South African Airways' Voyager program can be used to obtain cheaper SAA flights, but needs to be used very carefully in order to reap benefits from it - in particular note that you need to pay airport taxes. You can earn Voyager miles when flying with SAA or other members of the Star Alliance, as well as 8 other affiliated airlines; when staying with hotel partners or hiring a car from car rental partners. You can even convert Discovery Miles into Voyager miles.
To celebrate their 20th anniversary, any 20 year old who flies SAA during February or March 2014 will get 20% more Voyager miles on SAA operated flights completed by 31 March 2014. You must quote your Voyager number at the time of booking.
The cheapest Johannesburg to Cape Town SAA flight is with MileageKeeper, where it costs 9,500 Voyager Miles. We did a spot check of SAA flights from JHB to CPT on the 28th June 2014, and the airfare of R1348 consisted of a Base Fare of R630 and the rest of taxes and fuel surcharges. So, each Voyager mile is equal to roughly 6.6c.
With the Voyager Credit Card you can get entry into airport lounges owned by South African Airways on SAA flights, and one complimentary Companion Ticket with South African Airways per year. The credit card is looked after by Nedbank. There is also a Nedbank credit card which earns Greenbacks and can be converted into Mango Airlines vouchers.
December 2013 : SAA warns of a phishing scam where an email is sent which attempts to gain inter alia SAA Voyager login details.
Voyager members going to the Women's Advancement Forum (from the 28th April to the 3rd May 2013 at the Birchwood Hotel in Johannesburg) get a fifty percent discount on the entrance fee, and could get a 5 to 18% discount on SAA flights to the forum (subject to availability). Use promotional code WAF2013.
In celebration of their 5th new route to Africa, SAA Voyager is offering double miles for flights from JNB to Cotonou in all revenue classes up to 30 July 2012.
Note that the program changed effective 15 April 2011. In particular, flights to Addis Ababa, Dakar, Accra, Douala and Lagos will accumulate 100% of the base miles flown if booked in classes T, V or L in economy class.
December 1994 : The SAA Voyager program is launched. Before this the airline had a Prestige Club for international flights and a Frequent Flyer Programme for domestic South African flights. On launch of the Voyager program the 65,000 members of the Prestiage Club and Frequent Flyer Programme automatically became Voyager Club members. The Voyager Club started with 12 partners (hotels, car rentals, etc...).
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Miles can be earned on Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, Aegean, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines, TAM, El Al, Egyptair, Emirates, Jet Airways, Lufthansa, Qantas, Polish Airlines, SA Express, Scandanavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SAA (of course!), Spanair, SriLankan Airlines, Swiss Airlines, TAP Portugal, Thai Airlines, Turkish Airlines, United, US Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
Voyager miles can also be earned with various Hotel groups: The Don, Hilton Honors, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group (combine your SAA flight with a night at the InterContinental Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport), Radisson, Sabi Sabi, Southern Sun and Global Hotel Alliance.
Car Rentals agencies where you can earn Voyager Miles are Avis, Budget and Europcar. Don't forget to quote your Voyager number when making the booking & collecting your car, otherwise you'll lose out on the miles. To be extra careful, keep the invoices of your car hire transactions until you see the Miles on your Voyager statement (which takes some 45 days). Each of the car rental agencies decides on the rates at which Voyager miles can be earned, and may exclude some rates (e.g. specials).
Financial transactions can earn Voyager miles on Voyager credit cards, Diners Club, buying houses through Seeff, Bidvest Bank Rennies, Master Currency, Health Spa purchases, Voyager Wine Club, House of Busby & Spec Savers.
Voyager miles can be spent via purchasing flight tickets or upgrades, with SAA, Emirates, El Al, Virgin Atlantic and Jet Airways. Miles can also be used to hire cards from Budget, Europcar or Avis.
I booked a return flights from Cape Town to Johannesburg using my Voyager miles, and had to pay R801 for "VAT & Taxes". This compares to R125 Airport Taxes that one has to pay with Kulula Air for a return flight (SAA is R676 more expensive).
In my specific instance it was even worse, as I had an infant with me. Kulula Air charges nothing extra for an infant. However, SAA charged R650 taxes for the infant as well. All in all I therefore paid R1451 for my "free" Voyager SAA flight, which worked out more expensive than the all-in expenses of a flight with a low cost carrier.
14 November 20008 Mr O Garbman's complaint against SAA Voyager is dismissed. Mr Garbman complained that he could not access the business class lounge in London, which he says was allowed for in SAA Voyager brochures. South African Airways argued that Premium Cardholders will only gain access to "SAA owned & operated business class departure lounges", and the lounge in Heathrow is owned by the Star Alliance.
Category : South African Airways