✅ Trip Verified
| Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth. On 21/09/2018 I had one of the worst customer service experiences with Safair at OR Thambo International Airport. Not only were their staff inexperienced and incompetent but they were extremely rude and unhelpful with a situation where I was innocent. I missed my flight out of Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth, flight FA360, departing at 18:20. A few factors contributed to this flight being missed and are as follows: Delays and Cancellations at ORT: Most of the flights posted on the flight screens were either delayed or cancelled on Friday evening. The assumption was that due to the public holiday, the airport was facing congestion. Flights that were meant to depart at 15:15, 15:25, 16:00 etc were showing as either 'Boarding', 'Departing', 'Cancelled' or 'Delayed' at +- 18:00 2. Flight Screens: The flight screens at ORT were clearly out of order (as per the above point) and so flights that may have looked to be 'delayed' were in fact departing and flights that were ‘cancelled’ may have in fact been 'departing'. This was confirmed by Safair team members at the departure gate for flight FA360. Gate Change: The flight screens at ORT had flight FA360 departing from gate E6 (this being the bottom level of gates at ORT) where I had positioned myself at 17:45 in order to be at the gate 5 minutes before the gates opened. For the next +- 20 minutes nothing changed on the flight screens. The was no 'Go to Gate' sign for flight FA360 and the gate remained unchanged at E6 on the flight screens. The flight screen at Gate E6 was showing a flight for Margate and so due to the numerous delays and cancellations at the airport, I was under the impression that the Port Elizabeth flight would depart after this Margate flight at Gate E6. This was not the case. At approximately 18:15 when I once again looked at the flight screens, the gate for flight FA360 had changed to gate C13. There was no ‘Go to Gate’ sign showing on that flight. I rushed to Gate C13 only to find the flight screen at the gate displaying Flight FA360 to Port Elizabeth as ‘Closed’. When I approached the 2 Safair employees, the 2 ladies had told me that the flight had departed. When asked if there was a Gate change, they both replied ‘Yes’ there was a gate change. When asked ‘why there was no loud speaker informing passengers of this change?’, they replied that there was an employee of the airport telling people about the gate change. I then asked these 2 ladies if the flight screens are not working at the airport as the 'Go to Gate' sign was not visible and the Gate Change only came on at 18:15. Both of them replied that ORT had been having issues with their monitors. What since ensued at the Safair counter at OR Thambo is inexplicable and I simply cannot type out my anger at your Safair staff. The call centre staff also could not assist me with anything and blamed me for 'missing' my flight and have told me that I am in the wrong. Its actually a disgrace how I have been treated by such a 'reputable' company.