This means that passengers need to be extra vigilant about checking their boarding time and departure gate by keeping an eye on the departures board in case there are any changes to their flight details. The joy at finding cheap flights to Durban through an airline sale or early booking, for example, could end up being very costly if the flight is missed.
There will no doubt be a few missed flights as people wait for a boarding call that never comes. There will also be no more boarding calls made for passengers who are late for boarding, which according to ACSA, is one of the most common airport noise complaints. The new silent airport is a relatively new concept in South Africa but has quickly been adopted by all international and most regional airports.
The only terminal announcements made will be those pertaining to cancellations or boarding gate changes, as well as lost minors.
You won’t get your money back
Unfortunately, airlines are not obligated to give you a refund or offer you a seat on another flight without paying for it if you miss your flight. Some airlines can offer a discount or a much cheaper ticket depending on the flight you’re willing to get on, and even then, it’s purely at the discretion of the airline.
Comprehensive travel insurance will cover you for missed flights so if you are concerned, this is a good option to cover you for any unforeseen delays and will be cheaper than buying another full ticket.
The best way of ensuring you get on your flight is to plan accordingly. Work out exactly how long it will take to get you to the airport and factor in any delays. For example, if you are travelling to the airport by Gautrain in Johannesburg, always check the train timetable as they run every 20 minutes to the airport and longer on weekend and public holidays. This could mean the difference between making it to the airport in time to board and missing the flight.
Standard check-in for most domestic flights in South Africa close 30 minutes before departure, others, such as Mango Airlines, closes 40 minutes prior to departure.
Check in online
All major airlines offer an online check-in service which can save you crucial time standing in long check-in queues at the airport. If you arrive a few minutes after check-in has closed, you can still check your bags in and avoid the stress of not being allowed on the flight or proceed straight to the boarding gate if you are only bringing carry-on luggage.
Checking in online also allows you to you see updated flight information and book your preferred seat.
Book your cheap flights to Durban, Cape Town or anywhere else in South Africa, check in online and then spend time enjoying the new stress-free airport environment, but remember it’s now your responsibility to keep an eye on the time and the departures board.
Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/airport-transport-woman-girl-2373727/