World Cup flight price shocker

2010-05-21 07:11

Johannesburg – Local and international travellers who have not yet arranged their travel detail during the soccer World Cup can expect to pay up to double the prevailing rates from June until the final whistle in July.

A snap survey by has revealed that domestic and regional flight prices have risen significantly during the high-demand period of major soccer matches. Some flight prices to Durban and Cape Town from Johannesburg late in June and early July have more than doubled.

To catch the Group G match between Brazil and Portugal in Durban on June 25, low-cost airline will charge R2 088 (including taxes) for a return flight from Johannesburg. The return flight would deliver passengers at midnight in Johannesburg.

Mango passengers will pay R2 454.50 to arrive in Durban at 07:00 for the game at 16:00. 1Time charges R2 498 for arrival at 11:00 and departure at 21:00. 

South African Airways has run out of affordable seats for that particular game.

If price is of no importance, an SAA return flight in the “Select Voyager Upgradeable” segment will set you back R4 420. In addition to that a passenger would need to find accommodation as there will be no return flights after the game.

Comparable travel tickets on May 22 are R1 138 (kulula),  R903 (SAA), Mango (R822) and 1Time (R791).

Travelling to the final game of the 2010 tournament in Johannesburg from Durban will set back the soccer enthusiast R1 588 on kulula and R2 879 on SAA. Capetonians will have to pay kulula R3 438 to get to Johannesburg and R3 985 on SAA. Both groups of travellers will have to spend the night in Johannesburg.

Passengers flying from Johannesburg to be in Cape Town to watch England take on Algeria in the evening will get 1Time tickets for R2 068 and will have to sleep over. Mango charges R1 972.50 for the same luxury while kulula tickets cost R2 238.

Travelling the same route currently costs R1 278 on 1Time while Mango is happy with R1 300.

Another interesting comparison is that of international flights to South Africa during the tournament.

An SAA passenger departing from Los Angeles on June 10 to be in time for the USA versus England game on June 12 will have to go through London. For that junket the cost will be $4 451 (R34 718) returning to the US on July 18, just before the semi-finals.

Those flying SAA from Paris on June 9 will pay in excess of €5 600 (R56 000), returning on June 25 after the end of the first round. An Air France flight departing from Paris on June 9 and returning on June 23 will set the traveller back €2 804.

But Air France’s prices are slightly lower during the World Cup than currently. A flight from Paris between May 26 and 31 will cost €2 900.

An SAA flight from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil from June 11 will cost 11 000 Brazilian Real (R44 700). The return date is June 26.

Travelling from many African countries can be tricky and more expensive than from anywhere else. For instance, you’d pay $2 800 (R22 000) to get to Johannesburg from Accra between June 11 and 24.

Kulula charges more than British Airways from Windhoek in Namibia to Johannesburg between June 11 and 21.
Comair chief executive Gidon Novick acknowledged that this should not be the case, saying that BA must be pricier than Kulula and that it was an error. The prices had not been changed at the time of writing.



  • Observer - 2010-05-21 08:45

    And they all testified and said that they did not put up the prices....

  • Nick - 2010-05-21 08:48

    The GREED of people / companies is just too incredible. What justification is there for ripping the bottom out of everything. One would think they would be grateful for the extra passengers during the period, but no! they would rather let the greed flow. I pray that the people boycott these airlines during the time and rather go to pubs and watch the game on tv. Bad luck for those who bought ripoff priced tickets but maybe they can organise a bus. At the end of the day this situation is just plain disgusting

  • GT - 2010-05-21 08:48

    Correct and it has messed up all non world cup travel plans. The sooner this FIFA money grab is over, the better! Match ticket sales do still not international airline sales and I fully expect 40% of people to be no-shows thanks to ZERO airline planning. They were the critical cog in the wheel that would make this work

  • keitH - 2010-05-21 08:51

    Milk the cash cow!!!!!It has become the standard in this country! When it sinks into ....... don't come crying. When you have corrupt "leaders" what would you expect!

  • Herman Groenewald - 2010-05-21 08:51

    What disgusting practice of greed. A very bad reflection to the world of opportunistic practice. Defenitely not proudly South African is it??

  • paul - 2010-05-21 08:58

    SAA rip us again. For weeks I have been trying to book a Mango (SAA) flight during FWC only to be told that the schedual is not uploaded yet. Why then, can my friends living in Europe do an online booking at Mango. UP yours says Mango?

  • Badger - 2010-05-21 08:59

    ...and we wonder why the tourists are not coming. Greed is going to kill the potential future tourism for this country.

  • Deric - 2010-05-21 09:00

    Price shocker?! COME ON! Did you really not think we would get screwed on pricing around this time?

  • Renier - 2010-05-21 09:01

    Oh wow! And you call this current news?? Wake up idiots I knew about this 8 months ago, try to stay current with your reporting and stop writing about BS that's been obvious quite a while ago. I was planning on coming, and also visiting my family but decided to do so during spring, because of the ridiculous prices. I

  • Jo - 2010-05-21 09:04

    These prices are disgusting, all they are doing is robbing the people that are coming here to experience our country. So sad to see the greed these companies portray as a South African image.

  • Paul - 2010-05-21 09:09

    A one way ticket from Pisa in Italy to Frankfurt Hann in Germany which is an 1h20 flight cost us €289 for 2 persons 3 weeks ago. This with budget airline Ryan Air. Works out to R1445 per persone and they were very ...very strict when it came to luggage weights and sizes. So....are we realy that more expensive or are we just use to low fares.

  • Guy - 2010-05-21 09:15

    This a ridiculous. Where to the airlines get off fleecing their customers just because of "supply & demand"? "This is what it costs to fly to CT (for example)". Full stop. So what if there is more demand for tickets than there are seats? Who do the airlines think they are to increase prices? Airline tickets are not commodities like gold and platinum. SA has received enough flak for ripping off tourists with hotel prices (that we didn't even set) and we've been cautioned to not scare off tourists with high prices. So what do the airlines do? Show a fat finger to the tourism industry and rip off the tourists anyway! If the reserve bank can step in and freeze commodity and forex prices, why can't the government step in an for the airlines to freeze ticket prices?

  • Pravda - 2010-05-21 09:16

    And the stealing gets better.........

  • Tommo - 2010-05-21 09:16

    Big question is why have the prices doubled,could this also have impacted on less tourists coming to the SWC.This seems like an own goal.Are the airlines prepared to explain the rational behind this profiteering?

  • Tim - 2010-05-21 09:20

    I was recently oversees and spoke to some people there. Many of them younger fans that would want to come and watch the world cup here, but just cannot afford it. Great to the airline companies - close the gates on local businesses that could have make good business in this period. That said, some of the local accommodation must also take part of the blame. Great opportunity halfway missed to show case the country.

  • Gordon Delaney - 2010-05-21 09:20

    SAA doesn't fly to Paris or Rio de Janeiro. Obviously if you go onto an airline's website and start looking for flights to or from any destination you can think of, the prices quoted will be based on flying with more than one airline if that airline doesn't actually service that route. And so it stands to reason that if you want to fly with SAA from Paris for example, you are first going to have to connect to one of their European destinations, whilst Air France will drop you off in Johannesburg in one hop, the patently cheaper option. Poor research (or biased comparison) on the part of the journalist, I think.

  • OuJan - 2010-05-21 09:24

    The learned people will tell us: "It's all because of supply and demand" I call it unscrupulous exploitation of the powerless public at large, also known as greed.

  • greig - 2010-05-21 09:24

    People don't understand how airline ticketing works, each airline has a base price which is in line with the prices above, they then discount their fares to the prices most people pay, Kulula has been selling tickets for flights during the SWC at heeavily discounted rates, each flight needs a mix of full fare and discount to make it viable. All that is happened is that the people who have left their travel plans to the last minute are having to buy tickets at full fare as supply is scarce. It is not the airlines fault but the customer who has not booked early, if you have ever had to book an emergency flight at short notice will recognise the prices. The reporter is being irresponsible and sloppy with this article.

  • CrisisOfFaith - 2010-05-21 09:26

    It appears that you can say exactly what you want, to the press, to the public, to parliament, but then go ahead and do the exact opposite - without any consequences.

  • MANGO - 2010-05-21 09:30

    MANGO airlines suck! I would advise everybody not to use them...even if they are a few hundred rand cheaper!!! There are constant baggage theft issues, poor service, and rude staff! I wish SAA would go bankrupt already, and this sorry excuse for an airline go with it! And yes, I had baggage stolen, and all I got was a "we dont care"!

  • Andrew - 2010-05-21 09:31

    Kruger National Park has been doing this for years. They add a surcharge onto accomadation for overseas visitors and the place has gone down the drain. Restuarants are useless, accomodation crap, and service is terrible its like they being forced to work. Complete rip off!!! I'll never go back. Better quality and friendly service in Botswana. Wild card CANCELLED!!!

  • Realist - 2010-05-21 09:32

    Has anyone actually looked at the SAA website, you can still fly to CT for less than 2000 if you are flexible, try booking a flight to the Durban July at peak perids

  • F - SAA,KULULA,MANGO - 2010-05-21 09:34

    @ least petrol price will be reasonable...........thank God it's governement regulated and not susceptible to price fixing by BP, SASOL, SHELL, CALTEX.......imagine we would have been payin R15 per liter on average for fuel. If this is the effect of Economic Principles, they must be reviewed......the higher the demand the lower the price & vice versa......what happened to volumes.

  • haymaker - 2010-05-21 09:34

    Soccer fans are not our tourist market generally so rip every last bean from every one of them. This event is a dead loss already and taxpayers will carry the can so make lots of hay.

  • Realist - 2010-05-21 09:43

    Guys, I agree that the prices are excessive, but at the end of the day their ticket prices are soley based on supply and demand and who are they to not profit from the WC? This is a special time for South Africa and unfortunatly there are people coming here who are willing and able to pay those prices - the airlines would be stupid not to jump on the band waggon. If people had any forsight they would have booked their flights a long time ago when they were still cheap.

  • Dreaming - 2010-05-21 09:44

    Ho Hum I will all be over in seven weeks thank God for that.

  • Doug K - 2010-05-21 09:47

    Supply and Demand! Interestingly the demand is not as high as was predicted, with fewer people arriving from foreign countries than expected and fewer South Africans buying tickets to see games. Sadly the Supply remains the same. They have no way of making the service better, nor can there suddenly be an extra 20 aircraft on the scene. We booked flights for the June period yonks ago as we expected prices to increase but I guess I had better check that the booking has not gone missing - imagine. I had no idea that people would pay so much money to see a game of football - I'd rather watch it on the telly. I hope that fans feel satisfied by the experience even if their team loses.

  • Mrs G - 2010-05-21 09:48

    A month ago I checked Delta to fly Jnb to Atlanta. To fly on 10th June, price R13000 and a bit, to fly on 11th June R35000 and a bit. Today I checked again, any day in June R36000 and a bit!

  • Jenny - 2010-05-21 09:59

    My daughter & I was going to USA via Schipol during the world cup period.We decided not to go any longer as the flight tickets were absolutely rediculous.When I questioned the travel agent why as we were going in the opposite direction I was told "it is out of our hands & beyound our control as they themselves cannot understand the logic behind the price hike"!!How sad when GREED becomes the norm of the day!!

  • catfish - 2010-05-21 10:05

    Dear Pres. Zuma, it is really embarrassing to be a South African, when like everything else in this country, money/wealth is the only object.

  • M Man. - 2010-05-21 10:09

    No wonder Cape Town is only 50 % full. The folk from oversea's did not want to get fleeced by the greedy airlines and hospitality industry......everyone thought they were going to get RICH..............HA HA .

  • ElvY - 2010-05-21 10:13

    I amazes me what a chain of rippers, stabbers and suffering FIFA causes in a bid to bring together a world in soccer. The irony is staggering! Its gone from wow, fantastic, euphoric to downright disgusting! Especially as all businesses in a certain radius to the stadiums are not allowed to conduct business, so while those who are able reap and rip the public, a large amount of people suffer. I hope we never have the SWC here again

  • Shrek - 2010-05-21 10:58

    The SWC will come to end, and these operators (airlines, hotels, resturants, etc) will again be knocking on SA citizens doors for our business. And thsi is when I will show them the middle finger. Don't waste your money in SA, go on holiday to Botswana, Namibia....its safe, cheaper anda wonderful experience.

  • ARIES - 2010-05-21 11:00

    In run an enterprise you strike while the iron is hot and if there is a demand for a specific service it is common sense to take advantage of the up swing. No one is forced to take up the offers of these flights so if it is out of your reach then that is that.Now how many of you that have complained on this forum wanted to fly in June/July and how many are just moaning because you have the chance to?

  • nuff ced - 2010-05-21 12:22

    State-run SAA should offer 50% discount cheap flights to anyone confirming 14 bed-nights in RSA. What the State loses on flight revenue they would pick up on tax and job creation?

  • Mo - 2010-05-21 12:59

    I agree with Aries - get on with your life and stop moaning all the time - Greig appears to be the only person who understands how airline pricing works. Try use your SAA Voyager miles during this period and you will see that SAA have been absolutly hounest to all and are not playing games - check it out guys!!

  • Greg - 2010-05-21 13:57

    @ARIES - What a self-serving attitude! It's precisely because of this kind of drivel that the world was plunged into the economic crisis. These companies are just plain greedy and there is no justification for it. Why must everything related to the World Cup be a rip off? It would be nice to see at least one or two companies step up to the plate and offer decently priced services - but they are all just jumping on the "screw the customer" bandwagon. And then they have the unmitigated gall to say they care about their customers ... gotta love South African business!

  • Ryan Graham - 2010-05-21 14:58

    I agree with Andrew, The Kruger Park has gone to the dogs. I was there recently and to get any info or help I had to be over nice to the staff there. Imagine that, your paying them and feel like they're paying you. In fact all the staff at the Satara restaurant we're watching soccer when we had dinner there and had to beg for service. Shame, I won't go there again.

  • Steve - 2010-05-21 15:57

    I say only way to stop the greed is to boycott it and watch it at home on the telly instead. Much safer, more fun with the friends and family. I was so looking forward to it and welcoming the overseas visitor to south africa and when greed like this goes, these business need to feel the anger of the customer. Do not use them and watch how they suffer. That's an old saying.....if you want to hurt someone....hurt them where they feel it the their pockert.

  • Clive - 2010-05-21 16:15

    The Comair chief executive Gidon Novick should check the prices more often as the flight from Windhoek to Jo'burg is the same flight as BA, you just book on the Kulula website and fly on the BA plane. More than once though, I have booked the same flight cheaper on BA than on Kulula and were not talking about a few rand, sometimes up to R400 less.

  • DP - 2010-05-24 22:47

    And who are all of you to tell airlines what they should and should not do? Newsflash, 4000 rand for a jhb - druban in peak times, is still pretty cheap, Dont mention this kids, but if the rand was actually worth something, people might have known this.

  • Stan - 2010-05-27 11:19

    Stop whining! The airlines are entitled to charge what they want. This is not yet communism with controlled prices. Does the public whine when airlines sell seats cheaply at other times of the year?! They are entitled to charge what the market can take during a peak period. Supply and demand will be the order. I booked a flight, incl taxes, CT to Dbn today for R528.00, travel date 20 June.1Time and Mango had the same fare. Most of you whiners were most likely hoping to move into your caravans and let your houses out for a fortune!! If you lost out, that is a lesson in supply and demand, the market will dictate! If the airlines do not sell, they will drop prices.Amen. Viva free enterprise!

  • Lindsey - 2010-05-27 11:20

    ..we booked a flight for during the world cup period last week return joburg capetown and paid R 1200.00. All the low cost airlines were about the same price. So not quite sure where the exorbitant prices were there?

  • Arrie - 2010-05-28 21:27

    Hey, wake up! It's all about money, that's it. If you want to be part pay the price. AT rugby matches you pay 2 - 3 times the price for a hotdog or beer - nothing new. Is this the big (biejie skep) before I leave the country - have heard this from many a white South African.

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