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SAA Credit Card

The Voyager credit card is part of SAA Voyager’s loyalty program (s being a Voyager Member is mandatory). There is the option of a Premium Card or a Gold Card, issued by Nedbank. The Premium Card has more benefits than the Gold Card, but has an annual card fee about triple that of the Gold Card - so you're going to have to spend a lot of time in business class lounges to make up for the additional cost!

Earning Rate

With the SAA Voyager Premium Card, you earn 1 Voyager Mile for every R6 of eligible spend. With the SAA Voyager Gold Card you earn a Voyager Mile for ever R6.50 spent.

The first month is the one in which to spend a lot if you've taken up the Premium Card options, as you earn double miles on all eligible spend.

For Premium Card holders there's the carrot of 19,000 SAA Voyager Miles being earned on the first purchase of a South African Airways flight ticket with the card, whilst Gold card members earn 10,000 Voyager Miles.

A complimentary Continental (Africa) or Global companion ticket on South African Airways, provided the annual eligible spend threshold is achieved - the complimentary part is only the base fare, not the taxes and carrier charges. This can't be used on SA Airlink, SA Express, Mango Airlines or other flights from SAA codeshare partners. It is not possible to upgrade these tickets either.

With both cards you can mae use of Souh African Airways' business class check-in, which usually has much shorter queues than the economy class check-in.

Voyager Premium credit card holders are allowed to use the departure lounges belonging to South African Airways when booked on a South African Airways flight. There are lounges at Cape Town International Airport, East London Airport, Harare Airport, King Shaka International Airport, Lusaka Airport, OR Tambo International Airport and Port Elizabeth Airport.

The Voyager credit card is the best of two worlds, on top of the Voyager member benefits one also gets:

Credit facilities of up to 55 without any interest accruing

Zero transaction fees when making purchases.

Competitive interest rates.

Budget facilities for up to 36 months.

Access local and international ATM displaying either the Amex or Visa logos.

Supplementary Visa card.

Automatic travel insurance

Exclusive access to the American Express Selects online lifestyle portal where you get the best offers and discounts available in over 50 countries around the world.

The card options are either the Premium or Gold card and the qualification criteria is that:

You must be 18 years old or older (& well done if you are 18 and already meeting the minimum earnings threshhold!);

Be an SA resident;

Have a clean credit record; and

Meet the minimum earning threshold

Up to date information

The information on this webpage may be out of date - to get up to date information go to the Nedbank Voyager credit card page .

The Voyager Credit Card was relaunched in October 2012 with new features which included: (1) an accelerated points earning rate for spending at any of SAA’s partners which include partner airlines, car rental companies, hotel and accommodation groups, retails outlets as well as property partners; and (2) earning double miles in the first month for eligible spend made locally and abroad – excludes cash withdrawals, casino chip and travelers cheque purchases, fees and finance charges.

5 Oct 2012. The SAA Voyager System migrates to a new IT platform enabling more value added services to be made available, and also to assist to better manage existing programs.

4 May 2008. Forms used when we went about applying for an SAA Voyager credit card . The site didn't work properly when I used Firefox.

29 Aug 2007. South African Airways launches its Voyager credit card.

Ask our lovely travel consultant your questions here. She would love to assist.

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south african airways voyager credit card

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SAA Voyager Gold Credit Card

Now offering even better lifestyle benefits and enhanced rewards with every swipe.

Personalised

Earn great rewards and benefits.

Be the first to know about travel promotions

Automatic enrolment to the Voyager Rewards programme

Earn Miles at a faster rate

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R700 annual service fee.

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18 Best Ways To Redeem South African Airways Voyager Miles for Max Value

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18 Best Ways To Redeem South African Airways Voyager Miles for Max Value

Table of Contents

The pros and cons of south african airways voyager miles, the 18 best ways to use your south african airways voyager miles, using your south african airways voyager miles, how to boost your south african airways voyager miles, final thoughts.

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our  Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

South Africa is quite a picturesque vacation spot, located at the southern tip of Africa. Home to some of the best wine in Cape Town and beautiful safari experiences across many ultra-luxurious game reserves throughout the country, there’s something to do for everyone.

The state-owned airline South African Airways, in operation since 1934, has hub airports at O.R. Tambo International in Johannesburg (JNB) and Cape Town International (CPT). It has maintained a boutique airline feel with numerous quirks. Although its fleet size is small, its partner list is quite large.

If you find yourself earning a stack of South African Airways Voyager miles and can’t figure out how to best use them, you’re not alone.

South African Airways Voyager has some neat attributes that make it an attractive program, provided you can get its miles. This program is unbeatable for intra-Asia premium cabin travel . You can also book Emirates premium cabin awards, though not at the best redemption price. Lastly, there’s tons of value in niche routes, such as between Guam and Asia in economy class.

On the other hand, Voyager can be quite confusing. Its routing rules are obscure, and it has many different award charts, depending on who you fly on.

Lastly, its website is built much like an early dot-com website. You’ll notice that South African Airways Voyager primarily employs a region-based pricing scheme, which leaves quite a bit of room for opportunity.

South African Airways’ frequent flyer program doesn’t get much publicity in the frequent flyer or award travel world.

In fact, Voyager’s website is replete with technical glitches, the award chart is nonsensical for the most part, and there aren’t many ways to transfer points to South African Airways Voyager.

However, this frequent flyer program has  so much value , as long as you’re interested in niche routes. Some of these redemptions are competitively priced relative to the alternative and can represent the absolute best price you can pay for that particular route.

1. Fly Emirates First Class Round-Trip From Seoul to Dubai (200,000 Miles)

Emirates First Class, A380

One of the quirks of South African Airways Voyager is the ability to book Emirates using miles . While the overall award pricing of Emirates awards is lackluster, there are some ways to get competitive redemption value.

If you fly to/from Dubai and the “Far East” region, you’ll pay 200,000 miles round-trip. Japan is excluded from the Far East region because it is a region itself. But, if you fly between South Korea and Dubai, you’ll have the opportunity to savor Emirates first class for 8 to 10 hours each way.

For this, you’ll pay 200,000 Voyager miles, and Emirates Skywards charges around the same price (197,500 miles.) So, if you find yourself with a ton of Voyager miles, consider using them for a round-trip Emirates first class experience.

Here is the exact route we’re talking about:

  • Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Dubai (DXB) round-trip in Emirates first class for 200,000 miles + ~$118 in taxes and fees per person

Hot Tip: You’ll want to avoid commencing your trip in Dubai due to the fuel surcharges that are levied. To give you an idea, the reverse route round-trip will have $923 in taxes and fees per person. 

2. Fly Emirates Business Class Round-Trip Between North/South Africa and Dubai (From 125,000 Miles)

Emirates A380 Business Class Middle Row Companion Seats

If business class is enough for you, you can still fly on Emirates business class for a great deal. However, the one restriction is that you can’t book Emirates award flights between Johannesburg and Dubai .

There are still many fantastic routes you can fly on. Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • Cape Town (CPT) – Dubai (DXB) round-trip in Emirates business class for 125,000 miles + ~$219 in taxes and fees
  • Casablanca (CMN) – Dubai (DXB) round-trip in Emirates business class for 125,000 miles + ~$289 in taxes and fees
  • Durban (DUR) – Dubai (DXB) round-trip in Emirates business class for 125,000 miles + ~$219 in taxes and fees

3. Fly Emirates New First Class Suites Round-Trip Between London and Dubai (155,000 Miles)

Emirates New 777-300ER First Class Suites

Emirates’ Game Changer first class suites  are sensational.

This ultra-exclusive, fully-enclosed first class suite is arguably the best first class product in the world. One of the routes on which this is offered is on select 777-300ER aircraft between London-Stansted and Dubai.

Unfortunately, the large  fuel surcharges and the U.K. Air Passenger Duty means you’ll pay an arm and a leg for first class.

Here’s the exact redemption you’d be making:

  • London-Stansted (STN) – Dubai (DXB) round-trip for 155,000 miles + ~$512 in taxes and fees

4. Fly Emirates First Class Round-Trip Between North America and Dubai (240,000 Miles)

Emirates First Class Cabin

If you’re in the market to fly directly from North America to Dubai in Emirates first class, you’d absolutely be able to make a case for using Voyager miles.

You can fly between any North American city and Dubai in Emirates first class for 240,000 miles . You’ll simply need to find award availability.

If you’re interested in maximizing your time in first class, you’ll want to book from the West Coast . Unfortunately, you won’t be able to avoid fuel surcharges on routes between North America and Dubai.

Here are some great example redemptions you can make:

  • Houston (IAH) – Dubai (DXB) round-trip in Emirates first class for 240,000 miles + ~$400 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Dubai (DXB) round-trip in Emirates first class for 240,000 miles + ~$400 in taxes and fees
  • New York (JFK) – Dubai (DXB) round-trip in Emirates first class for 240,000 miles + ~$400 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Dubai (DXB) round-trip in Emirates first class for 240,000 miles + ~$400 in taxes and fees
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Dubai (DXB) round-trip in Emirates first class for 240,000 miles + ~$400 in taxes and fees

5. Fly Emirates First Class on the World’s Shortest A380 Flight (35,000 Miles)

Emirates Inaugural World's Shortest A380 First Class Window Suite Cherag Dubash

If you’re looking to try out Emirates’ first class suites on a super-short flight, why not try it on the shortest A380 flight in the world ?

Cash tickets are usually over $2,000, which makes this round-trip ticket one of the most expensive flights you can get from an hourly standpoint.

Here is the exact route you can book:

  • Muscat (MCT) – Dubai (DXB) round-trip in Emirates first class for 35,000 miles + ~$154 in taxes and fees

6. Fly Virgin Atlantic New Upper Class Round-Trip Between London and West Coast U.S. (127,000 Miles)

Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350 Upper Class Seat 9A from Aisle

Another great partner that South African Airways has is Virgin Atlantic . This airline has offered a decent business class product in the past, though it had its fair share of complaints. However, in 2019 it launched its new business class product which is fantastic.

When you’re using South African Airways Voyager miles, it’s almost always better to fly to/from the West Coast as opposed to the East Coast, due to the negligible difference in required miles of 2,000.

You’ll pay 127,000 miles for West Coast flights round-trip, whereas East Coast will cost 125,000 miles . Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – London-Heathrow (LHR) round-trip in Virgin Atlantic’s new Upper Class for 127,000 miles + ~$1,771 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – London-Heathrow (LHR) round-trip in Virgin Atlantic’s new Upper Class for 127,000 miles + ~$1,771 in taxes and fees

7. Fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Round-Trip Between London and the Caribbean (109,500 Miles)

Virgin Atlantic A350 Upper Suite seat 4K from the side

If you’re considering travel that involves London and the Caribbean, you’ll find comfort in knowing that you can redeem South African Airways Voyager miles for this endeavor.

Virgin Atlantic doesn’t have the biggest route network in the world, but it actually offers nonstop flights to the Caribbean . Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Bridgetown (BGI) round-trip in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class for 109,500 miles + ~$734 in taxes and fees
  • London-Heathrow (LHR) – Havana (HAV) round-trip in Virgin Atlantic Upper Class for 109,500 miles + ~$747 in taxes and fees

8. Fly ANA Business Class Round-Trip Between Japan and Southeast Asia for Unbelievable Prices (32,200 Miles)

ANA Business Class Seat 2

South African Airways Voyager has one of the most generous definitions of Asia of all the frequent flyer programs. Namely, it has decided to combine most of Asia into 1 region, dubbing it “North and South Asia.”

Normally, frequent flyer programs separate this gigantic continent into several regions and price awards accordingly. South African Airways has created a hidden gem for intra-“North and South Asia” flights.

In fact, these mileage prices blow the competition out of the water, which goes to show that these redemptions aren’t just competitive — they’re industry-leading .

This zone contains cities as far north as Tokyo and cities as far south as Bali, which are 7 to 8 hours away by flight. When you take this into account and look at the rock-bottom prices, you’ll see why this is a redemption you simply cannot ignore.

All Nippon Airways, or ANA , offers a fantastic business class product. When you use South African Airways Voyager miles, you can fly ANA business class anywhere within Asia for 32,200 miles round-trip .

Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Tokyo-Narita (NRT) – Yangon (RGN) round-trip in ANA business class for 32,200 miles + ~$144 in taxes and fees
  • Tokyo-Narita/Haneda (NRT/HND) – Bangkok (BKK)  round-trip in ANA business class for 32,200 miles + ~$143 in taxes and fees
  • Tokyo-Narita/Haneda (NRT/HND) – Jakarta (CGK) round-trip in ANA business class for 32,200 miles + ~$161 in taxes and fees
  • Tokyo-Narita/Haneda (NRT/HND) – Singapore (SIN) round-trip in ANA business class for 32,200 miles + ~$153 in taxes and fees

9. Fly Asiana Business Class Round-Trip Between Korea and Southeast Asia for Unbelievable Prices (32,200 Miles)

Asiana Airlines A330 Business Class

Asiana Airlines is the second-largest airline in South Korea, with Korean Air standing in front. Asiana Airlines offers a great business and business suites product, which used to be sold as first class.

We discussed ANA route options to take advantage of intra-North and South Asia award pricing above, so let’s now talk about Asiana Airlines via South Korea. Seoul, South Korea’s capital city, is situated in the northern part of Asia, which means that the longest flight times will be on flights bound for Southeast Asia.

  • Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Ho Chi Minh City (SGN)  round-trip in Asiana business class for 32,200 miles + ~$81 in taxes and fees
  • Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Phnom Penh (PNH)  round-trip in Asiana business class for 32,200 miles + ~$90 in taxes and fees
  • Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Phu Quoc (PQC) round-trip in Asiana business class for 32,200 miles + ~$79 in taxes and fees in taxes and fees
  • Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Phuket (PKT) round-trip in Asiana business class for 32,200 miles + ~$101 in taxes and fees
  • Seoul-Incheon (ICN) – Singapore (SIN) round-trip in Asiana business class for 32,200 miles + ~$101 in taxes and fees

10. Fly Air China Business Class Round-Trip Between Beijing and Southeast Asia for Unbelievable Prices (32,200 Miles)

Yet another great option to fly intra-North and South Asia with Voyager miles is Air China business class. Although Air China’s business class doesn’t have the reputation that ANA or Asiana does, for example, it’s still an excellent Star Alliance partner airline with amazing connectivity within Asia.

Air China’s business class doesn’t feature direct aisle access at all seats for the most part; instead, you’ll most likely get a 2-2-2 configuration on any wide-body aircraft. Nonetheless, it’s still a great way to fly business class for mega-cheap prices .

  • Beijing (PEK) – Chiang Mai (CNX) round-trip in Air China business class for 32,200 miles + ~$176 in taxes and fees
  • Beijing (PEK) – Kashgar (KHG) round-trip in Air China business class for 32,200 miles + ~$172 in taxes and fees
  • Beijing (PEK) – Kuala Lumpur (KUL)  round-trip in Air China business class for 32,200 miles + ~$205 in taxes and fees
  • Chengdu (CTU) – Colombo (CMB) round-trip in Air China business class for 32,200 miles + ~$15 in taxes and fees
  • Guangzhou (CAN) – Urumqi (URC) round-trip in Air China business class for 32,200 miles + ~$145 in taxes and fees
  • Shenzhen (SZX) – Urumqi (URC) round-trip in Air China business class for 32,200 miles + ~$122 in taxes and fees

11. Fly Thai Airways First Class Round-Trip Between Bangkok and Japan (47,900 Miles)

Thai Airways Boeing 747 400 First Class Suite 2K

Thai Airways is indeed one of the rarest airlines in the world to fly first class on. At one point in time, Thai Airways even offered first class nonstop to the U.S. However, times have changed, financial struggles have mounted, and Thai Airways is on a crusade to become profitable again.

Thai Airways offers first class on flights to/from Tokyo for 47,900 miles round-trip This 5.5 to 7 hour flight is hardly an ultra-long-haul flight, but it’s one of the only opportunities you’ll ever get to try Thai Airways first class.

Just to give you an idea of how phenomenal this redemption is, the next-closest Star Alliance loyalty program, Asiana Airlines Asiana Club , charges 100,000 miles, as does Avianca LifeMiles . You’re going to save over half of your miles on this round-trip flight by booking through South African Airways.

Here are the exact redemptions you can make:

  • Tokyo-Narita/Haneda (NRT/HND) – Bangkok (BKK) round-trip in Thai Airways first class for 47,900 miles + ~$209 in taxes and fees

12. Fly Air India First Class Round-Trip Between Jeddah and India (56,900 Miles)

Air India doesn’t have the best reputation out there. However, it’s a solid option if you’re looking to get to India comfortably. Additionally, Air India is one of the few airlines that offer first class on medium-haul flights .

When you look at other Star Alliance partners such as ANA, you’ll find that there are very few, if any, routes shorter than 8 hours than offer first class. This is where Air India can come in handy.

Air India has extraordinary connectivity to many cities in Saudi Arabia despite not being in the same alliance as Saudia, the flag carrier of Saudi Arabia. South African Airways Voyager blows its competitors out of the water when it comes to award pricing between Saudi Arabia and India. In fact, the closest runner-up comes in at 75,000 miles for round-trip first class.

Interestingly, the only reason why this routing works is that South African Airways Voyager has decided to label India and Saudi Arabia as members of “Central Asia,” despite neither being conventionally regarded as such. Saudi Arabia is normally considered a country in the Middle East, while India is normally regarded as a country in South Asia.

Nonetheless, here are the example redemptions you could make:

  • Calicut (CCJ) – Jeddah (JED)  round-trip in Air India first class for 56,900 miles + ~$244 in taxes and fees
  • Delhi (DEL) – Jeddah (JED) round-trip in Air India first class for 56,900 miles + ~$219 in taxes and fees
  • Hyderabad (HYD) – Jeddah (JED) round-trip in Air India first class for 56,900 miles + ~$258 in taxes and fees
  • Kochi (COK) – Jeddah (JED)  round-trip in Air India first class for 56,900 miles + ~$238 in taxes and fees
  • Mumbai (BOM) – Jeddah (JED) round-trip in Air India first class for 56,900 miles + ~$233 in taxes and fees

13. Access Intra-Asia Business Class Availability on Singapore Airlines Business Class Round-Trip (32,200 Miles)

Singapore Airlines Airbus A350 Business Class Middle Seat

Singapore Airlines is notoriously stingy with releasing award availability to partners . This is especially true with U.S. routes , where the only hope you have to book one of these coveted flights in business or first class is to redeem KrisFlyer miles .

However, one of the most notable exceptions is on intra-Asia flights . Singapore Airlines releases lots of award seats for intra-Asia flights to partners. When you couple that with the fact that South African Airways Voyager has fantastic award pricing for most of these flights, you’ll see a gold mine of value.

While Singapore KrisFlyer charges up to 47,000 miles for Saver level availability and ANA charges up to 63,000 miles for Singapore Airlines flights, South African Airways Voyager charges a jaw-dropping 32,200 miles .

  • Singapore (SIN) – Bangkok (BKK) round-trip in Singapore Airlines business class for 32,200 miles + ~$62 in taxes and fees
  • Singapore (SIN) – Beijing (PEK) round-trip in Singapore Airlines business class for 32,200 miles + ~$50 in taxes and fees
  • Singapore (SIN) – Fukuoka (FUK) round-trip in Singapore Airlines business class for 32,200 miles + ~$54 in taxes and fees
  • Singapore (SIN) – Male (MLE) round-trip in Singapore Airlines business class for 32,200 miles + ~$86 in taxes and fees
  • Singapore (SIN) – Nagoya (NGO) round-trip in Singapore Airlines business class for 32,200 miles + ~$74 in taxes and fees
  • Singapore (SIN) – Osaka (KIX) round-trip in Singapore Airlines business class for 32,200 miles + ~$73 in taxes and fees
  • Singapore (SIN) – Seoul-Incheon (ICN) round-trip in Singapore Airlines business class for 32,200 miles + ~$60 in taxes and fees

14. Fly Air India Business Class Between India and Israel (49,000 Miles)

Air India Business Class

Because India falls under Central Asia, it enjoys attractive pricing to the Middle East.

Also, Israel and Egypt are categorized as Middle East countries, which means that you’ll pay 49,000 miles for a 5- to 7-hour flight each way in business class. Not a bad deal! Here are the exact redemptions you want to be making:

  • Delhi (DEL) – Tel Aviv (TLV) round-trip in Air India business class for 49,000 miles + ~$709 in taxes and fees
  • Mumbai (BOM) – Cairo (CAI) round-trip in Egyptair business class for 49,000 miles + ~$354 in taxes and fees

15. Fly Air New Zealand Round-Trip From North America to Oceania in Business Class (169,300 Miles)

Air New Zealand Boeing 787 business class cabin rear

Air New Zealand is one of the best strategic Star Alliance partners in the world. Because the Oceania region is dominated primarily by Oneworld , thanks to Qantas, Air New Zealand represents a much-needed diversification in the Star Alliance network.

It’s not the best deal out there, but you can redeem South African Airways Voyager miles for round-trip flights between North America and Oceania for 169,300 miles . Here are some great example routes:

  • Chicago O’Hare (ORD) – Auckland (AKL) round-trip in Air New Zealand business class for 169,300 miles + ~$110 in taxes and fees
  • Houston (IAH) – Auckland (AKL) round-trip in Air New Zealand business class for 169,300 miles + ~$110 in taxes and fees
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Auckland (AKL) round-trip in Air New Zealand business class for 169,300 miles + ~$110 in taxes and fees
  • San Francisco (SFO) – Auckland (AKL) round-trip in Air New Zealand business class for 169,300 miles + ~$110 in taxes and fees

16. Fly United Round-Trip Between Guam and Asia in Economy Class (20,400 Miles)

United B737 800 Island Hopper HNL PNI economy cabin view from back

Guam is one of the most expensive, cash-intensive destinations for the flight distance traveled. United Airlines has established a stronghold in Guam, which means that the Star Alliance is extraordinarily useful here.

Round-trip nonstop flights from Guam to Japan cost a minimum of $600 to $900, so you’re definitely going to want to use miles to cushion yourself from a majority of these costs.

South African Airways will allow you to book 1 more segment, in addition to the Guam flight, which means you can extract even more value from these hugely expensive cash tickets. Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • Guam (GUM) – Nagoya (NGO) – Sapporo (CTS) round-trip for 20,400 miles + ~$120 in taxes and fees ($1,600+ cash value!)
  • Guam (GUM) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) – Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) round-trip for 20,400 miles + ~$119 in taxes and fees ($2,000+ cash value!)
  • Guam (GUM) – Tokyo-Narita (NRT) – Kuala Lumpur (KUL) round-trip for 20,400 miles + ~$122 in taxes and fees ($5,000+ cash value!)

17. Take Advantage of JourneyBlitz Awards on South African Airways Flights for Deeply Discounted Flights

South African Airways A330-300 Economy Class

When you look at South African Airways’ JourneyBlitz awards, you’ll see some opportunities for outstanding redemption value. You can book flights for as little as 13,050 miles , assuming you find availability. Here are some great example routes you can take:

  • New York (JFK) – Johannesburg (JNB) one-way in South African Airways economy for 14,700 miles + ~$260 in taxes and fees
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Accra (ACC) one-way in South African Airways economy for 13,050 miles + ~$240 in taxes and fees

Although business class redemptions are certainly possible at decent rates, it’s practically impossible to find availability on JourneyBlitz awards.

18. Upgrade Eligible Economy Tickets to Business on South African Airways Between North America and Africa (From 23,000 Miles)

South African Airways Business Class

The last redemption option is an upgrade. You can pay as little as 23,000 miles to upgrade a one-way economy ticket in eligible fare classes on South African Airways to business class. The lowest level fare class you can upgrade is K, and the second-lowest level is M.

Here are some great redemptions you can make:

  • New York (JFK) – Johannesburg (JNB) round-trip from $2,100 plus 70,000 miles in South African Airways business class (upgraded K-class tickets)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Accra (ACC) round-trip from $2,167 plus 46,000 miles in South African Airways business class (upgraded K-class tickets)

The main challenge of redeeming Voyager miles is the relatively uncharted territory of this obscure mileage program. There is lots to look forward to, but also a steep learning curve. You might experience long call center wait times, inexperienced staff, and even the inability to find certain mileage awards.

South African Airways Award Charts

First and foremost, let’s talk about South African Airways’ award chart, of which there are multiple.

South African Airways has 2 award charts that correspond to flights wholly operated by South African Airways:

  • JourneyBlitz awards
  • Dynamic awards

JourneyBlitz awards will vary in price depending on the exact route. JourneyBlitz is much more comparable to promotional award sales than the conventional “Saver Award” availability.

Here’s how much it’ll cost to book JourneyBlitz awards:

These fares are extremely attractive in price, but availability is scarce.

On the flip side, Dynamic awards change in price and are closely connected to the revenue ticket price. As a result, the value you’ll get is so poor that it isn’t even worth considering.

Additionally, you can use Voyager miles to upgrade paid economy tickets. As long as they fall into eligible economy ticket fare classes and there’s availability, you’ll be able to upgrade your tickets using miles.

Here’s what the upgrade award chart looks like for South African Airways flights:

SAA Voyager Upgrade Chart

Furthermore, the regions are broken down into the following areas:

South African Airways’ website has outdated regions and routes, which means that the displayed cities may not have nonstop South African Airways flights anymore.

Star Alliance Airline Partners

South African Airways partners with all Star Alliance airlines . Voyager offers both awards and upgrades on Star Alliance flights.

However, award flights can only be booked round-trip , and Star Alliance upgrades can only be performed on a sector-by-sector basis.

Here are the Star Alliance airlines you can redeem miles for awards and upgrades on:

Here’s how much your Star Alliance award tickets will cost when spending Voyager miles. All of these prices are round-trip since Voyager doesn’t permit one-way flights.

SAA Voyager Star Alliance Award Chart

To price out your itineraries correctly, you can reference the following region chart:

You can also spend Voyager miles to upgrade Star Alliance flights. These are priced in the following upgrade chart:

SAA Voyager Star Alliance Upgrade Chart

The drawback of using Voyager miles to upgrade Star Alliance flights is that the eligible fares are extremely restrictive . You’ll only be able to upgrade full-fare economy or premium economy tickets.

These tickets run as expensive as $1,000 to $3,000 one-way , which ultimately defeats the purpose of upgrading Star Alliance tickets.

Nevertheless, these upgrades are still available for redemption.

Non-Alliance Airline Partners

Lastly, there are flight redemptions on South African Airways’ non-alliance partners.

South African Airways uses different award charts for each of these partners.

AirLink is a regional airline based in Johannesburg. Although it is not owned by South African Airways, it serves to connect smaller cities in South Africa to the main hub airports.

Here’s the award chart for AirLink:

Here are how the regions are broken down for AirLink flights:

You can also redeem South African Airways Voyager miles on South African Express. South African Express is a close partner of South African Airways, though it is not majority-owned by South African Airways.

Here is how the award regions are broken down for South African Express flights:

Interestingly, you can also redeem South African Airways Voyager miles for Emirates flights according to the following award chart:

Here are how all the zones break down:

You can redeem your South African Airways Voyager miles for Virgin Atlantic flights as well:

Here’s how the zones are divided for Virgin Atlantic flights:

Virgin Australia offers round-trip awards as follows:

Lastly, the GOL award chart is as follows:

Awards Bookable Online vs. Phone

Unfortunately, the technical quirks of South African Airways show up as soon as you try to redeem your miles. The online booking/search tool doesn’t actually work.

As a result, you’ll need to make all award bookings over the phone by contacting South African Airways Voyager by phone at +27-11-978-1234 or email at [email protected] .

The office is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time (GMT+2) and Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (GMT+2).

Award Redemption Rules

When it comes to award or upgrade redemption rules, there is a slew of terms and conditions that you must conform to. These terms fall into 6 categories:

  • Dynamic Awards
  • Upgrade Awards
  • JourneyBlitz Awards
  • Non-Alliance
  • Star Alliance Awards

Here are the most notable award terms and conditions for South African Airways JourneyBlitz Awards :

  • JourneyBlitz awards can’t be canceled or refunded.
  • No changes are permitted on JourneyBlitz Rewards.
  • The booking class for economy is X, and the booking class for business is I.

Here are the notable award terms and conditions for South African Airways upgrades :

  • Upgrades are released between 24 and 48 hours before departure.
  • You need to request upgrades on a segment-by-segment basis.
  • Eligible economy tickets must be in Y, B, M, or K booking classes. Also, eligible ticket numbers must begin with “083.”
  • Date changes and refunds are permitted, but the fare will be subjected to the originally booked economy fare class.

Here are the notable award terms and conditions for Star Alliance award tickets :

  • Round-trip tickets must be booked. No one-ways are allowed.
  • You must take the most direct route possible.
  • You’ll be allowed up to 6 segments per itinerary if you include domestic add-on sectors within South Africa. Otherwise, the maximum is 4 segments per itinerary.
  • You have to book the departure and return ticket at the same time.
  • Waitlists aren’t allowed.
  • Mixed cabin tickets are allowed, but you must pay the highest cabin class price.
  • No stopovers are allowed for purely domestic flights within South Africa, intra-European flights, or domestic U.S. flights.
  • You’re allowed 1 stopover and 1 open-jaw on intercontinental flights only. You must return to the origin country, but not necessarily the same city.
  • You can’t backtrack.

Here are the notable award terms and conditions for Star Alliance upgrades :

  • You can only upgrade 1 class (economy to business or business to first).
  • Miles earned will be based on the original ticket booking class.
  • Upgrades are based on a per-segment basis.
  • Upgrades can’t be requested earlier than 24 hours before a flight.

Here are the notable award terms and conditions for Emirates awards :

  • Johannesburg (JNB) – Dubai (DXB) redemptions are not allowed
  • Bookings must be round-trip.
  • Date changes have a R210 (~$14) fee
  • Mixed cabin bookings are not allowed.
  • You have 30 days from the date of the initial booking to refund your award ticket.

Here are the notable terms and conditions for Virgin Atlantic awards:

  • You must return to your origin city.
  • 1 open-jaw is allowed, only if you’re leaving from a more expensive city (e.g. LHR-JFK with an open-jaw and then LAX-LHR).
  • You’re allowed a stopover only in Hong Kong en route to Sydney.
  • Date changes have a R210 (~$14) fee.
  • You can only refund your ticket within 30 days of initial issuance.

Here are the notable terms and conditions for Virgin Australia awards:

  • For infants under 2 without a seat, there’s no extra charge. All other children will be required to pay for another ticket at full cost.
  • 1 open-jaw is allowed, but you must return to your origin airport.

There are many other terms and conditions, which you can view via the links provided in the list above. However, this is a summary of the most applicable rules and regulations.

As you can see, it can be quite a headache trying to keep track of all the rules across the different partner airlines.

Unfortunately, South African Airways only has 1 transfer partner: Marriott Bonvoy .

You’ll be able to transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to South African Airways at a 3:1 ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points transferred. This means that if you transfer 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, you’ll get a total of 25,000 South African Airways Voyager miles.

To put this all together, let’s say you need 80,000 South African Airways Voyager miles. You’ll need to transfer a total of 195,000 Marriott Bonvoy points to earn this many South African miles.

Hot Tip: Although South African Airways’ only transfer partner is Marriott Bonvoy, there are lots of ways to earn lots of Marriott Bonvoy points , so don’t fret!

Recommended Marriott Bonvoy Cards

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The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card gives you automatic Marriott elite status and helps you earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on your everyday purchases.

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The Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express ® Card , the latest mid-tier offering in the Marriott Bonvoy lineup of cards, offers cardholders automatic elite status and ways to earn more Marriott Bonvoy points on each of their stays and daily purchases.

  • 6x points per $1 at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • 4x points per $1 at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases per calendar year, then 2X points)
  • 2x points per $1 on all other purchases
  • $250 annual fee ( rates and fees )
  • Free Night Award certificate is not an automatic benefit
  • Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy ® points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
  • Earn 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets per calendar year, then 2X points).
  • Earn 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Marriott Bonvoy 1K Bonus Points Per Stay: Earn 1,000 Marriott Bonvoy ® bonus points per paid eligible stay booked directly with Marriott for properties participating in Marriott Bonvoy.
  • With complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elites status, earn up to 2.5X points from Marriott Bonvoy ® on eligible hotel purchases with the 25% Bonus Points on stays benefit, available for Qualifying Rates.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bevy Free Night Award: Earn 1 Free Night Award after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ Card in a calendar year. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy ® points) at a hotel participating in Marriott Bonvoy ® . Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits: Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express Card ® you can receive 15 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy ® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Plan It ® is a payment option that lets you split up purchases of $100 or more into equal monthly installments with a fixed fee. Plus, you'll still earn rewards the way you usually do.
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Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

A premium card for Marriott fans who want perks like an annual statement credit and Free Night Award, plus a fast track to Marriott elite status.

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ® American Express ® Card  is a premium card designed with road warriors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalists in mind.

So is the card a worthwhile addition to your wallet?

  • 6x points per $1 at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy   program
  • 3x points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines and restaurants worldwide
  • Steep annual fee of $650 ( rates and fees )
  • 6x points per $1 is the same earn rate offered with lower annual fee alternatives like the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express ® Card
  • Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • $300 Brilliant Dining Credit: Each calendar year, get up to $300 (up to $25 per month) in statement credits for eligible purchases made on the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ® American Express ® Card at restaurants worldwide.
  • With Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status, you can receive room upgrades, including enhanced views or suites, when available at select properties and booked with a Qualifying Rate.
  • Earn 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy ® . 3X points at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Free Night Award: Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy ® . Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Each calendar year after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ® American Express ® Card, you will be eligible to select a Brilliant Earned Choice Award benefit. You can only earn one Earned Choice Award per calendar year. See https://www.choice-benefit.marriott.com/brilliant for Award options.
  • $100 Marriott Bonvoy Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton ® or St. Regis ® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck ® : Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership for TSA PreCheck ® (up to $85 through a TSA PreCheck official enrollment provider) and pay the application fee with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ® American Express ® Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Each calendar year with your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ® American Express ® Card you can receive 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy ® Elite status. Limitations apply per Marriott Bonvoy member account. Benefit is not exclusive to Cards offered by American Express. Terms apply.
  • Enroll in Priority Pass™ Select, which offers unlimited airport lounge visits to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which carrier or class you are flying. This allows you to relax before or between flights. You can enjoy snacks, drinks, and internet access in a quiet, comfortable location.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • With Cell Phone Protection, you can be reimbursed, the lesser of, your repair or replacement costs following damage, such as a cracked screen, or theft for a maximum of $800 per claim when your cell phone line is listed on a wireless bill and the prior month's wireless bill was paid by an Eligible Card Account. A $50 deductible will apply to each approved claim with a limit of 2 approved claims per 12-month period. Additional terms and conditions apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • $650 Annual Fee.

Marriott Bonvoy

South African Airways Voyager is an unexpected gem of a loyalty program. With so many different airline partners and an underutilized award chart, there’s tons of unbelievable value to be had.

Whether it’s booking $5,000 round-trip economy flights from Guam to Kuala Lumpur for 20,400 miles or booking Emirates first class, there’s tons of redemption value hidden underneath a murky frequent flyer program.

One of the biggest diamonds in the rough is round-trip intra-North and South Asia flights in business/first class, which comes in at an absolute steal of 32,200 miles in business and 47,900 miles in first class. You can fly on ANA, Asiana Airlines, Air China, Air India, and even Singapore Airlines with this redemption, thanks to the Star Alliance route network.

You’ll want to avoid conventional redemption options for the most part, such as international business or first class flights departing from North America. Remember that round-trip bookings are the name of the game here, and you’ll want to try to avoid fuel surcharges if possible, as they are all passed on.

The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bold ® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless ® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express ® Card, click here . For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant ® American Express ® card, click here .

Frequently Asked Questions

What are south african airways voyager miles worth.

The generally accepted value of Voyager miles is around 1 to 3 cents per mile. If you’re clever about getting the most value for your miles, you can book Emirates first class or other premium cabin products on specific routes, driving your value up to 10 to 20 cents per mile.

Additionally, you can even snag 15 to 30 cents per point even on economy tickets if you’re flying on a crazy route such as from Guam to Asia.

Are South African Airways Voyager miles refundable?

Yes. You must cancel your award ticket within 30 days of initial ticketing. You must also pay a fee of R210 (~$14) per ticket to refund your award reservation. The fee is waived for Voyager Platinum and Lifetime Platinum members.

When do South African Airways Voyager miles expire?

Voyager miles expire 3 years after the year in which the miles were earned. Oddly, a year is calculated from April 1 to March 31, per the terms and conditions .

Additionally, you can extend the miles by following the terms and conditions section 11 titled “Expiry of Miles.”

Is South African Airways part of United Airlines?

South African Airways is not a part of United Airlines. It is an airline and Star Alliance partner. United Airlines is a U.S. airline headquartered in Chicago, while South African Airways is the national airline of South Africa and is headquartered in Johannesburg.

How much does it cost to buy South African Airways Voyager miles?

You can’t buy South African Airways Voyager miles at the moment.

How do I join South African Airways Voyager?

To register with South African Airways Voyager, visit this link .

Do I need to be a South African Airways Voyager member to search for awards?

Yes. However, it is best not to use South African Airways’ online website. It’s best to search via United or Air Canada and then calling South African Airways to book.

How many South African Airways Voyager miles do I have?

You can find out by logging into your South African Airways Voyager account here .

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The Gold Card: The privileges granted to Voyager members

When the traveler has made numerous trips with South African Airways and reaches 60,000 qualifying miles, he will become a Gold member.

As such, he will have a 50% bonus on each flight, a guaranteed seat until the last hours before departure (in economy class), priority on the waiting list at the airport, the possibility of making the first class check-in, priority baggage handling, additional baggage allowance on destinations where South African Airways applies the concept by weight.

Important advantages granted to Gold card holders

The South African Airways Gold Voyager Card comes with some exciting new features. It has a more accelerated point earning rate on spending at SAA partners, which includes hotels and accommodation groups, car rental companies,…

The Gold South African Airways Voyager Card entitles members to a variety of rewards, including free flights and cabin upgrades. It also allows you to take advantage of discounts on car rental and other services. If you are a frequent traveler, this card will make your life much easier.

If you are a member of the SAA Voyager program, you must first know the rules and conditions. In addition, the SAA website contains useful information for clients to maximize benefits.

If you’re planning a trip, the South African Airways Voyager Gold Card is a great way to earn miles fast. As a Star Alliance member, you will be able to travel to hundreds of destinations with your miles. In addition, the new system allows you to earn points by spending up to ten thousand dollars. While the benefits of the card are many, they cannot be matched by other credit cards.

You can use this card to earn Voyager miles when you make purchases on the airline. These miles are usually not immediately credited to your account, so it is best to wait approximately 45 days before using the card. You can also use the card to earn points from South African Airways’ low cost affiliate, Mango Airlines. This credit card is a convenient and valuable travel companion and a great way to earn even more miles.

You can earn miles using the Gold Card by reserving hotel rooms at establishments that offer miles to Voyager Gold members. This will allow you to earn bonus miles for your stay.

You can also use your Voyager miles for special South African Airways promotions. It’s a great way to save money on travel. You can use the card for any type of trip. You can earn miles with ordinary expenses. Using your SAA Voyager Gold Card to purchase products or pay for your monthly expenses is one of the easiest ways to earn miles.

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Cabin Upgrade with Step-Up

Cabin Upgrade with Step-Up

We are delighted to offer you a fantastic opportunity to experience luxury travel at its finest. With South African Airways Step-Up Cabin Upgrade you tell us what you're willing to pay to upgrade your seat from Economy Class to Business Class.

Once you have obtained confirmed flight tickets, you will be sent an email notifying you about potential availability of seats for upgrades, along with a link to our Step-Up Cabin Upgrade Offer page, where you can start bidding.

If you do not receive an email and have confirmed flights, you may check your eligibility below.

All it takes is 3 easy steps

Place your bid:.

Make us an offer by selecting the amount you would be willing to pay for an upgrade from Economy Class to Business Class.

Payment information:

Enter your credit card details. Your credit card will only be charged if your offer is accepted.

Review and submit:

We will advise you 24 hours prior departure if your offer is successful

After completion you will receive an email confirming your request to upgrade your seat, which can then be used to change or cancel your request. You will also receive an updated e-ticket with your new travel information and the amount you offered will be deducted from your credit card.

Your credit card will not be charged unless your offer is successful

Step-Up Terms and Conditions Collapsed Content

1. The following terms and conditions ("Terms and Conditions") shall apply to an offer (“Offer”) made by you (“you”) to South African Airways (“SAA”) for an opportunity to upgrade from the economy class ticket purchased by you for travel on SAA to a business class ticket on that same flight (“Upgrade”). Offers can only be made on selected flights operated by SAA (at its sole discretion) on condition that you possess a valid and issued SAA Economy Class ticket for the concerned flight. Upgrades shall not apply to code shared flights or flights operated by other airlines. The Offer shall apply solely to the single flight sector (i.e. one way) to which it is made and not in respect of additional flight sectors within the same itinerary.

2. All persons who submit an Offer must have reached the legal age of majority in their country of residence at the time their Offer is submitted. The parents of underage passengers and/or the adult responsible for such passengers may obtain an upgrade on their behalf. You shall be deemed to have the authority to act on behalf of and to bind the person or persons named or included in the Offer to these Terms and Conditions.

3. An Offer, when submitted by you in association with a booking made with SAA, whether made directly with SAA or indirectly through other means, and presented to SAA, shall entitle the person or persons named in the Offer, subject to these Terms and Conditions, to be considered for an Upgrade. If more than one passenger exists in the original flight booking, the upgrade offer shall apply individually to each passenger in that original booking. The offered amount will, accordingly, be multiplied by the number of persons included in the original flight booking. Prior to submitting your credit card details you will see the total amount for the upgrade. Your submission of an Offer constitutes a contractually firm and binding offer which SAA is entitled to either decline or accept.

4. Persons may only submit one Offer per flight which corresponds to the purchased ticket issued on South African Airways ticket documents 083, and offers must always be made and paid for by using a credit card.

5. SAA is under no obligation to accept your Offer, and it makes no representation that you or any passenger will be upgraded. The acceptance of any Offer is at the sole discretion of SAA.

6. SAA Step-Up Upgrade is not eligible for the following bookings: Tickets booked using Voyager miles for Journeyblitz or Saverblitz, and free or rebate tickets.

7. By submitting an Offer, you agree that your Offer will remain open for acceptance by SAA at any time up to 36 hours prior to the scheduled flight departure time. You may revise or cancel your Offer for as long as your Offer has not already been accepted by SAA. Once your offer is accepted by SAA, you are legally bound to complete payment for the price stated in your final Offer and you shall not entitled to withdraw from your Upgrade, except and to the extent as described in these Terms and Conditions.

8. In the event that SAA cancels a flight and re-accommodates you on another flight, any Offer you made in relation to the original booking may be transferred to the new flight(s) subject always to availability of seats in Business Class and at the sole discretion of SAA. If, for any reason, there are not enough seats available in the higher class of service to fulfil your Upgrade (only where your original Offer has been accepted), any amounts paid by you for the Upgrade will be refunded to the credit card that was used to pay for the Upgrade.

9. There will be no refunds, credits, or exchanges once your Offer has been accepted by SAA, except under the following conditions: • The flight for which your Offer was accepted and on which you were upgraded is cancelled. • The flight for which your Offer was accepted and in respect of which you were upgraded is cancelled, and SAA re-accommodates you on another flight but in the class of service of your original booking. • Your Offer was accepted and you were given an Upgrade, but you were not able to be seated in the upgraded class of service for reasons attributable to SAA, including, but not limited to, a change in equipment, a delay in the connecting flight that resulted in your missing the connection on which you were upgraded, but excluding reasons attributable to your own actions. For the avoidance of any doubt, if the refund is approved, the amount paid for the Upgrade will be refunded to the payment card that was used to pay for the Upgrade.

10. Should refunds be approved, they will be processed in the currency in which the Upgrade amount was charged. Such refunds will be limited to the amount charged by SAA for the upgrade and no bank related charges will be refunded by SAA.

11. The fare conditions for the original ticket you purchased shall remain in effect and will be applicable even if your Offer has been accepted and you have been upgraded, including, but not limited to, cancellation policies, change fees, and rules relating to the accrual of frequent flyer miles.

12. SAA does not guarantee specific seat assignments to passengers whose Offers are accepted and who are upgraded.

13. The amount of Baggage you may carry with you is determined separately and individually for each Flight Segment in accordance with the conditions and limitations applicable to the corresponding Flight Segment.

14. The fare conditions for the original ticket you purchased shall remain in effect and will be applicable even if your Offer has been accepted and you have been upgraded, including, but not limited to, cancellation policies, change fees and penalties. Mileage accrual will be awarded to SAA Voyager Members based on the amount spent for the original ticket and the upgrade. Additional baggage is given only on the single specific sectors in respect of which the upgrade is awarded, for more information on baggage allowances please click here .

15. In the event that your Offer is accepted and your credit card is charged the Offer amount but the Upgrade is not provided, you shall be entitled to apply for a refund. Your request must include the original boarding pass for the flight in question. If you are not able to provide the original boarding pass for the flight in dispute, SAA is under no obligation to refund you for the amount you paid for the Upgrade.

16. If you cancel or miss your flight in respect to which the Upgrade applies through no fault of SAA, no refund of the Upgrade fee shall be issued by SAA.

17. If you are travelling with an infant, the cost of the upgrade would be 10% of the bid price and would be chargeable separately at the departure airport subject to the travelling adult's Step-Up Cabin Upgrade bid being successful.  

18. SAA reserves the right to modify and otherwise change these Terms and Conditions at its own discretion. Except as provided for in the preceding sentence, no amendment, modification or waiver to these Terms and Conditions shall be binding on SAA unless made in writing and signed by an authorized officer of SAA. By submitting an Offer, you accept all of the terms and conditions of the SAA Step-Up Upgrade.

19. These terms and conditions should be read in conjunction with the SAA Conditions of Carriage which are available on flysaa.com.

Frequently Asked Questions Collapsed Content

What is the stepup upgrade service.

SAA offers its passengers the opportunity to upgrade from Economy Class to Business Class by submitting a bid to SAA.  SAA will evaluate all bids for that specific flight and inform you within 24 - 3 hours prior to departure whether your offer has been approved or not approved.

Who can make an offer?

  • Passengers that hold a valid economy class ticket issued by SAA with a ticket number starting with 083 for a scheduled flight operated by SAA.
  • You may submit your StepUp Upgrade offer up to 4 hours prior to departure.

Passengers not eligible for a StepUp Upgrade?

  • Flight bookings which are not yet confirmed
  • Free or Rebate Tickets
  • SAA Voyager Journeyblitz or Saverblitz tickets

Which destinations is the StepUp Upgrade applicable for?

The Step Up programme is available on all SAA operated flights with ticket numbers starting with 083.

Can I use the StepUp Upgrade on SAA flights operated by its partner airlines?

The SAA StepUp Upgrade is available for SAA operated flights only, where the ticket issued by SAA starts with 083

How does the StepUp Upgrade Work?

  • Book your flight on flysaa.com or your travel agent.
  • You might receive an invitation email from SAA telling you about the service with a link to submit your offer.  If you go to manage reservation, there will be a link to check whether your flight is eligible and to submit your offer or on the Step Up page, you can check your eligibility by clicking here .
  • Enter your offer
  • Enter your credit card details for general verification, review and confirm your offer
  • You will receive an email which will contain your offer details for each leg of your flight.
  • You may use this confirmation email as a link to cancel or change your offer up to 4 hours prior to departure.
  • From 24 hours prior to departure all offers submitted are reviewed and the available seats in business class will be assigned.  If your offer has been accepted, you receive an email confirmation of your upgrade within 24 - 3 hours prior to departure.  If your offer is not accepted to you receive and email informing you on thus.
  • You may proceed to check-in online for your Business Class seat.

If you booked your flight through a travel agency and the email in the booking is that of the travel agents, the travel agent may submit a bid on your behalf or they may forward the email to you and you may bid for yourself.  Alternatively you may check your eligibility and place your bid by clicking here .

What will happen if I make an offer and it is successful?

You will receive an email 24 – 3 hours prior to departure informing you that your offer was successful.  Your credit card will be charged by the amount you offered and a new ticket will be emailed to you.

What will happen if I make an offer and it is not successful?

You will receive an email 24 - 3 hours prior to departure informing you that your offer was unsuccessful.  Your credit card will not be charged and your original travel ticket remains the same.

Does the SAA StepUp apply on a Roundtrip?

All flight legs/segment where the SAA StepUp Upgrade is available will be listed and you will have the opportunity to make your offer on any or all the legs you choose.  You have to make your offer per leg in your itinerary; some legs in your itinerary might not be eligible.

Will there be additional taxes charged to the upgrade offer?

No, the offer amount includes all taxes.  If there is a special type of tax in a specific country this will be shown to you throughout the offer process and will be charged as an additional amount to the offer.

What happens if I have to cancel or change my flight after I’ve submitted an offer?

You may cancel or change your offer any time prior to departure as long as SAA has not accepted your bid.  If SAA has accepted your offer, you may contact us and we will evaluate if we can move the StepUp Upgrade to your new flight date.

What happens if I have to change or cancel my trip after SAA accepts my offer?

After your offer has been accepted by SAA, the upgrade amount is no longer refundable.

What happens if I cancel my offer by mistake?

You have up to 4 hours prior departure to correct your offer, re-offer or cancel the offer.

How does it work when traveling as a couple or family?

SAA StepUp Upgrade considers all passengers within the booking. 

Note: The upgrade cost for a travelling infant would be 10% of the accepted bid price and would be charged separately at the airport at the time of departure. 

Travelling with a colleague who does not want to use the StepUp Upgrade?

Please contact SAA’s contact centre and ask for the booking to be split, you will receive a new booking reference, once that is done you may submit your individual offer by clicking here .

Can Voyager members redeem their miles for SAA StepUp Upgrade?

No, Voyager members can redeem their miles for upgrade in the same way they currently doing.

Will I earn Voyager miles for the SAA StepUp Upgrade?

Yes, you will earn SAA voyager miles for the upgrade.  You will earn the base miles as per your original ticket plus additional miles for the cabin upgrade bid spent.

Will the SAA StepUp Upgrade change the conditions of your ticket?

No, the same fare rules apply as the original fare purchased including change fees and cancellations penalties.

Can I choose any amount I want to bid?

Yes.   The system has a strength indicator which is a guide to show you the strength of your bid; this does not guarantee the bids success.  The minimum and maximum bid amount set, is a guide on a fair value of the upgrade.

Can I offer different amounts for each of my legs of the upgrade?

Yes, you can offer different amounts for each eligible leg.

If I have an existing offer and want to use a different credit card, how can I change my card information?

You need to cancel your current offer first.  You will be able to submit a new bid using your preferred credit card only after the cancellation of your first offer.

Will I be refunded the amount I bid if the flight I was upgraded on has been cancelled?

If SAA cancels your flight, SAA will try to accommodate you on the next flight in an upgraded cabin.  If SAA is unable to honour the upgrade, then your bid amount will be refunded back to you.

What are the benefits of an Upgrade from Economy Class to Business Class?

  • You are entitled to priority check-in and boarding at the airport.
  • You have access to SAA’s lounges.
  • On-board, enjoy SAA’s 180 degree lie flat beds (on certain destinations), cuisine by award winning South African Chefs and a selection of award winning South African wines.
  • On the segment of your flight you have been upgraded to, you are entitled to the business class baggage allowance.  Click here , to see your baggage allowance for your destination.

When one segment of my trip is upgraded, what is my baggage allowance?

Additional baggage allowance applies only on the segment that has been upgraded.  All other segments normal economy class baggage rules apply.

If you have any concerns or need clarification, please email: [email protected]

What to Consider when Making Your Offer

The success of your offer depends on a combination of factors

  • The amount offered for the upgrade
  • Other competing offers
  • The original Economy Class fare you purchased
  • Your SAA Voyager status
  • The number of seats available for upgrade

Join Voyager now

Make the premium choice and join Voyager.

You will enjoy the distinction of a rewarding membership.

As a Voyager member you also experience special offers and unique deals.

Our Business Class Experience

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Fine Dining

You can look forward to culinary indulgences served with excellent, award-winning South African wines and a wide range of complementary drinks, including champagne. Note that the airline needs to comply with Covid-19 regulations and this service may not be applicable on your flight.

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Fly in Comfort

Seats in Business Class are more than seats and can recline to 180 degrees, lying fully flat for a relaxing journey. To make your experience even more comfortable, you will receive a duvet and full-size pillow, as well as an amenity bag containing everything you need to travel in ultimate relaxation. Available on flights where we operate a wide body aircraft.

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Lounge Access

Enjoy access to our world-class airport lounges, where you can relax and refresh, catch up on work and get ready for your flight

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Priority Boarding and Check-in

When travelling in Business Class, you will have the benefit of using our dedicated check-in and boarding counters, as well as priority baggage handling at the airport.

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Entertainment

You'll be spoilt for choice with over 100 movies to enjoy from the latest blockbusters to old favourites. You can also access up to 100 TV features, comedy shows, fun kids' programming, as well as a wide range of music and games.

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Baggage Allowance

You can take whatever you need with you and much more when you travel Business Class. A generous two-piece baggage allowance of up to 32kg per bag. To view our baggage policy click here .

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Number of debt-laden ‘zombie’ companies soars to nearly 7,000—and many of these publicly traded firms won’t survive: ‘They’re going to get crushed’

A person wearing a protective face mask walks by a going out of business sign

They are called zombies, companies so laden with debt that they are just stumbling by on the brink of survival, barely able to pay even the interest on their loans and often just a bad business hit away from dying off for good.

An Associated Press analysis found their numbers have soared to nearly 7,000 publicly traded companies around the world — 2,000 in the United States alone — whiplashed by years of piling up cheap debt followed by stubborn inflation that has pushed borrowing costs to  decade highs .

And now many of these mostly small and mid-sized walking wounded could soon be facing their day of reckoning, with due dates looming on hundreds of billions of dollars of loans they may not be able to pay back.

“They’re going to get crushed,” Valens Securities Managing Director Robert Spivey said of the weakest zombies.

Added Miami investor Mark Spitznagel, who famously bet against stocks before the last two crashes: “The clock is ticking.”

Zombies are commonly defined as companies that have failed to make enough money from operations in the past three years to pay even the interest on their loans. AP’s analysis found their ranks in raw numbers have jumped over the past decade by a third or more in Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the U.S., including companies that run Carnival Cruise Line, JetBlue Airways , Wayfair , Peloton, Italy’s Telecom Italia and British soccer giant Manchester United.

To be sure, the number of companies, in general, has increased over the past decade, making comparisons difficult, but even limiting the analysis to companies that existed a decade ago, zombies have jumped nearly 30%.

They include utilities, food producers, tech companies, owners of hospitals and nursing home chains whose weak finances hobbled their responses in the pandemic, and real estate firms struggling with half-empty office buildings in the heart of major cities.

As the number of zombies has grown, so too has the potential damage if they are forced to file for bankruptcy or close their doors permanently. Companies in the AP’s analysis employ at least 130 million people in a dozen countries.

Already, the number of U.S. companies going bankrupt has hit a 14-year high, a surge expected in a recession, not an expansion. Corporate bankruptcies have also recently hit highs of nearly a decade or more in Canada, the U.K., France and Spain.

Some experts say zombies may be able to avoid layoffs, selloffs of business units or collapse if central banks cut interest rates, which the  European Central Bank  began doing this week, though scattered defaults and bankruptcies could still drag on the economy. Others think the pandemic inflated the ranks of zombies and the impact is temporary.

“Revenue went down, or didn’t grow as much as projected, but that doesn’t mean they are all about to go bust,” said Martin Fridson, CEO of research firm FridsonVision High Yield Strategy.

For its part, Wall Street isn’t panicking. Investors have been buying stock of some zombies and their “junk bonds,” loans rating agencies deem most at risk of default. While that may help zombies raise cash in the short term, investors pouring money into these securities and pushing up their prices could eventually face heavy losses.

“We have people gambling in the public markets at an unprecedented level,” said David Trainer, head of New Constructs, an investment research group that tracks the cash drain on zombies. “They don’t see risk.”

WARNING SIGNS

Credit rating agencies and economists  warned about  the  dangers of companies piling on debt  for years as interest rates fell but got a big push when central banks around the world cut benchmark rates to near zero in the 2009 financial crisis and then again in the 2020-21 pandemic.

It was a giant, unprecedented experiment designed to spark a borrowing binge that would help avert a worldwide depression. It also created what some economists saw as a credit bubble that spread far beyond zombies, with low rates that also enticed heavy borrowing by governments, consumers and bigger, healthier companies.

The difference for many zombies is they lack deep cash reserves, and the interest they pay on many of their loans is variable, not fixed, so higher rates are hurting them right now. Most dangerously, zombie debt was often not used to expand, hire or invest in technology, but on buying back their own stock.

These so-called repurchases allow companies to “retire” shares, or take them off the market, a way to make up for new shares often created to boost the pay and retention packages for CEOs and other top executives.

But too many stock buybacks can drain cash from a business, which is what happened at Bed Bath & Beyond . The retail chain that once operated 1,500 stores struggled for years with a troubled transition to digital sales and other problems, but its heavy borrowing and decision to spend $7 billion in a decade on buybacks played a key role in its downfall.

Those buybacks came amid big paydays for top management, which Bed Bath & Beyond said in regulatory filings were intended to align with financial performance. Pay for just three top executives topped $140 million, according to executive data firm Equilar, even as its stock sunk from $80 to zero. Tens of thousands of workers in all 50 states lost their jobs as the chain spiraled to its  bankruptcy  filing last year.

Companies had a chance to cut their debt after then-President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax overhaul slashed corporate rates and allowed repatriation of profits overseas. But  most of the windfall  was spent on  buybacks  instead. Over the next two years, U.S. companies spent a record $1.3 trillion repurchasing and retiring their own stock, a 50% jump from the prior two years.

SmileDirectClub went from spending a little over $1 million a year on buying its own stock before the tax cut to spending $780 million as it boosted pay packages of top executives. One former CEO got $20 million in just four years. Stock in the heavily indebted teeth-straightening company plunged before it  went out of business  last year and put 2,700 people out of work.

“I was like, ‘How did this ever happen?’” said George Pettigrew, who held a tech job at the company’s Nashville, Tennessee, headquarters. ”I was shocked at the amount of the debt.”

Another zombie, JetBlue, suffered problems felt by many airlines, including the lingering impact of lost business during the pandemic. But it also was hurt by the decision to double its debt in the past decade and purchase hundreds of millions of dollars of its own stock. As interest costs soared and profits evaporated, that stock has dropped by two-thirds, and JetBlue has not made enough in pre-tax earnings to pay $717 million in interest over four straight years.

JetBlue said the AP’s way of screening for zombies isn’t fair to airlines because big purchases of aircraft “are an intrinsic part of the business model” that cut into profits and don’t reflect a company’s true health. It added that it’s been shoring up its finances recently by  cutting costs  and putting off purchases of new planes. JetBlue also hasn’t done a major stock buyback in more than three years.

In some cases, borrowed cash has gone straight into the pockets of controlling shareholders and wealthy family owners.

In Britain, the Glazer family that owns much of the Premier League’s  Manchester United  soccer franchise loaded up the company with debt in 2005, then got the team to borrow hundreds of millions a few years later. At the same time, the family had the team pay dividends to shareholders, including $165 million to the Glazers themselves, while its stadium, the Old Trafford, fell into disrepair.

“They’ve papered over the cracks but we’ve been in decline for more than a decade,” fan lobbying group head Chris Rumfitt said after a recent downpour sent water cascading from the upper stands in what spectators dubbed “Trafford Falls.” “There have been zero investments in infrastructure.”

The Glazers, who separately own the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, recently brought in a  new part owner  at Manchester United who has promised to inject $300 million into the business. The stock is falling anyway, down 20% so far this year to $16.25, no higher than it was a decade ago.

Manchester United declined to comment.

Zombie collapses wouldn’t be so scary if robust spending by governments, consumers and larger, more stable companies could act as a cushion. But they also piled up debt.

The U.S. government is expected spend $870 billion this year on interest on its  debt  alone, up a third in a year and more than it spends on defense. In South Korea, consumers are tapped out as credit card and other household debt hit fresh records. In the U.K., homeowners are missing payments on their mortgages at a rate not seen in years.

A real concern among investors is that too many zombies could collapse at the same time because central banks kept them on life support with low interest rates for years instead of allowing failures to sprinkle out over time, similar to the way allowing small forest fires to burn dry brush helps prevent an inferno.

“They’ve created a tinderbox,” said Spitznagel, founder of Universa Investments. “Any wildfire now threatens the entire ecosystem.”

TIME RUNNING OUT?

For the first few months of this year, hundreds of zombies refinanced their loans as lenders opened their wallets in anticipation that the Federal Reserve would start cutting in March. That new money helped stocks of more than 1,000 zombies in AP’s analysis rise 20% or more in the past six months across the dozen countries.

But many did not or could not refinance, and time is running out.

Through the summer and into September, when many investors now expect the first and only  Fed cut  this year, zombies will have to pay off $1.1 trillion of loans, according to AP’s analysis, two-thirds of the total due by the end of the year.

For its calculations, the AP used pre-tax, pre-interest earnings of publicly-traded companies from the database FactSet for both years it studied, 2023 and 2013. The countries selected were the biggest by gross domestic product: the U.S., China, Japan, India, Germany, the U.K., France, Canada, South Korea, Spain, Italy and Australia.

The study did not take into account cash in the bank that a company could use to pay its bills or assets it could sell to raise money. The results would also vary if other years were used due to economic conditions and interest rate policies. Still, studies by both the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements, an organization for central banks in Switzerland, generally support AP’s findings that zombies have risen sharply.

Most of the publicly traded companies in the countries studied — 80% of 34,000 total — are not zombies. These healthier companies tend to be bigger with more cash, and many have reinvested it in higher-yielding bonds and other assets to make up for the higher interest payments now. Many also took advantage of pandemic-era low rates to refinance, pushing out repayment due dates into the future.

But the debt hasn’t gone away, and could become a problem for these companies as well if rates don’t fall over the next few years. In 2026, $586 billion in debt is coming due for the companies in the S&P 1500.

“They aren’t on anyone’s radar yet, but they are a hurricane. They could be a Category 4 or Category 5 if interest rates don’t go down,” Valens Securities’ Spivey said. “They’re going to lay people off. They’re going to have to cut costs.”

Some zombies aren’t waiting.

Telecom Italia struck a deal last year to  sell its landline network  but debt fears continue to push down its stock, so it has moved to put its subsea telecom unit and cell tower business up for sale, too.

Radio giant iHeartMedia , after  exiting bankruptcy  five years ago with less debt, is still struggling to pay what it owes by unloading real estate and radio towers. Its stock has fallen from $16.50 to $1.10 in five years.

Exercise company Peloton Interactive has  laid off hundreds of workers  to help pay debt that has more than quadrupled to $2.3 billion in just five years even though its pretax earnings before the new borrowing weren’t enough to pay interest. Stock that had soared to more than $170 a share during the pandemic recently closed at $3.74.

“If rates stay at this level in the near future, we’re going to see more bankruptcies,” said George Cipolloni, a fund manager at Penn Mutual Asset Management. “At some point the money comes due and they’re not going to have it. It’s game over.”

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  1. Voyager Loyalty Program

    The Voyager program brings you many opportunities to make your flying experience better. Start collecting miles with your actions you take with us and our partners. There are unique ways to spend your miles with us. Spend Miles on Flights. SAA Voyager members can spend miles on more than 30 airline partners, including the Star Alliance global ...

  2. SAA Voyager Premium Credit Card

    Rewards and discounts. Earn unlimited Voyager Miles at the fastest rate on the SAA Voyager American Express® card. Earn 19,000 bonus Miles on the first SAA ticket you buy and use. Earn 15,000 Bonus Miles when reaching the spend threshold of R300,000. Earn double Miles for all eligible spend* in the first month after your account has been opened.

  3. South African Airways: Getting Credit Card

    The South African Airways Voyager credit card offers members many benefits. The rewards are worth more than a few dollars each, and you can use the rewards for anything you want. The advantages of using this card are many and you can benefit from them at the same time. The advantages of this card are many, so you should take them into account.

  4. South African Airways

    South African Airways. Plan my trip Manage my trip Destinations; SAA Holidays; Flying SAA My Voyager Essential info Voyager Credit Card; Voyager Cheque Card; Voyager Specials; Voyager Programme Guide ...

  5. South African Airways

    We look forward to having you as a Voyager member and a regular visitor to flysaa.com. Please complete the form below. You will receive a Voyager number immediately. Apply online or find out more about the SAA Voyager Credit Card. Its the fastest way to earn Voyager Miles!

  6. Voyager Credit Wallet

    South African Airways (SAA) has created the Voyager Wallet. The Voyager Wallet gives you an option to convert the value of your unused SAA ticket into Voyager miles and you will receive 15% additional Bonus miles. The Voyager Wallet gives you more travel flexibility and access to more destinations. Transferring the value of your unutilized ...

  7. SAA Credit Card

    The Voyager Credit Card was relaunched in October 2012 with new features which included: (1) an accelerated points earning rate for spending at any of SAA's partners which include partner airlines, car rental companies, hotel and accommodation groups, retails outlets as well as property partners; and (2) earning double miles in the first ...

  8. South African Airways

    SAA Voyager is South African Airways' Loyalty programme. It serves to reward our frequent flyers equitably through the accrual and redemption of Miles. These Miles can be redeemed for flights, upgrades and other rewards. SAA Voyager offers five tiers - Blue, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Lifetime Platinum - each tier provides members with ...

  9. Voyager Credit Card

    Benefits. One mile for every R6,00 spend on the SAA Voyager American Express Credit Card and One mile for every R10,50 spend on the SAA Voyager Mastercard Credit Card. 19 000 Bonus miles on the first SAA ticket purchased on the card, which is awarded on completion of travel. Spend R300 000 and get 15 000 bonus miles.

  10. Voyager Silver Card: Miles to access benefits of Status

    As a Voyager Silver member, you enjoy additional convenience and services during your travels. You get more benefits, including priority airport access, choice of seat and more:The South African Airways Silver Card has unique features. This co-branded card can earn you miles on all of your daily expenses. You can also earn Voyager miles on ...

  11. 12 Best Ways To Earn South African Airways Voyager Miles [2024]

    Earn Voyager Miles With Credit Cards. 1. Marriott Bonvoy Credit Cards. The easiest way to earn South African Airways Voyager miles is to put your normal spending on the right credit cards. South African Airways only has 1 transfer partner — Marriott Bonvoy.

  12. Voyager: Benefits of status / card Blue

    This card allows you to receive up to 30,000 miles, earn miles on every trip, and have priority on the waiting list at the airport. By making three transactions in miles, with South African Airways, or its partners (air, or ground), you get the Blue card. Bonus miles will be paid to you once you confirm your registration and membership in this ...

  13. South African Airways

    As a frequent flyer, you already know that South African Airways Premier Rewards Programme can give you more than just the world! Miles will expire 30 June 2020. We have extended the expiry date with an additional three months due to the rapid outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). ... SAA Voyager Credit Card. For the best Voyager Mile earn ...

  14. SAA Voyager Gold Credit Card

    Rewards and discounts. Earn unlimited Voyager Miles at the fastest rate on the SAA Voyager American Express® card. Earn 10,000 bonus Miles on the first SAA ticket you buy and use. Earn 15,000 Bonus Miles when you spend R320,000 in a calendar year. Earn double Miles for all eligible spend* in the first month after your account has been opened.

  15. 18 Best Ways To Redeem South African Airways Miles [2024]

    Here are some great example routes you can take: New York (JFK) - Johannesburg (JNB) one-way in South African Airways economy for 14,700 miles + ~$260 in taxes and fees. Washington, D.C. (IAD) - Accra (ACC) one-way in South African Airways economy for 13,050 miles + ~$240 in taxes and fees.

  16. Voyager

    The Gold Card: The privileges granted to Voyager members. When the traveler has made numerous trips with South African Airways and reaches 60,000 qualifying miles, he will become a Gold member. As such, he will have a 50% bonus on each flight, a guaranteed seat until the last hours before departure (in economy class), priority on the waiting ...

  17. One Mile at a Time: Airline Travel News, Reviews and Credit Card Offers

    Featured Credit Card. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points. Terms Apply. | See Rates & Fees. Earn 1.5x on purchases of $5,000 or more in a single transaction on up to $2MM per calendar year. Redeem Points For Over 1.5 Cents Each Towards Airfare.

  18. Cabin Upgrade with Step-Up

    4. Persons may only submit one Offer per flight which corresponds to the purchased ticket issued on South African Airways ticket documents 083, and offers must always be made and paid for by using a credit card. 5. SAA is under no obligation to accept your Offer, and it makes no representation that you or any passenger will be upgraded.

  19. Qatar Airways To Invest In Two African Airlines

    Qatar Airways is planning on expanding its connectivity in Africa, with investments in two African airlines. We know that Qatar Airways is betting big on Rwanda, between Qatar's 60% stake in Kigali's new airport, plus Qatar Airways nearing a 49% equity investment in RwandAir. The latest development is that Qatar Airways also plans to take a ...

  20. Silver Membership Benefits

    Earn 3 000 Bonus Miles on achieving or retaining Silver Status. SAA Appreciation Bonus Miles. 2 000 Miles for every 15 000 SAA Tier Miles flown on SAA. Status Bonus Miles when you fly SAA operating and marketing flights. + 25% of awarded SAA Tier Miles.

  21. 'Zombie' companies soar to nearly 7,000—and many of these publicly

    Credit rating agencies and economists warned about the dangers of companies piling on debt for years as interest rates fell but got a big push when central banks around the world cut benchmark ...