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SAA and Comair – the worst airlines in South Africa.
Cape Town – 14 September 2016
As a divorced father living in a different city to my minor son,I have the unfortunate displeasure of having to deal with SAA and British Airways operated by Comair on an all too regular basis.They are the only two airlines who offer flights for unaccompanied minors.
Single parents like myself are faced with blatant corporate arrogance and incompetence when having to book these tickets.Firstly,these tickets for unaccompanied minors,cannot be booked online.Parents have to go through the torturously incompetent and totally useless call centres to make a reservation.
Today I called the reservations line for FlySaa . I had a better chance of getting through to Jacob Zuma.For more than FIFTEEN minutes I had to listen to the automated options with looped music playing .I eventually ended the call. I even set SAA a tweet from my Twitter profile.
Then I called the Comair call centre,with not much better luck.I was put through a similar musical loop for about 7 minutes before my call was finally answered.I was then told that I had come through to Kulula.com,and that I needed to call Comair/BA directly to make a booking for an unaccompanied minor.I asked them to provide me with a number…………………the SAME number I called in the first place.
I fly on the budget airlines in the normal course of my business almost weekly.The booking system is usually seamless and efficient.However,what bothers me is how can parents entrust their minor child to airlines who can’t even process a booking for an unaccompanied minor effectively.
I once asked a booking agent WHY the flights for unaccompanied minors are so expensive.I was told that the airline effectively charges DOUBLE for all unaccompanied minors because they have a minder looking after them.HOWEVER,there is only ONE minder assigned to quite a few children on a flight.Each child does not have a dedicated minder during the flight.
So essentially SAA and BA get to charge parents double the normal airfare but still provide a totally pathetic and unprofessional booking service.
Only they can tell us why.
By Wesley Fester
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