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Kulula airlines on time record

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Kulula airlines on time record

Can anyone have experiences on Kulula airlines offer insight on the LCC's on time record?

We need a flight CPT-JNB to connect to an evening JNB-DOH flight. I could use BA award but the cost would be higher than buying a ticket with Kulula. My main worry is if I use a BA award, we would be protected in case there are any delay, BA would put us on the next flight and I would book our flight have 3 next flights still make our connection. With Kulula, in the case they delay, I dont have recourse.

Based on some web research, it seems the airline has poor records in handling flight delay, largely due to they are just flying a few planes back and forth city pairs. So when there are problems they dont have enough spare aircrafts to recover.

Yes I know Kulula is owned by Comair which operates both Kulula and BA in South Africa. But each airline has its own fleet.

18 replies to this topic
Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
posts: 7,004
reviews: 44
1. Re: Kulula airlines on time record

I am using Mango pretty much all the time now. They did cancel a flight I was on about 3 weeks ago, but I was able to use their next departure that day and it didn't affect my plans. I do not use Kulula.

But I would think that being positive you are in Johannesburg for your flight to Doha is more important to you than using up some of your BA mileage.

More to the point - doesn't that evening flight to DOH originate at CPT? Fly first to JNB and then to DOH?

posts: 1,588
reviews: 71
2. Re: Kulula airlines on time record

We have chosen Kulula for our upcoming trip. Past experience with them has been fine. Actually haven't had probs with any airline here except SAA who didn't care when our bags went missing in ORT a couple of yrs ago. We did eventually get our bags but missed our connecting flight .

posts: 275
reviews: 5
3. Re: Kulula airlines on time record

I have used a couple of the low-price airlines before and have no problem with them. They are generally okay. But if concerned about a delay or missing a connection I would go with the safer bet. The cost difference probably isn't a budget breaker and may give you more peace of mind.

posts: 510
reviews: 1
4. Re: Kulula airlines on time record

Thanks for the feedback from everyone.

I believe the QR's DOH-JNB-CPT-JNB-DOH is not a daily flight while the DOH-JNB-DOH is a daily flight. Would need to check flight stat site to see whether our flight (on the particular weekday) is from CPT or just the return from JNB to DOH. In any case, our CPT-JNB flight would be totally independent from that.

Yes, using BA flight number would most likely protect us for the connection. The latest one I could choose now would bring us back to JNB at 14:20. There are at least 3 more BA flights would still have enough time for the JNB-DOH flight that leaves at 21:30.

If we use Kulula, we would pick the flight to arrive JNB at 13:55. There are 2 more Kulula flights after this that would still get us back to JNB on time for our connection. The main worry is Kulula's on time records which I could not find any recent data points from doing web searches. Some data points from 2 years ago, seem very dismal, that flights could delay for hours and Kulula has no plane to relieve the situation.

The out of pocket cost to pay for a Kulula flight is about USD 85 versus the USD $160 cost using BA mileage and the surcharges. (7500 Avios + USD55, when the minimum "value" of an Avios is 0.015). Therefore from the cost stand point, paying for a Kulula flight makes more sense than using the BA mileage ticket. Of course using BA mileage ticket offers some protection, because we are connecting to another OneWorld member's (QR) flight, at least we like to think so...

Johannesburg, South...
posts: 1,104
reviews: 13
5. Re: Kulula airlines on time record

I fly with Kulula atleast once a month and for the past year I've not once been delayed. In my experience they have definitely improved from a few years ago. Generally delays are not more than half and hour or so, unless it is things out of their control like really bad weather.

posts: 510
reviews: 1
6. Re: Kulula airlines on time record

Thanks a lot for feedback.

Did you fly the CPT-JNB route? This should be Kulula's biggest market. It is encouraging the airline has improved a lot from the past.

South Africa
posts: 1,354
reviews: 67
7. Re: Kulula airlines on time record

Never had a problem with Kulula. we thinks they are the best. All the airlines flying domestic could jave a delay, if something goed wrong.

And domheid want be sure to be on time for a next flight, just go one flight earlier. Easy solution.

Cape Town Central...
posts: 234
reviews: 5
8. Re: Kulula airlines on time record

Booking with Kulula, I have often found myself actually boarding a BA flight. Kulula bumps over to BA when it makes more sense to fly one full plane rather than 2 half-empty ones, etc. I have no issues with their ability to get you there on time.

Johannesburg, South...
posts: 951
reviews: 27
9. Re: Kulula airlines on time record

I did hear of an instance only a couple of weeks ago where a Kulula flight from Lanseria was 'delayed indefinitely' owing to the aircraft they intended to use being stuck in Cape Town with some or other technical problem. The airline was unable or unwilling to find a substitute aircraft and passengers ended up getting to their destination over six hours late. Maybe they would have been more willing to make a plan if the problem had occurred at O R Tambo but it has made me wary of flying with them in future. It's not the delay itself - delays happen - but rather the airline's inability/unwillingness to manage it.

Cape Town Central...
posts: 234
reviews: 5
10. Re: Kulula airlines on time record

Kulula are the only airline flying to Lanseria, so they couldn't put their passengers on another flight. And no airline has spare aircraft stationed in Cape Town. I wouldn't shoot Kulula down because of this isolated incident.

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