• FlySafair's annual birthday sale is on today – with tickets on any of its routes going for R4 each.
  • The sale runs between 9am and 5pm, there are 30,000 tickets up for grabs.
  • Demand is enormous every year. Here's how to improve your chances.

Flysafair tickets will today (Thursday, May 17) be going for R4, in celebration of the domestic carrier's fourth birthday.

From 9am until 5pm South Africans will have the opportunity to get their hands on 30,000 tickets to any one of Safair's destinations.

The tickets are no-frills, hand-luggage only, but they include airport taxes, so you genuinely can fly for R4. The flights available are up to the end of September.

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

Due to the popularity of the sale, the site has been known to crash, leaving potential passengers frustrated. But the company says it has tackled those problems.

The 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 R4 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 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 R4 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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