A 10-hour delay (that’s right, TEN HOURS) flying via South African Airlines from Johannesburg to Perth resulted in a domino chain-reaction around my pre-booked flight on to Broome. Despite complaints to SAA (now over two months ago) I have had absolutely no response from these people. Can I take court action? Here is my email to them:
"I was on Flt 9280 JBG to PER, delayed from 21:10 Sun 31 Jul until 07:00 the next day. I was informed of the delay by email AM of 31 Jul, too late to rebook my connection after Perth (though I tried). I’d planned, after your scheduled 12:20 Perth arrival to board a Virgin flight to Broome at 15:10 (3-hour stopover more than ample for customs checkthrough). When I realised that your delay would necessitate an unpredicted overnight stay in Perth, plus the loss of the fare to Broome and the cost of a new one at short notice, I notified SAA through your website’s Contact Us link to let you know that I would expect reimbursement for these costs. I have yet to receive a reply from you to this communication.
Aboard Flt 9280, we were told the “good news” that passengers affected by this delay would be met by an SAA rep at the bridge upon disembarking. It was close to 22:30 by the time I spoke to this woman, who refused to help me in any way, and firmly informed me that SAA’s obligations to me ended upon delivering me to Perth. Without any SAA support, I then had to source overnight accommodation in Perth, take a taxi to and from it, and book a new Virgin flight Perth to Broome.
Your employee at Perth airport that night was wrong. Your responsibility is not only to deliver passengers to their destination, but to do so within an acceptable window around your promised arrival time. No one could consider a flight delay of ten hours reasonable. None of my expenses in seeking accommodation in Perth and rebooking my onward flight would have arisen without SAA’s delay. I have kept all my receipts and stand ready to submit them to you for full reimbursement, since they exist entirely due to SAA’s failure to honour your commitment to this passenger. I am committed on principle to pursuing this matter to proper conclusion."