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JNB / Johannesburg Airport - Connections, Facilities, Layovers, etc.

JNB / Johannesburg Airport - Connections, Facilities, Layovers, etc.

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Old Dec 15, 18, 3:32 pm   -   Wikipost
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Guide to JNB (Oliver R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa)


Welcome to the guide to JNB.

If your have any further questions that have not been answered after reading through, please do not hesitate to ask.

Bear in mind that the minimum connection times given below are the shortest connections allowed for tickets on a single PNR. It would be advisable to leave more time than this, particularly if you are arriving during the busy morning period. If you are travelling on two separate PNRs, add on at least an extra hour to the MCTs to allow for whatever delays the Travel Gods may throw at you.

Do note that procedures can change so this guide may not be accurate. If you notice anything has changed or there are any errors, just let me know.


International-Domestic Connection

Minimum connection time: 90 minutes

Once you have deplaned, simply follow the crowd to the immigration hall.
After going through passport control, you will need to collect your luggage and pass through customs irrespective of whether your bags have been tagged through to your final destination.
Exit into the public area and proceed up to departures level by way of the escalators which are opposite and to the left. The escalator can take trolleys.
If your bags have already been tagged through to your destination and you have your boarding passes for the onward domestic flight, you can use fast bag drop.
Otherwise you will need to check-in as normal.
Alternatively, you can use the baggage re-check desks on the left before exiting to the public area.
If you would prefer to avoid the porters and taxi touts in the arrivals halls, there are escalators to the left of these desks which will take you to level 1. From there you will need to go up one more level to reach domestic departures.

The domestic terminal is designated as a separate terminal (Terminal B) but do not be confused by this. All the terminals at JNB are under one roof so you barely notice that you are transferring between them.


Domestic-International Connection

If you can interline baggage, you can check it through from your initial departure point to your international destination. Once you land at JNB walk out to exit (ignore signs to go downstairs to baggage reclaim), keep walking through the shops/past the food court, around the atrium and there is a security/emigration point on your front right.

Please see post #106 for an illustrated guide.
[although there is no need to go up the moving walkway and then back down again - just come out of the domestic exit and keep walking straight on that level, which will bring you to the security/emigration point]


International-International Connection

Minimum connection time: 60 minutes

This is where things become a little more tricky.

If you arrive at a jetway, you will see a corridor heading towards International Transfers on the left just before the escalators down to passport control.
If you arrive at a remote stand and are bussed to the terminal, you will see the escalators on the left heading up to International Transfers as you enter the building.
Both these paths are well signposted and there is usually a staff member shouting out "International transit" and waving a sign to direct passengers.
When you go down the corridor, there is a transit immigration point before the transfer desks. Typically the wait here is 1-3 minutes, very much quicker than 'normal' immigration.
Your passport will be stamped with a "TRANSIT" stamp here even though you do not enter the country, and you must ensure that you have the required blank pages otherwise you may not be permitted to continue your transit and instead sent back to your originating point.

A few meters beyond the immigration checkpoint is the main transit information area which have desks for all the international airlines and handling agents.
If your bags have already been tagged through to your final destination, ensure that you give your connecting airline the tag numbers at this time so that they can verify them in their system.
If the tag numbers are not re-verified, they will not be loaded without manual intervention. This is not required if connecting from SAA to SAA flights however.

If your bags have not been tagged through, you will need to find a member of staff in International Transfers from your arriving airline.
Ask them to get one of their baggage services staff to pull your bags off the belt manually and coordinate with staff from your onward airline to retag them to your final destination.

This is a rather convoluted process and can take a long time.

Therefore, if your bags cannot be tagged all the way through, it is advisable to pass through immigration, collect your bags at baggage reclaim and clear customs.
After you clear customs but before you exit to the public area (the exit is a set of sliding doors on your right), you will see a series of baggage re-check desks on your left.
Proceed to these desks since they often have smaller queues and have your bags re-tagged.
Then head up the escalators to your left (do not exit the main doors into the public area) which emerge on the departures level.
Turn right when facing the Vodacom store and the departures security checkpoint is right in front of you.

You can do the entire transit and enter/exit South Africa in less than 5 minutes if your bags come out quickly.

If time permits, the safest option is to clear customs and re-check your bags as described above rather than rely on the interlining system at JNB.

Have a look at post #9 of this thread for pictures.

Originally posted by Ambassador BA304.

Luggage storage

This is taken from the whyjoburg.com web site (April 2016):

BagPort South Africa, the original company that provided a luggage storage service at OR Tambo International Airport, has changed its name.

It now operates as Ateck - from the same premises down the escalators at the main exit of Terminal A arrivals, on Basement Level 1, going towards the Parkade 2 (South).

Costs are : (NB : CASH ONLY! No Cards Accepted.)
0-5 hours: R70.00
6-12 hours: R80.00
12-24 hours: R90.00
24 hours or more: R90.00 per day.

Open 24 hours, every day of the year.

Contact details :
Tel : +27 (11) 390 2689
http://www.a-teck.co.za/or-tambo-airport-store-teck/
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Old Jan 28, 18, 7:32 pm
  #691  
 
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Originally Posted by NoFrillsFlyer View Post
Thanks Ditto and cheltzel. I had seen the ET flight and will have to go with that one stop service - was hoping to be able to do the direct flight - it will already have been a long journey by the time we get to JNB!

I suppose one has to pass through immigration on the way out of JNB as well? Are those queues just as long? What would be a safe connection time for coming in on an international flight from LLW into JNB before getting on the 19:20 PM BA56 to LHR? Thanks for all the input!
The ET flight is the same flight number. so same equipment, crew, etc. The stop in BLZ is only 45 minutes so the overall flight time isn't terrible.

I looked into the on-time ratings for BA55 when I was booking an award trip last summer (northern hemisphere summer I mean). While BA55 is not overly prone to delay, it has had several delays of one hour or more over the last year or so. So I think it wise to give yourself a fair amount of time since you are purchasing tickets on a separate PNR, unless you are booking a fully refundable fare.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 4:07 pm
  #692  
 
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Has anyone been to the Virgin Clubhouse here? Is it worth coming a little early before my flight?
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Old Feb 2, 18, 3:19 am
  #693  
 
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Originally Posted by theblogger87 View Post
Has anyone been to the Virgin Clubhouse here? Is it worth coming a little early before my flight?
I've been once and that was quite a while ago. (I was travelling on LX in F - they must have thought it was good enough for their premium pax.) It was nice enough although it got quite crowded before the VS flight left.

The cocktail menu made the biggest positive impression on me.
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Old Feb 2, 18, 3:48 am
  #694  
 
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Originally Posted by theblogger87 View Post
Has anyone been to the Virgin Clubhouse here? Is it worth coming a little early before my flight?
How many hours is "a little early"? There is only a single daily Virgin flight so the lounge will open at a reasonable time ahead of that.
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Old Feb 8, 18, 10:41 pm
  #695  
 
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Maybe an extra 30-45 minutes earlier than I would so maybe 2:30 before flight. I would assume though it'll get quite crowded if there's just a single flight.
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Old Feb 9, 18, 3:42 am
  #696  
 
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Originally Posted by theblogger87 View Post
Maybe an extra 30-45 minutes earlier than I would so maybe 2:30 before flight. I would assume though it'll get quite crowded if there's just a single flight.
I think at JNB that would be a sensible time to arrive anyway, or at least plan to arrive at that time. Local traffic can be a problem at any time of the day and you also have exit immigration to deal with.
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Old Feb 9, 18, 9:02 am
  #697  
 
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Switching from Qatar to FlySafair in JNB?

Hi,

I'll be arriving in JNB from Doha on Qatar (trip is originating in Los Angeles). I have 3 hours with checked luggage before I connect to a FlySafair flight to Capetown.

I've never connected in JNB. I assume I have to claim my luggage, go through customs/immigration, and then check in separately with FlySafair. 3 hours seems like enough but any words of wisdom? I've never flown either of these airlines.

Thanks!
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Old Feb 9, 18, 9:04 am
  #698  
 
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You are correct, and 3 hours should be enough for this, you also have to walk from the Int'l to the Domestic terminal which takes 10-15 minutes.
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Old Feb 9, 18, 10:17 am
  #699  
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Plenty of time, luggage drop will close an hour before departure, or less. I often only arrive at the airport in CPT or JNB 40mins before departure, but JNB domestic security sometimes takes a while, and checking luggage will take a bit of extra time. It's a bit of a walk from international arrivals to terminal B departures.
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Old Feb 18, 18, 12:59 pm
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Originally Posted by skywardhunter View Post
It's a bit of a walk from international arrivals to terminal B departures.
The last two posts make it seem like it's quite a long walk for connections. I don't think it takes more than 3-5 minutes even factoring in some jet lag. Just up 2 escalators and a short cross of the check-in desks...all inside the same building. No need to worry about a 3 hour layover. Plenty of time!
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Old Feb 20, 18, 7:10 am
  #701  
 
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Reading the wiki has me worried about connection in JNB, I'll be traveling to CPT, not worried about my connection time, worried more about my suitcase contents, will most likely be traveling with wine. CPT-JNB-GRU connection all on SAA. Am I being overly paranoid? I assume I need to collect my bags on my GRU-JNB-CPT at JNB and re-check them into CPT ala a US INTL-Domestic connection?
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Old Feb 20, 18, 7:41 am
  #702  
 
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Yes, Int to Dom connections in JNB requires you to collect your bag and re-check it, but not on the return.
You're probably being overly paranoid, yes.
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Old Feb 20, 18, 8:51 am
  #703  
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Originally Posted by macdonaldj2 View Post
Reading the wiki has me worried about connection in JNB, I'll be traveling to CPT, not worried about my connection time, worried more about my suitcase contents, will most likely be traveling with wine. CPT-JNB-GRU connection all on SAA. Am I being overly paranoid? I assume I need to collect my bags on my GRU-JNB-CPT at JNB and re-check them into CPT ala a US INTL-Domestic connection?
Not sure what you're paranoid about but you can carry unlimited liquids in hand luggage on SA domestic flights so you could take the wine in hand luggage from JNB (as you need to collect bags anyway and will have access to them before re-checking them)
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Old Feb 21, 18, 5:22 am
  #704  
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evening immigration queues

Have transitted intl-dom many times, but mostly in the mornings off the overnight UK flights. Will be arriving next week at 17:20 - how are the immigration queues at that time? Decent chance of making an 18:40 to DUR?

Last edited by Stewie Mac; Feb 21, 18 at 5:28 am
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Old Feb 21, 18, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Stewie Mac View Post
Have transitted intl-dom many times, but mostly in the mornings off the overnight UK flights. Will be arriving next week at 17:20 - how are the immigration queues at that time? Decent chance of making an 18:40 to DUR?
No - I would not chance it. When last did you come through JNB? They have installed scanners at Customs - you and I know how they work in some airports - well, ditto for JNB. And then there are the ATL, DXB, AUH, DOH flights, so any delay on those will have a delay at Immigration.
I would try and check baggage through (tightly sealed of course), and try for a flight an hour later.
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