FlySafair's R5 tickets are back again – here's how to maximise you chances of getting your hands on a really cheap flight

Business Insider SA
The sale in celebration of the airline's birthday
  • FlySafair's annual birthday sale is on today – with tickets on any of its routes going for R5 each.
  • The sale runs between 9AM and 5PM, and there are 45,000 tickets up for grabs.
  • Demand is enormous every year. Here's how to improve your chances of landing some tickets.
  • For more, go to Business Insider SA.

UPDATE: As of 11AM on Tuesday, FlySafair's system finally showed some R5 tickets being sold, and user posts also suggested the system was working.

A system failure initially delayed the sale, to much frustration among eager buyers.

The airline's spokesperson Kirby Gordon told Business Insider South Africa that a single malfunctioning server had led to the promotion being paused.

"While we managed to host about 260,000 sessions, there were still people hitting the bad server and not gaining access," he said.

Flysafair's nearly-free birthday ticket sale is back and this year a limited number of tickets to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, George, and East London are going for R5 each.

This year there are more tickets available at that price, 45,000 rather than the 30,000 sold in 2018 – but there are still many more eager buyers than there are tickets. 

The sale ends at 5PM on Tuesday, and tickets are valid for travel until September 2019.

See also: Safair is giving away 365 days of free(ish) domestic flights – as long as you travel light

The tickets are no-frills, hand-luggage only, but they include airport taxes, so you genuinely can fly for R5.

Tips to up your chances have also been emailed to customers subscribed to the airline's newsletter

The sale is via the airline's website only – not via its call centre or travel agents.

Due to the popularity of the annual birthday sale, the site has been known to crash, leaving potential passengers frustrated.

See also: Most airlines want your phone switched off during take-off and landing – except FlySafair

A random-draw system makes it more a matter of luck than skill to land the cheap tickets – but there are ways to improve your odds.

Here's how to stand the best chance to secure a seat.

1. Get family and friends involved – and make sure they're ready.

Co-ordinate with others, especially if you will be travelling together. Make sure everyone has each other's details to enter when prompted to do so. There won't be time to exchange details or talk about dates if you get drawn. Penalties and fare-differences apply to changes made to the R5 tickets after booking, so you'll end up paying regular price or above if you get your dates wrong.

Make sure the rest of your group checks every five minutes and nobody misses a draw.

2. Use multiple devices.

The website is mobile friendly. If you have a desktop and a smartphone, keep a browser open on each.

In previous years people who tried to run multiple browser windows on the same device missed their chances because they couldn't check each window in every five minute slot – but two screens are better than one.

3. Have your debit/credit card ready.

You need to make payment to secure your ticket; don't be caught without the means of doing so.

4. Don't miss your slot.

If drawn, you will have a five-minute window to start selecting tickets for purchase - or you go back into the waiting room. So take whichever browser device you use with you to the bathroom. Remember to check every five minutes.

5. Don't refresh the page.

Once you are in the "waiting room" there is no point in refreshing your browser window. Much like hitting an elevator button again and again, it won't improve your odds. But if you hit refresh at just the wrong time, there is a small chance you will miss a draw. Don't.

Bonus tip: Use the call centre for anything other than R5 tickets.

If previous years are anything to go by, the Safair website will be unusable for any normal business all day. To book regularly priced tickets, or change tickets, try the call centre: 087 135 1351.

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