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Forget Kulula sale - Mango's cheaper!

If you want to buy a cheap airline ticket for the second half of the year, clearly the second week in July is a good time to do so. SAA kicked off with a special last week, and now we're seeing a sale from Kulula and even lower (but less advertised) prices from Mango Airline and from 1Time Airline - and their websites are actually working! (Ed: subsequent to this article being written, 1time Airline have gone into liquidation, although Pak Africa and Global Airways are trying to resurrect it)

Kulula's "sale"

At the bandwidth friendly time of 2051 on the 9th July an email arrived telling me about this Kulula sale:

Johannesburg to Cape Town flights

R299 one way, excluding airport taxes

Cape Town to Johannesburg flights

R299 one way, excluding airport taxes

Johannesburg to Durban flights

R199 one way, excluding airport taxes

Durban to Johannesburg flights

R199 one way, excluding airport taxes

Johannesburg to George flights

R299 one way, excluding airport taxes

George to Johannesburg flights

R299 one way, excluding airport taxes

Durban to Cape Town flights

R299 one way, excluding airport taxes

Cape Town to Durban flights

R299 one way, excluding airport taxes

Forget Kulula "sale"-fly Mango (get something back from your tax!)

Since we couldn't log onto Kulula's website, we had a look at Mango Airline's prices to see whether Kulula's sale were genuinely the cheapest. Mango were advertising the following prices:

Johannesburg - Durban flights

R191 (including airport taxes)

Johannesburg - Cape Town flights

R238 (including airport taxes)

Durban - Cape town flights

R239 (including airport taxes)

Unlike Kulula's sale, these prices include airport taxes. Those rates look far more appetising than Kulula's "sale" prices.

Forget Kulula "sale" - even 1Time is cheaper

Whilst not quite as cheap as Mango Airlines, even 1Time's flight prices are lower than the Kulula "sale" for flights between Johannesburg and Durban and Johannesburg and Cape Town (for some reason 1Time's flight prices between Cape Town and Durban are astronomical):

Johannesburg - Durban flights

R219 (including airport taxes)

Johannesburg - Cape Town flights

R248 (including airport taxes)

Durban - Cape town flights

R499 (including airport taxes)

 

Kulula sale timeframe

The special starts at 6am on the 10th July and rans until midnight on the 10th (or till seats run out, whichever happens first). You must book to travel between the 17th July 2007 and the 30th November 2007 (but not during peak periods like school holidays and events). No group bookings allowed.

Kulula excludes airport taxes

We dislike it when the airlines exclude airport taxes from the flight prices they advertise (as Kulula has above). This means that the customer ends up paying more than was advertised (i.e. makes the price look lower than it actually is). Kulula know what the airport taxes are, so there's no excuse for it. South African Airways are the worst culprits - not displaying airport taxes on their website booking system until you're just about to conclude the transaction.

Kulula's copout is that "Kulula fares are now displayed exclusive of airport charges so that you are aware of the significant escalations in charges at ACSA airports." This doesn't hold water with us - there are ways of creating awareness of ACSA's monopolistic behaviour without pulling the wool over consumers eyes (and by the way we don't blame ACSA - they are just doing the rational thing for a company placed in a monopoly situation - we blame government for not creating a competitive environment in airport management).

Kulula lemonBooking must be on Kulula's website

In order to get Kulula's special you must make your booking on their website (www.Kulula.com)...but, wait for it...their website isn't coping with all the web traffic! We tried making a booking on their website at 0640am and it was incredibly slow-going, clearly a lot of people are trying to use Kulula's website at the same time, and it cannot handle the volume. Why do Kulula and Mango Airlines bother running specials when their websites aren't up to handling the volume of traffic - this just leads to frustration with the airliners' inability to cope.

 



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