South African Airways (SAA) shares tips with customers for easing travel during the upcoming peak travel period:
SAA’s flights over the upcoming two long weekends, in celebration of Human Rights Day on 21 March and the Easter Weekend 25 – 28 March are proving to be popular and are experiencing high demand across its route network. This is traditionally a time when many people travel by air, and the airline advises its customers to take precaution by making their bookings and other travel plans as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment. “The number of passengers rises steeply over peak travel times so it is worth taking the time to empower yourself with knowledge to ensure you get the best possible travel experience,” says Tlali Tlali, SAA Spokesperson.
Notify the airline in good time if you have special needs. Whether it’s dietary needs or passengers with reduced mobility, SAA needs to make arrangements and, if necessary, ensure dedicated staff is on hand.
Unaccompanied minors, in particular, should be booked as such in order for the appropriate assistance to be rendered to them when they travel. We maintain a specific ratio of unaccompanied minors per flight in accordance with the Civil Aviation rules and regulations hence the need for the airline to know who these young travellers are in advance. It is advisable and preferable to make bookings for these young travellers by phone booking because of the specific requirements that cannot be fulfilled online. Remember young passengers travelling to any International or Regional destination must present an unabridged birth certificate and consent from parents if travelling alone or with one parent or a guardian. Refer to the Department of Home Affairs website for more information.
Allow plenty of time. Factor in extra time as travel times could be affected by anything from traffic flow getting to the airport, refurbishments or changes at the airport, to facilities constraints and queues at check-in counters and security gates could be longer than usual. Online and mobile check-in speeds up the process. Check which parking area is closest to the terminal and use self-service check-in machines located in the parking bays’ pay-points or in the departure terminals. Even if you have checked in online, you need to be at the boarding gate on time and it might be quite a walk from the security checkpoint. Remember that SAA’s domestic flights departing out of OR Tambo International Airport will be closing 40 minutes before departure as from 1 April.
Understand the terms of your ticket fare and your class of travel. Ensure you understand the terms and conditions of your ticket in case you may have to make alternative arrangements. It may become necessary to consider taking out appropriate travel insurance.
Ensure that you hand luggage adheres to the stipulated measurements to avoid additional costs. The authorities strictly enforce the regulations to ensure compliance by all parties. Should you wrap your bags at the airport, it’s best to have them weighed and accepted first to avoid having to break the wrapping should the bag be over the allowed weight. Familiarise yourself with what “valuable” items are, as these should not be packed, but must be kept under your own care.
Some large packages cannot be taken as luggage such as large appliances (microwaves and televisions) which must be shipped as cargo. Please contact your freight agent or South African Airways Cargo.
Carry the appropriate documents and make copies. Ensure you have your ticket or e-ticket, and that your visa/s and vaccination records are in order for international travel. It is important to check each country’s requirements; as some countries will not permit a temporary passport. Remember that the name and surname issued on your e-ticket must match all travel documents.
We wish our customers pleasant and safe travels and we thank you all for your continued support and patronage.
For more travel information please visit the SAA website www.flysaa.com