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Air Madagascar

Surrey
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Air Madagascar

How reliable are the Air Madagascar flights back to jo'burg? I'm looking at the early Saturday morning flight which arrives 09.30 to enable me to catch an international flight back to the UK at 14.20. Ordinarily I would think this is loads of time but I've been reading that Air Madagascar is not very reliable. Is this true? We are planning a three week trip for next spring and I haven't started on the itinerary yet so any suggestions for 'not to be missed' inclusions would also be most welcome. Thanks.

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Madagascar
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1. Re: Air Madagascar

It sounds like ample time and guessing that you will have travel insurance for the whole duration of your trip in case anything did go wrong, I think you should be fine. I don't think that anyone on the forum is going to be able to advise you that will definitely be ok but the same goes for any airline. I've always traveled with Air Madagascar for my regional flights, from Reunion, Mauritius and Jo'burg, and I have never had a problem (and I have maybe flown in and out of Madagascar a hundred times). Late departures of internal flights are another matter, I have often been stung by them. There are so many "not to be missed" spots in Madagascar, really your itinerary should be built around your interests i.e. a rainforest holiday itinerary would be very different to a snorkelling and kite-surfing itinerary. Maybe you could provide some more info about what you want to do and see?

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London
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2. Re: Air Madagascar

Worst airline in the world. On my husband's last trip he arrived back a day late. This trip (scheduled for next week) his flight times have been changed twice in each case meaning that his connection would be missed, a day lost from his trip etc. Whatever you do, build in to your itinerary at least a day's delay. Sorry!

Surrey
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3. Re: Air Madagascar

With such different responses I guess I will have to decide how much of a risk to take. Joanna L can I just ask if the flight changes were for a relatively short flight as we would be taking to Jo'burg or all the way back to the UK?

Brett in terms of the type of trip we are interested in, the focus is on landscape, wildlife and may be a bit of beach if there is time. As you have travelled to madagascar quite a lot Brett can you also advise whether it makes a difference booking your flights with Air Madagascar in terms of the price then available for internal flights? Although a bit more expensive we could fly there with SA Airways. Thanks.

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London
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4. Re: Air Madagascar

Jasmine, the flight changes were internal flights within Madagascar and the cancellation was an international flight from Madagascar to Mauritius. It seems to me that Madagascar simply does not have the infrastructure to run a reliable service. On my husband's last trip there was a crack in the plane's windscreen which could not be replaced for 24 hours and there was no substitute plane. Plus Mad Air likes to keep passengers on their toes by changing the flight times with very short notice.

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Antananarivo...
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5. Re: Air Madagascar

Here are the plus and minus of flying SAA:

- good on time arrival and departure records so easy connections specially with the Star Alliance network (

- can be a bit expensive.

- daily flight so if you are not flexible with dates, it's very good.

Here are the plus and minus of flying Air Madagascar from JNB:

- Known for having frequent delays so not good if you have tight connections.

- Only one or two flights a week so you need to be flexible with dates.

- if you fly Air Madagascar international, you can get a good rebate ( 40% or so ) on domestic flights.

Air Madagascar's problems are numerous : financial issues, poor management, and no backup planes. It's a vicious circle. They run a 737 between JNB and TNR, and that same aircraft also operates on some domestic lines.

On the other hand, once you are in the air, they have very good onboard service.

I hope they will get better on the logistic side.

Edited: 12:15 am, May 01, 2013
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Antananarivo Airport
Antananarivo Airport
Antananarivo, Madagascar
Surrey
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6. Re: Air Madagascar

Haja do you think a 5 hour connection time in Jo'burg is sufficient for UK flight back home or d you think we should fly back the day before our UK flight? Bit of a pain as it means having to book a hotel at Jo'burg airport and waiting around for around 29 hours. But on the other hand I don't want to miss my flight home.

Antananarivo...
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7. Re: Air Madagascar

5 hours in JNB is plenty, it's sufficient. JNB airport is easy to navigate and you don't usually have clogged lines at security, customs.

I also recommend that you check with your travel insurance , some of them have good coverage if there are flight delays, cancellations, missed connections.

Surrey
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8. Re: Air Madagascar

Thanks Haja I think then we will consider taking the risk and flying back from Madagascar early in the morning to Jo'burg. As we will have a flight connection time of 5 hours even if Air Mad is delayed by 3 hours we should make it OK.

We are only in the early stages of our planning our trip as we plan to visit for three weeks next May. I would welcome your opinion on the various national parks. I am thinking of Ranamafana, Anadasibe, Isola, Ankanafantsika, Kindry and Andranomena and then a choice between Masola, Montagne D'Ambre or Berenty depending on whether to head north, south or south east. (We will take intermal flights quite a bit I hope to cut down on travel time). What would you recommend to ensure that we see a good variety of different types of park and habitat, bearing in mind we will be visiting in May and we don't want to go to places where it is likely to rain most of the time? We want to see as many different types of lemur as possible, particularly the Indri, and birds too. I also hope for a day or two on a good beach. Thanks for your help

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Newmarket, Canada
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9. Re: Air Madagascar

I've actually had some fairly good experiences on Air Madagascar, on both domestic and international flights. Of course, their record is not great, so I may have just been lucky.

However, regardless of how great they may or may not be, it's quite a risk to book seperate tickets for your TNR-JNB and JNB-LHR flights. Chances are, things will work out just fine, but if something happens on that day and your flight to JNB is cancelled, you will miss your flights to the UK, and the airline effectively owes you nothing. Purchasing a replacement walk-up fare at the last minute to get you back home to LHR could cost a small fortune. It's doubtful that travel insurance would cover something like this, unless it was very expensive insurance policy. Most policies cover expenses incurred during missed connections, but not usually the cost of a replacement fare. What you are contemplating is not a protected connection, but rather 2 independent tickets where one airline is not responsible for the other.

If you were planning on spending a couple of days in JNB, then I'd feel quite comfortable doing this. But if you're planning on meeting the next flight the same day, you need to be aware of the risk and be prepared for at least the possibility that you will not make it and be out a lot of money. If it were me, I would book a single ticket with South African Airways TNR-JNB-LHR and know that whatever happens, SA is responsible to get you back.

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Antananarivo Airport
Antananarivo Airport
Antananarivo, Madagascar
Antananarivo...
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10. Re: Air Madagascar

This is correct, it's preferable to have all legs of your itinerary on the same ticket.