The South African Government’s Advanced Passenger Processing (APP) service requires that the name on your flight ticket must exactly match the name on your passport. To ensure compliance, the South African Airways name change policy states that if the full first name and surname on your ticket does not match the name on your passport or valid government ID, the old ticket must be cancelled and a new ticket issued for a name change fee of approx. USD 69 with a new ticket number.
South African Airways will not allow you to board the aircraft if the name on your ticket is incorrectly spelt even by one letter, or if it is shortened (Tim in place of Timothy).
South African Airways Name Change Policy Waiver Due to COVID-19
South African Airways has relaxed its name change policy due to COVID-19. The revised name change policy allows you to change the name on your existing ticket free of charge until you’re ready to travel again after SAA resumes its flight operations. This policy waiver applies to all tickets issued up to August 31, 2021, the validity of which has been extended up to March 31, 2023.