Old Jul 28, 12, 2:30 pm
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Exile
Posts: 14,892
South Africa is one of the few countries that have been known to be major PITAs to non-revs on rare occasions.

I've non-revved into South Africa more times than I can remember and have never had a problem personally. However, I also served a few months as my former employer's station manager in Johannesburg back in 2006-2007 and saw enough antics of SA Immigration to last a lifetime.

The most common issue that some SA immigration people raise with non-revs is the requirement for a return ticket. Please ensure that you have a TICKET issued (ticket numbers in case of ZEDs or some sort of numbered authority in case of ticketless travel). Simply a meal listing with no backing documentation is what causes a problem. I've had to generate dozens of these for non-revs held up at immigration so that the jobsworth would let them in.

My worst experience with SA immigration involved an on-duty crew that had just flown a 767 full of passengers in to Johannesburg. I got a call from a panicky handling agent at around 6am asking me to rush to the airport and meet with immigration as there was a problem with the crew. So I did. The problem? Some moronic junior immigration officer decided to ask the on-duty crew for their return tickets. Obviously they didn't have any. Accordingly, he denied them entry. He claimed that the regulations had no exceptions listed for on-duty crew. It took about 30 minutes of phonecalls and escalations to managers before they finally agreed to let the crew head off to their hotel.

Never underestimate just how ridiculous South African bureaucracy can get (and how righteous they can pretend to be while doing that).
B747-437B is offline