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)