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British Airways telephone numbers:
OR Tambo : 011 971 8200
Cape Town : 021 936 9000
Durban : 031 450 7000
Port Elizabeth : 041 508 8000

British Airways A380 flying past Cape Town

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Luggage policy

Flight routes



British Airways v SAA
Battle of the full service carriers

British Airways South Africa

British Airways Comair is rated 4.5/5 based on 12 customer reviews.

There are 2 British Airways! On domestic and regional flights from South Africa (e.g. Johannesburg to Cape Town and Johannesburg to Windhoek) you were flying on British Airways operated by Comair, which were BA flights operated by a local based company called Comair.

On international flights from South Africa to London and beyond you're flying with BA PLC which is based in London.

This page is about British Airways operated by Comair, who used to operate domestic and regional flights in South Africa. In 2022 the company officially went into liquidation. They had stopped operations prior to this.

Latest Review

Views expressed here are not those of South Africa Travel Online:

  • 4/5 : "I recently flew British Airways' money making route (Johannesburg-Cape Town) for the first time in a while as I usually go with the cheapest option. The staff members were friendlier and the service was so much more professtional than what I've experienced on the low cost carriers. Check in and boarding was speedy and everyone was friendly. If only they would upgrade their aircrafft interiors and improve their food services, they would deserve 5 stars! "

About British Airways

British Airways is a UK based airline, predominantly operating flights from London. Its South African franchise was run by Comair (which also operated the Kulula brand). The reason for this is that South African aviation law only allows scheduled flights in South Africa to be operated by companies which are at least 75% South African owned. Comair also operated Kulula Airlines flights.

In 2022, after a lengthy business rescue process, Comair decided to file for liquidation. The effects of the Covid lockdowns and interruption in service had wreaked havoc on their already-strained finances. The airline had tried to re-establish their services several times after the first lockdown, but finally suspended flights on 31 May 2022. As a result of Comair's liquidation Kulula flights also never resumed, leaving a massive gap in the domestic flight market.

Baggage policy

British Airways operated by Comair's baggage policy differs from British Airways PLC's policy, so it is worth checking which airline you are travelling on to be sure about your checked luggage allowance. This bagage policy generally applies to British Airways domestic and regional flights in South Africa.


26 August 2021: British Airways Comair is resuming services on the 1st of September 2021. Both domestic and regional flights will resume on that date. It will finally offer some relief to travellers as demand has exceeded availability for the last few weeks, resulting in extremely expensive flights.

15 July 2021: British Aiways Comair has extended the suspension of all services until 31 August 2021, citing concerns about the new COVID Delta variant in South Africa. The airline has extended their suspension beyond the current lockdown, which is due to be reviewed by 25 July 2021.

5 July 2021: British Airways Comair cancelled all domestic and regional flights from 5 to 29 July 2021 following the adjusted level 4 lockdown announcement. They hope to restart operations on 30 July 2021.

23 November 2020: The airline announced today that their flights will resume on 9 December 2020.

30 July 2020: Comair's business rescue practitioners had to seek a one-month extension on the publication of their business rescue plan. This allows them more time to secure funding for the airline. Two conditional offers are currently under consideration by the practitioners.

5 May 2020: Comair has entered into voluntary business rescue proceedings to safeguard the company and its shareholders. This comes as a result of recent losses compounded by the devastating effects of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown. The airline hopes to resume operations by 1 November 2020.

25 October 2018: British Airways has been recognised as the top airline in the Airline Industry Category at the 17th annual Ask Africa Orange Index awards ceremony. This award recognises the airline for service excellence. This is the third time the airline has taken home the award.

28 November 2016: British Airways operated by Comair has announced that they are now charging for pre-seating, with costs ranging from R64 to R144 depending on the duration of the one-way route. Passengers will still be able to do pre-seating free of charge during the online check-in stage or when checking in at the airline counter. The best advice would be to do your pre-seating as soon as the online check-in opens.

Checked Baggage Allowance on BA Comair routes only

Cabin / Traveller type


Club / Business (from South Africa)

2 Bags (23 kg)

Club / Business (ex Regional)

2 bags (23 kg)

Traveller / Economy (from South Africa)

1 Bag (23 kg)

Traveller / Economy (ex Regional)

1 Bag (23 kg)

Loyalty Programme
BA Executive Club (Silver & Gold)
AA & IB (Platinum, Plus Gold)

2 Bags (23 kg)


Same as adult allowance + pushchair + car seat


1 Bag allowance + pushchair + car seat

Sports & Music Equipment

Part of free checked baggage

For pets see BA Pet Travel

Not part of free checked baggage

Sporting & Hunting
Personal Firearms

Not part of free checked baggage

Please note that further restrictions apply. No monster bags are allowed - the bag may not be more than 90cm x 75cm x 43cm. If your bags weigh more than 23kg but less than 32kg will be charged a Heavy Bag Charge. Bags that weigh more than 32kg must be transported as cargo. Bags carried in addition to the Free Checked Baggage Allowance will be charged an Extra Bag Fee. Be sure to lock your baggage up securely, as it's been known for items to go missing.

TIP: Pay for your extra bags or heavy bags online, it's cheaper than paying at the airport.

Hand Baggage: Restricted to 1 piece per customer (weighing no more than 7kg with dimensions 56cm x 36cm x 23cm (115cm) + handbag or laptop or briefcase. If you are carrying heavier than your hand baggage allowance (weight, size or pieces) you will be referred back to check-in to check this baggage in and will pay any applicable fees. This may result in the customer being offloaded and any expenses incurred will be at the expense of the customer. In the event that Comair carries hand baggage in the aircraft hold due to unforeseen circumstances then all valuables must be removed from the baggage as Comair does not accept liability for loss of valuables carried in checked baggage as per Comair’s Conditions of Carriage.

For full details on checked baggage items please refer to (which are also the official details, in cases of differences with the above)

Flight routes

British Airways (run by Comair Limited) operates:

Domestic Flight Routes:

Flights to Johannesburg (JNB)

  • Cape Town - Johannesburg (CPT-JNB)
  • Durban - Johannesburg (DUR-JNB)
  • Gaborone - Johannesburg (GBE-JNB)
  • London - Johannesburg (LHR-JNB)
  • Maputo - Johannesburg (MPM-JNB)
  • Windhoek - Johannesburg (WDH-JNB)

Flights to Cape Town (CPT)

  • Johannesburg to Cape Town (JNB-CPT)
  • Port Elizabeth to Cape Town (PLZ-CPT)
  • King Shaka to Cape Town (DUR-CPT)

Flights to Port Elizabeth (PLZ)

Flights to Durban (DUR)

Regional Flights:

Johannesburg to Harare (JNB-HRE)

Johannesburg to Victoria Falls (JNB-VFA)

Johannesburg to Livingstone (JNB-LVI)

Johannesburg to Windhoek (JNB-WDH)

British Airways flights to London:

If you require information about the UK visa application process then please navigate to this page.


BA Comair's meal policy differs from that of BA international. Since 15 March 2012 they will no longer serve Woolworths meals on board British Airways Comair flights. Instead, Food Directions, Comair's homegrown catering company, will be providing the food.

In Traveller on short sectors which are less than one hour (JNB-DUR, DUR-JNB, DUR-PLZ, PLZ-DUR), the only special meal BA will offer is Kosher.  In Club and for longer Traveller trips, the following special meals will be on offer:

MOML - Moslem

KSML - Kosher

CHML - Child

DBML - Diabetic

VGML - Vegetarian

HNML - Hindu

GFML - Gluten free

LFML - Low cholesterol

Loyalty Programmes

British Airways' Executive Club

British Airways offers frequent flier miles to members of its executive club (their equivalent of South African Airways' Voyager program). Click on this link to enrol in British Airways Club Class and start enjoying the benefits (miles, separate check-in queues at some airports, etc...).

Lifetime Gold membership

In September 2013 BA launched a lifetime Gold membership for members who gather 35,000 or greater points over the course of their lives. Lifetime Gold Membership offers members double avios miles for their BA flights, an additional checked luggage allowance, the ability to take a guest in with them to BA's airport lounges, ability to reserve some of the best seats on the plane and first class check-in with oneworld & BA.


Call centre

+27 11 921 0222

OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg)

+27 11 971 8200

Johannesburg head office

+27 11 921 0111


Office contact telephone numbers

Cape Town

021 936 9000


031 450 7000


+263 4 759173


+260 3 322 827

Nelspruit (Comair)

013 7500131

Port Elizabeth

041 508 8000

Victoria Falls

+263 13 42053


+264 61 248528

BA flight reviews

  • 2013-12-02Rating 5/5 : "Having recently returned from a week's holiday in Port Elizabeth after just having gone through a messy divorce, and just needing a breathe of fresh air, I could not think of a better place to travel to but Port Elizabeth, as it is a clean and beautiful city."

  • 2013-10-15 Rating 4/5 : "The take-off is my favourite part of flying, where you’re travelling so fast that you start lifting off the ground and all of a sudden you’re going up but your stomach is going down and you have this incredible mix of excitement and nervousness."

  • 2013-07-18 Rating 5/5 : "It was the first time that I travelled for more than ten hours in a flight."

  • 2013-06-20 Rating 5/5 : "I am probably the world’s most terrified flyer and take offs and landings are not my thing!"

  • 22 Apr 2013 "I live in Cape Town and fly every week to Jhb. For 10 years my Business partner and I have loyally always only used SAA. Six months ago I switched to BA for the simple reason that when changing a flight there is no charge. SAA charges anything from R700 upwards for changing , and this is despite that it is the same class ticket. SAA lost 2 very loyal clients. A Big heads up for BA for getting it right. "

  • 29 Mar 2012 Rating 4/5 : "More rearranging, and with stuffed backpacks we eventually got through without paying".

  • 27 Nov 2011 Rating 4/5 : "On the flight back from Vilankulo I was again impressed by the quality of the service offered by the air hostesses "

  • 20 May 2011 "Mid-May my husband made last minute plans for me to join him in Durban for the weekend "

British Airways plane parked at Cape Town International Airport

  • 25 Apr 2011 Rating 5/5 "British Airways started flying the JNB-NLP route on the 4th May 2010 in Boeing 737-300 aircraft, and the 25th April 2011 was the first time we flew the route."

  • 5 Feb 2010 Rating 5/5 "British Airways were cheapest, so it was a no brainer to book our return flight from Durban to Cape Town with them"

  • 6 Dec 2009Rating 5/5 "British Airways showered themselves with glory on this flight BA6425 from Johannesburg to Cape Town, on 6 Dec 2009, when they assisted our crying toddler by giving her some playing cards with animals"

How to Book a British Airways Flight

(British Airways Comair flights may also be booked with Kulula)

Step 1 : Navigate to the British Airways bookings page. Notice the booking engine on the left. Fill in where you want to fly from, to, whether you want a one-way or return flights, your outbound date, return date, the flight class you prefer, how man adults/children/infants and then click the red "Find flights" button.

British Airways South Africa flight bookings engine

Step 2 : The flight times as well as the flight numbers (e.g. BA6231) are shown, as well as all economy and business class airfares. A warning is given if there are only a few seats remaining. Select your preferred flight and class and then click the red "Continue" button.

British Airways flight prices display in the booking process

Step 3 : After checking that you're happy with your flight price scroll down a bit. If you have a promotion code or an eVoucher, then fill in the details.

British Airways promotion code

Step 4 : Scroll down a bit further, and you then have the opportunity to pay a bit more to increase the flexibility of your flight or to upgrade your flight.

Upgrading a British Airways flight to business class or increase flexibility

Step 5 : Scroll down a bit more and you have the opportunity to donate to charity - One Destination or Changing Lives one Child at a Time.

Donate to charity with British Airways

Step 6 : If you are happy with everything on the page, then scroll down a bit more and click the "I agree to the statement above" and then the red "Continue" button. Then a screen will pop up asking whether you want to add a hotel or car rental booking. If you only want to book flights, then click the red "Continue with Flights Only" button.

Booking hotels or car rentals on the British Airways website

Step 7 : You will then be prompted to fill in the passenger details. Make sure that the details you fill in are exactly the same as on the passport or other travel documents you are using. You also provide your cellphone number to ensure you are informed about any changes.

Filling in passenger details on a British Airways booking

Step 8 : Then select your payment method. You have the option of paying with Visa/Mastercard/Discover/Diners Club/American Express or Airplus/UATP. Note that the credit card used must be presented at check-in. Click the red "Make Booking" button to finalise your reservation.

Payment options for a British Airways Comair flight


British Airways operated by Comair has a large variety of Boeing 737's, including eleven Boeing 737-300's, seven Boeing 737-300's and one Boeing 737-800, which is also their newest aircraft.

"We're very happy to welcome the first Boeing 737-800 into our fleet as part of our overall Comair strategy. The total investment in the fleet upgrade is going to be around R3.5bn. The investment upgrade started in 2012 when we initially invested in our Kulula fleet. It formed part of 4 brand new aircraft plus 5 additional aircraft which essentially replaced all of the Kulula 737-400 fleet. The new aircraft will be carrying 158 passengers, and we will have 20 passengers in our Club Configuration as well as 138 passengers in travel. The aircraft themselves represent an 18% fuel saving, so in real terms we save around 2 million litres of fuel p.a. We are constantly looking to improve service and value in terms of our overall customer proposition, and this needs to be seen in light of running a sustainable airline business" said Iain Meaker, Commerical Distribution Executive at Comair, in September 2013.

In August 2013 BA Comair will deploy its first Boeing 737-800.

Boeing 737-300




CFM 56-3B2

Cruise Speed

900 km/h


33.5 meters


28.9 meters

Boeing 737-400




CFM 56-3C1

Cruise Speed

900 km/h


36.5 meters


28.9 meters

Boeing 737-800





Cruise Speed

900 km/h


39.5 meters


35.8 meters

Maintenance of aircraft

South African Technical (SAT) have been appointed to repair and maintain the aircraft of BA South Africa.

British Airways versus South African Airways

In SouthAfrica.TO's experience British Airways offers superior service in terms of aircraft design, meals, check-in queues and marketing. Here's our analysis of British Airways versus South African Airways.

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