✅ Trip Verified | We bought our Maun to Johannesburg in october. At this time the flight departure were at 1:50pm landing in Joburg at 4pm giving us 3h35 to catch our flight for Europe. 3 weeks before our departure I received a notification about this flight. It has been delayed to 3pm and will land in Joburg at 6pm. Leaving us with 1h35 to catch our flight in Joburg. Quite difficult to do but doable. I wrote to customer service to ask them if it will be ok to have such a short transit time in Joburg, but they never answered me. When we arrived in Maun, we told the Air Botswana representative that we had to register on our flight to Europe because we will not have time to do it. They told us that they will try to. 30 min before departure, we learned by Canadian tourists that the flight had been delayed to 5pm. We ask Air Botswana to book us on another flight for Europe. After long minutes on their back they told us that we were booked on Virgin Atlantic instead of Swiss. It was ok for us even if the transit time would be short (1h20). We only wanted to be in Paris the next morning, so making a stop in Zurich or London wasn't an issue for us. During the flight we asked flight attendants that we will have a short transit time in Joburg and to organize something to make sure we catch our virgin Atlantic flight. We had to ask twice because we made a stop in Gaborone and flight attendants changed. When we arrived a van was there to drive us to the virgin atlantic terminal. Everything seems fine right? Well when we wanted to check in on Virgin Atlantic, the attendants told us that my ticket could not be emitted, leaving my wife alone. No one at Air Botswana told us that there was a problem with the ticket. Due to their incompetence, we had to sleep at the airport hotel. No one form air Botswana helped us for the room booking, Bid airservices employees were the best, they did the hotel room booking for us on behalf of Air Botswana. The next day, we had to stand in front of Air Botswana counter from 10am to 3pm in order to have our ticket to Paris. The manager were unbearable and supercilious. They lied to us numerous time, we had to put pressure on them to have some information about the situation. Note that we booked the whole trip (Maun to Paris) they had to pay for the rest of our journey (air france ticket were 2500 $ per person in premium economy, economy was fully booked). We were with Canadian tourists who didn't book the whole trip and they had to buy again Johannesburg - Montreal ticket something like 3000 $. This was the worst travel experience of my life. And during Air Botswana flight you can't use your smartphone even if it's in airplane mode, and there is no entertainment proposed.
✅ Verified Review | I was booked on flight BP211 from Maun to Johannesburg, scheduled to depart at 13:50 and arriving at 15:50 on 23 April. At about 13:00 we got a notice that the flight had been delayed to 15:20. No reason was given for the delay. The ground staff assured us that we will be arriving in Johannesburg at about 16:50. Some passengers had connecting flights and were assisted by the ground staff. We were also assured that the plane is on its way and that we will depart for Johannesburg at 15:20. At 15:15 the noticeboard started flashing indicating that we can board, but there was still no plane in sight. Later the flight details disappeared from the noticeboard, but still no plane. Eventually the plane arrived and we started boarding proceedings. We exited the building and upon reaching the plane the cabin crew told us that their plane is going to Gaborone and not Johannesburg. We had to stand around on the tarmac while the crew were running around trying to sort out the mess and calm some very upset passengers down. Eventually we were allowed to get aboard - we were going to be flown to Gaborone and there board another plane to go to Johannesburg. During the flight the captain apologized and told us that the change was because of some technical problems with the other plane. The transition in Gaborone was smooth. We eventually arrived in Johannesburg at 18:36 and I am sure some passengers missed their connecting flights. They were assured that there would be ground staff in Johannesburg to assist them with the transitions. We were all put in the same bus to the terminals and I did not see any assistants when we arrived at the terminals. My biggest issue with Air Botswana is not being truthful with us, their paying customers, in some instances flat-out lying and then dumping us on an unaware operator flight crew, leaving them to attend to upset and frustrated passengers. Very unprofessional.
✅ Verified Review | Johannesburg to Gaborone with Air Botswana. Fast check in at airport. On time boarding and departure. Full flight operated by an ATR 42. Good Crew. A good snack of crackers and local beef jerky served. Landed on time. Fast immigration and was out of airport in minutes. Return flight on same day. Again fast check in. Fast Security control and immigration. On time departure on a newer ATR 72. Rather empty flight with everyone having an empty seat next to them. Good snack and wide array of drinks served by a crew happy to do more than their best. On time arrival in JNB. Small airline but they know what they are doing. Recommended on visits to Botswana.
CPT-GBE GBE-JNB. First flight a clean Bae146 in very good condition half empty with loads of leg room. Food excellent for an airline and service find. Second flight on an equally clean ATR72 with equally good snacks. All flights on time. Much prefer them to SAX or Airlink!
I will never fly Air Botswana again. Warning to anyone who is considering flying with them: if you expect even mediocre customer service do yourself a favor and stay away. We were supposed to fly from Maun with Air Botswana to land in Johannesburg landing at 4 pm with a full four hours to spare before our long haul flight back to the US via Delta. When we arrived at the Maun airport chaos had ensued. What appeared to be a huge tour group had the spotlight and despite reaching the front of the line to check in we were completely ignored as the attendants told us they needed to tend to others first. Service was exorbitantly slow as there were only 2 attendants who were hand writing boarding passes. After an hour of waiting we were told the flight was oversold and we would not be getting on. We’re convinced that although we had booked our flights 6 months earlier we were bumped along with about 20 others from the flight in favor of the tour group. You can imagine the hysteria as the majority of the 20 had connecting flights in Johannesburg. The attendants assured us that we would get on another plane that was routed to Cape Town but would first stop in Johannesburg to drop us off by 6 pm. We found this odd but at that point had no other choice. It was only after we boarded the plane that we discovered we were instead going to Gaborone and from there another plane would take us to Johannesburg immediately. When we reached Gaborone the Air Botswana rep was extremely confused why we had arrived and told us we had been lied to and would have to wait another 1.5 hours to take off. Not surprisingly the flight was further delayed so we finally arrived in Jo'burg at 8.30 minutes after our second leg to Atlanta took off. We were extremely upset but told we’d be waitlisted for the next Delta flight out - which unfortunately was not for a full 24 hours. The real kicker? We were told you owe us $650 USD. Still can’t quite comprehend how they had the gall to say this to our faces but at this point nothing surprised us. No reps from either Air Botswana or Delta were available to give us a definitive answer on whether we’d be guaranteed to be on the flight so off we went to a local hotel in hopes of returning the next day to get everything straightened out. The people who work for this airline not only have the poorest customer service skills I have ever witnessed. When we arrived on day 2 to try to check in to Delta we were told we only had a 50/50 shot of getting on the plane. There is one flight per day and subsequent flights were all booked solid. We were beginning to think this nightmare might continue on for days and days. Surely there had to be a carrier going to any city in the US that could accommodate us. There was. Two in fact. However Air Botswana would need to book it for us – and they flat out refused. We were only able to get on the Delta flight thanks to their management; the Air Botswana rep was never to be heard from again. I could not be more appalled at the way Air Botswana operates.
Fantastic Service. Booked from Australia for Jo'burg to Maun flight. Kept great communications for any changes and even transferred me on a SA flight no extra charge for my Kasane-Jo'burg leg when I explained about connection time with my Qantas flight due to schedule changes without having to be asked and emailed me back a new booking. Great service nice snack on a short leg clean modern plane on time friendly ground staff. I hear things might have been different a few years back but certainly my experience was very good and would fly with them again.
Francistown - Johannesburg 16 September. Good short flight efficiently run with good crew. On time and no problems.
In August Johannesburg to Maun and Kisane to Johannesburg. Both flights were spot on time. Service on board was fine with drinks and light snacks served for the roughly 2 hour flight in each direction. Aircraft's were in good shape and the seats comfortable for this type of trip. Check-in in Jo'burg was easy and very quick. Check- in in Kisane was a breeze as the airport is tiny. All in a good experience and a great way to enhance your Botswana experience.
Like Eric said I don't understand the bad reviews. I have flown the Maun-JNB flight many times and everything has been great. Never had any delays. The last comments are from 2011 and 2010 and now I think they have a brand new fleet. My flight was nice - not the best aircraft.
We flew Maun-Johannesburg. Despite the reviews here I was pleasantly surprised. The plane looked new and the leather seats were comfortable. The 2 cabin crew were ok. The plane left on time and landed on time 2 hrs later.
Maun-Johannesburg. Short 90 min flight on what appeared to be newer BAE 146. Interior had nice leather seats and the legroom seemed quite good for economy. The flight attendants seemed indifferent (almost as they were being bothered) as they just plodded through the flight. The only problem with the flight was the hot cabin. I had to ask the flight attendant twice before the temperature was lowered to less than an inferno. Apparently on the BAE 146 the cockpit controls the cabin temperature - not the cabin crew.
Air Botswana to and from Johannesburg and Maun. The staff were friendly and outward journey JNB-Main was fine. The return journey was chaos! To start with the check-in at Maun airport was chaotic. The lounge was completely full of passengers trying to check in. Air Botswana had chartered another aircraft and upon boarding some passengers had no seats so they were told that they would have to catch the next flight. Once aboard they told us that the aircraft couldn't take our bags and that they would be in JNB on the next flight (apparently 2 hours later). I was connecting with a flight to Europe and if I had known that earlier I could have labelled my bag accordingly and I might have tried to check my bag through the whole way. I felt sorry for the staff as they were polite and tried hard to appease the passengers. They couldn't take the bags for safety reasons which is fair enough. The problem was that they knew this before we boarded the aircraft and chose to tell us once we were aboard. We flew via Gabarone to refuel. Then in Johannesburg a representative met us at the luggage carousel and told us that our bags would arrive tomorrow! At least he was there when our flight arrived and not when the supposed next flight was meant to arrive 2 hours later. However that was a bit of a shock for some of the passengers as Air Botswana must have known this in Maun. He took down all our details and where we wanted our bags sent if we weren't staying in Johannesburg. I honestly didn't expect to see my bag again. Three days later at home in Spain an Air Botswana rep phones me and asks me which airport in Spain I want my bag sent to! Zaragoza is 1.5 hours drive away and the nearest airport. My bag arrived there 2 days later. If any other airline flew between Main and Johannesburg I would try them. I think Air Botswana needs some competition!
Maun to Jo'burg. Got on plane and when arrived in Jo'burg our luggage did not. No ones did. Found out afterwards that if it is hotter than 40C they will not take luggage if plane is full. Wish someone would have informed us. We didn't get our luggage back until Zanzibar 2 days later and many frustrating moments in between. Tired plane needs an overhaul or the insides redone. They had a quick stop (which was not on the itinerary or the ticket) in Gabone. It was to turn staff over or something but couldn't get off plane and the 10 minutes turned into 40 without AC doors opened and +40C.
JNB-MUB return. Tried to check in early in JNB and was told to come back later as the BP staff had not started working in the luggage area and the check in staff member thought our bags might get pilfered (liked his honesty). The flights both ways use the new ATR 2-2 seating which was comfortable and adequate. To MUB there was a sandwich service with drinks followed by a 2nd drinks service. From MUB there was just nuts with a drink service. On arrival we were told to sit till we were instructed to stand and they were very strict even after the door had been opened.
JNB-GBE-JNB. Pleasantly surprised with the flights on ATR's considering we were in the middle of RTW FC Oneworld - unfair comparison. Cabin crew were OK certainly as good as I would expect. The aircraft must have had new paint recently as they looked quite good in and out. Didn't expect to be flying them no spare pages in passport so SA wouldn't allow me in country.
Maun to Johannesburg. What a terrible experience. The plane was in disarray & dirty. The cabin staff were dishevelled & not serious. I will never fly Air Botswana again!
Johannesburg - Maun Economy Clas BAe-146. On arrival at the airport we engaged the services of a porter. We had 2 rucksacks and 2 camera bags. I paid him around ZAR30 (USD4) and it was well worth it. As we had bought goods in Johannesburg and wanted to claim back tax I told the porter and he zipped us off to a Customs Counter that had no queue (we passed others that had at least 7 people waiting in line). We cleared Customs in no time check in was fast immigration and security had short queues and it took around 15 minutes to get the VAT refund processed. The aircraft was a BAe-146 - load was around 30% so we had 3 seats to ourselves. We were served a drink and a very small sweet roll. Maun airport is a small building with 1 immigration line and a bench where your bags get delivered to. Customs a breeze.
Gaborone to Kasane and back. I found the aircraft to be fine - nothing spectacular but clean tidy and in order. Younger cabin crew staff tended to be friendlier and more outgoing whilst older employees seemed weary and even a little sullen. Inflight snack an odd cross between chicken sandwich and summer salad with neither emerging as distinct in itself. My overall impression was of an airline that does a functional job pretty solidly - no delays for me - but could probably add a little more to its approach to customer care. There are plenty worse in Africa!
Jo'burg-Maun-Jo'burg. Either we were lucky or Air Botswana are improving. BAe 146 in decent condition flights left on time and the crew were pleasant. The inflight snack was curious but as all Brit passengers are increasingly used to nothing at all this just isn't a problem. Given the flight time and distance our fares were reasonable though not cheap. May the improvement on our (and others') previous bad experiences continue.
I travel Air Botswana frequently for trips around the country (as there is no other carrier) and what I cannot understand is the extremly high cost for tickets. I understand they have a monopoly but $500 for a 2 hour flight is absurd! When they do have 'specials' you can call the day they are announced only to find out those cheap seats have already been filled. And their prices compared to SA for flights to Joburg are also incredibly high ($400 for a 1 hour flight). So high that we never fly to Joburg but opt to drive for 4 hours and spend a night in a hotel which works out to a big cost savings although not a time saver. The staff are adequate (although customer service in all of Botswana is poor so it is adequate compared to that baseline) but not the food. And the flights are frequently late especially leaving from Joburg to Gabs.