New Commercial Policy (V7.3) on all Routes and SAA Suspends Domestic Flights in Support of South Africa’s National Lockdown

by Sally Cook

New Commercial Policy (V7.3) on all Routes and SAA Suspends Domestic Flights in Support of South Africa’s National Lockdown

South African Airways (SAA) has announced its decision to suspend all its domestic flights with effect from Friday 27th March until 16th April 2020 (inclusive).

The decision came after the South African government announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days aimed at combatting the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Last Friday, SAA announced the suspension of all intercontinental and Africa regional flights until 31 May 2020. 

To demonstrate a commitment to passengers a new updated re-booking policy that applies across SAA’s route network including domestic, regional and international flights, now provides for changes for a period up until March 2022. This new policy until 2022 goes beyond the industry norm, where tickets are usually valid for 12 months for international travel. 

For passengers, a summary of the new rebooking policy can be found at flysaa.com and for members of the travel industry, further ticketing information can be found at flysaatrade.com

For South African Airways customers in the UK we regret that we have temporarily closed our telephone lines due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are handling all customer and trade enquiries via email. 

If passengers have booked through a travel agent we advise them to contact their agent directly for changes to their travel plans.  

We are advising all passengers to check www.Dirco.gov.za for updates from the South African Government Department of International Relations and Cooperation for essential guidance on entry into South Africa and to the acceptance of international transit passengers and www.gov.uk/foreign travel advice for updates from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  

We are handling all customer and trade enquiries via email by prioritising passengers who were booked to travel in the next seven days. 

You can send your email enquiry to saleslondon@flysaa.com and we will respond shortly.     

South African Airways (SAA) suspension to operations was in response to a government travel ban aimed at stopping the transmission of the Coronavirus (Covid-19).  

Following the declaration of the State of Disaster in South Africa, the government announced a travel ban and issued regulations, which introduced certain measures aimed at combatting the spread or transmission of the virus.  

Amongst other things, the regulations said that crew from high risk countries shall be subject to medical screening and quarantined for 21 days. South African Airways supports this national effort as announced by the government, to retard, contain, manage and disrupt the rate of transmission of the COVID-19 and apologises for any inconvenience to its customers travel plans further to the global pandemic.

Commercial Policy 7.3

  • Assistance will be provided to all ticketed passengers holding a South African Airway’s ticket (only) and planned new bookings via any SAA Call Centre, City Travel Office or Travel Agent with the following conditions.  

  • Applicable to tickets issued on/before 25 March 2020 and new tickets issued up to 31 Aug 2020. 


Rebooking Conditions Applicable

  • Customers holding a ticket issued by South African Airways (083) (operated by South African Airways and/or SA 7000-7999 flight range), we will offer you the value of the unused sectors (coupons) as a credit for future travel.

  • The original ticket will be used as the exchange document.

  • We will ignore the original ticket fare rules and allow you to use the credit (value of the unused coupons) within the next 24 months (2 years) from 25 March 2020.

  • The reissued / reroute request and all travel must be completed on/before 25 March 2022.



  • Any additional amount to be collected (i.e. fares, taxes and surcharges) the differences and/or other expenses occurred will be for the passenger’s account.

  • Tickets and PNR must be endorsed: “COVID-19 SA FLT/DATE”

  • The new route’s fare, fees, taxes and charges and fare rules will apply.

  • Note: Any unused regulated taxes may be refunded at time of the new ticket issuance and Standard refund rules will apply.

  • Applicable to all fare types. Voyager rules will apply to award tickets.

  • Change of routing will be permitted.

  • This travel advisory waives the 72-hour rule.

  • SAA is extending the ticket validity and not the fare validity and that no waiver code is required at time of reissue. All tickets will be audited in connection with the ticketed date and using Travel advisory number 7 as audit reference document.

  • Should an additional fare credit arise as a result of a residual at time of using the original ticket as credit towards payment for a future travel, an additional credit Voucher in the form of a VCHR EMD will be issued. Please forward such requests to ReservationsJNB@flysaa.com. The additional voucher will be valid for one year from date of issue. 

  • This Travel Advisory is applicable to South African Airways operated flights, Mango codeshare (SA2000) and SA marketing (SA7000) issued on 083 ticket stock.

  • This Travel Advisory is also applicable to SA Express (SA1000) and Airlink (SA8000) flights that form part of an itinerary that contains a SAA operated flight, issued on SA (083) ticket stock and not on separate tickets of other airlines.

  • Fare and Carrier Imposed Fees are not permitted for refund as part of this advisory.

  • Previous No-Show passengers are only eligible for this waiver if the no show fee of the original ticket is applied at time of new ticket issuance.

  • Please do not request refunds via the standard refund channels. Please make use of the ticket as credit for future travel.

  • Note: This procedure overrides our standard SAA conditions of carriage pertaining to Refunds and Ticket Validity.

Alternative Traveller

  • Should the customer named on the original ticket, no longer wish to travel, the customer can nominate an alternative traveller to make use of the credit. We require the Surname/Full First Name as per passport and title of the new traveller.

  • The value of the original ticket will be converted to an electronic miscellaneous document, known as an EMD. This EMD will be a voucher (VCHR EMD). The VCHR EMD is valid for one year from date of issue.

  • When the new owner of the EMD is ready to travel, please contact SAA where we will create a reservation and use the VCHR EMD as part payment for the new ticket.

Voyager

  • Applicable to all fare types including Voyager Award tickets and Voyager Companion Tickets.

  • Change of routing will be permitted for Voyager tickets booked in I and X /class subject to the new route being in the same award region.

Companion Ticket

  • Change of routing will be permitted, based on the revenue ticket that is issued.

  • Voyager will also accommodate the nomination of an alternative traveller. Please contact Voyager for assistance.

  • SAA reserves the right to withdraw or revise the conditions without prior notice.

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