"We apologise to all those affected. It is devastating for Comair’s passengers, staff and partners, as well as for the travel sector," Discovery Vitality chief executive officer Dinesh Govender said.
In an effort to assist its clients, Discovery Bank has announced that it will immediately refund Vitality clients affected by the Comair shutdown.
To this end, it has made the following offering:
A Vitality member who is a Discovery Bank client (and who has booked a discounted flight departing from 1 June 2022 onwards - that has been cancelled due to this issue) - can now be reassured that Discovery Bank will automatically refund the amount spent on that flight into the Vitality member’s Discovery Bank account.
This will take place by close of business on Friday, 10 June 2022.
The funds will be deposited into clients' respective Discovery Bank transaction accounts. If they do not have a transaction account, it will be deposited into their Discovery Bank credit-card account, or their Discovery Bank savings account.
This refund process is automatic, so no action is required from members.
International flight, car hire and accommodation bookings made on the kulula.com website remain unaffected.
To make alternative travel arrangements and new discounted travel bookings with any of its travel partners; including booking local flights with FlySafair, Airlink and Lift, and arranging international flights, accommodation and car hire; Discovery Bank clients can access the Vitality Travel platform through the Discovery Bank website on their desktop.
"While we are working on alternative solutions for Vitality members who are not Discovery Bank clients, affected Vitality members who booked a discounted flight can open a Discovery Bank account before 30 June 2022 in order to facilitate an immediate refund and make bookings on the Vitality Travel platform," the statement said.
Those who didn’t book as a Vitality member on kulula.com or Vitality Travel unfortunately do not get a refund.
"We understand how traumatic it can be when flight plans are disrupted, and we are doing our utmost to assist those affected," Govender said.
Note that cancellations made due to the safety-related grounding in March are being handled by Comair and unfortunately follow a different process.