SAA says it’s exploring a few contingency plans in order to reduce the impact of the demonstration.
Employees affiliated to the South African Cabin Crew Association (Sacca) are demanding a $170 a day meal allowance when working overseas.
They currently receive $131 which they say has not been increased in the last six years.
SAA’s Tladi Tladi says: “These options include combining flights in case there have been delays on some other flights as well as exploring the possibility of accommodating our passengers on the partner airlines that could be operating on the routes that are affected at this stage.”
Talks between SAA management and the union reached a deadlock on Tuesday night.
Sacca’s deputy president Christopher Shabangu says: “Unfortunately it is going to affect travel, internationally and domestically.
“We’re the biggest union within SAA and the bargaining forum at the SAA. It’s not what we would have liked to see but unfortunately, we were forced to do this.”
Shabangu added: “The little that you get as a meal allowance you can’t now even supplement on anything because now it’s not even going up.
“We’re not saying this is supplementing a salary but it’s so little we feel that we’ve no choice but to strike.”
SAA meanwhile says it’s doing everything possible to resolve the strike as soon as possible.
Travellers have been advised to visit the airline's website for regular updates on possible flight delays.
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)