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South African Airways rip-off

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Flights, Currency & Car Hire
20 replies 1.5K views
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  • Voyager2002Voyager2002 Forumite
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    malkie76 wrote: »
    I think the issue is that they may have bought a flexible ticket from the agent, but went directly to the airline to make a change, hence confusing things.

    However if it was after the outbound flight was completed it might have been appropriate to go to the airline.

    Either way the contract is with the agent


    I have in the (distant) past often bought flexible tickets from agents but made date changes directly with the airline. Doing so was never any kind of issue.
  • AmberWHAmberWH Forumite
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    Same happened to me when my mum passed away last October. Again I dealt with SAA. And not the agent. SAA gave me a return ticket for a different date without any extra cost - I only had to supply the death certificate.
    It says in the agent's Ts&Cs that you must deal with the "suppliers" if you have issues when you are abroad, not the agent, so there is some confusion about this. I only wish I knew how to resolve it, not go over what I should or should not have done.
  • Voyager2002Voyager2002 Forumite
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    AmberWH wrote: »
    Same happened to me when my mum passed away last October. Again I dealt with SAA. And not the agent. SAA gave me a return ticket for a different date without any extra cost - I only had to supply the death certificate.
    It says in the agent's Ts&Cs that you must deal with the "suppliers" if you have issues when you are abroad, not the agent, so there is some confusion about this. I only wish I knew how to resolve it, not go over what I should or should not have done.


    To me, that confirms that there was something odd about the ticket you bought for the current trip. I repeat my previous suggestion: put together whatever evidence you have about the the ticket that you were actually sold and what the agent promised to provide, and if you were cheated then the credit card will help.

    My guess is that the agent was GotoGate: correct?
  • HeliflyguyHeliflyguy Forumite
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    Many fare rules state that change fees are waived in the event of a death of the passenger or a family member and this is the case for SAA net fares.
    They are not waived for illnesses or surgery.
    There is nothing unusual about the OP's ticket.
  • Voyager2002Voyager2002 Forumite
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    Heliflyguy wrote: »
    Many fare rules state that change fees are waived in the event of a death of the passenger or a family member and this is the case for SAA net fares.
    They are not waived for illnesses or surgery.
    There is nothing unusual about the OP's ticket.


    What was unusual was that the staff at the airport could not see amount that had been paid for the ticket, and were unable to process it once they had begun the attempt. In any event, it was clearly not the flexible ticket for which the OP believed that she had paid.
  • HeliflyguyHeliflyguy Forumite
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    The staff at the airport didn't know what they were doing then.
    IT tickets as well as BT and ITX do not have the fare printed on the e-ticket or on the ticket displayed in the booking.

    You can see the fare paid in the filed fare in the booking.
    If the filed fare is missing then you have to look at the fare history.

    The reason the fare is replaced with IT etc is so the agency can mark up the NET fare and the customer can not see the actual net fare paid.
  • AmberWHAmberWH Forumite
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    It's interesting that the IT status hides the actual amount I paid. I would hazzard a guess that it hides it not from me (I didn't see the "IT" until SAA printed off a section from their computer for me and didn't know what it meant) but from SAA. The regular staff at Cape Town airport (not the call centre) were annoyed that the Travel Agents "undercut" their (SAA's) fares.

    I found it interesting that a major topic of conversation amongst SAfricans is which airlines to fly with. They buy their tickets direct from the airlines and compare BA/SAA/KLM/Emerites/etc along the lines of seat comfort, quality of the meals, baggage allowance, and even service from the inflight staff. It astounded me that they don't use the price comparison sites but contact the airlines direct.

    No the agent I used was not the one suggested by Voyager.
  • HeliflyguyHeliflyguy Forumite
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    If the SAA staff were annoyed then they truly are clueless.

    Airlines give Net fares to agency's all the time and depending on the relationship with each other and the volume of sales will dictate the net discount. Generally the mark up will be to the general published fare but the flexibility is often better with the Net fare.
    Net fare rules do require the agency deals with any changes etc.
    You and the agency cannot pay for a net fare with a credit card, if you paid by cc then the merchant will be the agency so they took the hit on the cc fees. The airline then bills the agency.

    You may find therefore any cc protection is not available but I'm not 100 pcnt sure.
    Sorry to be blunt but I don't think you have any way to get the cost of the extra tickets back.

    You may be able to get something for the original unused flights but that depends on the no show/ refund rules. The SA tax is approx 25.70 so may not be worth reclaiming depending on the agency fees.
  • Voyager2002Voyager2002 Forumite
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    Heliflyguy wrote: »
    You and the agency cannot pay for a net fare with a credit card, if you paid by cc then the merchant will be the agency so they took the hit on the cc fees. The airline then bills the agency.

    You may find therefore any cc protection is not available but I'm not 100 pcnt sure.
    Sorry to be blunt but I don't think you have any way to get the cost of the extra tickets back.


    Thank you for the informative details (snipped). However, it does seem clear that the OP had a contract with the travel agent and paid by card. Should it turn out that the ticket supplied was not as described (that is, was not flexible but had been sold as such) then the credit card would provide redress against the agency.
  • edited 16 May 2019 at 3:00PM
    HeliflyguyHeliflyguy Forumite
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    edited 16 May 2019 at 3:00PM
    I believe it was flexible as in the OP original post they mention £150 to change.

    Having done some more research SA do have ITX fares that allow change fees to be waived for death certificate or hospital account/admission form whatever that means.

    It goes on to state that flights must be rebooked and reissued within 72 hours of no showed flights but not that the new flights booked must be within 3days. OP really needs to check the change rules of their fare though as I see the change fee as 200 not 150.

    If I was to put any blame on who messed up it would have to be SAA.
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