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SAA Refunds Policy

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Please see below SAA Refunds Policy as outlined previously by SAA on 26 March 2020.

·         Please ensure that all sectors with UN/HX for unavailable/cancelled flights are cancelled out of the reservations more than 24 hours prior to the flight departure.  PLEASE CANCEL  all flights within the reservation which will not be utilised. This will assist with GDS cost savings. 

·         DO NOT keep bookings “alive” by means of pseudo flights.   When the customer is ready to use his/her ticket, it will be required from you to create a new reservation and use the original ticket as part payment at time of reissue /exchange.

·         PLEASE REFRAIN from initiating chargebacks with the banks and advise your clients as well. A chargeback is where you or the client requests the money back from the bank.  If a chargeback is raised,  a subsequent Agent Debit Memos (ADMs) will be issued to your Agency.  This is time consuming and unnecessary, and increases our SAA chargeback score rating at our respective banks.

SAA would like to inform you of the following important changes and conditions which is not as per our standard SAA Conditions of Carriage pertaining to Refunds, Validity of tickets and Names on travel documents.

As you are aware that refunds will not be processed on any 083 document as the GDS and BSPLink Refunds have been de-activated and therefore we are offering you the following 3 options:

1.      Use the current ticket (Totally Unused or Partially used open coupon(s) value as a credit and use this credit as part payment at time of reissue/exchange, when you issue a new ticket. (Standard reissue procedure). 

a.      As an example of the application of the new procedure: The passenger is holding a ticket JFKJNBJFK. Passenger did not travel. The reservation expired. The passenger contacts you in December 2020 and ask for a booking JFKJNBJFK in JAN21. The Travel Agent will create a new booking, and uses the original JFKJNBJFK ticket as exchanged document, meaning the old value, fare, taxes will be reflected as paid and any new fare and taxes will be as additional collection. Standard reissue/exchange procedure. We are currently doing this (Travel agents as well as own offices, world-wide). The only difference is we are ignoring the original ticket fare rules being the change penalty and no show. (Note: if the passenger no-showed prior to COVID-19 communications we will allow the customer to use the ticket subject to charging the no show fee of the original ticket, at time of exchanging the original ticket as part payment).

b.      In the case for example: JNBLONJNB and now the reroute is JNBFRAJNB. Same will apply as above and any new taxes / fare will be for the customer account. We know that GB and UB tax are not applicable on the JNBFRAJNB and therefore we make provision for the refund of unused government taxes.*** Note:  should the customer / agent be in agreement – the unused taxes can be exchanged to a VCHR EMD and be used for future transportation.

2.      We are extending the ticket validity – which means you can use the existing ticket and reissue/ exchange the ticket and complete all travel on or before 25 March 2022;

3.      Nominate an Alternative Traveller, (by providing us with the new Traveller’s Surname/Full First name as per passport followed by the title) by means of contacting SAA ( or or where we will transfer the value of the original ticket’s open coupons onto a voucher being an Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) known as a VCHR EMD which is good for future transportation on SA operated/marketing flights. Note: You as our authorised Travel Agent cannot issue this type of EMD in your own office and also, in your own office you cannot make use of the VCHR EMD as part payment. Therefore You will have to contact SAA to assist with the booking and ticketing using the VCHR EMD as part payment. The same procedure will apply should the need arise and you request the ticket value of the open coupon(s) to be exchanged onto the Voucher EMD.  The conversion from the original ticket to a VCHR EMD can still be done on or before 25 March 2022. This EMD will then be valid for one year from date of issue. No further alternative Traveller nominations or extension on the new EMD issue date.

Note 1: If an agent applied for a refund on BSPLink or directly (agent or customer) and you have not received the refund please e-mail: The SAA team monitoring the e-mail account will assist you with the update of your e-ticket or EMD coupon status from Refund to Open. This will allow the agent/customer to make use of the remaining coupon(s) value as is or during the exchange/reissue, as part payment for the new ticket. For special services example Seating EMD we will either allow the EMD to be re-associated to a next flight or exchange the example Seating EMD to a VCHR EMD.

Note 2: As this communication applies to all Travel Agent’s world-wide, please contact your local SAA Trade Support office for assistance. In this advisory reference is made to the JNB, DUR and CPT SAA Trade Support e-mail addresses.

Who qualifies for the 3 options?

(Note: The conditions set out below overrides the previous advisories pertaining to Covid -19).

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.

A.      Applicable to tickets issued on/before 25 March 2020 and new tickets issued up to 31 August 2020.

What does this mean for you as a Travel Agent? If you have issued a ticket on/ before 25 March 2020 up to 31 August 2020 you may apply the conditions below:

Rebooking Conditions applicable:

§  Customers holding a ticket issued by South African Airways (083) (operated by South African Airways and/or SA 7000-7999 marketing flight range, Mango codeshare (SA2000), SA Express and Airlink issued on 083 ticket stock, we will offer you the value of the unused sectors (coupons) as a credit for future travel.

o    The original ticket’s unused coupon value will be used as the credit value at time of reissue/exchange to a new ticket / travel 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 reissue / reroute request and all travel must be completed on/before 25 March 2022. (YES TWO YEARS!!! Our systems are updated accordingly.) Anytime on/before 25 March 2022, the unused/partially used coupon values can still be converted to a VCHR EMD – which will then be valid for one year from date of EMD issuance.

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

o    Tickets and new PNR/Booking (OSI field) must be endorsed: COVID-19 SA ORIGINAL FLT/DATE

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

o    Note: Any unused regulated (government) taxes may be refunded at time of the new ticket issuance and Standard refund rules will apply. Should it be acceptable we will offer you a VCHR EMD for the taxes alternatively e-mail: for the tax refund.

§  Applicable to all fare types, including Groups. Voyager rules will apply to award tickets.

§  Change of routing will be permitted.

§  This Travel Agent Advisory waives the 72-hour/before flight change 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 this Travel Agent Advisory 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 SAA. The additional voucher will be valid for one year from date of issue. 

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

§  FOR AIRLINK SECTORS: You can choose: We can either suspend the Airlink sector by means of you contacting SAA (we will change the e-ticket coupon status to “S” and ask you to delete the SA8000 series sector if not already done, within your reservation, this will allow your customer to continue with the travel itinerary and e-ticket as is – we will then exchange the Suspended coupon to a VCHR EMD for future travel. Alternatively use the totally unused / partially used coupon(s) value as a credit at time of reissue/exchange to a new ticket. NOTE: Airlink will not accept a passenger presenting an 083 ticket. Please refer/contact Airlink for assistance as it will be required from the customer to purchase a new ticket directly with Airlink. 

§  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. Example: Ticket was only good for refund and the refund has not been processed, then use the ticket and charge the no-show fee of the original ticket as a DU tax on the ticket, at time of reissue/exchange.

§  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. We would like to draw your attention to our SAA Conditions of Carriage which you can find on, As per Article 16 – Liability for Damage 16.3.4 We are not liable for any Damage arising from our compliance with applicable laws or Government rules and regulations, or from our failure to comply with the same.

§  Any Refundable balance EMDS will be converted to VCHR EMDs. Please contact SAA (( or or

§  Group Deposit EMDs good for refund will be converted to VCHR EMDs where SAA will assist with future ticketing.

§  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 SAA. The additional voucher will be valid for one year from date of issue. 

§  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 new reservation/booking and use the VCHR EMD as part payment for the new ticket.

§  Voyager

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

o    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.

o    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.

§  Agents in default will not be entitled for a VCHR EMD due to non-payment.

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

Contact details

South African Airways Call Centre and City Office Contact details

South Africa

Johannesburg Call Centre | 27 (0) 11 978 1111 or 0861 606 606 or 0800 214 774

Or visit



Twitter (customer service): @flysaa_care

South African Airways regrets any inconvenience to our customers as a result of the COVID-19 and we encourage all customers to visit our website for further updates. 

The impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry is unprecedented and unpredictable. The nature of the content that is being shared on the ASATA coronavirus microsite is therefore constantly changing. Please check the date of the post to ascertain its recency.
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