Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

SAA suspends all domestic flights during lockdown

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Mar 24, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - State owned airline, South African Airways (SAA) announced that all domestic flights will be suspended in support of the national lockdown to fight the coronavirus. 

SAA said that all its domestic flights will be suspended with effect from Friday, 27 March until 16 April 2020 (inclusive). 

Last Friday, SAA announced the suspension of all intercontinental and Africa regional flights. All these flights remain suspended until 31 May 2020.

Period Before National Lockdown (24 March – 26 March 2020)

SAA said in a statement that the airline will provide support to passengers who intend to change their travel plans and commence their journeys before the implementation of the national lockdown. 

"SAA is committed to looking after the interests of its customers and will assist customers whose itinerary must change as a result of the lockdown. There will be one free travel change for travel between Tuesday, 24 March and Thursday, 26 March 2020. Re-accommodation of the customers for this purpose will happen on a first-come-first-served basis.

Period During National Lockdown (27 March – 16 April 2020)

SAA said that it regrets that its call centres will not operate for the duration of the lockdown. Customers may direct their enquiries through any of the following channels:

  • Customer Solutions: [email protected]
  • Covid-19 enquiries on SAA policy
  • Covid-19 enquiries on Travel Bans
  • General enquiries relating to SAA business continuity
  • Reservations JNB: [email protected]
  • Revenue Tickets
  • Changes to existing bookings, for future travel
  • New bookings
  • Voyager Service Recovery: [email protected]
  • Voyager Blue, Silver and Gold members
  • Changes to existing bookings, for future travel
  • New bookings
  • PIN Reset
  • Voyager Platinum members would continue to be supported via the dedicated email channel

Period After National Lockdown (17 April and onwards)

In recognition of the travel disruptions and restrictions that flow from the national lockdown and as part of looking after our customers, SAA has put measures in place to give passengers the flexibility to defer their travel to a period beyond the lockdown.

SAA will resume its domestic flights on 17 April 2020.

All passengers who are willing to defer their travel will be expected to comply with conditions set out in the updated customer reservation policy.

Customers are advised that the updated policy applies across SAA’s route network, including domestic, regional and international flights.

To demonstrate our care and commitment to our passengers, the policy provides for changes for a period that extends beyond the industry norm (where ordinarily tickets are valid for 6 months only for domestic travel and 12 months for international travel) which is up until 2022. 

Below is a summary of the policy:

  • The policy applies to tickets issued on/before 24 March 2020 and new tickets issued up to 31 Aug 2020.
  • Customers holding an 083 ticket for flights operated by SAA will be offered a refund in the form of a credit that can be used for future travel.
  • Customers holding an 083 ticket for flights marketed by South African Airways in the flight range 7000-7999 and Mango codeshare flights will also qualify for the credit.
  • The value of the credit will equal the value of the unused sectors (coupons).
  • The original ticket rules will be waived.
  • The credit must be used between the period 24 March 2020 to 24 March 2022.
  • The credit can be used to purchase another ticket of the same/lower value or used as part payment for a ticket with a higher value.
  • Any additional amount to be collected (i.e. fares, taxes and surcharges) will be for the passenger’s account.
  • Change of routing will be permitted.
  • This travel advisory waives the 72-hour rule
"SAA apologises for the inconvenience caused as a result of the suspension of its flights. We trust that our customers and stakeholders will appreciate that these decisions are meant for the national benefit," SAA said. 

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE 

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