South African Airways Bagage et bagage à main

What is South African Airways policy with regard to hand baggage?

On SAA flights, the amount of hand baggage you may carry depends on your service class. If your hand baggage does not comply with SAA’s size restrictions, you may be denied entry into the departure area or sent back to check-in.

What is South African Airways policy with regard to checked baggage?

The Piece Concept applies on all flights operated by South African Airways (does not apply for SA Express and Airlink flights). Passengers may check some baggage, free of charge, subject to SAA’s conditions and limitations. South African Airways will not accept more than 32 kg (70 lbs) and 203 cm (80 inches) per piece of checked baggage. If exceeding the maximum weight or size, the piece of baggage must be repacked or shipped as Cargo.

For journeys partly on Business Class and partly on Economy Class service, the free baggage allowance on each portion of travel shall be that applicable to the class of service for which the fare is paid.

Any stopover during a journey may result in different baggage allowances for the flights either side of the stopover. Same day connections are not considered stopovers, and such an uniform baggage allowance will apply across all flights.

Hand Baggage

The following hand luggage allowances are offered to SAA’s passengers depending on the service class:

  • Economy Class – 1 piece not exceeding 8 kg (18 lbs).
  • Business Class – 2 piece not exceeding 8 kg (18 lbs) each.

All hand baggage must be of a size that fits under the seat in front or in one of the overhead lockers. For this reason, South African Airways specify that the maximum dimensions per piece are 56 cm length, 36 cm width, and 23 cm height, for all service classes.

SAA also allows passengers 1 small personal item (e.g., purse, small laptop case). Larger laptop bags and standard/bulkier briefcases will not be considered a personal item and will count as a normal piece of hand baggage.

Checked Baggage

On SAA flights, the amount of baggage (the number of pieces and their weight) you may check for free depends on your service class and route:

Free Baggage Allowance
SAA-operated flights Economy Class Business Class
Domestic (within South Africa) – General Baggage Allowance 1 piece up to
23 kg (50 lbs)
1 piece up to
32 kg (70 lbs)
International – General Baggage Allowance 1 piece up to
23 kg (50 lbs)
1 piece up to
32 kg (70 lbs) each
Within Africa only 2 pieces up to
23 kg (50 lbs) each
2 pieces up to
32 kg (70 lbs) each
Worldwide to the US, Canada
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique,
Zambia, Zimbabwe ↔ Europe, the UK
From the UK to Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Africa ↔ Hong Kong and Asia, Japan via Hong Kong
Africa ↔ Australia
South America (except Brazil) ↔ Africa, Asia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand
Australia ↔ Middle East 2 pieces up to
32 kg (70 lbs) each
2 pieces up to
32 kg (70 lbs) each
Brazil ↔ Africa, Asia, Japan, Australia, Europe, the US
All service classes – maximum dimensions of 158 cm (62 inches) per piece.

Excess Baggage

South African Airways allows passengers to check a maximum of 3 pieces of excess baggage, above their free baggage allowance, with the following exceptions: maximum 10 pieces in total from Sao Paulo, maximum 50 pieces in total between Johannesburg and Accra, Lagos. Any other additional pieces will need to be sent via Cargo.

Under the Piece Concept, South African Airways will charge an excess baggage fee for:

  • Each additional piece of baggage (over and above the passenger’s baggage allowance).
  • Each overweight piece of baggage (up to a maximum of 32 kg).
  • Each oversized piece of baggage (up to maximum 203 cm / 80 inches).

The excess baggage fee will apply for each restriction broken, per piece, and this means that if a piece of baggage is both overweight and oversize, two excess baggage fees will apply.

Excess Baggage Fees
SAA Destinations Fee per Piece
Economy Business
Within South Africa (domestic destinations) ZAR 292.55 ZAR 393.42
Between South Africa and Africa via Johannesburg USD 20-70 USD 40-90
Within Africa ↔ via Johannesburg USD 45-60 USD 75-90
New York, Washington ↔ Africa via Johannesburg USD 200 USD 200
Australia ↔ South Africa via Johannesburg AUD 200 AUD 200
New York, Washington ↔ Australia via Johannesburg USD/AUD 300 USD/AUD 300
Brazil ↔ Africa via Johannesburg USD 120-140 USD 120-140
Europe ↔ South Africa via Johannesburg EUR 150 / GBP 50 EUR 150 / GBP 90
Europe ↔ Africa via Johannesburg EUR 180 / GBP 60 EUR 180 / GBP 90
Hong Kong ↔ South Africa & Africa via Johannesburg HKD 1650 HKD 2120
South Africa ↔ Middle East USD 190 USD 190
Africa ↔ Middle East USD 230 USD 230

Sporting Equipment

Special regulations are applicable on flights operated by South African Airways only (SA 1000, 2000, 8000 series excluded). The following sporting equipment as 1 additional piece weighing no more than 23 kg and with maximum dimensions of 200 cm (unless specified) is free of charge only upon request with an SSR SPEQ in the booking:

Angling Cricket Hockey (field/ice) Protective riding gear
and helmet (motorsports)
kite surfing,
Archery Cycling Horse riding Rock climbing
Athletic (track and field) Diving (scuba equipment) Lacrosse Rugby Swimming
Baseball, softball Fencing Netball Sailing Tennis, squash
Basketball Football (soccer) Parachute Shooting, hunting Ten pin bowling
Bowls Golf Polo Cross Ski & water ski Volleyball

Canoes, kayaks, windsurfing boards and hang gliders, as well as sporting equipment bigger than 200 cm will only be accepted as cargo. Sporting equipment not specified above must be included in free baggage allowance and will be subject to normal excess baggage fees if exceeding the free baggage allowance.

Baggage Services

You must report any incident regarding baggage (lost or damaged) immediately, or within 7 days, at the South African Airways Lost Property office. South African Airways will initiate the tracking of your lost baggage via WorldTracer and will keep you informed of the status of your baggage.

More information here >>