South Africa

FlySafair flights back on sale — with 'block a seat' option for extra R750

FlySafair flights back on sale — with 'block a seat' option for extra R750

Low-cost airline FlySafair has started selling tickets again for business travel between Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.

From June 15, travellers with a permit can expect to pay just over R3,000 for a return flight between Johannesburg and Cape Town, and just over R1,700 for a one-way flight to Cape Town from Johannesburg.

In addition, there is a mandatory R20 “Covid-19 fee” for all passengers flying during the pandemic. The R20 is to cover the temperature screening before boarding, hand sanitiser, face masks and aircraft sanitisation.

FlySafair is also offering passengers the option to “block a seat” for an additional R750. The “blocking” option is for passengers concerned about flying during the pandemic.

It means if a traveller occupies the window or aisle seat, they won't have anyone sitting next to them.

Reasoning 

FlySafair's spokesperson, Ben Fleming, said while the International Air Transport Association (Iata) indicated that leaving the middle seat empty was not a significantly effective measure in preventing the spread of the virus, the airline wanted to offer its customers the option for their own “peace of mind”.

“We've made the option available to those who wish to secure it,” said Fleming in a statement.

“The product was initially in development to provide a business class alternative that would offer customers some extra space and privacy, but FlySafair sped up the implementation to be able to offer the product at a discounted rate in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“For clarity, both parties will be required to pay the fee. The R750 charge doesn't cover the average fare that could be achieved on the empty seat, so the hope is to achieve that through having two parties pay the fee,” Fleming added.

Reactions

Taking to social media, Twitter users were not happy with the R750 charges, saying the airline should have social distancing measures without having travellers pay for them.

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