Flight Check: South African Airways A330 Business Class

South African Airways A330 Business Class is their newest product, and it is an excellent one. The Business Class section stretches over two cabins with lay flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. The front cabin has eight rows and the rear has four making a total of 48 seats.

If you’re a solo traveler you want to pick a window seat, if you’re with a companion the center two are excellent as they allow for a good mix of personal space and privacy, along with the ability to chat.

The seats are staggered which means the window seats alternate with being flush against window with the side table and console on the aisle and being flush with the aisle where the table and console is on the window. Obviously having the table and console on the aisle offers much more privacy, so choose seats in A or K in rows 2, 4, 6, 8, 9 or 11. All seats offer an ample amount of storage and are adjustable to a number of sitting, reclining and sleeping positions.

Each seat had a mattress pad, duvet, pillow and amenity kit already laid out and shortly after boarding the flight crew came around to offer a pre-departure drink. Being South Africa’s carrier the airline does a really good job of stocking a good selection of South African wines. That made for a nice 11.5 flight from Jo’burg to Heathrow.

The crew was attentive and personal throughout and did a good job of serving dinner quickly and efficiently on this evening flight without anyone feeling rushed. It was a good pace that seemed to anticipate the passenger’s preferences. The food on board was tasty and well prepared, if not a little obvious. Likewise the gorgeous and large high def IFE had enough offerings to satisfy but it wasn’t nearly on a par with Cathay Pacific or Emirates. Still we had no complaints.

The seat was quite comfortable for sleeping with a generous width and a deep and wide footwell which allowed you to move and rollover without too much hassle. Perhaps it was the wine or the comfortable seat, but most passengers in the front cabin seemed to sleep quite well after the dinner service and the lights were turned off.

Our flight arrived right on time into Heathrow with the cabin crew offering fast track cards for the premium passengers which is always important in London. This was a pleasant and enjoyable flight with a very comfortable hard product and a solid soft product. South African Airways A330 Business Class is a big step up from their older A340 product and competitive with most excellent airlines. We highly recommend it.