There are some challenges with regards to how the Consumer Protection Act works. One of the challenges is an ongoing delay in terms of the airlines providing specific codes of behaviour and conduct in terms of airlines and Consumer Protection. The Consumer Protection Act was always designed for consumer items that are disposable and easy to replace.
The situation will be different depending on whether it’s domestic or international. If the contract is concluded locally in South Africa, then hypothetically the CPA should apply. In terms of the CPA, when it comes to advance booking, you have a right to cancel against a reasonable cancellation penalty for any advanced booking. Whether the airlines act in accordance with the CPA is a different question.
International travel it gets a little bit murky because the airlines will argue the law of the country where they are domiciled will apply.
For more information on cancellations and refunds, please click here.