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BA cheapest ... again

SouthAfrica.TO survey
28 Dec 2007 flights
surveyed on 1 Dec 2007

1time airline

British Airways

Kulula airline

Mango airline

Nationwide

SAA

Intercape bus

R 445

R 410

R 491

R 492

Grounded

R 873

R 290

Never mind it being the best of times or the worst of times, these are just plane crazy times. Who would have thought at the beginning of this week that BA would be offering the cheapest flights from Durban to Johannesburg, and Nationwide flights would be grounded. We haven't made any bones about the fact that in terms of full service airlines, we feel that British Airways flights offer the better ride, so it's good to see them come in cheapest. This isn't a first for British Airways, they also offered the cheapest flight in our survey two weeks ago of flights from Cape Town to Durban. If they keep this up we'll soon be annointing them South Africa's first full service low cost airline. The only airline which has never been cheapest in our surveys is South African Airways.

British Airways flight

Nationwide out , Intercape in

With Nationwide flights grounded, nobody in their right mind would book a flight with them at the moment - we've therefore left them out of the survey. It's not at all the same thing, but to give you another option we've included the cost of catching an Intercape bus.

Nationwide airlines grounded!

Shock in the South African aviation industry as Nationwide aircraft are grounded by the South African Civil Aviation Authority. Rumours are doing the rounds that South Africa's Civil Aviation Authority grounded Nationwide's maintenance team for using pirated parts.

Nationwide grounded

SA aviation is under the spotlight

With the handbrake-turn on Cape Town's runway by SAA's only female captain and a Nationwide flight losing an engine on takeoff the South African aviation industry was always under the microscope:

  • on Friday the 23rd Nov 2007 a flight from Johannesburg to George (Kulula flight MN913) turned back because the PA system wasn't working,

  • also on the 23rd the same day an SAA flight from Johannesburg to East London turned back when the engine sucked in a bird.

  • on the evening of Monday the 26th November, a South African Airways flight was moved to another plane because there was a problem with the computer that guides the navigation system wouldn't work.

SAA flight stuck

1time surf-lifesaving academy

We, the staff of SouthAfrica.TO, wrote an open letter to Glenn Osborne (a well known tubesteak at 1time surfing-lifesaving academy), expressing our outrage at the stunt which several Kulula kukes (in "sexy costumes") pulled at the Boksburg municipal swimming pool. It's demeaning to the entire industry.

Venture AirVenture Air - need a coder

Venture Air is a relatively new (founded in 2003) airline operating flights in South Africa (Johannesburg, Cape Town, Plettenberg Bay, Port Elizabeth, Kruger and Sun City). They need to get somebody who knows how to code in html - the site works fine when using Internet Explorer, but doesn't work properly with Firefox (and if you don't know what Firefox is then congratulations, you don't pass the geek test!).

In line with added coverage of Venture Air, we've also done a very short starter page for flights from Sun City to Johannesburg (some people actually fly such a short distance!), flights from Plettenberg Bay to Cape Town, flights from Plettenberg Bay to Port Elizabeth and flights from Plettenberg Bay to Johannesburg (better than hitching back!).

Mango, Checkers and Shoprite

In a case of shopping for your Mangos together with your Mango airline tickets, Mango airline has announced that its flight tickets can be purchased at Checkers and Shoprite stores in South Africa.

On the web last week

Watch your valuables

Airlines wont compensate you for the theft of valuables such as laptops if stolen from hold luggage, as they say that you should have been carrying it with you. But what if you are asked, as you board the plane, to leave your suitcase on the tarmac to be stowed in the hold (as there is no room left on the plane), who is responsible if that suitcase gets stolen? Veven Bisetty of California found out recently, when she flew a Mango flight from Johannesburg to Durban - a mobile phone and belt were stolen from her hand luggage which she was forced to stow in the hold: “A Durban loss-control representative told me: ‘It’s not our fault, someone in Gauteng was responsible for the theft. In any event, we don’t have cameras to monitor the runway. A call to the Gauteng loss-control representative resulted in: ‘You need to contact our Durban office. The theft occurred there.’ Calls to Mango on my return to the US proved futile; so, too, was the subsequent e-mail route. Three months later, we are still awaiting a response.”

PE Doctor may sue Comair

Together with his wife, Dr Abry Ntliziyo was flying from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth with Comair, when a flight attendant dropped boiling water on him, causing him to suffer burns to his buttocks and back. To add insult to injury, Ntliziyo had to sit on the wet seat for the remainder of the trip. Hearing of his complaint, Comair airlines offered him a free flight to a destination of his choice and any shortfall on his medical aid. Ntliziyo declined Comair's offer and is sticking to his legal action, complaining that the airline staff showed no remorse and nobody visited him or offered him assistance after the aircraft had landed.

Emirates

Hopefully there's an Emirates official who reads this who can tell us their side of the story. Shale from Lesotho explains how he was flying from Johannesburg to London on an Emirates flight, when Emirates officials stopped him in Dubai and wouldn't let him go further, claiming he wanted to work illegally in London.

Internationally

New routes from Glasgow

A couple of weeks ago we started covering flights from Glasgow to Ireland West Knock (the only airline flying the route is bmibaby starting Feb next year). And keeping to the theme of flights from Glasgow, we are now also covering flights from Glasgow to Norwich (Flybe flights being the ones on this route).

Zambian airlines pulls out of Zimbabwe

"Zambia Airways regrets to advise the general public that it will be suspending its daily services between Lusaka and Harare from December 1 2007 because of continuing operational challenges on the route caused by high fuel costs and extreme currency fluctuations in Zimbabwe," Zambian Airways chief executive officer Mutembo Nchito, The last flight on the Lusaka-Harare route will be on the 30th November 2007.

Getting from London to Paris

Eurostar's looking relatively attractive for getting from London to Paris, (with flight prices and coach prices having gone up) and it's undisputably the nicest way of doing the journey:

Survey date

Flight date

Air France

British Airways

fly easyJet

KLM

National Express *

Eurostar train

25 Nov 2007

21 Dec 2007

£539

£103.00

£86.99 ¹

£364

£56.00

£154.50

18 Nov 2007

14 Dec 2007

£538

£47.80

£51.99 ¹

£364

£56.00

£154.50

10 Nov 2007

7 Dec 2007

£375

£45.80

£51.99 ¹

£352

£34.00

£154.50

4 Nov 2007

30 Nov 2007

£375

£45.80

£51.99 ¹

£353

£34.00

£154.50

[Survey of coaches, trains and flights from London to Paris,
leaving between 1700 and 2000 (London time).]

¹ an allowance has been made for 1 item of easyJet hold baggage weighing 20kg (which costs £2). KLM (economy class) allow 2 pieces of checked luggage weighing up to 23kg in total. British Airways (World Traveller and Euro Traveller) allow 1 piece of luggage weighing up to 23kg. Air France (Temp class) allows 2 pieces of checked luggage weighing up to 23kg in total. All airlines charge extra for non-standard sized baggage.

* coach/ferry, excluding travel insurance ** train

Keeping the bull out of the organisation

A Life in Full Flight
"We try to keep a lot of the bull out of the organisation. We keep the management structure extremely flat. As we grow, we're only adding aircraft, pilots, inflight people and engineers. We don't need these layers of bureaucracy or layers of management." Extract from Alan Ruddock's book, "A Life in Full Flight: The story of the man who made Ryanair take off".

 

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