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Coping with delayed flights

Travelling can be immensely stressful, especially if you are under tight time constraints. Delayed or cancelled flights are becoming all too common in the South African travel industry, which could significantly add to already high stress levels. As a traveller in South Africa, a passenger has certain rights.

For instance, all airlines have a section in their terms and conditions defining the rules and requirements of the airline, with regard to flights being delayed or cancelled. The section is called the contract of carriage. Passengers may request the contract of the carriage at any time.

Airlines’ contract of carriage generally differs from each other, although the gist of it is similar. Some airline regulations include the following:

1Time: If they cannot seat you for a confirmed booking, they will either refund the cost of the flight or seat you on the next available 1Time flight. The same rule applies when flights are cancelled. If they make a major change to the flight time and cannot seat you on another flight (that suit your specifications) they will refund the cost of the flight.

Mango: When a flight is cancelled, they will refund the cost of the flight or seat you on the next available Mango flight. No mention is made regarding the course of action when flights are delayed.

SAA: The airline simply states that they will do their best to carry passengers and their baggage with reasonable dispatch. They are quite clear on the fact that times in timetables are not guaranteed and do not form part of the ticketing contract.

There is not much a passenger can do when a flight is delayed, except to remain patient. No amount of kicking and screaming will bring you to your destination faster.

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