Archive from November, 2016
Nov 18, 2016 - Business Permit    No Comments

What to do when your flight gets cancelled

What to do when your flight gets cancelled
2016-11-10 – Traveller24
A cancelled flight can play havoc with your travel plans. It can also mean you have to hang around the airport for additional hours or even have to find somewhere to spend the night until you’re put on a new flight.
The key thing is to always stay in contact with your airline, know your conditions of carriage as well check what coverage your travel insurance guarantees you if any.
Here are some tips for dealing with this travel hiccup:
Sign up for flight alerts:
Some airlines give you the option of receiving flight alerts via SMS, or you can go onto their website to check the status of your flight as well as follow their various social media accounts, including that of the airport you’re visiting.
– @ORTambo_int

– @capetownint

– @KingShakaInt
If you’re flying during periods when you know the weather might be a problem, keep an eye on forecasts in the couple of days before you travel. If things look hairy, be aware that your flight could be affected and prepare for that eventuality by packing a set of fresh clothes plus some distractions (reading matter or games, for instance) into your hand luggage.
Take actual action:
If your flight is cancelled, you’re basically in the hands of the airline and most airlines try their best to get you on the next available flight to your destination, even if it isn’t on one of their planes. This applies to your checked baggage too – travel agents advise that airlines will do its best to make sure it ends up on the same new flight that you do.
If your flight was booked through an agent, you can phone the agent and leave it to them to find out what’s going on and advise you on what your next steps will be, including any new flights.
Otherwise, go ahead and take action yourself: get in line at the desk to sort out a new flight – but at the same time, use your cellphone to phone the airline’s customer service centre. Then deal with whomever gets to you first.
Take e-action:
Social media has made it possible to talk to the authorities concerned directly. Go online to see if you can rebook your ticket electronically.
Schedule changes – Know your airline’s conditions of carriage:
In most ‘conditions of carriage’ airlines stipulate that, provided the passenger provides thorough contact details, they will try to communicate any schedule changes as soon as they are aware of them.
However, no promises are made in this regard and passengers may reach the airport only to receive the unhappy news.
The remedies for the inconvenience differ from airline to airline and, as you can imagine, offering a refund is their very last resort.
British Airways and Kulula’s contract states that they will only provide a refund for passengers put out by a schedule change in the following case: if after you bought a ticket they make a significant change to the departure time of your flight (significant is anything more than three hours), you find it unacceptable and they (or an authorized agent) cannot book you on a flight you are prepared to accept.
SAA and Mango state the following: “If, after you purchase your Ticket, we make a significant change to the scheduled flight time, which is not acceptable to you, and we are unable to book you on an alternative flight which is acceptable to you, you will be entitled to a refund.”
The refund is only paid if the following conditions apply: SAA/Mango cancels a flight, fails to operate a flight reasonably according to schedule, fails to stop at your destination or stopover, or causes you to miss a connecting flight on which you hold a reservation.
In the latter case, if a portion of the ticket has been used, the refund will be the difference between the fare paid and the applicable fare for travel between the points for which the ticket had been used.
Delays, cancellations and rerouting:
While delays, cancellations and rerouting may form part of schedule changes, most airlines have a separate clause in their contract of carriage, stipulating their stance on these.
SAA, Mango, BA and Kulula have very similar policies where these are concerned.
While these airlines do clearly state that they will endeavour to avoid delay in carrying you and your baggage, the chance always exists that this will happen.
In this case, the airlines mentioned above offer a choice of three different remedies:
1. they will carry you at the earliest opportunity on another of their scheduled services with space available without additional charge
2. re-route you within reasonable time to the destination shown on your ticket either using their own services or that of another carrier
3. make a refund in accordance with the conditions mentioned in the above section on schedule changes.
While it may seem like a bit of a schlep at the time, make sure you’re familiar with your rights regarding schedule changes, delays, cancellations and rerouting before purchasing a ticket with an airline. Most airlines have “conditions of carriage” document on their websites, so go check it out.

Kill time the usual way:
The hours can seem to stretch emptily ahead of you if you’re waiting at an airport to be put on another flight. Make sure you’ve got a book or magazine in your hand luggage, and that your laptop, smartphone or MP3 player is fully charged. If you end up with nothing to read or listen to, and you’re in a bigger airport that has shops and spas, go window shopping or (if you’ve got the bucks) get a back, foot or facial massage. If all else fails, strike up a conversation with your fellow stranded passengers – who knows, you could make a new friend.
Kill time the unusual way:
• Stretch. If you don’t mind a few funny looks, a mini-workout not only uses up time but is also good for you. If that takes you too far out of your comfort zone, find a quiet corner and meditate for a while.
• See the sights. If you’ve got the time and the transport, leave the airport and explore the surrounds. But allow plenty of time for traffic jams and queues that may gobble up precious minutes.
• Catch a few Zs. Not everyone likes sleeping in airports, but if you’re one of the lucky ones who can drop off anywhere, set your phone to wake you up in a couple of hours, stretch out (if you’re in an airport that provides loungers) and snooze. If the thought of sleeping in public horrifies you, find out what it will cost to stay over at the nearest airport lodge – sometimes it’s surprisingly cheap for what you get (a shower, a bed and transport to and fro, for instance). Some airlines do compensate delayed passengers for meals and accommodation.
• Have a meal. Use the time to have a leisurely meal, even if it’s at a less-than-gourmet chain – it’ll still make a nice change from grabbing a burger to go.
• Play a game. Pack travel Scrabble or Backgammon and play it with your travel companion or, if you’re flying solo, challenge a fellow passenger to a game.
• Strum your guitar. If you’re travelling with a musical instrument, and you’re not crowd-shy, you could entertain yourself and others with an impromptu one-man concert.
Do you get your money back?
Different airlines have varying policies regarding compensation for cancelled or delayed flights, including for the ticket itself, and additional costs like meals and accommodation – enquire about this when you book your ticket.

Nov 18, 2016 - Business Permit    No Comments

Visiting SA is cheap, but the tourists aren’t coming… Why?

Visiting SA is cheap, but the tourists aren’t coming… Why?
Ewn – 17 November 2016
JOHANNESBURG – The Home Affairs Department has slammed Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom for the losses in tourism and has said the tourism industry must stop blaming the impact of visa regulations and the biometric system, and start marketing South Africa more effective.
Derek Hanekom, spoke to 702’s John Robbie Show on Tuesday.
He says the problem can be traced back to 2014 when the new laws begun surfacing, but his department is in constant talks with Home Affairs to remedy the matter.
The numbers have slightly dipped due to the new laws and this has seen many tourists opting to use other countries as their tourism destination over South Africa.

Nov 4, 2016 - Business Permit    No Comments

KNCCI decries SA’s tough visa rules

KNCCI decries SA’s tough visa rules
31 Oct. 2016 – Kenya News
Difficulties by Kenyans in acquiring visa to South Africa is hindering trade between the two countries with the current provisions favouring the Southern state, the Kenyan business community has said.
The Kenyan National Chamber of Commerce said Kenyans are still ensuring a tedious process in getting cleared to South Africa, as opposed to their counterparts who can get visa upon arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi.
“If we can be able to easily fly to South Africa and Come back, you will see a huge growth in business. Kenyans want to come to South Africa and do business,” KNCCI chairman Kiprono Kittony told a Kenya-South Africa business delegation during a bilateral meet in Nairobi which ends today.
He said Kenyans should be able to get visa’s upon arrival in South Africa, noting that difficulties in accessing the travel document has pushed many Kenyans to Dubai, hindering growth of intra-Africa trade.
“‘Ethiopia has done it and I don’t see why we should not do it. Those who have legitimate commercial interest should not be going through that very difficult visa regime,” he said.
The value of South Africa’s imports to Kenya in 2015 dropped to Sh61.31 billion last year from Sh63.89 billion in 2014, according to the Kenya Economic Survey 2016. Kenya’s exports to South Africa also declined to Sh4.33 billion from Sh5.9 billion in 2014.
The business community is however upbeat the high level talks initiated during president Jacob Zuma’s visit two weeks ago, will unlock visa rules for Kenyans by South Africa government and boost bilateral trade.
“I think the steps towards that direction are being made but ofcourse we want a lot more,” Kittony said.
On May 3, Kenya’s Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery and South African Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba announced an agreement that will see Kenyan investors benefit from a 10-year multiple entry visa for frequent business travellers.
SA Department of Home Affairs announced among other things, it will also exempt visas for holders of diplomatic and official passports. It will also issue a three-year multiple entry visa for frequent travelers. The service fee for visa applications will also be cut from $71 (Sh7,156) to $49 (Sh4,938), the department said.
The deal, which is yet to be fully implemented, is expected to rekindle growth of trade flows between the two countries, which suffered a blow after South Africa introduced stringent travel measures in 2014.
Areas the Kenyan business delegation targets, Kittony said, include manufacturing, tourism and real estate sectors.
KenInvest general manager Pius Rotich said the government has made it easy to set up business, aimed at attracting investments to Kenya.

Nov 4, 2016 - Business Permit    No Comments

South Africa: Home Affairs Gets Nod for ICT Award

South Africa: Home Affairs Gets Nod for ICT Award
2 November 2016 – (Tshwane)
Pretoria — Government has commended the Department of Home Affairs for scooping the prestigious ICT Service Delivery Transformation Award.
The award is in recognition of the department’s automated booking system for its refugee reception offices at the ICT Public Service Awards at GovTech 2016.
Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) was the first runner-up in two categories, including the ICT Service Delivery Transformation Award: National Government category, for the South African Government Mobile Application and the Local Government category for the GovChat Social Media Platform.
The 2016 Public Service ICT Awards recognise and reward innovation for improved service delivery.
Citizens currently use the Government Mobile application to access several functions to inform and empower them. The app provides easy access to government information via a single mobile application. These include searching for government contact details, listening to the daily Government Radio bulletin, accessing newly published jobs and new tenders; as well as reading daily news.

Nov 4, 2016 - Business Permit    No Comments

SA tourism sector still limping following new visa requirements‚ parliament told

SA tourism sector still limping following new visa requirements‚ parliament told
01 November, 2016 – Tourism Update

While the SA tourism industry has managed to rebound following a slump blamed on the country’s new visa regulation‚ thousands of visitors have been stopped from entering SA‚ leaving the tourism sector limping.
This is according to the Tourism Business Council of SA‚ which briefed Parliament’s portfolio committee on tourism on Friday.
• 13‚246 tourists kept from visiting South Africa due to unabridged birth certificates
When past data showed travels to SA from traditional tourist markets had dropped in the 2014-2015‚ an inter-ministerial committee was convened to look into the matter.
Adjustments that emerged from the committee included reneging on an undertaking to replace the requirement make for an unabridged birth certificate with and an ordinary birth certificate from 1 November.
It also allowed for the capture of travellers’ biometrics at ports of entry‚ rather than exclusively at SA missions in the traveller’s home country. CEO of the TBCSA Mmatšatši Ramawela told the committee that after the inter-ministerial committee’s recommendation including the capturing of biometrics at international airports‚ tourist arrivals grew 18.7% from 2015.
However‚ she said‚ even in the 2015-2016 period thousands of tourists with pre-paid holidays were turned away from travelling to SA from various embankments globally.
“SAA recorded that 3 974 passengers were denied boarding due to unabridged birth certificates from June 2015 to the end of July 2016. Extrapolating this to all airlines‚ this equates to 13 246 passengers denied boarding‚” said Ramawela.
Ramawela said TBCSA’s study showed that 43% of its respondents‚ being tourism businesses and bodies‚ were still affected by the regulations and that 29% of respondents said clients cancelled their trips because of the new regulations.
In a statement DA tourism committee member James Vos said the Department of Home Affairs had not responded to the TBCSA’s offer to fund the appointment of more immigration officers of assist with the processing of visas.
“Given that the festive season is around the corner‚ which brings thousands of tourists to our country‚ the DA will write to the Minister of Tourism‚ Derek Hanekom‚ to ask what short term measures he has in place to counter this problem‚” said Vos.
Speaking to reporters in Johannesburg on Friday‚ Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni said immigration counters needed to be better staffed and that this constraint made it difficult to process as many travellers as possible into the country.
“The total number of immigration counters at OR Tambo International Airport is 87 and even with a 100% staff attendance not all the counters can be fully staffed. A 100% attendance is not attainable due to normal human resource factors‚” said Apleni.
He said the biometric capturing system helped the department to enhance the country’s capacity to identify and verify the individuals “with the highest possible degree of certainty‚ security and efficiency”.