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Are SA flights to PE often delayed?

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Are SA flights to PE often delayed?

I would like to book a SAA flight from Nelspruit (Kruger) to PE via Johannesburg which gets in at 9.20pm. But I would then like to hire a car and car rental places at the airport seem to close at 10.30pm the latest. Would I be asking for trouble doing it this way or would it be unusual for this flight to be delayed?

Thank you!!

Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: Are SA flights to PE often delayed?

It might be simpler getting a taxi to wherever you are going that night and picking up the car the next morning.

Are there no flights direct to Durban?

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2. Re: Are SA flights to PE often delayed?

Always good to think about worst case scenarios. You might ask SAA what its policy is about missed connections on domestic flights.

I missed a connection on an international flight a few weeks ago and I have to say SAA was terrific. I was coming into JoBerg from US and missed my connection to Capetown because of weather delays leaving the US - no fault of the airline. SAA was very accommodating, put us up at SAA's expense at a hotel near the airport and had us on a 7 am flight to Capetown. Didn't hurt our plans at all. If that scenario doesn't bother you, you might take the chance.

The risk is that there won't be room on the first available PE flight the next am, but I imagine there are enough of them throughout the next morning that you are likely to get on one of them.

What's your alternative? Can you take an earlier flight?

Cape Town
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3. Re: Are SA flights to PE often delayed?

Just to answer you original question.

No SAA flights from Johannesburg at this time of the evening - after the peak flight period - are seldom delayed. As schmave says there may be a problem with a connection but this is not a likelyhood.

The 21:20 arrival from joburg is the last flight in the evening into PE. This is quite a small airport and you should be through domestic baggage claim in around 15-20 mins from landing and at the car hire desk. The hire company offices stay open until 10:30 to clear up any latecomers. However why do you think that they ask you your flight number? They know which flight you are on and being at the airport, of course, know of any delays. It is pretty sure that they would wait for you arrival if you were delayed that evening.

Best is to check the phone number of the PE car rental desk and put it on your phone and then if you find that you are going to be delayed leaving Joburg just call them from there and check that they will wait for you. One of the many, many reasons why you always need a locally operating cellphone when you travel! Even if you don't have a local SIM, which I would strongly recommend, then call on roaming which should only cost you a dollar or so.

So you definitely not be "asking for trouble" taking this flight. Couldn't find that you were going to Durban? The last Durban flight leaves PE at 20:15.

Edited: 13 September 2011, 17:54
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4. Re: Are SA flights to PE often delayed?

Hello again.

To clarify:

The reason I want to get the last flight into PE is because I am being greedy and I want to maximise the amount of time I can spend in Kruger Park before starting the Garden Route, so I could get an earlier flight but I'd rather not if I can avoid it.

Getting a taxi into town and then picking up a car the following day is a possibility, but I had hoped to visit Addo elephant park the following day and I'd like to make as earlier a start as possible, so I don't fancy waiting around for car rental offices to open the following day.

I think I will phone the company as suggested to find out what their policy is, although after reading replies I am now not so much concerned about this flight being delayed as I am the connection flight being delayed! I will see if I can get some answers from SAA.

Finally, I looked into Durban but it's a 10 hour drive away from PE, so not really practical.

Thanks for everyone's help :)

Port Elizabeth...
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5. Re: Are SA flights to PE often delayed?

If I'm correct the car hire places is supposed to stay open till the last flight comes in. Rental agreement. Its the same for the tourism office and I'm sure the other tenants as well.

6. Re: Are SA flights to PE often delayed?

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