Update to South African Airways Travel Advisory

by Sally Cook

Update to South African Airways Travel Advisory

South African Airways (SAA) is pleased to announce that it is aiming to operate all international flights departing from OR Tambo International Airport, with effect from Sunday 17th November 2019 and from London Monday 18th November. Customers booked on these services should report to OR Tambo International Airport and London Heathrow, as normal.

The airline has however, extended the cancellation of all domestic and regional flights scheduled for Sunday 17 November and Monday 18 November 2019. This operational decision is aimed at minimising the impact of disruptions for the airline’s customers. SAA has further worked with its sister airline Mango Airlines to re-accommodate as many customers as possible travelling on domestic services. This may mean changes in timing and aircraft types, but aims to ensure that SAA’s customers reach their intended destination with minimal disruption.

Customers traveling to destinations in the regional market (points on the African continent) will be re-accommodated on Airlink a partner airline of SAA and other airlines where possible. However, it will not be possible to re-accommodate all customers. Only flights operated by South African Airways will be affected. All flights operated on partner airlines, including SA Express, Mango, SA Airlink and all codeshare partners, including flights operated by our Star Alliance partner airlines. These flights can be identified by their flight numbers and will operate as normal: SA 1000 – 1999, SA 2000 – 2999, SA 7000 – 7999 and SA 8000 to 8999.

The news follows South African Airways announcement (on Wednesday 13th November) that the airline had made a limited number of cancellations to its services. These included SA234 from Johannesburg on 15th and 16th of November and the SA235 departing from London on 16th and 17th November. South African Airways is now aiming to resume operations from Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport from Sunday 17th Nov and from London Monday 18th November.

These cancellations followed an announcement by the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) that their members will embark on industrial action from Friday morning. South African Airways are putting their customers first, and regret the inevitable inconvenience that these cancellations may cause. SAA will spare no effort to work jointly with the labour unions to find solutions that accommodate the employee demands, safeguard the business and return operations to normal. SAA has presented a revised offer to the NUMSA and SACCA unions, subject to the availability of funds from lenders.

Customers are requested not to travel to their departure airports unless in possession of a rebooked itinerary. In order to minimise the impact on customers, SAA is proactively rebooking customers and providing various options.

The UK Call Centre handling customer rebooking has extended its hours to assist passengers and will open on Saturday 16th November and Sunday 17th November between 10:00 and 15:00. As call volumes are very high, we urge customers only to contact SAA in the event they wish to rebook on another airline for immediate travel in the next two days. The passenger call centre number is 0208 576 5500. Customers can also visit https://www.flysaa.com/de-traveladvisory for the latest information.

Customers seeking a refund or wishing to rebook their travel on a future SAA service have until 30 November 2019 to finalise their arrangements.

Further to the cancellation of SA235 departing from London on 16th and 17th November and SA234 from Johannesburg on 15th and 16th of November and the ongoing suspension of SAA’s regional and domestic passengers will be assisted as follows:

• Where possible, passengers will be rebooked onto flights operated by any of SAA’s Star Alliance partners or other airlines to travel to their final destination with minimal disruption; and

• Passengers can be rebooked onto another South African Airways flight for any flight on the same routing until 31 October 2020 at no extra charge and subject to availability in the same booking class.

The extension of cancellations is a result of ongoing industrial action by the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA).

Rebooking assistance for SAA Customers:

Assistance will be provided to ticketed passengers holding a South African Airways ticket (only). All affected flights will have a UN status and will appear on your Urgent Queue, please ensure that you manage your queues. SAA customers may be re-protected onto any other IATA carrier within 24hours of the strike action. The following options will be available to SAA customers whose tickets were issued on or before 13th November 2019 for flights impacted by the strike action:

Ticketing Process for SAA (083) Tickets:

Rebook onto another South African Airways flight for any flight until 31st October 2020 at no extra charge and subject to availability in the same booking class in the same cabin. Should the same booking class not be available, rebook in the lowest available booking class in the same cabin.

Customers must be rebooked in the same cabin on the lowest RBD available on the new airline. If the customer no longer wishes to travel, then the booking can be cancelled and a full refund (including taxes) will be offered to the original form of payment. Where possible, rebook onto flight(s) operated by any of SAA’s Star Alliance, Codeshare and Interline Partners to transport customers to their final destination with minimal disruption. Lowest available RBD to be booked on Partner carriers in same Cabin. Amadeus Entry (TGAD-SA) for Interline Partners, pending Other Airline (OAL) approval

Tickets should be endorsed: INVOL RRTE DUE SA STRIKE/….(dte)

Other Conditions:

• Waivers to this policy will not be made.

• This policy is applicable to South African Airways flights only and does not apply to Mango, SA Express and Airlink issued on SA (083) ticket stock and not on separate tickets of other airlines.

• Change of cabin will not be permitted.

• Previous no-show passengers are not eligible for this waiver.

• All additional taxes for ticketed passengers will be absorbed by SAA.

• SAA Reserves the right to amend the policy without prior notice.

Contact details: London Centre 0208 576 5555 Option 2.

Click here to access the contact details for all other SAA offices globally.

Route and corresponding Carrier Support for SAA as per IATA Resolution 735D

Please note if you are re-booking onto BA the following OSI remark must be entered in the booking as well as passenger’s contact – “Invol reroute due SA disruption as per BA/SA agreement.”

Domestic Carriers Ticket Action / Process

JNB-CPT JE/BA BA Involuntary reroute within 24 hrs, book lowest RBD available, as per IATA 735D

JNB-DUR JE/BA BA* Involuntary reroute within 24 hrs, book lowest RBD available, as per IATA 735D

JNB-ELS XZ/BA/JE BA Involuntary reroute within 24 hrs, book lowest RBD available, as per IATA 735D

JNB-PLZ XZ/BA BA Involuntary reroute within 24 hrs, book lowest RBD available, as per IATA 735D

Regional and v.v Carriers Ticket Action / Process

ABJ-ACC AW/HF AW/HF has a direct operation between ABJ-ACC

JNB-ABJ KQ JNB-NBO on SA/KQ, NBO-ABJ on KQ

JNB-ACC KQ JNB- NBO on SA/KQ, NBO-ACC on KQ

JNB-BLZ LLW-BLZ and V.V on ET

JNB-DAR KQ via NBO on KQ

JNB-DKR KQ JNB-NBO on SA and NBO-DKR on KQ

JNB-EBB KQ JNB-NBO on SA and NBO-EBB via KQ

JNB-FIH DT JNB-LAD on SA and LAD-FIH on DT

JNB-HRE BA BA* Involuntary reroute within 24 hrs, book lowest RBD as per IATA 735D

JNB-LAD DT DT has direct operation between JNB-LAD. SPA Applies for Involuntary reroute

Ends

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