JOHANNESBURG - 05 August 2009
South African Airways (SAA) customers can now access comprehensive travel and airline information from just one point of reference, anywhere, anytime, using their cellphone.
The mobile portal, recently launched by SAA, allows travellers to access the following information from a capable cellphone device: airline flight schedules; directions to airline lounges at airports around the world; flight arrival and departure information; and destination information such as weather forecasts for any city in the world and a currency converter.
The new initiative is in partnership with Star Alliance, the international airline network to which SAA belongs. Star Alliance developed the Common IT Mobile Platform, which SAA used to launch its very own portal for customers. SAA is the first airline in Africa to have launched the new service.
The portal is a universal feed able to access information on any airline and destination in the world.
“It’s a single source of information for the traveller. Forget about making unnecessary phone calls or logging on to countless websites to get the information you need while you are on the go. Anywhere, anytime, information about your travels it at your finger tips,” says Mike Re, SAA Chief Information Officer.
Airline customers can also access World Tracer information, which tracks requests made about baggage, through the mobile portal. “This tool allows you track where your baggage request is with an airline and how close it is in the process to being resolved,” says Re.
The portal is accessible by logging on to http://mobile.flysaa.com or http://m.flysaa.com
The first phase of the initiative is not controlled by usernames and passwords. Once you enter the address, the information needed is readily available with a few clicks and entries.
Once you enter the site, the application automatically scales to the size of the handset being used. “This convenient tool means no more clicking away to find the rest of the page not in your view because of the limited size of your cellphone screen,” says Re.
The portal is currently available in 5 languages; English, German, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
SAA plans to increase the functionality of the mobile portal with the launch of phase two later this year, which is more interactive. Customers will have the ability to request frequent flyer mileage status, check notifications on any irregular flight operations e.g. flight delays and check flight itineraries.
In phase three, also scheduled to be introduced towards the end of the year, customers will be able to check-in for a flight and board a flight by scanning their cellphone at a boarding gate using 2D barcode technology to be implemented at airports.
Issued by Group Corporate Affairs
SAA celebrates its 75th Anniversary in 2009 and is one of the oldest airlines in the world. The airline was founded on 1 February 1934 after the South African government took over the assets and liabilities of Union Airways, which up until then operated as an air mail service. It was named South African Airways and fell under the administration of the South African Railways and Harbours.
SAA is one of the leading carriers in Africa offering over 20 destinations across the continent, as well as major destinations within South Africa, including its hub, Johannesburg.
It is a member of the largest and most recognised international airline network, Star Alliance, and through this is able to offer its passengers a service beyond its own direct operations as well as numerous benefits to customers.
SAA operates one of the most technologically advanced aircraft fleets in the world and offers an exclusive and highly rated product. SAA’s priority is to ensure the safety of its passengers and crew and therefore places immense focus on maintenance of its aircraft.