South African Airways Voyager members have had their share of massive devaluations over the past. Awards on South African Airways generally require A LOT of miles and incur high fuel surcharges (partner awards are not much better).
However South African Airways Voyager runs semi-frequent ‘JourneyBlitz’ promotions from time to time and the award rates are up to 85% lower. The current promotion runs until June 2nd.
The values in the chart are for one-way trips exclusive of taxes and fees. Still 13,050 from the US to Johannesburg do look great for their non-stop flight from New York and Washington, D.C.
Business Class comes in at 64,500 and that is roughly in-line with what many other Star Alliance programs charge. Fuel surcharges are about $250 from/to the US and the South African Airways websites prices these awards exactly to what you will find at ITA Matrix.
Fuel surcharges are lower to/from Perth ($150 per segment) and much, much lower to/from Hong Kong ($30).
Johannesburg to/from Hong Kong for 14,910 in Economy or 42,000 miles in Business is a solid deal.
Fuel surcharges for flights inside South Africa are pretty high and given the rather low ticket prices not worth it in most cases.
To pad up your South African Voyager miles balance you can transfer from Marriott Rewards on a 4:1 basis. You can move any SPG points to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio. Once the SPG/ Ritz Carlton and Marriott Rewards programs merge the ratio will improve to 2.4:1.
Outside the US a number of financial institutions allow transfers to South African Airways Voyager.