SAA Reacting To Complaints


Published: March - 2005

If you attended the Safari Club International Convention in Reno, you may already know that South African Airways has reacted to the tidal wave of complaints about its cattle-car service between the US and Johannesburg International Airport by agreeing to make its new Airbus 340-600 planes more comfortable and roomy. The announced changes include adding almost three inches of space between seats and installing a new kind of seat that is said to be much more comfortable. The airline is also going to install what it calls a slimmer version of the under-seat entertainment box that generated so many complaints.

That is the good news. The bad news is, the start date of the new program is sometime in July, and it is not clear that the term start date means very much, because no changes will be made in the interior of any SAA airbus until it comes in for major maintenance. Just when that will occur is simply not known at this time.

The upshot is, don't be fooled into booking a trip to South Africa this summer on SAA by happy talk of SAA's concern for your comfort and its interest in the hunting market. The reality is, SAA is going to be providing cattle-car service on most, or all, of its US/Jo-berg flights right through the 2005 hunting season. We thought you would want to be aware of that right now, as tickets to Africa tend to be bought many months in advance.

Obviously, it is a good thing that SAA has recognized a problem that has affected hundreds of hunters recently, and we note with approval that there has not been any outright deception about just when improvements would be made. SAA paid advertisements we have seen indicate in small type that improvements will be phased in throughout 2005/06. Nonetheless, making an announcement of this sort at the SCI Convention, when many hunts are booked, suggests that the company wants hunters to focus on the good news of changes, not on the bad news of when they will occur.........(continued)

 
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