SAA suspends all domestic flights in support of national lockdown to fight Coronvirus

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SAA domestic

South African Airways (SAA) announced its decision to suspend all its domestic flights with effect from Friday, 27 March until 16 April 2020 (inclusive). The decision came after the government announced a nation-wide lockdown for 21 days aimed at combatting the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

SAA supports this national effort as announced by the government, to retard, contain, manage and disrupt the rate of transmission of the COVID-19.

Last Friday, SAA announced the suspension of all intercontinental and Africa regional flights. All these flights remain suspended until 31 May 2020.

Period Before National Lockdown (24 March – 26 March 2020)

The airline will provide support to passengers who intend to change their travel plans and commence their journeys before the implementation of the national lockdown. SAA is committed to looking after the interests of its customers and will assist customers whose itinerary must change as a result of the lockdown. There will be one free travel change for travel between Tuesday, 24 March and Thursday, 26 March 2020. Re-accommodation of the customers for this purpose will happen on a first-come-first-served basis.

Period During National Lockdown (27 March – 16 April 2020)

SAA regrets that its call centres will not operate for the duration of the lockdown. Customers may direct their enquiries through any of the following channels:

Customer Solutions: customersolutions@flysaa.com
COVID-19 enquiries on SAA policy
COVID-19 enquiries on Travel Bans
General enquiries relating to SAA business continuity
Reservations JNB: ReservationsJNB@flysaa.com
Revenue Tickets
Changes to existing bookings, for future travel
New bookings
Voyager Service Recovery: VoyagerServiceRecovery@flysaa.com
Voyager Blue, Silver and Gold members
Changes to existing bookings, for future travel
New bookings
PIN Reset
Voyager Platinum members would continue to be supported via the dedicated email channel
Period After National Lockdown (17 April and onwards)

In recognition of the travel disruptions and restrictions that flow from the national lockdown and as part of looking after our customers, SAA has put measures in place to give passengers the flexibility to defer their travel to a period beyond the lockdown.

SAA will resume its domestic flights on 17 April 2020.

All passengers who are willing to defer their travel will be expected to comply with conditions set out in the updated customer reservation policy.

Customers are advised that the updated policy applies across SAA’s route network, including domestic, regional and international flights.

To demonstrate our care and commitment to our passengers, the policy provides for changes for a period that extends beyond the industry norm (where ordinarily tickets are valid for 6 months only for domestic travel and 12 months for international travel) which is up until 2022. Below is a summary of the policy:

The policy applies to tickets issued on/before 24 March 2020 and new tickets issued up to 31 Aug 2020.
Customers holding an 083 ticket for flights operated by SAA will be offered a refund in the form of a credit that can be used for future travel.
Customers holding an 083 ticket for flights marketed by South African Airways in the flight range 7000-7999 and Mango codeshare flights will also qualify for the credit.
The value of the credit will equal the value of the unused sectors (coupons).
The original ticket rules will be waived.
The credit must be used between the period 24 March 2020 to 24 March 2022.
The credit can be used to purchase another ticket of the same/lower value or used as part payment for a ticket with a higher value.
Any additional amount to be collected (i.e. fares, taxes and surcharges) will be for the passenger’s account.
Change of routing will be permitted.
This travel advisory waives the 72-hour rule
The full policy is available at www.flysaa.com

SAA apologizes for the inconvenience caused as a result of the suspension of its flights. We trust that our customers and stakeholders will appreciate that these decisions are meant for the national benefit.

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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