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Check-in Available 24 hours before your flight departure time
Check-in Options
SAA Check-in

*Mandatory fields

Identification number information

You can use one of the following items to identify your booking:

  • Booking reference
  • Electronic Ticket Number
  • South African Frequent Flyer Number
Booking reference number information

The Booking Reference is a six letters -and-figures code you can find in the booking confirmation email or printed on the ticket.

Example: 3OTCHJ

Check-in Information

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.

Do note that our self-service check-in facilities (online, mobile and kiosk) is not available for travel from Johannesburg to Sao Paulo. If you are departing from Dar es Salaam, please proceed to the check in counters for boarding pass issuance as the printing of online or mobile boarding passes are not available.

Passengers travelling on Mango operated flights are advised to check in at the Mango check-in counters.

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, or by using our mobi site at

    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.

    Click here to check-in online


    Online check-in is possible from the following airports:


    Domestic                                                                      International

    Bloemfontein   Accra
    Cape Town   Antananarivo
    Durban   Abidjan
    East London   Beira
    George   Blantyre
    Hoedspruit   Dar es Salaam
    Johannesburg   Dakar
    Kimberley   Entebbe
    Mthatha   Frankfurt
    Nelspruit   Gaborone
    Phalaborwa   Harare
    Pietermaritzburg   Hong Kong
    Polokwane   Kinshasa
    Port Elizabeth   Kigali
    Richards Bay   Lagos
    Upington   London
        New York
        Victoria Falls
        Walvis Bay
        Washington D.C.


  • 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 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
    Durban Dakar
    East London Frankfurt
    Johannesburg Harare
    Port Elizabeth Hong Kong
    - Kinshasa
    - Livingstone
    - London
    - Maputo
    - Munich
    - Nairobi
    - Sao Paulo
    - Victoria Falls
  • 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.

    Check-in times:

    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
    Flights from Johannesburg to the USA 3 hours prior to departure

    Boarding times: 

    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,Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, and East London. 40 minutes prior to departure

    International flights departing from Johannesburg and most international and regional airports.

    50 minutes prior to departure
    Flights departing from Johannesburg to Lagos, Luanda, Sao Paulo and Kinshasa 60 minutes prior to departure for all classes of travel

    Flights departing from New York and Washington

    60 minutes prior to departure for all classes of travel

    Flights departing from Lagos

    2 hours prior to departure
    Flights departing from Luanda 90 minutes prior to departure
    Flights departing from Lilongwe 60 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

    International flights


    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.

    International Check-in

    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.

    Flights to the USA

    Travellers are required to check-in at least 3 hours before flight departure. Travellers must please note that additional US TSA (Transport Security Administration) Controls are applied upon boarding, in addition to Airport Security processes.   

  • Who you sit next to on a flight is often the luck of the draw. Now if you want to improve your chances of having a compatible companion during your flight, try SAA’s, Social check-in. The Social Seat Selector uses your Facebook details and helps you select who you want to sit next to on your journey.

    How does Social Check-in work? Easy!

    • Check-in online on or our mobi site
    • Share your Facebook details while you’re checking-in
    • Select only those profile details that you wish to share with other travellers and add your travel details

    Next, a seat map will show you:

    • Other travellers’ profile details
    • The seats they have chosen
    • Available seats – you can now select a seat next to someone with the same interests or going to the same event.

    Social check-in is available for both domestic and international flights. You can check-in 24 hours before your flight, with a cut-off time of 90 minutes for domestic flights and two hours for international flights. After that, you will not be able to view other travellers’ profiles or change your seat.

    Profile and Privacy

    It’s up to you how much information you chose to share about yourself. Or you can ignore the option completley and rely on luck again! SAA will not use your profile details for any purpose other than social check-in, and will not share your details with any third parties.

    Read the full Terms and Conditions for social check-in.

  • 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
    Durban Frankfurt
    Johannesburg Hong Kong
    Port Elizabeth Johannesburg
    East London London
    - Lusaka
    - Mauritius
    - Nairobi
    - Sao Paulo
  • 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 all that for you.

    This is a brilliantly convenient and exclusive service to say thank you to our SAA Voyager Lifetime Platinum, Platinum and Platinum Elect members.

    All you have to do is pack and wait for our chauffeur-driven car to collect you at your home or office. No more bothering with taxis, trains or lugging suitcases through the airport. You’ll be dropped off in good time right outside our private Kerbside check-in and a concierge will carry your bags in for you. You can sit and have a tea, coffee or a drink of water while our dedicated staff handles the check-in formalities for you, tags your baggage and sends it on for loading.

    This quick and convenient service will leave you free to go straight up to our Business Class lounge within minutes.

    It’s a great way to look after your family and friends too. 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.

    Investec Enigma clients can also use our kerbside check-in facility at OR Tambo International Airport. Each Investec Enigma client may bring one guest and one child with them to use this service, if they are travelling on the same itinerary and checking-in at the same time.

  • 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.