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South African Airways-Self booking ok or need travel agent?

South African Airways-Self booking ok or need travel agent?

Old Nov 7th, 2011, 07:05 AM
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South African Airways-Self booking ok or need travel agent?

I am a seasoned traveler planning our 4th trip to South Africa. Thanks to Fodors forums I have always been successful in planning our trips without the help of a TA. However, this trip will require numerous internal flights and after I planned all of our destinations and lodgings I contacted a travel agent to handle the bookings. I accepted the upcharges on the lodging that the agent charged but I balked when the prices she quoted me for the airfare (all via South African Airways) were 30% higher than I was quoted on the SAA website booking myself. We are traveling in and out of JNB with visits to Cape Town, Durban, Kruger (Nelspruit) and Victoria Falls (Lvingstone).I have read on these forums that Africa internal flights tend to be unreliable (though we have not experienced that) and therefore booking thru a travel agent may be wiser in case there are flight cancellations or last minute changes. However, with as many people as we have traveling this will result in a $2,100 up charge. I have a hard time stomaching that but I don't want to be stupid either. Any advice from those who have and have not booked flights themselves?
agswimmer is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2011, 07:31 AM
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I would use a TA if you were doing charters, but it doesn't look like you are doing that. Did the TA add charges for representatives to meet you? SAA is a real, international airline and if there are problems they will handle it like any other airline. It's entirely a personal decision, but what added value does a TA give you?

Sounds like a fun trip.
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 08:30 AM
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I booked our flights on SAA without any issues (one through expedia and one through opodo), I sure wouldnt pay more to book through an agent.
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 09:01 AM
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We also booked ourselves with SAA and had no problems---did a Fly/Drive package which was a very good deal. Does the airline offer any kind of "fly-around pass"?
Diane
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 02:20 PM
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If the flights you indicate are all scheduled flights (appears to be the case), then I see no reason to not go with SAA direct and save lots of $$$. They'll book all segments under a single ticket for each person in your group and be responsible for seeing you all get from point-to-point. But do be sure SAA has contact numbers for you wherever you are staying in-country, should there be delays/changes.
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 07:00 PM
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Thanks so much for the replies. I see no reason now not to book our flights directly. And I'll be sure and have contact numbers for us during our travels.
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Old Nov 7th, 2011, 07:19 PM
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I also booked my internal flights with SAA with no problems via their website. I did run into problems at the airport when I was asked to produce the credit card with which I had made the booking (I'd left it at home).
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