International operators have called South Africa’s regulations for travelling minors “bureaucratic” and “laughable”. The operators were responding to astory by Tourism Update detailing families being denied boarding on flights to South Africa.
A UK tour operator said he lost a booking to the value of R400 000 (€25 000) as a result of the regulations. “The lady involved went through a messy divorce and when we advised her of the regulations she said there was no way her ex would sign the necessary paperwork, so no point in carrying on.” He added that, as a result, the family would travel to the US instead. “How many people discount SA as a destination and don’t even enquire – nobody knows? The sentiment is laudable, the implementation is laughable, except it’s not funny!”
“We do not agree with the SA regulations, they are typically bureaucratic, and based on antiquated research and statistics as to the abducted children issues and circumstances,” said US-based R. S. Mracky. He added that while many US- and Canada-based travel agents were aware of the regulations, people booking direct would not be advised of the regulations.