Streaming issues? Report here
Pippa Hudson 2019 1500 BW 2
Lunch with Pippa Hudson
13:00 - 15:00
volume_up
volume_mute

Up Next: Afternoon Drive with John Maytham
See full line-up
Lunch with Pippa Hudson
13:00 - 15:00
Home
arrow_forward
Business

3 things about airline industry practice every flyer should know

15 August 2018 5:07 PM
Tags:
Consumer Protection Act
airlines
consumer rights
Wendy Knowler
Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler talks overbooking, flight cancellations and other airline industry woes.

Delays, baggage theft and being bumped off a flight are all common consumer gripes when looking at the airline industry.

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler says not many passengers know what their consumer rights are when it comes to air travel.

ON OVERBOOKING

Overbooking is an international practice, says Knowler. But what does the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) say?

Read: Consumer Protection Act protects consumers for flights and hotel overbooking

The CPA’s section 47 says if a company can’t deliver on a prepaid service at the agreed time, the supplier must refund the amount paid, with interest, and “in addition compensate the consumer for costs directly incidental to the supplier’s breach of the contract”.

Airlines worldwide deliberately overbook their flights to compensate for the inevitable “no-shows”, in the hope that the “extras” will all find seats, the plane will take off as full as possible and everyone will be happy.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

The airlines often get their sums wrong from, and that’s when people who’ve pre-booked and prepaid for a seat on a particular flight get bumped off.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

ON BEING DOWNGRADED FROM BUSINESS TO ECONOMY

Knowler says passengers who are “bumped out of” a more expensive class because of overbooking should be reimbursed with fare price difference, but this isn't always the case.

Last month Peter Berg-Munch flew on Ethiopian Airlines. He’d booked business class return tickets from Joburg to Copenhagen via Addis Ababa.

But on the leg home - Addis to Jhb - he was unceremoniously downgraded to economy class - a fare difference of some R13 000.

When he arrived at the front of a long queue hew was told that his flight was overbooked and there were no more Business Class seats left.

His wife, travel writer Caroline Hurry, tweeted a photo of the awful-looking polony roll which he was served in economy class and shared how the airline failed to respond.

When Knowler reached out to the airline, a refund was hastily done for only R4650. Management said it was the only amount Berg-Munch was entitled to.

ON RETURN FLIGHTS

Many airlines say it’s global practice in the aviation business model to cancel the return flights of passengers who had not checked in for their first leg of travel.

Also read: Consumer Commission to probe cancellation policy at Mango Airlines

Knowler says if consumers miss a flight, and have a return one booked with the same airline, they must call the airline and confirm that return flight.

Listen to the ConsumerTalk feature for the full discussion on airline woes:

Every Wednesday, on The Pippa Hudson Show, Wendy Knowler provides useful insights and tips on how to make the most of your buying power.

For more stories visit the ConsumerTalk feature page.

Got a consumer case you need help resolving?

Email: consumer@knowler.co.za, put Cape Talk in the subject line, followed by the issue e.g. cellphone contract dispute.

Subscribe to our Business Wrap Newsletter


15 August 2018 5:07 PM
Tags:
Consumer Protection Act
airlines
consumer rights
Wendy Knowler

More from ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler

180831-old-mutual-edjpg

We paid before the family arrived with the body – Old Mutual

21 November 2019 9:25 AM

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler investigates after a poor family’s desperation to get a claim paid made headlines.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Cellphone security fraud phishing scams hacking 123rfcrime 123rf

Twelve security tips to keep cellphone info and bank account safe from crooks

20 November 2019 3:48 PM

There have been a number of new cases where victims had their cellphones stolen and discovered their bank accounts were emptied.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Phone

Can’t find your phone? Drop everything – thieves can get into your banking app!

14 November 2019 10:55 AM

Did someone steal your phone? Contact your bank without hesitation warns consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

sleeping-on-couch-apartment-rented-property-pexels-photo-269141jpeg

Everything you need to know about "fair wear and tear" on rented property

7 November 2019 10:30 AM

Property attorney Marlon Shevelew provides a comprehensive explanation of what constitutes “fair wear and tear” in lease agreements.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Oops mistake

If you make a mistake when transferring money (EFT) you don’t get it back easily

31 October 2019 1:13 PM

Made a mistake when paying by EFT? You're going to battle to get your money back, warns consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Visa

Travelling overseas? It’s becoming vital to get 'visa denial insurance'

24 October 2019 1:55 PM

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler explains how to get reimbursed if you can’t travel after a failed visa application.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

cards

Are 'tap and go' cards safe? Maybe, suggests this case involving Standard Bank

18 October 2019 10:23 AM

Handsfree pickpocketing is a myth, says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler. But risks remain, suggests a case she took on.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

car-poolingjpg

Third-party car insurance cover and why it's sometimes just not worth it

16 October 2019 3:46 PM

Consumer journo Wendy Knowler explains why it can be better to claim on your own car insurance after an accident.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Audi

Used-car buyer? Save yourself a world of pain by asking this one question

10 October 2019 2:57 PM

Wendy Knowler says dealerships don’t do much to explain how you may unknowingly void your warranty and service/maintenance plans.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Debit card

Paying with a debit card? Don’t expect a refund on it when returning items

7 October 2019 2:20 PM

Merchants are not allowed to process refunds on debit cards, warns consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward