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BA news snippets – restrictions on kids to South Africa, service changes, special meals dropped

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A few British Airways service announcements have dropped into my inbox in the last few days.  Here is a round up:

Big restrictions on taking children to South Africa

This seems to have come out of the blue, and does sniff of excess bureaucracy.

From 1st October (EDIT, September 2014 – this has now been delayed until June 2015), you MUST take a FULL birth certificate with you for each child if you are travelling to South Africa with children under 18.  You will not be allowed into the country without one.  The birth certificate must name the parents and those must be the two people travelling with the child.

Even worse, if only one of the two parents is travelling, you must produce an affidavit (presumably a formal one drawn up by a solicitor) from the other parent giving permission for the child to enter South Africa.  If the other parent is dead, a death certificate must be produced.  If the parents are separated, a court order must be produced to prove this.

If you are with a child who is not your biological child, you must produce a copy of the passport of the biological parent and an affidavit from them, as well as the birth certificate of the child.

Don’t even ask about the situation for unaccompanied minors which is even more complex.

I can see the market for family holidays in South Africa taking a big dip ….

British Airways logo

Special meal changes

British Airways is dropping the following special meals across all travel classes from 1st October:

  • Fruit platter
  • Bland meal (no jokes please)
  • Jain meal
  • Seafood meal

Existing bookings which include one of these meals will be respected.  If you have already booked but have not already selected one of these special meals, you will not be able to do so after October 1st.

Service changes for Summer 2015 timetable

British Airways is dropping a number of flights from the Summer timetable, which runs from the end of March.  If you are booked to any of these destinations you may want to check that your flight has not been cancelled.

New York Newark – 6 of the 20 weekly services are to be dropped.  This is an aggressive reduction.   BA is also removing the Boeing 787 from this route with all services operated by Boeing 777’s.

Buenos Aires – 2 of the 7 weekly services are to be dropped (it will return to 7 for the Winter timetable)

Cape Town – 1 of the 10 weekly services to be dropped.  The Boeing 747 service will not be selling First Class but will be sold as Club World with customers able to book themselves into the old-style First Class seats if demand justifies it.

Accra – 3 of the 10 weekly services to be dropped. The upside is that it is the Boeing 767 services which are going, the Boeing 747 flights will remain.

Comments (24)

  • Dave R says:

    I have return flights to Newark in F booked for next Summer. I only booked last week. Have they published the flight numbers that will be cancelled?

  • signol says:

    Originally the SA government announced this in May, to be enforced from 1st July. There was enough uproar that implementation was delayed for 3 months. As part of the same legislation, I was advised to apply now for permanent SA residency, even with no intention of emigrating.

    • JQ says:

      If you have the chance of getting permanent residency anywhere, you should always take it even if you don’t want to live there, bearing in mind the obligations (e.g. Singapore – male children of PRs required to do military service, USA – tax obligations)

      With regards to this country, before July 2012 it was very easy for any Brit married to a foreigner for over 4 years to get permanent residency for their spouse, even if they didn’t want to spend much time in the UK as long as they had an address here. Now the process takes 5 years and requires the Brit to work in the UK and the people I advised to do it 2 years ago are regretting their procrastination.

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    Restrictions on taking children to South Africa