SAA will from August 1 start charging consumers service fees. The aim is to reduce congestion in queues at airports and SAA's city offices.
The service fees will apply to all tickets bought directly at an SAA city office in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town or at its airport ticketing offices at OR Tambo International, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London airports.
Fees will be:
* R200 per domestic, regional or international ticket purchased at SAA's city offices;
* R200 per domestic ticket bought at SAA's airport offices;
* R500 per regional and international ticket bought at SAA's airport offices.
Service fees would also apply if a booking was made online and the "pay later" option was chosen and a customer intended collecting and paying for the ticket at an airport or city office. Consumers will also pay a service fee for their Voyager upgrades.
Association of South African Travel Agents president, Laurie Wilkinson, said "The success that travel agents have had with service fees has no doubt made the airlines envious and they are now copying us. The big difference is that we add a lot of value and do 100 other things such as visas, tours, sightseeing, cars, hotels, etc. The service levels from airline offices are, to be polite, basic! Agents that are doing really well in today's market have upped the ante considerably when it comes to the service we are offering."