Special Assistance

Blind passengers (BLND)

  • It is not necessary to request a MAAS (Meet and Assist) for partially blind passengers as the special request (SR) will alert airport staff in South Africa. Has to be requested with Amadeus code: SR BLND

  • Seeing eye dogs are allowed in the cabin: they will be seated at the bulkhead to give the dog room to lie down.

Meet and Assist (MAAS)

South African Airways can provide this facility in three circumstances:

  1. Young passenger travelling alone, between the ages of 12 and 16.

  2. Elderly passenger travelling alone.

  3. Parent travelling alone with children.

Please remember when booking special assistance such as a MAAS, that SAA staff are not permitted to carry customers' personal possessions or children. This is a health and safety regulation.

Restricted Mobility

SAA and its contracted partners provides assistance for passengers with restricted mobility:

  • BLND
  • DEAF
  • DPNA Disabled passenger with intellectual or developmental disability needing assistance
  • WCHR
  • WCHS
  • WCHC
  • WCBD Wheelchair, dry cell battery
  • WCMP Wheelchair, manual power
  • WCOB Wheelchair, on board

When a passenger requests assistance for one of the above services, please contact the SAA Service Center to be of assist. Depending on the requirements of the passenger, a medical form (MEDIF) has to be completed. 

IMPORTANT: South African Airways do not accept the carriage of wet cell batteries.

Strollers / Pushchairs / Buggies

Infants travelling when not occupying a seat, shall only be permitted one piece of checked baggage at a maximum weight of 23 kg. The accompanying adult will be allowed one collapsible pram or collapsible buggy or car seat for the infant.

At Frankfurt and Munich airport, providing the stroller weighs less than 5 kg the passenger can use the stroller as far as the boarding gate, it will be tagged at check-in and then taken off them at the boarding gate to be put into the hold. Any stroller over 5 kg will have to be checked in with the suitcases. There will be no charge for the stroller.

Unaccompanied Minors

An Unaccompanied Minor is a child between the ages of 5 and 11 years (inclusive) not accompanied by a person of 16 years of age or older. Children who are at least 12 years old but under 16 are regarded as young passengers, (YP's) and can be assisted as an MAAS. However, should the parent or guardian request they be booked as an Unaccompanied Minor, we will do that.

Any child under the age of 5 years must be accompanied.

  • Full contact details of both parent or guardian taking and collecting the child to/from the airport must be provided, including telephone number, physical address and relationship to the child.
  • Photo ID will be asked for before handing the UM over to the person collecting the child from the airport.
  • The parent or guardian must not leave the airport until the flight has taken off. This is to cover the eventuality of a delayed flight. For security and insurance purposes it is safer to have a family member stay overnight with the child, rather than a staff member.
  • Language is important as South Africa has 11 official languages. If the child only speaks a local dialect, we have to make sure there is a crew member on board who speaks the same language.
  • Advance reservations must at all times be made for unaccompanied minors as South African Airways limit the number of unaccompanied minors per flight to ensure the best possible treatment for each child.
  • When travelling on international services, unaccompanied minors must be in possession of a valid passport, visa, health documents and any other documents which may be required by the country of destination.
  • The special handling advice form must be completed prior to the minor being checked in.
  • Unaccompanied minors may not be booked on flights arriving at their destinations later than 20:00.
  • Unaccompanied minors must always be escorted to and from airports by the designated parent or guardian (as advised at time of reservation).
  • The children should be supplied with funds to enable them to purchase meals, snacks, cold drinks, etc.
  • Unaccompanied minors will be given a badge at check-in identifying them as such.This badge, together with a document satchel enables SAA personnel to identify unaccompanied minors easily during flights and in crowds. 

UMNR's on other carriers:

When making a booking for a UMNR that involves another carrier (including SA code share flight numbers) please be aware that some airlines make a charge to facilitate the handling of an unaccompanied minor. Always advise the customer to check directly with the carrier concerned as the fee will need to be paid on departure directly to the airline. For a return journey it is advisable for the guardian to pay both fees at the point of origin to safeguard against any problems on the return flight.