South African Airways to implement baggage wrapping for customer bags as a permanent feature

Johannesburg, 2014-6-4 — /Travel PR News/ — South African Airways (SAA) today announced that following a successful trial period, the airline is taking steps leading to the implementation of baggage wrapping for customer bags as a permanent feature.

On 22 January SAA introduced a complimentary baggage wrapping service to customers travelling out of Johannesburg. The trial has now been concluded and customer feedback proven positive.

The number of bags pilfered from SAA out of OR Tambo International Airport was the lowest ever recorded in March 2014, even lower than the previous record achieved during the June 2010 soccer World Cup, when government security agencies safe-guarded baggage at all Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) airports.

Tlali Tlali, SAA’s spokesperson notes that the baggage wrapping has provided the best results to date.

“For quite some time now, claims and complaints relating to baggage pilferage and damage presented a major challenge to us. Several initiatives were implemented but could hardly bring any significant improvements for the customers and the airline. In an effort to provide the best possible solution, we decided to implement a baggage wrapping service in order to significantly reduce if not eliminate baggage handling irregularities.”

After a successful trial, SAA has decided to permanently roll out the project nationally at all domestic airports where the airline operates. A supply chain process will now be initiated for the procurement of a service provider who will implement the service on a permanent basis. This open tender will soon be advertised in major newspapers.

The initial trial period began in 2012, when SAA introduced baggage wrapping as a one day test. SAA subsequently decided to run a trial on a much longer period in order to obtain a lot more reliable data.

During the completed trial phase (from January to April 2014), 73% of bags had been wrapped and a pronounced decline in reported incidents of pilferage or damage was noticed.

“At all times, SAA endeavours to create innovative developments that seek to enhance value proposition to its customers. Therefore, the results of this trial are a testament to SAA’s commitment to customer satisfaction, ensuring safety and sustainable partnerships,” Tlali added.

This development must be understood in the context of the implementation of SAA’s Long-Term Strategy, Gaining Altitude, whose objective, among others, is to provide excellent customer service.


About South African Airways
South African Airways (SAA), Africa’s most awarded airline, operates to 40 destinations worldwide.

In its domestic market SAA has an extensive schedule operating 554 flights in total per week between Johannesburg – Cape Town, Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth, from its Johannesburg hub, as well as code-shared flights between Lanseria – Cape Town and Durban. SAA offers more frequencies than any other airline in South Africa.

Regionally, SAA offers 24 destinations across the African continent including Abidjan, Accra, Blantyre, Brazzaville, Cotonou, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Douala, Entebbe, Harare, Kinshasa, Lagos, Libreville, Lilongwe, Livingstone, Luanda, Lusaka, Maputo, Mauritius, Nairobi, Ndola, Pointe Noire, Victoria Falls and Windhoek.

SAA’s international network creates links to all major continents from South Africa through 10 direct routes and code shares, with daily flights from Johannesburg to London (Heathrow), Frankfurt, Munich, Mumbai, Perth, Hong Kong, Beijing, New York, Washington, and Sao Paulo. SAA has codes share agreements with 29 other airlines across the markets it serves. The airline has extended its code share agreement with Mango, its low cost operator, to also include coastal cities in South Africa (between Johannesburg and Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and George), as well as Johannesburg – Bloemfontein; Cape Town – Bloemfontein and Cape Town  – Port Elizabeth.

SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airline and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its four wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low cost carrier; Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA and South African Travel Centre (SATC).

SAA is a Star Alliance member which offers more than 21,900 daily flights to 1,328 airports in 195 countries. SAA is the winner of the ‘Best Airline in Africa’ Award in the regional category for eleven consecutive years. Mango and SAA hold the number one and number two successive spots as South Africa’s most on-time airlines.

For more information contact:
Tlali Tlali  (Mr)
SAA spokesperson
Mob:     +27 82 333 3880