South Africa is giving families more times to prepare for a new legislation, which will require all children travelling to the destination to have proper documentation.

The legislation originally due to come into effect in October last year has been delayed until 1 June.

As part of the new rule, parents travelling to and from South Africa with children under 18 will need to product original or a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate, which details both parents.

Parents or guardians travelling 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.

South African Airways A320

Meanwhile, young people travelling solo will need additional documentation before boarding a flight.

The legislation applies to all people travelling with children from Australia and New Zealand to South Africa as their destination. It does not apply to transit passengers.

All documents issued in a language other than English should also be accompanied by a sworn translation issued by a competent authority in the country concerned.

South African Airways’ Country Australasia, Tim Clyde-Smith said young travellers or parents without the right documentation will be unable to check in with the airline.

He said pushing back the implementation gives customers extra time to prepare for their next trip to the destination.

“SAA has been communicating with the travel industry and other partners to allow affected customers to make the necessary preparations. We are working with the SA High Commission to ensure people are fully aware of and prepared for the changes.”

Tim Clyde-Smith, South African Airways Country Australasia

The new legislation is designed to improve the safety of children – both foreign and local – including “their protection from child trafficking, abduction and kidnapping”, the Department of Home Affairs said.

Meanwhile, today South African Airways has added a new product giving customers the chance to upgrade their seat from economy to business class through a bidding system.

“Step-Up” allows customers to bid online for an upgrade on an upcoming trip where business class seats are available.

According to Tim Clyde-Smith, SAA’s Country Manager, Australasia, Step-Up follows other recent innovations that are a key component of the airline’s new customer experience enhancement program.

How it works?

Eligible customers will get an email seven days before their departure advising of available seats in business class on their flight.

The email then link them to the Step-Up tool, which enables them to place a bid for a flight upgrade.

The minimum and maximum bid range is dependent on the original ticket purchased and the customer’s destination.

Bids will stop 72 hours before departure and successful customers will be charged with the amount of their agreed bid.

For unsuccessful passengers, they retain their original itinerary and pay nothing.

Qantas launched a similar system in February this year called ‘Bid Now Upgrades’.

The program is for its frequent flyers.

Read on

Should more destinations look at providing detailed documentation for young travellers?