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Old Apr 21, 12, 11:10 am   #1
 
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Connection time at JNB; comparing KLM and SAA

I am looking into taking one of the SAA routes from IAD to CPT, through JNB (I know it also makes a stop, though not a plane change, at DKR). There seem to be a few choices as to how much time to allow at JNB. What would you recommend? I assume we have to clear customs there before proceeding to CPT, and will need to interact with our checked baggage in that process (though it would be checked through to CPT). I would also be grateful for any comparisons between SAA and KLM (we will be in coach). Our origination point is ORD so KLM offers a simpler route, but we are running into some fare issues for the dates we want. The problem may be that we're just looking way too early -- we travel in early Aug. Thanks for any help.
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Old Apr 21, 12, 1:24 pm   #2
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Minimum connection time for international to domestic flights at JNB is 90 minutes IIRC.

That's doable but I'd leave 2 hours to be on the safe side as the queues can get quite bad at JNB. I've missed 90 minutes as one of the first off the aircraft. If you are travelling on one PNR SAA should be able to rebook you onto a later flight if you miss your intended one.

Going with SAA sounds like a lot of faffing around with two connections and a stop in Dakar, especially compared to connecting in AMS.
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Old Apr 21, 12, 6:31 pm   #3
 
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Thanks, BA304! . We will see if the KLM fare comes down. It is competitive for most dates but has just lately begun showing an astronomical (nearly $5K) fare to return on the exact date we need to return. Maybe a temporary blip?
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Old Apr 22, 12, 9:11 am   #4
 
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Update/datapoint: In case anyone else is thinking of flying KLM to CPT, follow the advice found elsewhere on flyertalk and try the Air France and Delta sites directly to look for codeshares, as well as Expedia. In my case it made a difference of thousands of dollars per ticket (in coach) compared with the KLM site. A Delta codeshare on Expedia turned out to be the cheapest. I had been using Kayak and Priceline but missing some of these options for some reason. Also, the fare went down about $500 per ticket on Expedia from what it initially showed when I went to book, which I've never had happen before (though many times I have had fare increases).
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Old Apr 29, 12, 4:58 pm   #5
 
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Originally Posted by BA304 View Post
Minimum connection time for international to domestic flights at JNB is 90 minutes IIRC.

That's doable but I'd leave 2 hours to be on the safe side as the queues can get quite bad at JNB. I've missed 90 minutes as one of the first off the aircraft. If you are travelling on one PNR SAA should be able to rebook you onto a later flight if you miss your intended one.
Any time of day when the queue is better or worse. We arrive in jnb at 0800 and am trying to decide which jnb to cpt flight to book. we will be transferring airlines. Can luggage be booked through to cpt or does it need to be picked up in jnb and re-tagged for cpt? Thanks
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Old Apr 30, 12, 1:34 am   #6
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Any time of day when the queue is better or worse. We arrive in jnb at 0800 and am trying to decide which jnb to cpt flight to book. we will be transferring airlines. Can luggage be booked through to cpt or does it need to be picked up in jnb and re-tagged for cpt? Thanks
Yes, morning is the worst time due to the large number of European and Asian arrivals.

You will have to pick up your luggage and go through customs. Domestic check-in is two floors up from arrivals. If your bags have already been tagged though to CPT and you have your onward boarding passes then you can use the fast bag drop.
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Old Apr 30, 12, 8:27 pm   #7
 
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Is there a fast track lane or line for business/first customers at jnb?
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Old May 1, 12, 1:37 am   #8
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Is there a fast track lane or line for business/first customers at jnb?
No.
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Old May 1, 12, 3:25 am   #9
 
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No.
Yes there is. At the international departures area (both the old entrance from "A" departures and the newer checkpoint facing "B"), the line on the extreme right is designated for "Priority/Staff" and can be used by premium cabin passengers. It is usually slower than the regular lines though as staff/crew are constantly cutting ahead of passengers.
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Old May 1, 12, 4:02 am   #10
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Yes there is. At the international departures area (both the old entrance from "A" departures and the newer checkpoint facing "B"), the line on the extreme right is designated for "Priority/Staff" and can be used by premium cabin passengers. It is usually slower than the regular lines though as staff/crew are constantly cutting ahead of passengers.
I thought the question was about arrivals (and the departures ones seem to mainly be used by staff as you say).

Last edited by BA304; May 1, 12 at 4:12 am.
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Old May 1, 12, 2:19 pm   #11
 
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It is usually slower than the regular lines though as staff/crew are constantly cutting ahead of passengers.
Not to mentioned all the escorted pax in wheelchairs, with their extended families.

Johan
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Old May 1, 12, 7:04 pm   #12
 
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The question was about whether there was a fast track lane for arrivals, not departures. Thanks for the information.
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Old May 3, 12, 5:14 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B747-437B View Post
Yes there is. At the international departures area (both the old entrance from "A" departures and the newer checkpoint facing "B"), the line on the extreme right is designated for "Priority/Staff" and can be used by premium cabin passengers. It is usually slower than the regular lines though as staff/crew are constantly cutting ahead of passengers.
I have always seen this line, but never thought J class passengers could use it. It is usually manned? Or can we just walk in?
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Old May 3, 12, 2:09 pm   #14
 
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I have always seen this line, but never thought J class passengers could use it. It is usually manned? Or can we just walk in?
I've only used it back when I had a JNB airport pass, but there were always passengers in the line who glowered at me - especially if I was bringing 10-12 crew with me!
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