Help at hand for some 1time passengers

Nov 04 2012 10:50

Cape Town - As the news of 1time's liquidation broke, some passengers were left stranded and frustrated, but there will be help for some.

According to Business Report, passengers who bought their tickets through some banks will be refunded.

Absa, Standard Bank and Nedbank said they would reimburse their customers.

“In order to make customers’ lives easier, we can confirm that all 1time purchases made with Absa-issued cards, will be refunded,” an Absa spokesperson told the publication.

Standard Bank said cheque, debit and credit card holders could lodge a dispute with the bank to have the transaction reversed.

Meanwhile Nedbank said cardholders who had purchased 1time flight tickets using a credit card branded with a Visa, MasterCard or an American Express logo, could contact the bank for a chargeback.

FNB announced on its official Twitter page that it would assist with the processing of refunds, but clients would have to complete a dispute form and have a receipt from the airline.

1time's liquidation comes six months after another low cost airline, Velvet Sky closed its doors and four years after Nationwide announced it would no longer fly in 2008. 

The low-cost carrier announced on Friday that it had applied for business liquidation, and that all of its flights had been grounded.

Comair chief executive Erik Venter said 10 out of 11 private airlines launched in South Africa since the industry was deregulated in 1991 had failed.

1time had about R320m in short-term debt and had been in negotiations with creditors since March.

"It is...with the utmost regret, disappointment and heartfelt disbelief that we have to file for liquidation, which means the end of a dream and an era for all of us," 1time chief executive Blacky Komani said in the company's statement.

"I sincerely thank our employees who worked so hard over the years to drive 1time's business... and our passengers, who carried and maintained 1time during our most difficult and trying financial times. Your loyalty is appreciated," Komani said.

An Airports Company SA spokesperson said officials had been placed at check-in counters to assist passengers.

Some Fin24 readers who had purched tickets with 1time expressed their anger and disappointment.

"I want to know what happens to my paid tickets which I've paid for to fly 1 Dec and return 5 Dec 2012. Airline must either reimburse me or accommodate me on another airline," said one reader.

"I have bought my One Time ticket [sic] from Jhb to Cape Town, in March already. It was paid for immediately.

"Now it looks as if I won't be able to spend my first Christmas with my newly wedded only daughter and my new son in law," said another.

One reader recalled her recent trip with the airline. "I think I was on the last plane flight of 1time. We left Port Elizabeth at 3:21pm. I had a window seat and the pilot was hugging the ground crew team, one lady from 1time was crying. It was very sad to see but at this time I never knew they had been liquidated but all the crew must have been told the bad news by the pilot. The flight back to Cape Town was very professional with the crew not showing any sadness etc. The pilot landed that plane so well that it felt like we where still flying, so smooth. I really liked flying on 1time, even in the bus from the plane to the airport passengers where talking about how well the flight went with good service etc, no one knew yet that they went under, [this] was around 4:20pm. Looks like it was the last landing for 1time! I really feel sad for all the staff because they really were on a class above many airlines that charge a lot more."

Are you a passenger booked with 1time, or are you working for the low cost carrier? Send us your thoughts and get published.

1time  |  liquidation  |  low cost airlines



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