Every year, for the past four years, low-cost airline FlySafair has sold airline tickets for just a few rands, including airport taxes. The fifth of these annual FlySafair sales will commence tomorrow(May 7) at 9 am, where the airline will be selling 45 000 tickets on flights departing up until the end of September for just R5.
According to their press release, this year’s sale is bigger and better than ever before.
Kirby Gordon, Head of Sales and Distribution, said they have decided to up the number of R5 seats from 30 000 to 45 000.
"We’re especially grateful for all the support FlySafair has received from its customers,"he said.
Learning from the first year’s website issues, FlySafair implemented what it calls a “Waiting Room” to manage the influx of website visitors. This is effectively a holding area that allows a random selection of users onto the site every five minutes in order to avoid the website from crashing.
Here’s how it will work – at the start of the sale, a number of customers will be randomly selected from the group of online users in the waiting room.
Selected customers will then be allowed to enter the airline’s website where they will need to complete their purchase immediately, or their session will expire. Tickets can only be reserved by completing payment.
If customers haven’t yet been selected, they should remain in FlySafair’s digital waiting room, as a new group will be selected at random to enter the site every five minutes. And different groups will continue to be selected right up until the last ticket is sold.
Speaking about the very first year of these sales, Kirby Gordon said their first sale in 2015 is an important milestone for them.
He said: “25 August 2015 is a date etched into the walls of the FlySafair Head Office. This was the date of the first ever of these sales, where we sold tickets for just R1. The sale went off less than perfect when the website succumbed to the veritable tidal wave of web traffic that morning.
“We managed to get the servers up and sell out the tickets in the end,” he said.
Despite the fact that last year was the fourth time the airline ran this sale, there were several people who claimed that the sale was a massive scam.
“We’re not sure if it was just because the sale went off really smoothly last year, or whether this sudden scepticism spoke more to the national psyche at the time. One consumer actually took the airline to the Advertising Standards Authority requesting that the Authority investigate.
“It was no surprise to us as it was an amazing offer and sounded too good to be true. We shared the sales data with the Authority and they obviously ruled in our favour,” he said.
This year, the airline will be running three competitions alongside the sale to offer customers something to do while they wait for their chance to get R5 tickets.
Customers who find themselves in the digital waiting room can enter:
The Free2Fly promotion where they can win free flights for 12 months, the Jive for R5 promotion where they can submit the best video of them jiving for their R5 tickets. Five winners will then be selected, who will each receive one of five FlySafair return tickets.
Here are some tips:
1. Use multiple devices – it’s true, the more devices you’re using the better your chances of gaining access to the site.
2. When you’re in, don’t refresh your page – there’s a chance that you’ll be sent back into the waiting room.
3. Use FlySafair’s Low Fare Finder to track down the R5 flights – the airline has a tool on its site allowing you to view the cheapest departures each day for a month. This is the easiest way to find cheap flights.
4. Keep your eye on the prize – once you get through to the site there’s a limited period of time before your session will expire due to inactivity, so you need to start booking as soon as possible.