By 6 May 2019 | Categories: news


It appears there is good reason to be online early tomorrow morning, as FlySaFair has confirmed that 45 000 seats will be up for the taking for R5. The sale, which is now in its fifth year, will begin at 9am, and this year sees the number of tickets increased by 15 000 from 30 000 last year.

The tickets incidentally are to destinations that the airline flies in South Africa, such as Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg, so if you were looking to score an overseas flight for less money than a sandwich you’re out of luck.

If your sights  were set on local travel however (and why wouldn’t they be) then tomorrow morning might be an unmissable time to be online.

The only issue with holding a sale of this magnitude is whether the website can hold up under the pressure. However, Kirby Gordon, the head of sales and distribution, reassured that the company has a plan in place.

FlySafair will once again be implementing what it calls a “Waiting Room,” which is effectively a holding area that allows a random selection of users onto the site every five minutes in order to avoid the website from being overwhelmed.

At the start of the sale, a number of customers will be randomly selected from the group of online users in the waiting room. 

Selected customers will then be allowed to enter the airline’s website where they will need to complete their purchase immediately, or their session will expire. Tickets can only be reserved by completing payment.

Gordon advised that if customers haven’t yet been selected, they should remain in FlySafair’s digital waiting room, as a new group will be selected at random to enter the site every five minutes.

“The solution works well, and it adds an element of random selection to the sale, which feels like it makes the sale somehow seem fairer,” he commented.

(Not) too good to be true

Despite the fact that last year was the fourth time the airline ran this sale, there were several people who claimed that the sale was a massive scam.

“We’re not sure if it was just because the sale went off really smoothly last year, or whether this sudden scepticism spoke more to the national psyche at the time. One consumer actually took the airline to the Advertising Standards Authority requesting that the Authority investigate.

“It was no surprise to us, because it’s an amazing offer and of course it sounds too good to be true,” Gordon commented on the matter, “but we shared the sales data with the Authority and they obviously ruled in our favour.”

Game On

This year, the airline will be running three competitions alongside the sale to offer customers something to do while they wait for their chance to get R5 tickets.

Customers who find themselves in the digital waiting room can enter:

  • The Free2Fly promotion, where they can win a card that allows them to fly on any FlySafair flight for free, for 12 whole months.
  • The Jive for R5 promotion, where visitors can submit the best video of them jiving for their R5 tickets. Five winners will then be selected, who will each receive one of five FlySafair return tickets.
  • The R5 Madness competition, every year, the airline receives pictures on social media of people with multiple devices lined up waiting to gain access to its sale. Customers can share a picture of them and their colleagues with all their devices for a chance to win an awesome online shopping voucher.

As to whether – and how - you can get a leg up on the competition, the airline shared a few tips to up your chances of being able to buy yourself a cheap flight tomorrow.

  • Use multiple devices – the more devices you’re using the better your chances of gaining access to the site.
  • When you’re in, don’t refresh your page – there’s a chance that you’ll be sent back into the waiting room.
  • Use FlySafair’s Low Fare Finder to track down the R5 flights – the airline has a tool on its site allowing you to view the cheapest departures each day for a month. This, according to the airline, is the easiest way to find cheap flights.
  • Keep your eye on the prize – once you get through to the site there’s a limited period of time before your session will expire due to inactivity, so you need to start booking as soon as possible.


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