannesburg Kinshasa Harare Maputo - -
Flight Check-in and Gate Closure Times
Here are the flight and boarding gate closure times. Unfortunately, travellers who fail to present themselves at the boarding gate before the stipulated time for closure will be denied travel without compensation. Boarding times may vary across our network. Please check your boarding pass carefully.
Please make sure you check-in before these times:
Flights Recommended check-in Times Flights within South Africa 90 minutes prior to departure International flights 2.5 hours prior to departure
Boarding for all flights begins at least 45 minutes before the scheduled time of departure. Travellers need to please allow enough time to pass through Immigration and Security. High traffic at peak times may be experienced so please allow more than 1 hour before departure time.
Flight Closure Times:
Flights Flight Closure Times Domestic Flights within South Africa, departing from Johannesburg and Cape Town 40 minutes prior to departure
International and Regional flights departing from Johannesburg and most international and regional airports.
Exception: Flights departing from OR Tambo International Airport to Accra (ACC), Kinshasa (FIH) and Lagos (LOS); Check-in closes 1 hour prior to scheduled flight departure time
Flights departing from Accra (ACC), Blantyre (BLZ), Lilongwe (LLW) and Lagos (LOS), check-in closes 60 minutes prior to departure.
Flights departing from Johannesburg (JNB) to Lagos (LOS) – boarding opens 90 minutes prior to departure.
50 minutes prior to departure
*Note that flight closure times may vary. Please check your e-ticket receipt for the last check-in time.
Gate Closure Times:
Flights Gate closure times Flights within South Africa 15 minutes prior to departure
20 minutes prior to departure
*Note that gate closure times may vary. Please check your boarding pass carefully.
Check-in Travel Information Required
At check-in it is required that all travellers provide proof of identification in order to receive their boarding pass. Travellers may use their valid RSA Identity Document or Passport (International travel) as proof of identification. The same documentation must be present at the boarding gate.
Prior to check-in and boarding, profiling of passengers for immigration purposes may be required to protect the airline against immigration penalties. The process may require you to provide evidence of confirmed accommodation, health documents (if applicable), sufficient funds and valid return or onward air tickets.
It’s a pleasure to use the Self-Service check-in kiosks in the departure area, especially at peak travel times where there may be a long queue for check-in. What’s not to like about getting your boarding pass in a few minutes instead of joining the queue.
The user-friendly touchscreen devices have clear instructions and allow you to select your seat and print your boarding pass instantly. There’s usually a helpful assistant near the machine to assist you with the process. Self-Service check-in machines can be used by all customers with confirmed tickets on South African Airways.
Once you have your boarding pass, you can go to the bag drop counter with your baggage or, if you’re travelling light with hand luggage only, head straight over to the security gate for boarding.
Touchscreen kiosks are available at the following airports:
Self-Service Check In
Domestic International Cape Town Accra Johannesburg Johannesburg Lusaka
Printing out your own boarding pass is great, but what about your baggage? That’s easy too. Just head for the bag drop counters that are specifically designed for customers who already have a boarding pass. If a bag drop counter is unavailable, a normal check-in counter can be used.
Our elite travellers don’t need to worry about printing out boarding passes and dropping off baggage, because our VIP Kerbside check-in service takes care of it all. Enjoy a cup of tea, coffee or water while our dedicated staff handles the check-in formalities for you.
This quick and convenient service will leave you free to go straight up to our Platinum Lounge within seconds.
Platinum and Platinum Elect Members can bring two guests with them, while Lifetime Platinum Members are entitled to have three guests using this facility with them, if they are travelling on the same itinerary and checking-in at the same time. Kerbside check-in is subject to flying SAA operated flights only.
Business Class passenger with flights to SAA Regional destinations can now make use of Kerbside check-in at OR Tambo International Airport.
Monday 07:00 – 10:00
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday 07:00 – 16:00
Wednesday, Friday, Sunday 07:00 - 19:00
Flight-boarding calls and name calls for passengers outstanding at the boarding gates is no longer permitted. We encourage all customers to check their boarding passes and /or the flight information display boards for all flight updates and to exercise vigilance and responsibility in ensuring arrival at the boarding gates is as per the prescribed times.