Hein Kaiser
Journalist
3 minute read
30 Jun 2021
11:24 am

How airlines are coping with level 4 regulations

Hein Kaiser

If you've got a plane ticket and can't fly due to lockdown, local airlines will give you a 12 month credit.

Bye bye holidays for now as Level 4 lockdown restrictions have suspended interprovincial travel. Picture Shutterstock

A seaside holiday for Gautengers was put on ice when President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday suspended inter-provincial leisure travel as part of the risk-adjusted Level 4 lockdown plan.

Short of donning a suit over your boardshorts or bikini and packing holiday clobber into a briefcase, it’s stay at home time for a while. The new regulations which came into effect on Monday impact both road and air trips. Added to this, earlier curfews again impact travel times and plans made, as well as consumer and airline back pockets.

Flysafair, always quick off the mark and, it seems, taking a customer-first approach said it would offer penalty-free confirmed changes on all its ticket types. The airline’s Kirby Gordon said while fare differences may apply, passengers won’t be penalised.

“It doesn’t matter what route or when the departure is,” he said. “We are also doing full ‘refunds to Wallet’,  so offering full credit for booking future departures.” These, Gordon said, would be valid for 12 months from the date of cancellation. More information can be found at www.flysafair.co.za

Low-cost peer Mango said holiday or leisure flights impacted by the curfew would be adjusted to lessen the impact on passengers and all those affected would be informed via SMS, email or by the call centre and re-accommodated accordingly.

The airline’s Benediction Zabane said: “Passengers leaving for or arriving at their destination during curfew hours will be required to produce valid boarding passes as proof of flight or a copy of their airline ticket.”

He went on to say that people who are unable to travel due to the restrictions can get in touch with the airline to obtain future travel vouchers valid for 12 months from date of issue. Zubane said passengers should mail vouchers@flymango.com for assistance.

Zabane added a caveat for travelers who may want to flout the regulations. “Reasons for travel will be asked at check in for any flights to and from Gauteng. Business travelers need to present an official letter on a company letterhead stating that the purpose of travel is business related.”

Brian Kitchin, executive manager of sales and marketing of Comair, the operator for British Airways and Kulula, said customers holding a valid ticket booked for holiday or leisure travel during the adjusted level 4 lockdown period will be able to utilise the value of their ticket within 12 months from the original of travel.

“No change of booking fee will be charged for tickets booked for travel during the adjusted level 4 lockdown period, although a difference in fares may still apply. Refunds will be permitted as per fare rules. Customers are encouraged to rebook to avoid cancellation fees.” Check out www.kulula.com for more information.

Following the country’s move to adjusted lockdown Level 4, LIFT has decided to cancel all flights on its Johannesburg – Cape Town route from 5-31 July. The schedule is set to resume and bookings remain open from 1 August 2021.

LIFT flights will continue up to and including Sunday, 4 July 2021. Flights from the 5 – 31 July will be cancelled and all affected LIFT travellers will be provided with an alternative flight.

New flight details will be communicated via email and SMS to the contact details provided at the time of booking. Passengers will also be able to cancel their bookings to a credit in their LIFT wallet for use on future flights.

For any other queries, our customer support team is ready to assist. They can be reached by emailing support@lift.co.za or via the ‘contact us’ widget on our website.