Even though they aren't a European airline, South African Airways' flights departing from Europe are still under the jurisdiction of the EU Regulation 261/2004 (or EC261) and as such, passenger rights are protected when their flight is delayed at destination. Keep in mind that it is indeed the delay at destination that matters to determine your eligibility, not the delay at departure. To be eligible to a flight compensation, you must reach your destination at least 3 hours after the initially scheduled time of arrival. If the plane departs 3h15 late but the pilot catches up with the delay during the flight and you arrive "only" 2h58 late, you're unfortunately not entitled to any monetary compensation.
Another key element to consider is: who is responsible for the delay? If it wasn't in the airline's capacity to prevent the delay, then in this case as well, passengers won't get compensated. Situations described as "extraordinary circumstances", such as air traffic restriction or adverse weather conditions, exempt the airline of the responsibility to compensate its passengers.
But when the delay was the responsibility of South African Airways, then the airline must pay you up to 600€ for your trouble. This includes cases of “technical issues” or “operational difficulties”, which are not regarded as extraordinary circumstances by the EU law. EC261 protects your air passenger rights and ClaimCompass is here to enforce them for you.
To know how much you're entitled to, the easiest option is to use our Delayed Flight Compensation Calculator. Simply fill out your flight details and know if you’re eligible and to what amount, in less than 3 minutes. Give us the authorization to represent you in front of South African Airways, sit back, and we’ll get your compensation for you.
To give you an idea of what you can hope for, know that the compensation amount for a delayed flight is calculated based on the distance of the flight:
- 250€ for flights shorter than 1,500km
- 400€ for flights between 1,500 and 3,500km and intra-community flights
- 600€ for flights longer than 3,500km that are not within EU territories
You might be entitled to up to 600€ from the airline!
The tab below provides specific data regarding the airline's on-time performance. It includes the amount of flights operated by the airline each month, which portion of these flight arrived on time (i.e with less than 15 minutes delay), which portion consists of delayed flights, and the average delay of their flights in minutes. Source: Flightstats.com
South African Airlines’ on-time performance is excellent when compared to the industry average, with only 18% of their flights delayed by 15 minutes or more. The average delay is rather high, however. As a result, South African Airways flight performance is good, with a rating of 7.5.
South African Airways also cancels some of their flights. When they do, passengers can claim up to 600€ in compensation for the flight cancellation. However, in order to be eligible, a few conditions need to be met.
First of all, South African Airways must be responsible for the cancellation. Sometimes, they have no other choice but to cancel a flight, because of circumstances out of their control, such as an airport strike, security reasons, or a decision of the air traffic controllers. In this case, they are not obligated to pay compensation to their passengers. But if the cause of the cancellation was the airline's responsibility, you could be owed up to 600€.
Next, to be eligible, South African Airways must have failed to notify you about the cancellation at least 14 days in adavance. If they haven’t given you at least a 14-day notice, and you reach your final destination late (or don’t reach it at all), then it’s very likely that you are eligible under the EU Regulation.
You should know that when the airline cancels your flight, they are supposed to provide an alternative between:
- a replacement flight to get you to your destination as soon as possible
- a refund for your ticket
- a flight to your destination at a later date of your chosing (assuming that they are still seats available)
If you've experienced a flight cancellation with South African Airways, you can fill out our Compensation Calculator to verify if you can get compensated and how much money you can expect from them. ClaimCompass will take care of everything for you, from submitting your claim to South African Airways to securing your money.
Many air passengers have already entrusted their compensation claim against South African Airways to ClaimCompass. As you can see from the data below, the airline is rather cooperative when it comes to processing passenger claims.
South African Airways is among the fastest airlines to pay compensation to its eligible passengers. Our experts are used to dealing with South African Airways and work hard to secure your compensation in as little time as possible.