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Old Jan 24, 12, 7:52 am   #1
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Dubai, UAE
Programs: EK Skywards Platinum; SPG Platinum
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Cairo transfer (Turnaround)

Has anyone done a turnaround at Cairo airport, i.e. flown on EK (or any other airline) to CAI and returned back on the same flight?
How easy is the transfer / transit?
Would an hour be enough? Do I need a visa (canadian passport)?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Jan 24, 12, 9:03 am   #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
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Canadians need a visa, which you buy upon arrival just before you reach passport control (it cost me $15 last year). The terminal EK uses there is a bit of a mess, so not sure if you could exit and re-enter and reach your gate in time. In most MENA airports, the EK check-in desk closes one hour before scheduled departure.
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Old Jan 24, 12, 12:02 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTXC View Post
Canadians need a visa, which you buy upon arrival just before you reach passport control (it cost me $15 last year). The terminal EK uses there is a bit of a mess, so not sure if you could exit and re-enter and reach your gate in time. In most MENA airports, the EK check-in desk closes one hour before scheduled departure.
I would be just doing a transfer. I doubt if I would need to go thru immigration.
I would have already printed our my BP for the return flight.
Would I have enough time to go thru transfer, or is transferring / transit a hassle at CAI?
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Old Jan 24, 12, 3:39 pm   #4
 
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To be honest, I am not sure. I do not recall any transfer signs, but there must be some, since I assume there are people connecting to internal Egyptian flights. I think one has to exit the terminal and then enter through the departure front. If you have printed your CAI-DXB return BP, then you might be okay.

If you are in Y, it takes quite a while to get off the plane. The terminal used by EK does not have air bridges. F and J deplane first through the front door, board the bus, then get driven to the terminal. I noticed that it was only after we got off the bus and walked into the terminal that they opened the second door for Y to start deplaning. Since I have only flown into CAI once so far, I cannot say for certain if they do this every time. I was on a two-class 777-300.
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Old Jan 24, 12, 6:08 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torontoflyer View Post
Has anyone done a turnaround at Cairo airport, i.e. flown on EK (or any other airline) to CAI and returned back on the same flight?
How easy is the transfer / transit?
Would an hour be enough? Do I need a visa (canadian passport)?

Thanks in advance.
Hi,

Mate what ur looking for will not work out. You have bought Ex CAI good EK fares but behold this is a mileage run which needs u to sortie & checkin again. I have not flown Comr but Prvt only recently into CAI so would advise to stick to this plan.

Hope this helps

Safe Flying

EGT
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Old Jan 25, 12, 1:03 am   #6
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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I would strongly caution against this. If there is another airplane full of people in front of you, the immigration hall can be quite full and it can take 1 hour to clear.

There is a door to the right (where you buy the visas) that says 'transfers,' but I don't know how it works. The door seems to open directly to the outside and there is a police guy there, bored at his desk. In five years of weekly Cairo trips, I *never* saw anyone use it.

On days Sat - Wed there are two daily flights into Cairo. You could land at 12:00noon and take the 19:00 departure out. There's a decent restaurant in the airport before check in. It's a long time, but no fear of missing the connection.
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Old Jan 25, 12, 1:23 am   #7
 
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Thanks guys...I was afraid of this....

I've never been to Cairo...so may just make an excuse a see the place for a day or so....
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Old Jan 25, 12, 1:23 am   #8
 
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I suggest you leave a good 3 hour gap for a chance for this to happen without sweat. Fly with ME/RJ/QR/GF/EY/MS/FZ (take your pick but be warned of some).
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Old Jan 25, 12, 1:44 am   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torontoflyer View Post
Thanks guys...I was afraid of this....

I've never been to Cairo...so may just make an excuse a see the place for a day or so....
It's well worth spending a couple of days there. It's a bit frantic, but a tour of the pyramids etc. is great.

One important note, make sure of have a copy of your itinery when you get to the airport. I was on an EK e-ticket, and turned up at the airport with nothing else. I couldn't even get into the departure hall.

Eventually, one of the guards took my passport and disappeared. I was very nervous, but he returned about 5 minutes later with an Emirates ground official who checked my name on the manifest, and I was eventually let through.

The check in staff then insisted that I needed a Visa to get to NZ. After a while, a supervisor was called, and she let me check in.

I was very relieved when I arrived at DXB
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Old Jan 26, 12, 8:52 pm   #10
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The turn-around flight at CAI is on the same plane you are coming on. If you have boarding pass in-hand would EK let you stay on the airplane? If so that would take care of the issue.
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Old Jan 27, 12, 3:33 am   #11
Zol
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Originally Posted by whimike View Post
If you have boarding pass in-hand would EK let you stay on the airplane?
Never, security risk. Plus the BP needs to be scanned at the gate
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Old Jan 27, 12, 4:32 am   #12
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Originally Posted by khalid26 View Post
Never, security risk. Plus the BP needs to be scanned at the gate
How does the security risk differ from an airplane that makes a stop? I was recently on a Sri Lankan Airways flight from CMB to HKG and it makes a 1-hour stop in BKK. During the stop all passengers on the way to HKG stayed on the plane.
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Old Jan 27, 12, 6:21 am   #13
 
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I think it's just that the business of moving large quantities of people around the place with any degree of accuracy demands that airlines think up a fairly foolproof system and then make all the passengers fit into it, without exception.

Take one part of that system: checking BPs at the gate. Computers now check BPs at most gates... humans, even well-paid and intelligent ones who care about their employer make mistakes. Now consider how many mistakes will be made by ground staff at an outstation who are employed through several layers of subcontractors and not paid very much. Achieving 99% process accuracy is easy enough - even 99.9% is a reasonable human success rate. But if you think 99.9% is good, for an airline the size of Emirates that means putting 86 people per day on the wrong plane.

The error rate might be small, but consider the hassle of fixing those mistakes if a passenger has been flown to the wrong destination (possibly without a visa and hence incurring fines for the carrier).

Some of us have seen airline employees notice a passenger (usually one of us) who doesn't fit the system well, and that employee circumvents the system to help us. The sad reality is that airlines don't want this happening, because if you let people use initiative then a minority will make mistakes that cost money to fix.

There are other reasons too, like a cabin crew change where the new crew don't arrive before the old crew leave - who would evacuate you in event of emergency? Who would notice you ducking into the lav, putting on a reflective vest, then exiting the aircraft via a rear stairs used for cleaners and wandering around the ramp?
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Old Jan 28, 12, 10:04 pm   #14
 
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It's not true that this is always required. I've been on separate tickets SIN- CMB- MLE and didn't disembark at CMB. The ground staff came onboard and scanned our boarding passes, though I suspect being in F might have made a difference.
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Old Jan 29, 12, 5:40 am   #15
Zol
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Yes but in this case you are transiting and not staying on for the return leg of that flight
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