A couple weeks ago on my jaunt to Mauritius I had the great pleasure of flying on South African Airways, with one minor exception: they demanded $300 extra from me at departure to keep flights scheduled around my originally booked times following a schedule change that they initiated. Both twitter and this blog got their attention but the initial email conversations I had with them didn’t get very far and they stood their ground, insisting that it was my problem not theirs. Fortunately time heals some wounds, or at least give folks the chance to reconsider bad decisions. I’m happy to say that they have come full circle on this issue and acknowledged their error.
I received a call from a SAA representative late last week informing me of the good news and apologizing for the confusion. It was a nice chat and I’m glad that we had the opportunity to discuss the issue. The explanation given for why it happened in the first place was a bit weak, particularly given the specific details of the case, but in the long run it is the end results that matter and I got what I should have. It is somewhat disappointing that someone from the public relations side of the house had to “escalate the issue several levels within the organization” just to do what is right, especially when the customer service folks didn’t seem very interested at all. I’m sure the fact that American Express had initially sided with me in the charge dispute didn’t hurt my claim either.
Based on this turnabout on their part and the quality service I received in-flight I’m no longer hesitant to recommend flying with SAA. The product is one of the better long-haul economy experiences I’ve had and, so long as there isn’t a schedule change or you don’t need to deal with the airport agents too much, it really is a decent way to travel. Plus, I get to experience them again – in Business Class this time – on an upcoming award trip. Should be fun.
- South African Airways extorts additional fare at departure
- A tale of two airlines: Flying long-haul on South African Airways
- Spending a day in Mauritius (Part 1)
- Spending a day in Mauritius (Part 2)
- Collecting a different sort of stamp in Mauritius
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