South African A330 Business Class In 10 Pictures

Good morning from London! Last night I flew from Johannesburg to London on South African Airways, a flight which was operated by an Airbus A330-200. As some of you may recall, my outbound flight from Frankfurt to Johannesburg was operated by an A340-600, which featured a slightly different type of business class product.

I’ll have a full trip report shortly (I’ll actually start publishing it tomorrow), though in the meantime I figured I’d share 10 pictures of last night’s flight.

While I’ll save the details for the review, I will say that there are pros and cons to the A330 and A340.

I slept extremely well on the outbound on the A340-600, though I found the cabin design to be rather ugly, the entertainment to be outdated, and I didn’t like that business class consisted of one cabin with 42 seats, where you really felt like you were part of an assembly line.

The A330-200, on the other hand, had a slightly nicer design and a better entertainment system (not in terms of selection, but in terms of responsiveness and picture quality). I also liked that business class consisted of two separate cabins with three seats each, which made it feel a bit more private.

However, the seat didn’t go fully flat. It wasn’t some horrible sloping seat, but rather the footrest just didn’t go up all the way, and the angle was annoying enough so that it prevented me from sleeping well. The A330-200 also doesn’t have privacy partitions between seats.

With that in mind, here are 10 pictures from my flight, with more pictures and details to follow soon:

SAA-Business-Class-A330 - 1

SAA-Business-Class-A330 - 2

SAA-Business-Class-A330 - 3

SAA-Business-Class-A330 - 4

SAA-Business-Class-A330 - 5

SAA-Business-Class-A330 - 6

SAA-Business-Class-A330 - 7

SAA-Business-Class-A330 - 8

SAA-Business-Class-A330 - 9

SAA-Business-Class-A330 - 10


  1. That has got to be the ugliest business class seat I’ve ever seen in my life. Also, the food pictures make me sad.

  2. @Lucky:

    How angled was the angled seating? Lie-flat seats typically have a 2% decline since aircraft typically cruise at a 2% AOA so the seating is designed with that in mind to provide a true lie-flat experience.

  3. The seats look like US domestic first class. The food looks nice though – I can’t recall having a proper bowl of soup served any of the times I’ve flown up front.

  4. @Bobby J – Don’t be a snob. You don’t realize how awful J seats on old American Airlines 763 and 772 planes? And some of them are still flying today.

  5. We nearly overlapped. I am heading to west coast US to JNB via FRA. Thinking of a few days in CPT or MRU if my second week of meetings falls throughout

  6. Ah you took Cocaine Express. The SAA crews have been picked up numerous times in London for importing hardcore drug. Flight SAA 234 is a firm favourite.

    At one stage the whole crew was arrested (3 cockpit and 12 cabin staff) after dagga (marijuana) and 4.5kg (about 10 pounds) of cocaine was found on the crewbus. …. About 2 weeks later, the crew from SAA 234 were again arrested for smuggling cocaine… only 2 weeks after the previous arrests. I guess their science teacher taught them about lightning strikes…

    Do seal and check your bags properly on this flight. Smuggling is very worthwhile on these flights.

    Glad you are safe.

  7. Willy wonka seems to be high on something other than chocolate. He can only be a previously advantaged pale South African who continues to live off the fruits of this land but in the same breath discredits it on a daily basis. An all too common occurrence in SA these days. FYI your ‘whole crew was arrested’ reference happened in Feb 2009 and I am not sure about the relevance on this forum. There are bad apples in every industry btw..

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