Voyager is the name of South African Airways official loyalty program, and there are a number of benefits associated with it. Those who fly with this airline or their partners often will definitely want to make a point of seeing what this airline’s rewards program has to offer. Being a member of this particular program means that you can earn points/miles that can be used to redeem free/award flights, cabin upgrades, free hotel stays, and even car rentals. There are a number of different things that you can redeem these points for, making it incredibly versatile.
There are also numerous Elite levels that members can work their work up to after they have accumulated enough points. You will find that there are a variety of potential rewards and ways to earn points, making it incredibly easy for those who fly with this airline or their partners on a regular or semi-regular basis. The Voyager program is among the most popular ones in the world because it offers its members so many ways to earn points, which can then be used to redeem lots of great rewards. Whether it is upgrading from economy to first class or reserving a free hotel room, the rewards this program has to offer are worth exploring.

General Information

Star Alliance™
+1 (800) 359-7220

Pros

  • Miles expire three years after
  • Good number of partner airlines

Cons

  • No stopovers
  • Direct routes restriction ❸
  • Booking tool doesn't work
  • No any 1 : 1 transfer partners

Fees & Charges

  • Cancellation fee ❶
    $15
  • Change award fee ❹
    $0
  • Phone booking fee ❷
    $17

Additional Information

Expiration: Miles expire 36 months since last activity.
For some programs, an activity is any accrual of miles, crediting a flight, transfering or purchasing miles. For others, spending activities such as redeeming or donating points counts as an activity.
❶ Awards can only be cancelled within 30 days of issue
❷ Domestic awards ticketing fee about $17 and about $42 for international awards
❸ Awards except for Dynamic Awards must travel the most direct route
❹ Changes to Dynamic Awards in the Y, M, B, K, J and C fare classes are free of charge
❹ To change an award ticket, you must cancel and reissue it

Transfer Partners

1,000
Marriott points
4 : 1
250
miles
42 days
1,000
Marriott points
4 : 1
250
miles
42 days
1,000
IHG points
5 : 1
200
miles
42 days
1,000
IHG points
5 : 1
200
miles
42 days
1,000
Hilton points
6.67 : 1
150
miles
4 days
1,000
Hilton points
6.67 : 1
150
miles
4 days

The ratio is the number of flexible reward points it would take to transfer to Voyager.

Transfer time is what is reported by the transfer programs, supplemented by our own research. However, actual time to transfer is often highly variable.

Airlines And Fuel Surcharge

This table will show you the partner airlines can be booked online and those which impose fuel surcharge.

Airline
Online
Booking
Fuel
Surcharge
Alliance
Adria Airways Adria Airways
Star Alliance™
Aegean Airlines Aegean Airlines
Star Alliance™
Air Canada Air Canada
Star Alliance™
Air China Air China
Star Alliance™
Air India Air India
Star Alliance™
Airlink Airlink
No alliance
Air New Zealand Air New Zealand
Star Alliance™
ANA ANA
Star Alliance™
Asiana Airlines Asiana Airlines
Star Alliance™
Austrian Airlines Austrian Airlines
Star Alliance™
Avianca Avianca
Star Alliance™
Brussels Airlines Brussels Airlines
Star Alliance™
Copa Airlines Copa Airlines
Star Alliance™
Croatia Airlines Croatia Airlines
Star Alliance™
EgyptAir EgyptAir
Star Alliance™
El Al Israel Airlines El Al Israel Airlines
No alliance
Emirates Emirates
No alliance
Ethiopian Airlines Ethiopian Airlines
Star Alliance™
Airline
Online
Booking
Fuel
Surcharge
Alliance
Etihad Airways Etihad Airways
No alliance
EVA Air EVA Air
Star Alliance™
Jet Airways Jet Airways
No alliance
LATAM Brasil LATAM Brasil
oneworld®
LOT Polish Airlines LOT Polish Airlines
Star Alliance™
Lufthansa Lufthansa
Star Alliance™
Scandinavian Airlines Scandinavian Airlines
Star Alliance™
Shenzhen Airlines Shenzhen Airlines
Star Alliance™
Singapore Airlines Singapore Airlines
Star Alliance™
South African Airways South African Airways
Star Alliance™
South African Express South African Express
No alliance
SWISS SWISS
Star Alliance™
TAP Portugal TAP Portugal
Star Alliance™
Thai Airways Thai Airways
Star Alliance™
Turkish Airlines Turkish Airlines
Star Alliance™
United Airlines United Airlines
Star Alliance™
Virgin Atlantic Virgin Atlantic
No alliance
Virgin Australia Virgin Australia
No alliance

Program Review

South African Airways or SAA is the flag carrier and largest airline of South Africa. This airline has headquarters in Airways Park on the grounds of OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, Ekurheleni Gauteng. This airline flies to 56 different destinations all over the world, in partnership with SA Express, SA Airlink and its low cost carrier, Mango, within South Africa and across the continent, and nine intercontinental routes from its Johannesburg hub at OR Tambo International Airport, using a fleet of 54 aircraft.

This airline was founded back in 1934 after the acquisition of Union Airways by the South African government. The airline was initially overseen and controlled by South African Railways and Harbours Administration. Sanctions by African countries which would have otherwise provided stopover airports during apartheid forced it to adopt long-range aircraft and other measures to counter these restrictions. During this time, it was also known by its Afrikaans name, “Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens (SAL), which has since been dropped.


Voyager Program

The Voyager rewards program offers those who fly with South African Airways and their partners numerous ways to go about earning a variety of rewards. Some of the different awards that members can earn in this program include free flights, cabin upgrades, hotel rooms, and even vehicle rentals. There are thousands of Voyager members, and a plethora of benefits associated with the program itself.


Earning Voyager Points

One of the best things about South African Airways’ Voyager rewards program is that it is very easy to earn points, and there are numerous ways to do so. Members of this program will earn 1 mile for every R1.60 spent exclusively on South African Airways. SAA Voyager members can also earn miles by flying with one of the 35 different partners this airline has, including the Star Alliance global network, and over 20 different non-airline partners in categories that range from travel-related, lifestyle, retail, property, petroleum, and financial services.
Both SAA and Star Alliance Miles count towards tier status, so you will therefore be able to use them to work your way up through the various Elite status levels. It is important for members of this program to ensure that they quote their unique SAA Voyager membership number during the booking process or at point of sale in order for their miles to track systematically.

It is also important for Voyager members to keep their original boarding pass and a copy of their e-ticket receipt or original invoices for non-airline partners until Miles reflect on their Mileage Summary. Documentation for missing Miles claims must be submitted a full 30 days before expiry of the required time frame for the relevant airline or partner. Miles claims that are not automatically loaded for fuel purchases must be submitted within 48 hours of the transaction.


Redeeming Mileage Points

Those who are a member of SAA’s Voyager rewards program will be able to use the miles/points they accumulate for a number of different things, including award flights, cabin upgrades, car rentals, and even hotel rooms. Members can spend miles on more than 35 different airline partnerships, including the Star Alliance global network. Spending options for non-airline awards include car rental, spa vouchers, retail awards, and more. You will also be able to spend miles online. All you need to do is simply login to your account using your SAA Voyager membership number and PIN when transacting through the official airline website.

All miles that Voyager members accrue are valid for three years from the date they were earned, and you can nominate any person of your choice to utilize your awards. One of the great things about this particular rewards program is that you can use the miles you earn for so many different things.


Benefits of South African Airways’ Voyager Program

There are many different benefits to joining the Voyager rewards program, including the fact that there are so many ways to earn and redeem points. This program allows its members to earn points faster than many other airlines’ rewards program. Also, additional miles can be purchased during award booking at a rate of about $21 per 1,000 miles. Changes to Dynamic Awards in the Y, M, B, K, J and C fare classes are completely free of charge.


Elite Levels

The Voyager rewards program offers three different Elite status levels that basic members can work their way up through, including:
Silver: Miles do not expire once you’ve flown 6,000 tier miles in a calendar year, 3,000 bonus miles on achieving silver status, 2,000 bonus miles for every 15,000 tier miles flown, 25 percent bonus-tier miles, preferential economy seating for member, premium class check-in, priority baggage handling, priority boarding, additional baggage allowance, lounge access for member
Gold: 6,000 bonus miles on achieving gold status, 50 percent bonus-tier miles, preferential economy seating for member and one guest, priority boarding for member and one guest, lounge access for member and one guest
Platinum: 12,000 bonus miles on achieving platinum status, dedicated call center, 75 percent bonus-tier miles, preferential economy seating for member and two guests, access to exit row seats, priority boarding for member and two guests, lounge access for member, chauffeur service for member and two guests on qualifying flights.


Booking Fees/Charges

There are some booking fees that you might encounter as a Voyager member, such as the $55 fee for changing flights, and a $55 fee for reinstating award tickets. There is no fee at all for booking too late though.


Redeem on Upgrades

Upgrades on South African Airways are extremely restricted, not only to primarily South African Airways-operated flights, but even to types of SAA flights. Upgrades are only available by sector and to the next highest level of service, and they are subject to high taxes, fees and surcharges.


Routing Rules

One open-jaw is permitted, but you must be returning to your country of origin. Also, award tickets must be booked on “JJ” operating flight numbers. 


Cobranded Credit Cards

There are co-branded Gold and Platinum cards, but they are available only for South African residents. Those who want to get this card must be over 18 years of age, have a good credit rating, and be a South African resident or have a valid work permit. You must also earn R80 000 or more each year to get the Gold Credit Card, or R300 000 for the Premium Credit Card.