South African Airways / saa making it difficult to travel

South Africa


I am a constant traveller and recently decided to use SAA to fly to Zambia. It was the 20th of March, when we had a flight back to South Africa with South African Airways (SA) 67 (South African AirwaysConfirmation Number:ZNUWS9) at 7:20 am from Zambia. When we checked in, the woman there asked us for a Yellow fever card. I was quite surprised, since just a few months before I travelled to Zambia with Namibian Airlines and they did not ask for any such card. The woman told us that it was a requirement of South Africa. That confused me even more, since I travelled to so many countries in recent months (Pakistan, Dubai, Zambia, India etc) and non asked me for a Yellow fever card in order to allow me to travel to South Africa. However, they still did not allow us to board the plane.

Thus, at 6am in the morning, we had to phone from Zambia to South Africa and all our family members were in panic, trying to look for our Yellow fever cards, get them scanned and have them sent to us. And the trauma which we were going through was even worst. Bear in mind that we had a 73 year old granny with us.

Noteworthy is that we were given an offer to bribe the staff with $500 and they would allow us on the plane.

However, after much persuasion, they finally did allow us.

I then waited for my next trips (thats why I only write to you now), and I decided to rather use Emirates. I flew to Dubai and Morocco, and they allowed us to board the planes without asking for any Yellow Fever cards or anything. Thus, if it was a law of South Africa that a South African citizen can only board a plan if he has a Yellow Fever Card, did Emirates violate this law? Just before that I flew on Saudi Airlines, did they too violate this law? In fact, I flew to Maurituis with SAA, and there too you did not ask for any such card. Thus, did SAA themselves also violate this law? Obviously, the answer is no since there is no such law! Thus, it is obvious that your staff just wanted a $500 bribe, and because of that they put us and our families through such tension.

To further aggrevate the situation, I wrote to SAA twice. The first time I did no get any reply or even courteous apology. I wrote again and they wrote that they are investigating. To date, I got no response.

This shows the status of this airlines. I will most definitely not recommend South African Airways to anyone, neither will I ever dare to fly with them again (especially if I dont have enough money for bribes). From their ground staff to their customer service, it seems that all their departments lack basic conduct.



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