Review: South African Airlines Business Class – Washington to Johannesburg

Washington (IAD) – Johannesburg (JNB)
02/07 Depart: 5:40PM
Arrives: 5:25PM (+1 day)
Duration: 16h45m
Seats 6H, 6K (Business Class)

We arrived at Dulles about 3 hours early for our international departure.   We avoid checking bags whenever possible (especially if going through Johannesburg, which is notorious for things being stolen out of checked baggage), so we quickly made our way to the TSA Pre-Check line. About 10 minutes later we were through security and on our way to the lounge.  South African Airways does not have a lounge at Dulles, but business travelers can use the Swiss Air lounge, so we made our way to the Swiss lounge to settle in for the next couple of hours.

Swiss Air Business Class Lounge

Swiss Air Business Class Lounge

Swiss Air Business Class Lounge

Swiss Air Business Class Lounge

At about an hour before the flight, we left the lounge and headed to the gate. Boarding began soon after, and we we boarded through the business class entrance and were on the plane in no time.

We previously posted an extensive review of South African Business class, so this review will be brief.

Business Class Seats

Business Class Seats

The business class cabin was only about half full, and was extremely spacious.  This is where we would spend the next 17 hours!  We were served dinner, and then tried to get some sleep.  The seats are a full 180 degrees sleeper seats, but they are angled flat bed, so you tend to slide down them a little as you sleep.  All in all, it was a very comfortable flight for such a long haul!

Bottom Line

If you are looking for non stop business class from North America to South Africa, we strongly recommend South African. And at just 80,000 United Mileplus miles per person, it is a great use of miles!