SAA warns on traveling child documentation

first_imgSAA warns on traveling child documentationSouth African Airways has warned many families could be inconvenienced during the coming Christmas holiday period due to non-compliant documentation.On 1 June, 2015, South African Government legislation came into force that requires additional documentation to be provided at check-in when a parent or guardian is traveling with children under 18 or when unaccompanied children travel. The changes impact both parents and guardians traveling with children and unaccompanied minors traveling alone or in groups (such as for school or sporting excursions) to and from South Africa. It does not apply to transit passengers.According to Tim Clyde-Smith, SAA’s Country Manager for Australasia, the airline has experienced many recent cases when customers departing from Australia to South Africa do not have the correct documentation. As such they have been unable to check-in and board their flight to South Africa.“Despite an ongoing education program and communications through travel agents and the industry, too many incidents are happening when customers do not have the correct documentation when they check in to board their flight,” Tim said.“On one recent flight leaving Perth for Johannesburg, some 13 passengers were unable to leave Australia due to not having the proper documents,” he said.“It is unfortunate some people still do not have the correct documentation. It is simply not enough to have a letter from one parent giving permission to travel when only one parent is travelling with children or from one or both when children travel alone. A legal, signed affidavit must be produced as per the act introduced by the South African Government.”“As well as the inconvenience factor, it means customers face additional costs when they cannot board their booked flights while they source the correct information.”“We are calling on the travel industry in particular to ensure their customers have all the correct information when traveling to South Africa, especially in the forthcoming holiday season of Christmas and New Year. In addition, while travel bookings made since the act came into force might mean compliance, travel agents need to go back through all existing bookings made as far back as 12 months, before the legislation came into force. We have found many examples of people who made bookings through agents earlier this year are simply unaware of the new requirements.”“The legislation has now been in place for almost four months and applies to all airlines flying into South Africa, not just SAA. It means parents traveling into and from South Africa with a child under 18 are required to produce an original or certified copy of a child’s birth certificate detailing both parents. Parents or guardians traveling by themselves with children will also need an affidavit less than three months old that has been sworn by a notary public that gives permission to travel with the child or children.”Source = South African Airwayslast_img

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