South African Airways (SAA) has asked passengers who had been booked to travel on all its domestic, regional and international flights on Friday and Saturday not to turn up at airports, but to 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 the 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.

On Thursday, Numsa and Sacca rejected the airline’s latest offer, noting that the strike called by the unions and members from SAA and SAA technical would go ahead. The unions had noted that the strike would be indefinite, according to media reports.

“Customers are requested not to travel to their departure airports unless in possession of a rebooked itinerary,” said Philip Saunders, SAA Chief Commercial Officer.

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 October 31,2020 at no extra charge and subject to availability in the same booking class;
  • All tickets must be reissued on or before November 30, 2019;
  • SAA will not be able to provide any support for special service requests or unaccompanied minors during the industrial action; and
  • 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 SAA’s Star Alliance partner airlines will not be affected.

“Assistance will be provided to only passengers holding a South African Airways ticket.  Customers should refer to the travel booker or agent for assistance. Customers who have booked their ticket through an SAA contact centre should contact the call centre for assistance,” said Saunders.

The airline will assess the situation on an ongoing basis and customers will be kept informed of all operational developments on a daily basis. It is SAA’s aim to advise customers at least 48 hours prior to departure if their flight is cancelled.