Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Africa > Africa
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 28, 11, 11:17 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 79
Enough connection time in JNB for customs/immigration? (ORD-DUR, via GRU & JNB)

I'll be flying from ORD to Durban on SAA (connecting in GRU and Johannesburg). I understand I'll have to go through customs/immigration at JNB (and not in DUR) since it's my first arrival point in South Africa.

My proposed connection time at JNB is 1hr 20 min. One agent told me it's too little and another said it's fine. Anybody with experience on this transfer have any tips? Will it be enough? (Full itinerary will be on one ticket through United using miles; next option is 4 1/2 hr layover at JNB)

Thanks.
jack5432 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30, 11, 5:33 am   #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: CPT
Programs: BA BD SA
Posts: 3,589
The minimum connection time for international to domestic at JNB is 90 minutes so it's surprising that any agent would allow, or even be able to book, less than that.

Personally I think 80 minutes is just too short. You must check your luggage onto the domestic leg at least 30 minutes before departure. That leaves just 50 minutes to clear immigration, collect luggage, clear customs and get to a check-in desk. It's certainly doable but it really doesn't leave much room for anything going wrong.
Cheetah_SA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30, 11, 10:29 am   #3
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheetah_SA View Post
The minimum connection time for international to domestic at JNB is 90 minutes so it's surprising that any agent would allow, or even be able to book, less than that.

Personally I think 80 minutes is just too short. You must check your luggage onto the domestic leg at least 30 minutes before departure. That leaves just 50 minutes to clear immigration, collect luggage, clear customs and get to a check-in desk. It's certainly doable but it really doesn't leave much room for anything going wrong.
Thanks for the reply. Due to mileage availability, my only choices for my JNB connection (to DUR) are 80 minutes or 4 1/2 hours. If I risk the 80 min choice and I miss the connection, is it usually easy enough to get put on the next flight without charge (which is 1 hr later)?
thanks
jack5432 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 30, 11, 12:22 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: CPT
Programs: BA BD SA
Posts: 3,589
I have no recent experience of that I'm afraid. I do know that the reverse (i.e. trying to get onto an earlier flight - even when it's wide open) results in them asking for a fee nowadays. If it's a legal connection SA should accommodate you, I would think. But is it a legal connecting time?
Cheetah_SA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 23, 11, 10:27 am   #5
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 433
JNB Connection Time / SAA

On the fence about keeping this post going/bump v. new thread since my originating and final destination airports are different but the root question "enough connection time in JNB?" is still the same.

Scene:
December 2011
Mr & Mrs. jsnydcsa and two small (in Dec. 2011, 3 year old, 1 year old) kids. Tons of luggage (we're muling over stuff for Father Christmas). FWIW - priority tagged at IAD (it's been 50/50 for me on whether the bags come out first in JNB, or even if one or two do, other bags are at the end).

We've never directly connected over to another SAA flight. We've always laid over in JNB for a few days-week to visit friends, family, etc. So, pre-mega JNB/World Cup airport renovations, during the renovations and after the renovations, we never really cared about connection time. And, of course, in the past, didn't have two kids and Father Christmas' bags.

So, is 90 minutes still enough. Cheetah is right. 90 minutes is the "legal" limit (just confirmed with SAA USA by phone).

But, there's a difference between legal and practical. And, for the life of me, I just can not recall seeing "re-check" desks in Int'l arrivals that would at least help (rather than Mr. jsnydcsa and porter(s) hauling the luggage over to JNB domestic).

While the entire itinerary is on the same ticket and we'd be "checked in" in IAD all the way through to CPT. I'm still concerned (in a TIA, TIA SAA way) that we'd get jammed and be stuck 'til a later JNB-CPT flight. We're landing at JNB on a Saturday evening, it'll be slow, people will not be as "attentive" / I can only imagine the attitude of the baggage handlers, etc. etc. on a Saturday afternoon.

So, while the originating and final destination points change. The same thread question remains under the facts/queries above, is 90 minutes enough.

FWIW - This is all due to the fact that SAA has bumped the arrival time of SA208 from 5:05 p.m. arrival to 6:00 p.m. arrival. Whereas prior to this change we had just a hair over 2.5 hours of connection time, now it is - exactly - 1.5 hours (90 mins) between the arrival of 208 and our JNB-CPT departure.
jsnydcsa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 28, 11, 1:36 am   #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: CPT
Programs: BA BD SA
Posts: 3,589
At least 90 minutes is legal and you're on one ticket with SA all the way. So if anything goes wrong you know SA will look after you.

90 minutes is quite doable provided nothing goes too badly wrong. That would include late arrival or, as happened to me recently, 90 minutes from wheels down to bags on carousel. (And that was at 8 in the morning. I think there is a lot more pressure in the mornings with all the flights arriving from Europe and Asia.) Add to that the fact that the 19:30 is SA's last departure for CPT on a Saturday. So if things do go pear shaped SA would presumably put you up in a hotel and fly you out next day.

So the question you need to answer is: how much of a disruption to your plans would that be compared to the alternative of booking yourself into an airport hotel and flying the next day anyway?
Cheetah_SA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jun 28, 11, 10:50 am   #7
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 433
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheetah_SA View Post
So the question you need to answer is: how much of a disruption to your plans would that be compared to the alternative of booking yourself into an airport hotel and flying the next day anyway?
Don't know if you have two kids (who'll be just over three and about 11 months) and all the attendant garbage (flame-on re: traveling too heavy, I know), but the actual disruption of spending a night in a JNB hotel and flying out the next morning is the least of the problems whether booked by me (in advance) or by SAA (if they cared when the inbound flight / off-load / etc. go messed up).

I'm going to hold for now. As I often book this trip 9+ months out (we know we're going to SA from DC at least 1-2x year), I've seen the skeds change. So, I'm going to wait.

Thx!
jsnydcsa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 15, 13, 7:19 am   #8
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Sunny SYDNEY! ☻♥◙♦☺◄◄◄◘○♦,♂◄►.
Programs: UA 1K Million Miler. Virgin Plat. HH Diamond + SPG Gold☻♥◙♦☺◄&#
Posts: 31,887
Similar question but this one a 80 mins DOM-ITL question.

I have revenue ticket Port Elizabeth PLZ- JNB arriving at JNB 10am

Have a biz class award booking on SAA from JNB-BOM leaving 11.20am.

We will have checked bags.

Can I ask the staffers in PLZ to check bag and I'll take risk?

If bag is checked and boarding pass issued I doubt here will be an issue making the flight, but WILL the staff do that if I assume all risk?

Thanks for any input.

Glen
ozstamps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 13, 8:43 am   #9
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: CPT
Programs: BA BD SA
Posts: 3,589
Glen, I really don't know. But my instinct tells me that SAA would instruct agents not to through check luggage if the connecting time is under the MCT. Whether they would be pedantic about 10 minutes probably only actual experience will tell.

However, at that time of day the international terminal at JNB is usually very quiet (unlike the evening stampede!). So I would actually rate your chances of making the onward flight very highly even if you have to re-check your luggage in JNB. With OLCI and access to J check-in facilities this should be doable with normal ops.
Cheetah_SA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 13, 9:16 am   #10
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Sunny SYDNEY! ☻♥◙♦☺◄◄◄◘○♦,♂◄►.
Programs: UA 1K Million Miler. Virgin Plat. HH Diamond + SPG Gold☻♥◙♦☺◄&#
Posts: 31,887
Thanks Cheetah .... just pretty risky as we have 40 hours of long haul starting that today out of JNB, and do not want 10 mins to mess it up.

We just booked a PLZ-CPT so we have a few days there that were not planned, and just now booked a CPT-JNB that arrives 9.50am for our 11.20am departure home!

I see a Doubletree there for $US70 a night which is pretty amazing deal for anything Hilton outside the USA.

So do hope the rule is 90 mins or more MCT!
__________________
12 year 1K. Haven't booked UA flights in 2 Yrs. Take that.
There ARE airline choices. You lied to me, so I'm making them.
ozstamps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 20, 14, 3:30 am   #11
TTL
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: KUO
Programs: AY Club, BA Gold, LH Sen, PP Prest, AX Plat, DC Prem, HH Diam, Accor Plat, SPG Gold
Posts: 1,014
Arriving at JNB (B?) 6 PM from CPT. Leaving for LHR 8:15 PM (from A?). Comair/BA and BA flights, so is 2 hours and 15 minutes ok?
TTL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 20, 14, 6:54 am   #12
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: UK
Programs: BA Silver, CX Gold, IHG Plat
Posts: 828
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTL View Post
Arriving at JNB (B?) 6 PM from CPT. Leaving for LHR 8:15 PM (from A?). Comair/BA and BA flights, so is 2 hours and 15 minutes ok?
You should have no problems making this connection. There is some excellent advice in this thread about through checking bags and airside shortcuts: JNB Transfer
Steve_ZA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 20, 14, 8:08 am   #13
TTL
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: KUO
Programs: AY Club, BA Gold, LH Sen, PP Prest, AX Plat, DC Prem, HH Diam, Accor Plat, SPG Gold
Posts: 1,014
Thanks for advice above !
TTL is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 8:18 pm.