Saunders is one of hundreds of passengers who were left stranded after the low-cost airline grounded its aircraft.
The airline – which, according to the Sunday Times, ran up debts of about R526.6-million – grounded all flights at 3pm on Friday.
Saunders, who was scheduled to fly to Port Elizabeth from OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, late yesterday said he was fortunate that he had booked his return flight with SAA.
He was worried, however about another booking, to fly from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town with 1time.
“We placed our booking two months ago and the frustrating thing is we cannot do anything [inquiring about a refund] until we get home.
“So we have to wait until [today] so we can call and see if we can get our money back,” he said.
Saunders said he learned of the liquidation from television news on Friday.
He said he could not understand how 1time bosses did not know that the airline was in the red.
He said that he stood to lose about R2400 in flight bookings and would try to make alternative travel arrangements to avoid paying cancellation fees on car rentals and accommodation.
“We are not optimistic that we will get our money back because when liquidators are involved it takes forever for you to get what is owed you.”
An official at the airport said scores of customers could not contain their anger when they arrived to be met by unmanned 1time counters.
The Sunday Independent reported yesterday that 1time customers who had booked their tickets through Absa and Standard Bank would get refunds.
“In order to make customers’ lives easier, we can confirm that all 1time purchases made with Absa-issued cards will be refunded,” Absa’s Arrie Rautenbach was quoted as saying.
Ross Linstrom, a spokesman for Standard Bank, told the newspaper that customers who had used debit, credit, or cheque cards to buy tickets should lodge a dispute with the bank and ask for the transaction to be reversed.
FNB announced on its Twitter page that it was willing to reverse transactions, but only if customers completed a dispute form and had a valid receipt from 1time.
The airline’s officials could not be reached for comment yesterday.
According to a statement on its website, 1time’s Business Rescue staff would be in contact “with creditors and future passengers to finalise all outstanding matters”. – Additional reporting by Sapa