South African Airways (SAA) has requested that passengers who had been booked to travel from Australasia or the Far East to or beyond Johannesburg this Saturday and Sunday do not turn up at airports, but instead follow the airline’s travel policy to exercise their rights following the cancellation of flights because of industrial action.

The cancellation of flights for two days follows an announcement by the South African Cabin Crew Association (SACCA) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) that their members will embark on industrial action from Friday morning, Johannesburg time.

Tim Clyde Smith, Regional General Manager – Asia Pacific said, “Our customers and travel partners are front of mind and we have been working hard across our entire global network to provide tangible solutions to get to their final destination over the coming days.

“Moreover, our travel partners are now enabled to reissue tickets of customers directly impacted by these cancellations. A SAA Trade Alert will be sent shortly on this to provide our partners more details.

“Until these tickets are reissued, customers are advised to follow our re-accommodation travel policy and are requested not to travel to their departure airports unless in possession of a rebooked itinerary.”

SAA has advised that assistance will be provided to all ticketed customers holding a South African Airways ticket and customers should refer to the issuing office for assistance.

Those who have booked through a travel agent should contact their travel agent directly, while customers who have booked their ticket directly should contact their local SAA office.

SAA passengers will be assisted as follows;

  • If the customer no longer wishes to travel, the booking can be cancelled and a full refund, including taxes, will be offered
  • Where possible, passengers will be rebooked onto flights operated by any of SAA’s Star Alliance partners to travel to their final destination with minimal disruption
  • Passengers can be rebooked onto another South African Airways flight for any flight until 31st October 2020 at no extra charge and subject to availability in the same booking class
  • All tickets must be reissued on or before 30th November 2019
  • SAA will not be able to provide any support for special service requests or unaccompanied minors during the industrial action
  • For up-to-date information please refer to the SAA website

Only flights operated by South African Airways will be affected by the industrial action. All flights operated on partner airlines, including SA Express, Mango, Airlink and all codeshare partners, including flights operated by our Star Alliance partner airlines will not be affected.  

Mr Clyde-Smith said, “Our partners and teams across the APAC region have done a remarkable job to reaccommodate customers to their end destination. If the industrial action is to continue beyond the two days, SAA are aiming to advise customers and partners a minimum 48 hours prior to departure if further flights from Australasia or the Far East are cancelled.

“SAA will continue to assess the situation on an ongoing basis and customers and travel partners will be kept informed of all operational developments.” Continued Clyde-Smith.