THE BLUE TRAIN EXTENDS SUSPENSION OF SERVICES AMIDST COVID-19 LOCKDOWNSubmitted by Anele Motha
The Blue Train has announced an extension of the current suspension of its services amidst the nationwide lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The suspension, which was initially meant to end today, on 30th April 2020, has been extended to 30th June 2020. This comes after a further analysis of the situation by the operations team and after the South African government’s pronouncement on 23rd April 2020 on the Adjusted Risk Strategy for Economic Activity, which still heavily impacts the travel and tourism industry.
During this period of suspension, the team at The Blue Train will continue to comply with the government’s directives of working from home, social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment to ensure the safety of all South Africans. The period of suspension will also allow the development and implementation of screening measures that will ensure the safety of the staff and guests of The Blue Train.
At the commencement of this suspension of services in March 2020, The Blue Train apprised its booked, paid and confirmed guests of changes to the cancellation policy to accommodate resultant travel disruptions. These changes remain in place and give guests who were to travel on The Blue Train from 18th March 2020 to 31st August 2020 two options:
Ticket Transfer: The transfer of tickets to friends and family who can travel from 1stJune 2020 to 31st August 2020.
Postponement: The first option is to postpone travel to any date that falls within 1stSeptember 2020 to 31st December 2021. Only one postponement will be allowed during the 69 weeks.
Cancellation: The second option is to cancel confirmed bookings and receive a full refund. Both these options will not incur any penalties.
For transfers, Postponements and Cancellations of travel after 31st August 2020, The Blue Train’s Standard Terms and Conditions will apply.
Guests who are booked but are yet to pay and therefore are unconfirmed will incur applicable costs commensurate with the ticket cost as per the date of postponement. Any costs or expenses incurred as a result of the postponement such as flights, accommodation, transfers, excursions and other costs, would be at the customers’ expense.
The duration of the suspension will be reviewed at the end of May 2020, pending further pronouncements by the government of South Africa on the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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