South African Airways

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Jan 8th, 2006, 03:23 AM
  #1
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South African Airways

Has anyone ever book a package through
SAAholidays?
mcdan58 is offline  
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Jan 8th, 2006, 11:33 AM
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I can't imagine anyone booking anything through SAA unless there was no other choice.
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Jan 8th, 2006, 01:02 PM
  #3
sandi
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Why don't you tell us what the package is - day-by-day/accommodations - and the cost. Then we can advise whether it's worthwhile vs booking the land portion on your own.
 
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Jan 8th, 2006, 03:00 PM
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My comment is absed on my experiences with SAA post the strike, they don't give a **** for customers.
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Jan 8th, 2006, 03:12 PM
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I seem to remember a Fodors post from a year or so ago, when I dissected a SAA package. The pricing was not very good, at all. One is probably much better off booking through a knowledgable tour operator, and considering Luxury Link for Cape Town & Cape Winelands hotels. www.luxurylink.com
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Jan 8th, 2006, 03:31 PM
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Is the airline okay just for booking flights? I'm assuming it is... please tell me if it's otherwise. Also, are there other airlines within SA to book a Jo'burg to Cape Town roundtrip flight? And is it cheaper? thank you
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Jan 8th, 2006, 03:45 PM
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Susan,

I advise my clients to use Kulula Air (www.kulula.com) for their domestic South African Air transfers and Luxury Link (www.luxurylink.com) for their Cape Town/Cape Winelands hotel stays. By having the right combination of operators for air, hotel and safari, you will be able to save a lot of money.
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Jan 8th, 2006, 04:26 PM
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mcdan58

Firstly SAA cannot be faulted for their safety record. Their on board service is also not too bad.

Thats where it all ends for SAA as the rest of their service sucks. I think that Napamatt is quite correct when he says that SAA dont know how to treat their clientele

I dont know what the SAA package tours are like however I am virtualy 100% sure that you will come out cheaper and better off if you book all your flights and accommodation yourself.

To travel around South Africa internally you have quite a number of reliable and much cheaper options than SAA viz:

Comair
------
http://www.britishairways.com/travel/home/public/en_za

Nationwide
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http://www.flynationwide.co.za/

Kulula.com
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https://www.kulula.com/cgi-bin/airkiosk/I7/181002i?MN

One Time
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https://www.1time.aero/portal/page?_..._schema=PORTAL

To find good and well priced accommodation in SA you simply cannot go wrong with the Portfolio Collection http://www.portfoliocollection.co.za/.

Also take a look at:

The Greenwood Guide
-------------------http://www.greenwoodguides.com/sa.asp

Good cooks and country houses
-----------------------------
http://www.goodcooks.co.za/

"Good cooks" is my personal favourite.

Hope this all helps you to eventually enjoy my great country.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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Jan 9th, 2006, 07:36 AM
  #9
sandi
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Selwyn -

Never heard such descriptive comments!

"sucks"!

>>Thats where it all ends for SAA as the rest of their service sucks.<<

My morning laugh! Thanks!
 
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Jan 9th, 2006, 07:47 AM
  #10
 
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Is this the same carrier that flies the international leg from New York to South Africa? Funny, I thought their int'l business class service was OK, and I'll be flying them again in June (hope they haven't gone downhill).
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Jan 10th, 2006, 01:01 AM
  #11
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I mentioned South African Airways (SAAholidays.net) because of a deal they had 15 months ago. 8 day/5 night to Capetown (rt air from nyc, dc or atlanta & all transfers included) $1500 plus tax. This also included an Avis rental car, a standard room w/ breakfast at the City Lodge V & A waterfront, a cruise and tour of Robben Island on day 3 with 2 leisure days. Even now it is advertised at $1800 plus tax. This is what I mean by "a package". Price is important but money cannot make up for bad customer service. ( thanks for the info napamatt) And Roccco you are right. I saw this on Fodor's. You can check out this deal on the website along with others. I do appreciate everyone's input.
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Jan 10th, 2006, 12:50 PM
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Lin
 
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I was caught in the SAA strike last year also. The airline was unreachable so I had to get home using different carriers. However I filed my claim by mail and received a prompt and polite response along with my refund. Their website offers the cheapest direct flights to JNB from the U.S., period. In spite of the strike I have booked them again for June of '06, again getting a good online fare. After six international flights, in my opinion their inflight service is average to above-average for coach class. For fares within southern Africa they are also quite reasonable, and I have booked my leg from JNB to Windhoek through them, and last year my leg from Lusaka to JNB. susan300, if you're traveling to South Africa from the U.S., your only other options are to fly either Delta (same route and pricing but maybe ??? more convenient customer service) or through Europe, which has its pros and cons. The pros are mostly if you have lots of extra time to make use of the stopover in Europe. Napamatt, what happened to you?
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Jan 10th, 2006, 12:53 PM
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Does Delta actually fly that route? I understood it was a code-share with SAA.
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Jan 10th, 2006, 12:58 PM
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sandi
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Delta's flight uses SAA metal!

If booking thru Delta you get a Delta flight number; if direct with SAA, then their flight number.

Patty - aren't these two supposed to be divorced? when? if? How does United fit in with this? Now, or in the future? Thanks.
 
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Jan 10th, 2006, 01:35 PM
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Hi Rocco,

Kulula is great for cheap flights, but people should be aware of one potential problem (especially if you are a keen photographer with lots of gear) -- they are very strict with their carry-on limits, which are lower than those of other airlines (this seems to be true of many budget arilines) and they will charge you if your luggage is overweight, which can add up pretty quickly. I was charged when my luggage was 1kg over the limit.

In addition, their scheduling can be a bit erratic -- they have a habit of cancelling a flight if it doesn't sell well, and putting you on another airline. This is usually fine, unless you have a tight connection to make. They only notify you of the changes via email, so if you are somewhere without email (e.g. the Delta) you can have an unpleasant surprise when you return. Now there's a plus to email in the camps...

Cheers,
Julian
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Jan 10th, 2006, 01:43 PM
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Sadly, I think a lot of airlines no longer give a **** for their customers. If you don't have any questions, any extra requirements (extra legroom for 2 metre tall person) or the like you will be spared the frustration of trying to even get in contact let alone get consistent, definitive information. If your flight goes well - comfortable, punctual, no loss of luggage you will be spared the farce that is Customer Service.

I have experienced this hell with BA several times recently to the point I really think hard before booking with them yet when things go well you'd never think there was an issue.

I suspect SAA are operating in just the same way...
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Jan 10th, 2006, 02:40 PM
  #17
Lin
 
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sandi, Indeed Delta will no longer be code sharing with SAA after March of 2006. I had a long chat with a Delta operator as he was arranging my flights and so he told me. I should have mentioned this. My flight is on Delta since I had enough miles, and my family has an SAA flight number, but we're all on the same plane of course. After March you can no longer get Delta mileage for SAA flights.

SAA has a new 'family' and United is one of the partners. I don't think it's all set up yet, though - I couldn't get an SAA flight through the United website, but that was in October so maybe it's working now.
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Jan 10th, 2006, 03:00 PM
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Hello,

I agree with Kavey -- BA is a rubbish airline, and I avoid flying with them whenever I can (although they have yet to attain the nadir which is CSA Czech Airlines -- avoid, avoid, AVOID at all costs!).

However, I have had consistently good service on Virgin, and in addition their fares are often lower than many of the competitors' fares, especially for direct routes. I fly long-haul with them regulalry (to and from the US and to and from Africa) and never had any problems.

My only gripe with Virgin is the rather stingy weight allowance for carry-on luggage...but that's what The Vest is for

Cheers,
Julian
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Jan 10th, 2006, 03:04 PM
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Uh oh, I'm on Czech Air to Sarajevo next year (I was looking forward to my 12-hour layover in Prague, though, where I haven't been since 1994). At least my return is on Alitalia (from Tirana). I flew Alitalia last week back from Rome, and I liked the entertainment system (in coach) and open bar at the back of the plane -- comfortable seats, too.

Michael
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Jan 10th, 2006, 03:28 PM
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Hi Michael,

Maybe the long-haul flights are better on CSA. I flew to Prague for a conference, and it was the single worst airline experience of my life -- truly inedible food, spending more time stuck on the ground than in the air (flight was 1.5 hrs, delay was almost 3 hours going to Prague and 2 hours returning to London) and that CSA speciality, 'service with a snarl.' When we were stuck in London due to a 'mechanical failure', we sat on the runway for over an hour with no A/C -- I was seriously concerned that someone was going to faint. When the passengers were on the verge of rioting, they taxied back to the terminal and let us into the departure lounge -- but for some reason known only to the git who was 'managing' the situation, we couldn't leave the lounge at Gatwick. They claimed it had something to do with 'security' but this made no sense since the entire gate area was post-security -- what was so special about this lounge? If people wanted to go to the loo, they had to be escorted. They actually stationed 'guards' outside the loo and turned some non-CSA passengers who wanted to use it away -- didn't want us having any contact with the outside world. It was like being in some Soviet-era detention centre.

Cheers,
Julian
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