Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Africa > Africa
Reload this Page >

Lagos layover anyone with recent experience?

Lagos layover anyone with recent experience?

Old Aug 29, 2013, 5:46 am
  #16  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Programs: Qatar Plat
Posts: 235
Agree with other advice, pay extra and avoid the airport altogether.
Canuck2012 is offline  
Old Oct 2, 2013, 7:22 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: houston
Programs: UA Lifetime Platinum, 2MM since 1981, MAR Lifetime Plat, IHG Plat Amb. Global Entry
Posts: 561
Rerouted

As a followup I want to thank all who gave advice to my prior post.

At the last minute (about 24 hrs prior to departure) UA opened up saver reward space from JNB-LHR-IAH. We switched and were relieved not to have to try LOS. Thank you UA!
Platcomike is offline  
Old Oct 4, 2013, 4:50 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: BRU
Programs: UA 1K | Bonvoy Ambassador | WN A-List | Avis First | Hertz PC
Posts: 60
So, I just booked a MR through LOS and want to see how I can make the transit the easiest I can (understanding it may still be painful).

I'm flying SJC-IAH-LOS-FRA-IAH-SJC. Based upon how UA is showing the itinerary, I'm hoping that all 5 BPs will be printed upon check-in @ SJC. Unfortunately, I won't know until I get to the airport whether 2 BPs or 5 will print out.

Other than not checking a bag, and having plenty of time to make my connection (8 Hours) is there anything that can make my transit through LOS a bit easier?
B6UA is offline  
Old Oct 5, 2013, 10:05 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,768
If Its a Good Place to Lose Luggage...

keep all your valuable stuff in carry-on, put expendable stuff in the checked luggage, and legitimately file a lost luggage claim if it is lost.
BigFlyer is offline  
Old Oct 7, 2013, 3:38 am
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Programs: BAEC Gold, Hilton Honors Gold.
Posts: 21
I live in Nigeria and I must say I'm often embarrassed at the airport. It's not so much as if there are no workable facilities but the airport is very often chaotic with different rules applying to different people. If you are transiting I suggest you stay air-side at all times and get someone from the airline to assist to prevent you from getting fleeced. I've been flying from LOS for 25 years and it always pulls up new surprises every single time.
ahonohai is offline  
Old Feb 4, 2014, 11:34 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: EWR, SLC, SGN
Posts: 1,113
It seems the schedule might have changed or I am on a later SAA flight, but the routing I have is JNB-LOS-IAH in C, like some others, but the connection time at LOS is only 75 min.

I booked this as it was only routing allowed with my limit on flights seeming to kick in on my award ticket from US to SE Asia with stop in JNB on way back. I did see at least some of the warnings on FT; male, travelling alone with no checked bags, and figured I would give it a try anyway despite some negative feedback.

If I grab someone from SAA, or at the least do not go down the stairs as mentioned in previous comments, do I have any chance of making the UA flight?

Last edited by maverick17; Feb 5, 2014 at 4:13 am
maverick17 is offline  
Old Feb 5, 2014, 11:03 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: anywhere and everywhere
Programs: UA GS, AS MVP 100K, DL Diamond, Marriot Lifetime Titanium, AmEx Centurion
Posts: 5,610
Originally Posted by maverick17
If I grab someone from SAA, or at the least do not go down the stairs as mentioned in previous comments, do I have any chance of making the UA flight?
Depends if SAA can check you in for UA. If not, I think the chance of finding a UA agent and getting checked in before the deadline is less than nil.
ironmanjt is offline  
Old Feb 6, 2014, 1:21 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: EWR, SLC, SGN
Posts: 1,113
Originally Posted by ironmanjt
Depends if SAA can check you in for UA. If not, I think the chance of finding a UA agent and getting checked in before the deadline is less than nil.
Thanks for the reply. Missing the flight doesn't concern me too much in of itself, except that I was hoping to test the "no visa needed" comments in some of the threads. It makes me less comfortable trying no visa if I might have to wait 24/48 hours for another United flight.

I'm already on the outbound part of my trip, so I'm thinking about swinging by the capital city here to try and get some sort of visa.

Any other thoughts are also appreciated.
maverick17 is offline  
Old Feb 8, 2014, 10:05 pm
  #24  
Moderator: Travel Buzz
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Sunny San Diego
Posts: 3,111
Oh! I had no idea an airport could be so chaotic until last month's 5 hour stop in Lagos. It is "under construction" so add dust, uneven flooring and construction to what appears to be ongoing discord.

We stepped out of a nice, quiet first class airplane seat into...sweltering heat, long, disorganized lines, and sheer chaos. For instance: a customs agent who called for "transit passengers" and then appeared to "help" us by taking our passports from us then dragging us and a Canadian couple up, down and around the airport and its hoards of hot, sweaty people for about 3 hours, before finally taking us to a small room one by one (still holding our passports) and asking for a tip. I didn't pay it, but the other 3 people did.

The Canadians did not have a yellow fever shot, so part of our hellish transfer was following them (meaning the customs agent with our passports and tickets) to the first aid/medical office to get their inoculation. There was a huge line, no available seats, and it involved hauling the luggage down a steep and chipped up staircase. After about 40 minutes, they came out with their inoculation booklet, stamped by the doctor. Except there were no actual shots, the clinic was out of shots--- so they paid $20 and got the stamped booklet. Good enough, right??? Who needs a shot when all you really need is the proof of getting one? UGH!!
StartinSanDiego is offline  
Old Feb 8, 2014, 11:41 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 18
Originally Posted by maverick17
Thanks for the reply. Missing the flight doesn't concern me too much in of itself, except that I was hoping to test the "no visa needed" comments in some of the threads. It makes me less comfortable trying no visa if I might have to wait 24/48 hours for another United flight.

I'm already on the outbound part of my trip, so I'm thinking about swinging by the capital city here to try and get some sort of visa.

Any other thoughts are also appreciated.
I have the same connection as you and am also weary of the thin connection. The impression I'm getting of LOS is that it's a total sh** show.
We will have only carry ons but I will be traveling with my girlfriend. I really would prefer not to risk us having to spend the night.
If I were you I'd change to the JNB-IAD-IAH or JNB-FRA-IAH.
Having trouble finding business class or we would have changed already.
mavericks414141 is offline  
Old Feb 10, 2014, 2:41 am
  #26  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Exile
Posts: 15,692
Originally Posted by StartinSanDiego
Who needs a shot when all you really need is the proof of getting one? UGH!!
Given a choice of paying to NOT get a shot in Lagos or actually getting the shot, I'd pay extra to avoid it anyway.
B747-437B is offline  
Old Feb 21, 2014, 3:58 pm
  #27  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Danville, CA, USA;
Programs: UA 1MM, AS MVP, WN CP, Marriott LT Plat, Hilton Gold, IC Plat
Posts: 15,854
Originally Posted by maverick17
Thanks for the reply. Missing the flight doesn't concern me too much in of itself, except that I was hoping to test the "no visa needed" comments in some of the threads. It makes me less comfortable trying no visa if I might have to wait 24/48 hours for another United flight.
Actually you should be very concerned about what happens if you miss your connection. Unlike the USA you can't just walk out of the airport and hail a taxi and expect to arrive safely at your hotel. In fact you might want to think about Plan B if you get stuck because you don't want to spend the night at LOS. Maybe get the name of a reputable car service and check hotel availability at the Protea Hotel near Lagos (a fine property) before you depart. The Protea may have car service itself. You definitely want to avoid the nightmare traffic into downtown Lagos or VI, which can take hours to negotiate.

If you can get connecting BPs that will be a big help, because I've never seen customer service counters inside the secure area. However it is possible that the GAs can issue them, assuming you can get to the gate without a BP (that is possible in some airports but maybe not in LOS).

Originally Posted by StartinSanDiego
Oh! I had no idea an airport could be so chaotic until last month's 5 hour stop in Lagos. It is "under construction" so add dust, uneven flooring and construction to what appears to be ongoing discord.

We stepped out of a nice, quiet first class airplane seat into...sweltering heat, long, disorganized lines, and sheer chaos. For instance: a customs agent who called for "transit passengers" and then appeared to "help" us by taking our passports from us then dragging us and a Canadian couple up, down and around the airport and its hoards of hot, sweaty people for about 3 hours, before finally taking us to a small room one by one (still holding our passports) and asking for a tip. I didn't pay it, but the other 3 people did.

The Canadians did not have a yellow fever shot, so part of our hellish transfer was following them (meaning the customs agent with our passports and tickets) to the first aid/medical office to get their inoculation. There was a huge line, no available seats, and it involved hauling the luggage down a steep and chipped up staircase. After about 40 minutes, they came out with their inoculation booklet, stamped by the doctor. Except there were no actual shots, the clinic was out of shots--- so they paid $20 and got the stamped booklet. Good enough, right??? Who needs a shot when all you really need is the proof of getting one? UGH!!
Sounds like a typical arrival at LOS though I've never actually connected here (only O/D). It is definitely a good idea to get a yellow fever innocuation, not only for health reasons but also to avoid being hit up for a bribe as you exit the baggage claim. Normally you just waive the card and walk by, but last time I was even hassled over the date of the shot or some other nonsense. Fortunately my handler dealt with the "nurse" but make no mistake this is all about exacting $20 from the Anglos (I did not see a single African stopped). Under no circumstances would I recommend you actually agree to an innoculation under dubious sanitary conditions.


Originally Posted by B747-437B
I've done probably two dozen transfers at Lagos over the years, including multiple interline transfers. It is a challenge, but it is not impossible. If you leave around 3 hours and are prepared to keep your cool while politely arguing with someone who pretends to not care whether you make your connecting flight or not, you'll be fine. Don't pay or offer to pay anything that isn't documented and receipted. Grab one of the SAA staff as you disembark and have them run you through the process.
I agree that 3 hours should be plenty of time. Even on the worst days it has only taken me an hour to get through the immigration line, and it sounds like that may not even be necessary if you are transiting. The security line is also pretty fast even for non-premium passengers. Again you may be hit up for a bribe by someone who wants to confiscate some item, although this has never happened to me over multiple trips through.

BTW the best strategy to avoid paying bribes is to explain that you'd like to help but that your company requires you to obtain a receipt for all expenses or you will be fired. That usually sets them straight.
Boraxo is offline  
Old Feb 22, 2014, 6:07 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: IAH
Programs: UA 1K, 1MM, I miss GS
Posts: 113
Y'all have me worried now for my jnb-los-iah flight thursday in business with a 2hr 15min layover. I accepted this routing because it was different and on the 787. I will be checking a bag full of clothes, no valuables; I am confused though, do I still pickup or do they transfer? Can I still avoid immigration by staying upstairs? I plan to grab a SAA to help. Will also be keeping a close eye on outbound delays.

I have a lot of Intl experience, but this thread has me thinking....
matthopp is offline  
Old Feb 24, 2014, 9:20 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: anywhere and everywhere
Programs: UA GS, AS MVP 100K, DL Diamond, Marriot Lifetime Titanium, AmEx Centurion
Posts: 5,610
Originally Posted by matthopp
Y'all have me worried now for my jnb-los-iah flight thursday in business with a 2hr 15min layover. I accepted this routing because it was different and on the 787. I will be checking a bag full of clothes, no valuables; I am confused though, do I still pickup or do they transfer? Can I still avoid immigration by staying upstairs? I plan to grab a SAA to help. Will also be keeping a close eye on outbound delays.

I have a lot of Intl experience, but this thread has me thinking....
Wait, you're checking a bag through LOS while interlining? Personally, I wouldn't hold out any hope at all that they will transfer...and there's no confirmation that SA can print onward boarding passes in JNB.

If you have to go to customs to pick up, 2:15 is going to be cutting it extremely close.
ironmanjt is offline  
Old Feb 26, 2014, 9:09 am
  #30  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: EWR, SLC, SGN
Posts: 1,113
The advice above seemed to indicate checked bags require a visit landside, meaning downstairs and out of customs.

Please do let us know about the boarding passes being issued or not in JNB.

And how did you get 2:15? Mine next week is 1:15 connection time.
maverick17 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.