South African Airways
Please note: Beginning May 1, 2018, South African Express flights operated by Airlink will no longer be eligible for MileagePlus accrual or redemption. South African Airways flight numbers SA 8000 – 8999 are operated by Airlink.
MileagePlus members can earn award miles, Premier qualifying miles, Premier qualifying segments and Premier qualifying dollars on eligible South African Airways flights. To receive mileage credit, present your MileagePlus number when you make reservations and make sure that it appears on your boarding pass at check-in. Additionally, MileagePlus members receive the following benefits on South African Airways-operated flights:
- Star Alliance Gold or Silver status recognition
- Use of Star Alliance Upgrade Awards
- Access to United Club locations
Earning miles on South African Airways flights
If your ticket was purchased directly from united.com, by calling the United Customer Contact Center (including a United specialty desk, such as United Groups, United Meetings or the Premier Priority Desk), from a United representative at the airport, or through a United ticket office, you’ll earn miles based on the fare1,2 and your MileagePlus status. Please reference the “Ticket number starts with 016” section below.3
If you don't know how your ticket was purchased, in most cases your ticket number can be found on your confirmation email or receipt.
Mileage accrual table for eligible South African Airways fare classes Class of service Purchased fare class6,7 Award mile earnings
(including fare class bonus)
Business J, C, D 125% Discount Business Z 100% Full-fare Economy Y, B, M, K, H 100% Economy S,Q 75% Discount Economy T, V, L, W, G 50% No mileage credit A, E, F, I, N, O, P, R, U, X 0%
See our award chart to find out how many miles you'll need to fly one way or roundtrip, depending on class of service and region of travel, on any Star Alliance network airline. You can book award travel on South African Airways through united.com. Service charges may apply for booking or changing award reservations, depending on ticketing, travel dates and MileagePlus status. Award tickets cannot be issued at the airport. Call 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331) to reach the United Customer Contact Center within the U.S. and Canada, or view more contact and language options.
MileagePlus Premier qualification table for South African Airways flights Class of service Purchased fare class Premier qualifying miles8 Premier qualifying segments Business J, C, D 100% 1 Discount Business Z 100% 1 Economy Y, B, M, K, H, S, Q 100% 1 Discount Economy T, V, L, W, G 50% 0 No Premier credit A, E, F, I, N, O, P, R, U, X 0% 0
- The fare is the base fare of the ticket plus carrier-imposed surcharges, excluding any government-imposed taxes and surcharges. For tickets purchased in a currency other than U.S. dollars, we will convert the purchase to U.S. dollars using an industry standard exchange rate and then calculate the number of miles you will earn. Please note that the price displayed when purchasing a ticket on united.com includes up to a 7.5% U.S. Federal Transportation Tax on the base amount of the fare on itineraries wholly within the United States. This tax also applies to certain itineraries between the United States and Canada or Mexico. You will not earn PQD or award miles for the full amount of the displayed price for these itineraries because the U.S. Federal Transportation tax is not eligible to earn PQD or miles. Fare classes A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, P, Q, S, T, U, V, W, Y and Z are eligible for accrual.
- The award miles accrued on codeshare flights are based on the operating carrier and their equivalent fare class. This could result in differences between the purchased booking class and the booking class flown, which determines the number of base and Premier qualifying miles and Premier qualifying segments earned.
- Ticket number starts with "016" and was purchased from United on united.com, through the United Customer Contact Center or at the airport, or from a travel agency or other travel website.
- Ticket number does not start with "016" and was purchased from an airline other than United or from a travel agency or other travel website.
- Flight distance is defined as the miles scheduled for a specific flight, as determined solely by United.
- All other fare classes do not accrue mileage. United and South African Airways reserve the right to change the eligible fare classes at any time without notice. Unless otherwise noted, Premier qualifying miles are based on flight distance, class of service and purchased fare class. Mileage accrual is subject to the rules of the United MileagePlus program and, as provided therein, mileage will be credited in accordance with the terms and conditions of the MileagePlus Program in effect at the time of travel, not at the time air travel is purchased, booked or reserved, and accordingly miles may not be awarded for some tickets or miles may be awarded in an amount fewer than shown. The award miles accrued on codeshare flights are based on the operating carrier and their equivalent fare class. This could result in differences between the purchased booking class and the booking class flown, which determines the number of base and Premier qualifying miles and Premier qualifying segments earned. MileagePlus award miles earned may vary depending on the Premier status of the customer.
- For more information on Premier qualification, including how to earn Premier qualifying dollars (PQD) on partner airlines, please see the Premier Status Qualification Requirements page.
- For Premier members who travel on eligible purchased fare classes on flights with a distance of less than 500 miles, 500 miles will be used as the flight distance for calculating the Premier qualifying miles earned, based on the percentages in the chart.