Flight Review: South African Airways – Hong Kong to Johannesburg

Flight: South African Airways SA 287
From: Hong Kong (HKG) To: Johannesburg (JNB)

South African Airways - Hong Kong to Johannesburg

I flew with South African Airways from Hong Kong to Johannesburg O. R. Tambo International Airport, booking via airfare search site Vayama.

This flight was the second of three flights I took to get from Bangkok to Windhoek in Namibia, and the flight was provided by the Namibian Tourism Board. There are two flights a day from HKG to JNB, one with South African, and the other with Cathay Pacific. Both flight leave 10 minutes apart. I would have selected Cathay for Oneworld points, but they were showing flights over $1000 USD more than SAA.

This was my first flight with SAA (and first time travelling to Jo’burg for that matter). The flight time is just over 13 hours and it is overnight, departing at 11:55 pm and arriving at 7:35 am the next day. Overnight long hauls are my least favourite because I can’t sleep on planes, so I resign myself to not sleeping and watch as many movies as my eyeballs can handle.

The aircraft was an A340 which is a 4-engine aircraft that stopped production in 2011. Economy seating is arranged in 2-4-2 format. I checked in early at Bangkok so I could get an aisle seat near the window.

South African Airways amenities kit

South African Airways inflight magazine March 2015

Not long after take off dinner is served. I got the beef and rice.

South African Airways dinner

Once dinner is out the way it is time to watch movies. Having not been to the movies for months or flown long haul for months either, I had not seen any of the new releases. I was looking at the movie lengths and was pleased to see that Insterstellar would consume almost 3 hours of the 13 hour flight.

South African Airways inflight entertainment

Are we there yet?

HKG to JNB

Ahh breakfast. The second meal is always welcome on a long haul flight as I am always hungry by this point, and it usually indicates that there is only 2 hours to go. I got the western breakfast of eggs, sausage and hash brown.

South African Airways breakfast

The flight arrived at O. R. Tambo International Airport in time, giving me enough time to connect to my next flight to Windhoek.


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