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South African Airways COVID-19 Precautions and Flight Alteration Policy

South African Airways (SAA) assures customers that its operational health and safety procedures adhere to the World Health Organisation’s protocols to protect its customers and crew from contracting the COVID-19 (coronavirus) while flying with SAA.

SAA follows procedures, advice and guidelines from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organisation, International Air Transport Association (IATA), Civil Aviation Authorities as well as the airports and customs authorities’ directives to ensure the safety of its customers.

“The safety, health and wellbeing of our customers and crew is a number one priority. To ensure their wellbeing, we adhere to the following procedures:

• To clean the aircraft, SAA uses the disinfectants, which have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are effective against the COVID-19 (coronavirus).

• The cleaning protocols our teams use to clean our aircraft have been intensified and focus among other things, on high frequent touch points such as handles, seatbelt buckles, tray tables and armrests.

• Hard surfaces such as lavatories, galley units and window shades are also thoroughly cleaned with multi-purpose cleaners.

• The Airbus fleet is equipped with state-of-the-art, High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that sift out and remove dust, bacteria, allergens and other unhygienic particles.

• SAA crew have been trained to handle situations involving communicable diseases or any other medical emergencies on board and they work closely with ground and inflight expert medical assistance.

• All our aircraft are loaded with bio-hazardous spill kits in case of a contamination event (or to handle a contamination event) and cleaning materials.

“We assess all our passengers and advise that if they are feeling ill, they need to follow recommendations offered by medical professionals,” SAA said in a statement.

SAA said that although it is following customs limits and guidelines, passengers are welcome to travel with antibacterial wipes and hand sanitisers.

SAA crew use officially approved and industry recognised disinfectants on all flights. Cabin crew (Flight attendants) use gloves sanctioned by the food industry. The airline uses sanitation procedures for all domestic, regional and international flights. Should a passenger show any respiratory symptoms on board, i.e. coughing, sneezing, our crew will provide a surgical mask to the passenger to prevent transmission of micro-organisms.

Should health authorities inform the airline that a person who travelled with SAA exhibited coronavirus symptoms, the aircraft will be taken out of service and put through a decontamination process.

While SAA takes all the necessary steps to ensure that their customers enjoy a healthy flying experience, the airline advises customers to also take precautions to stay healthy while flying.

The Global recommended Precautionary tips include:

• Wash hands with soap often;

• Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser after touching any surface;

• Avoid touching eyes, face and nose;

• Avoid contact with coughing passengers by whatever means possible and

• Stay home if sick.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, South African Airways (SAA) is offering customers one free change in reservations on selected international routes to be used for travel on or before the 30 September 2020.

SAA will allow one free change of booking for tickets issued between 13 March to 30 April 2020 for travel on these selected routes and without penalty or change fees.

The routes applicable include those between Johannesburg and New York, Washington DC, Frankfurt, Munich and London. Itineraries must be rebooked by 30 April and travel completed by 30 September 2020.

“Our first commitment at SAA during the coronavirus pandemic is to look after our customers and staff alike. That is why we are assisting customers with this special rebooking policy. We will be regularly reviewing our policies during this challenging time to ensure that our customers can continue to travel with confidence and added reassurance,” said Philip Saunders, SAA Chief Commercial Officer.

Below is a summary of terms and conditions related to SAA’s rebooking policy on selected international routes:

  • The travel itinerary must include travel between the following: Johannesburg-New York JFK, Johannesburg-Washington IAD, Johannesburg-Frankfurt, Johannesburg-Munich and Johannesburg-London LHR

  • Must rebook & reissue ticket by 30 April 2020.

  • Complete travel by 30 September 2020.

  • Rebook with the same booking class with no additional collection and change fees will be waived.

  • If same booking class is unavailable, upgrade to lowest applicable booking class. Additional fare collection and taxes will apply, but change fees will be waived.

  • One free change and ticket reissue only permitted

  • Applicable to all fare types.

  • Change of cabin is not permitted.

  • Change of routing will not be permitted.

  • No refunds are permitted as part of this offer

  • Previous ‘no-show’ passengers are not eligible for this waiver.

  • Change of classes and routes are not permitted, without the normal penalties and associated change fees.

  • The changes are applicable to South African Airways flights only issued on SA (083) ticket stock only.

  • This offer is applicable to South African Airways flights only issued on SA (083) ticket stock. The offer does not apply to Mango, SA Express and Airlink.

  • SAA reserves the right to withdraw or revise the conditions without prior notice.

Customers are advised to contact either their travel agents or for direct bookings, South African Airways Call Centre on 27 (0) 11 978 1111 or 086 606 606.

SAA regrets any inconvenience to our customers as a result of the coronavirus and encourages customers to visit the website for further updates and information.


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