Due to international regulations, and to ensure the safety of our travellers, there are a number of restrictions on items with which you can travel.

  • There are a number of items that can pose a risk to the safety of the aircraft and other customers if taken onboard or checked-in baggage. Please read through this list carefully as some of the items may not seem hazardous to you.

    Some items might not be covered below so please read the instructions carefully. If your item is not covered here or you have any questions, please contact us on dgr@flysaa.com.  

    For the safety of our travellers and crew, do not pack the following items in either your hand or checked baggage:

    Asbestos Explosives and incendiary substances and devices Organic peroxides
    Blasting caps Fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices Oxidising materials
    Corrosives Flammable liquids and solids Radioactive materials
    Detonators and fuses Gases Smoke-generating canisters and cartridges
    Disabling devices containing an irritant or incapacitating substance (mace or pepper spray) Infectious substances Toxic substances
    Dry ice Lithium batteries Dynamite, gunpowder and plastic explosives
    Magnetised materials Engines Mines, grenades and other explosive military stores

    Read more  about the carriage of lithium batteries on South African Airways.

    There are items that will not be allowed to be transported as baggage. These items must be sent as cargo. Among the most common items we refuse to allow onboard are:

    • Car and motorcycle parts
    • Plasma screens
    • Televisions
    • Toy guns (to be checked-in at the Firearms Desk)

    There are further restrictions placed on international import and export of:

    • Meat products
    • Vegetable and fruit products
  • The carriage of alcohol-based hand sanitisers in cabin and checked baggage is allowed in reasonable quantities suitable for own consumption. Hand sanitisers should be packed in accordance with LAGs (Liquids, Aerosols, Gels) international security regulations. These should be carried in one (1) reseal-able and  transparent plastic bag no more than 1 Litre in capacity per passenger. This allowance would apply to domestic, regional or international South African Airways operated flights. Should you be booked to travel on one of our codeshare or interline partners, please refer to their website for allowances.

    The total net quantity of all such articles carried by each passenger under the provisions of IATA (International Air Transport Association) must not exceed 2 kg (kilograms) or 2L (litres) and the net quantity of each single article must not exceed 0.5 kg (kilograms) or 0.5L (litres). Release valves on aerosols must be protected by a cap or other suitable means to prevent inadvertent release of the contents.

  • Customers must take note of the attached guidelines when travelling with portable electronic devices.

  • Carbon dioxide, solid (dry ice) in quantities not exceeding 2,5 kg (5 lb) per person when used to pack perishables not subject to the Dangerous Goods Regulations, provided the baggage (package) permits the release of carbon dioxide gas. When in checked baggage, each item of checked baggage containing dry ice must be marked:
    Carbon dioxide, solid” or “Dry ice”; and With the net weight of dry ice or an indication that the net weight is 2,5 kg or less.

  • Restrictions on Powders on USA Bound Flights From Johannesburg, Accra And Dakar

    Effective as from 30 June 2018, passengers are advised that any powder, or powder like substances carried in accessible cabin baggage may not exceed 350ml (approximately the size of a Soda Can). Customer must pack powders or powder like substances exceeding 350ml in checked baggage. 

    Exemptions will apply to Baby Formula and Baby Powder required during flight, however security staff may inspect these items to ensure the contents matches the product description

    Restrictions on Powders on flights departing from Australia (incl. transit passengers)

    Organic powders (e.g. food, powdered baby formula, coffee, sugar) are not restricted, but must be separated from the rest of the carry-on baggage for X-ray screening. 
    Inorganic powders (e.g. salt, sand, talcum powder, make-up) must be in containers of 350ml (volume), 350gm (weight) or less. The total must not exceed 350ml, 350gm per person. 

  • Travellers should remember that international security regulations limit the quantity of liquids, aerosols and gels (LAG’s) that can be transported in your hand baggage.

    Liquid carried in your hand baggage needs to be packaged in the following manner:

    • All liquids, gels and aerosols, pastes, lotions, creams, drinks and other items of similar consistency must be in containers with a capacity no greater than 100ml. Those carried in containers larger than 100ml will not be accepted, even if the container is only partially filled.
    • They must be packed in a 20x20cm transparent, re-sealable plastic bag.
    • Only 1 bag is allowed per traveller, and it must be shown at airport security.
    • Exemptions will be made for medications, baby products, and special dietary requirements. Duty free purchases such as cigarettes, liquor and perfume are also permitted in reasonable quantities.

    Please note: LAGs only apply to international flights.

  • The use of electronic cigarettes is prohibited on all SAA flights. However, they are permitted for carriage in your hand and checked baggage. In the event that baggage is placed in the hold, please remove the lithium ion batteries from the device.


  • To ensure your safety on board our flights, South African Airways has prohibited the carriage of hover boards in both hand baggage and checked baggage.

  • The carriage of Christmas Crackers and poppers are restricted to allowing a maximum of one (x1) packet of standard sized Christmas Crackers to be packed in checked baggage.  The packet may not exceed twelve (12) crackers.  These crackers must be commercially manufactured, sealed and contained in the manufacturers original packaging. Homemade crackers are strictly forbidden for carriage. 

  • Infant or child Fly-Tot cushions may not be used onboard our flights.


  • In light of the size, number and content of commercial parcels, the Hong Kong Airport Authority has advised that these parcels will be classified as commercial goods and not as passenger baggage and must be handled via Cargo.  These restrictions are being strictly enforced.

    Examples of commercial parcels are nylon, gunny bags, carton boxes and travel bags.



South African Airways reserves the right to change the Baggage Conditions at any time.