Refunds (Ticket Issued in Incorrect Name)

Due to the South African Government Advanced Passenger Processing (APP) service, the passengers name on their ticket must correspond to the name on their passport.

The passengers' full first name and surname as issued on the travel document must be used when the booking is created. If the name is misspelled, a new ticket must be issued and the incorrect ticket should be submitted for a full refund via BSP Link, less an admin fee of GBP50.00 and indicating the new ticket number.

South African Airways cannot accept tickets issued with names incorrectly spelt under any circumstances (even if by one letter only or if a shortened version of a name is used e.g Tim instead of Timothy) and passengers will be denied boarding.

Service Fees

The service fees applicable in the UK are:

  • GBP25.00 to process a refund
  • GBP25.00 to reissue a ticket

The service fees applicable in South Africa are:

  • ZAR285 to process a refund

Ticket reissues due to name incorrectly spelt are not permitted.

Name changes are not permitted, as tickets are non-transferable.

Failure to adhere to the above will result in an ADM being raised for the value of a new ticket.

Change and Cancellation fees

The change and cancellation fees vary depending on the type of ticket purchased as detailed on your fare sheet.

For any further enquiries please contact our sales support team (0208 576 5555, option 2).

Infant Taxes

At South African Airways we do not have a policy on Infant taxes. These will vary based on each country’s departure, airport tax etc requirements and are quoted by the GDS when a booking is priced.


A bassinet can be requested for an infant of up to 6 months of age, maximum length of 75 cms and a maximum weight of 10kgs. For safety reasons SAA will not allow an infant older than 6 months, even if they were born premature and are small for their age, to have a bassinet. SAA do not have safety belts in the sky cots.

Adult travelling with two infants

The rule is one adult one infant.

A single adult passenger may not travel with more than one child under 24 months even if a seat is purchased for one of the children.

Infant safety seats / car seats

Important Note: Although South African Airways and South African Express allow car seats for infants, South African Airlink do not. Therefore, should a passenger pay a child fare for the infant to travel in their own seat on a SA Airlink flight, (flight numbers SA7991-8353, SA8401-8723, SA8727-8987), the infant will not be able to use the car seat on those flights.

  • South African Airways do not provide infant safety seats, or booster seats.

  • If the passenger has purchased a seat for the infant, (i.e. not paid 10% of the fare), they must provide a car seat for the infant to sit in. The seat must conform to European Standard ECE R44. As a guide the following Britax models meet this criteria:


  • Britax Freeway (Fisher Price forward facing seat)
  • Britax Renaissance (including Si models)

  • Above: Britax Eclipse Si (Prague model)

  • The car seat must have a 5 point harness with a single point release, which must secure the infants lap, torso and shoulders. The harness straps must be a minimum of 25mm wide.

  • The infants car seat must be forward facing with fittings at the rear to feed the aircraft lap strap through in order to secure it into the aircraft seat.

  • Passengers must book the infant as a child and pay the applicable child fare, as an occupying passenger.

  • Children over the age of 3 cannot use a car seat onboard.

  • On the Airbus A340-600 all economy seats aft of a bulkhead and A, C and H, K seats aft of the over wing exits have airbags fitted in the seat belts to comply with regulations. These airbags follow the path of least resistance and inflate away from the seat occupant, therefore, infant car seats may not be used on these seats.

  • Passengers bringing a car seat that will not fit in our seats (maximum dimension height: 79cm, width: 45cm) or meet the 5-point harness criteria and has a sticker saying 'airline compatible' will result in the car seat having to be put in the hold of the aircraft, possibly causing delays in boarding and departure of the flight.

  • The table below is a guide to ascertain if the car seat will fit on the specific aircraft the customer is flying on:













Width between armrests











Infants Older than 6 Months

Infants over the age of 6 months will not automatically be seated at a bassinet position. Customers can request a bulkhead seat but priority will be given to infants under 6 months old who require the facility.

If the bulkhead seat is available the adult will be allocated that seat but no bassinet will be provided.

Infant Occupying a Seat (Travelling On Child Fare)

If passengers do not want to sit for the duration of the flight with an infant on their lap, they are able to purchase a seat for an infant under 24 months.

The seat would be purchased at the applicable child fare for that route and the passenger must provide a car seat for the infant to sit in.

(Note: An infant is 0 - 2 years of age)

Agency Debit Memo Policy

View Agency Debit Memo Policy

Fuel Surcharge Policy

From Wednesday 29 January 2014, South African Airways will only refund applicable Government and/or Airport Taxes on non refundable fares - excluding the Fuel Surcharge (YR / YQ tax). This is applicable for any International flights ex UK and Republic of Ireland.

To summarise:

  • For all non-refundable fares – YR / YQ will be non-refundable at any time.
  • For all refundable fares, whether they are fully or partially refundable, YR / YQ will be fully refundable if the refund request is made before departure.
  • For all refundable fares, whether they are fully or partially refundable after departure, YR / YQ will be not be refundable if the refund request is made after departure.
  • If there is a refund penalty fee or the fare is partially refundable the YR /YQ tax will remain refundable along with all unused Government and airport taxes.
  • This applies for refunds made before departure only.
  • Where fares are combined the most restrictive fare rules will apply.
  • Non-refundable fares ticketed on/before 28 January 2023 remain eligible for fuel surcharge (YQ) refunds.

Passports and visas

It is the responsibility of the passenger to ensure they have the correct documentation prior to travelling. Failure to have the correct documentation can and will result in denial of boarding.

Please note that passengers travelling to South Africa are required to have 2 adjacent blank pages in their passport.

For more information they should visit the embassy’s website of the country they are travelling to.

Immigration policy

With effect 01 June 2015, South African Airways (SAA) will comply with new regulations relating to children who travel to and from South Africa. These new regulations were promulgated in terms of the South African Immigration Amendment Act of 2010 and define children as persons under the age of 18.

  • In terms of the new regulations, when parents are travelling with a child they need to produce an unabridged birth certificate that shows the names of both parents. In cases where the certificate is in a language other than English, it must be accompanied by a sworn translation issued by a competent authority in the country concerned.
  • When a child travels with only one parent, additional documents should include an affidavit in which the absent parent gives consent for the child to travel, a court order granting full parental responsibilities or legal guardianship of the child, or the death certificate of the absent parent. The affidavit should be no more than three months old, from date of travel.
  • In the case of a child travelling with a person other than a parent, the unabridged birth certificate must be supplemented by affidavits from the parents or legal guardians confirming that the child may travel with that person, copies of the identity documents or passports of the parents or legal guardian, and the contact details of the parents or legal guardian.
  • Similarly, a child travelling as an unaccompanied minor would have to produce not only the unabridged birth certificate, but also proof of consent from both parents, or legal guardian and contact details, plus documentation relating to the person receiving the child in the Republic. The latter documentation should include a letter stating the person’s contact details and residential address and contact details where the child will be residing, plus a copy of his or her identity document, passport or residence permit.

  • All documents must either be original or certified as true copies of the original, by a competent authority. Documents not in English must be accompanied by a sworn translation.

FOR MORE INFORMATION also visit the Department of Home Affairs South Africa website: http://www.dha.gov.za

Customers resident in the UK can also request further information by contacting the South African High Commision:
Tel: +44 20 7839 5198
Email: nkanyanab@dirco.gov.za

Or in person at South Africa House.

Details for the South African Consulator information can be found at the following website URL:

Yellow Fever

Travellers from Zambia, Tanzania, Eritrea, Somalia, Sao Tome and Principe will no longer be required to produce proof of the yellow fever certificate when coming to South Africa after they were included on the World Health Organisation Low risk yellow fever countries list.

During the 136th session of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board meeting, a review of countries with risk of Yellow Fever transmission and countries requiring Yellow Fever vaccination was conducted and based on the recommendations of the meeting; all travellers arriving into the country from these countries will not be required to produce proof of vaccination against Yellow Fever. This provision is with immediate effect.

In line with the International Health Regulations, 2005 South Africa requires a valid Yellow Fever certificate from all citizens and non-citizens over one year of age:
 • travelling from a Yellow Fever risk country; or
• having been in transit exceeding 12 hours, through the airport of a country with risk of Yellow Fever transmission.

The International Health Regulations (2005) requires countries at risk of Yellow Fever introduction to employ the following measures:
a. Obtain vaccination certificates from individuals travelling from areas determined by the WHO to be at risk of Yellow Fever transmission. As a result, South Africa implements the following measures for all travellers from Yellow Fever risk countries who are unable to produce a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate at the point of entry:
• Refuse entry; or
• Place traveller under quarantine surveillance until their certificate becomes valid, or for a period of not more than six days.
b. Travellers who are in possession of an exemption certificate due to medical reasons will be:
• allowed entry;
• required to report any fever or other symptoms to the health authorities; and
• be placed under quarantine surveillance.
c. Disinsection of aircraft, ships, tyre casing consignments and other modes of transportation coming from a Yellow Fever risk area.

NB: Definition of a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate-Vaccine should be approved by the WHO and administered at least 10 days before departure to South Africa at a Yellow Fever approved vaccination centre. The vaccine offers protection 10 days after administration.