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TRAVEL: SAA Has Lost Its Heart

 





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A recent poll of South African airline users agrees that South African Airways provides the worst service of all the airlines available to South African consumers. The feeling is that the only reason the enjoy the largest market share is because they have the most aircraft, routes and flight times. Despite all of those advantages SAA has managed to alienate a quarter of its passengers according to the poll. That’s nearly two people in every row on the plane.

A total of 415 recent passengers of SAA, Kulula, BA, 1 Time, Mango and SA Airlink were interviewed. The sample comprised well educated (71% with post-matric qualifications) and senior people (54% professional or managerial).

Disgruntled passengers say that SAA’s staff ignore customers, are rude, treat passengers “like prisoners” and don’t answer their phones. They go on to cite the on-board entertainment as irritating and the airfares to be overpriced. They rate SAA poorly in terms of helpfulness, efficiency and friendliness, both on the ground and in the air. In general passengers feel that these service issues are getting worse as we approach the dawn of the 2010 spectacular.

In redemption, SAA’s happy customers, praise their convenient scheduling, modern planes and their safety record.

In order to become a national hero, SAA needs to change the way its frontline staff on the ground and in air treat customers. Failure to do so will send an army of unsatisfied customers back to their home countries after the 2010 World Cup, at worst never to return, at least never to fly SAA again.


 
 
 
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