South African Airways A320 Business Class

FeaturesSouth African Airways A320 Business Class Highlights
Seat ComfortComfortable Business Class seats in a 2-2 layout.
Food and Beverage Even without mouldy cheese, the food was quite unappetising.
Cabin Crew Service Flight attendants could be friendlier.
The GET.com Verdict SAA is the best option for this CPT-JNB route.

Background info: In January 2017, Grace and I, together with our two toddlers Ramses and Ranefer, went on a round-the-world (RTW) trip to five continents for 6 months, using 4 free Business Class air tickets, worth US$54,000, which were redeemed using our one million air miles (which we earned through our air miles credit cards) on Star Alliance, a network consisting of many airlines including Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, Avianca and many more.

Cape Town International Airport is the third largest airport in Africa, and we had the chance to go through it again when we boarded a South African Airways flight on January 21, 2017, flying from Cape Town to Johannesburg on flight SA 326. This was the third segment of our Business Class round-the-world air tickets which we got for free through travel hacking.

South African Airways A320 Business Class Review

We arrived at Cape Town International Airport early to do our check-in. After check-in, we found our way to the South African Airways Business Lounge where we had some light snacks. In our South African Airways Business Lounge review, you can read more about our experience there.

Our South African Airways flight from Cape Town was scheduled to depart at 11:15 and arrive in Johannesburg at 13:10. As with the previous South African Airways A340 Business Class (JNB-CPT) flight, boarding was prompt and on time. Traveling with toddlers in tow, we never fail to appreciate the priority boarding benefit given to families with kids and Business Class passengers.


South African Airways A320 Business Class Seat Comfort

The SAA A320 Business Class cabin consists of 24 seats in a 2-2 layout, which makes each seat roomy enough in this narrow body aircraft. The Economy Class consists of 114 seats. Size-wise, Business Class seats have a seat pitch of 39" and seat width of 20", whereas Economy Class seats have a seat pitch of 31" and seat width of 18".

As it wasn't a very big plane, the legroom was sufficient, not super spacious. The caramel-colored seats were comfortable, with no obvious signs of wear or tear. We were seated in 2A, 2C, 2D and 2F. There was an off-duty pilot sitting in front of us and another pilot sitting behind us.

South African Airways A320 Business Class airbridge

South African Airways A320 Business Class - Ramses putting on his seat belt.

South African Airways A320 Business Class seats are configured in a 2-2 layout.

South African Airways A320 Business Class - A TV screen shows the South African Airways flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg.

SAA Business Class seats don't have individual inflight entertainment systems. It being a short domestic flight, I didn't mind not having a TV screen to myself.


South African Airways Business Class cabin has a wall-mounted TV screen.


South African Airways Business Class seat.

The South African Airways Business Class seat has quite limited storage space, although there's space to hold a tablet or a laptop.

South African Airways Business Class seats make it easier for a parent to attend to a young child.

South African Airways Business Class seats come with adjustable headrests with flexible ears. Stowage space in front of the seat was big enough to hold a backpack. There is also a leg rest and a coat hook. If you are seated in Economy, there are no leg rests.

South African Airways A320 Business Class seat has a USB and laptop charging point - handy for those who need to work on the go.


South African Airways A320 Business Class - Looking at the front page of the local newspaper.

South African Airways A320 Business Class - Grace sat with Ramses on this flight.


South African Airways A320 Business Class Cabin Crew Service


South African Airways A320 Business Class flight attendant

The inflight service wasn't too good on this flight nor on the previous SAA flight. Flight attendants had nary a smile, and didn't pay much attention to passengers. The only exception was the FA pictured above, who smiled and had a pleasant disposition.


South African Airways A320 Business Class Food and Beverage

South African Airways A320 Business Class food

Even though this is a domestic flight, I found the food served onboard to be too basic and quite unappetising.

South African Airways A320 Business Class served a mouldy cheese slice

South African Airways served me a plate of mouldy cheese. Hmmm. That was the first time I had encountered mouldy food onboard. I called a flight attendant over to complain about the cheese but he didn't seem to care; he merely offered to exchange this for another plate of cheese.


South African Airways A320 Business Class: The GET.com Verdict

Currently, only three airlines service the CPT-JNB route: SAA, British Airways (but operated by Kulula, a budget airline) and Safair (another budget airline). I'd go with SAA anytime given the choice.

Business Class seats on the SAA A320 were in good condition - no obvious signs of wear and tear. Whether you are a business traveler or someone traveling with kids, you'll appreciate the comfortable leather seats.

While the spacious 2-2 layout ensures a comfortable flight for Business Class passengers, the food served onboard left a lot to be desired. The food variety was really basic, and yes, serving mouldy food meant that food quality checks fell through somehow. Inflight service was mediocre, with the exception of one flight attendant. Comparing this to our South African Airways A340 Business Class flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town, we definitely preferred being on the bigger A340 plane.

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