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Lagos layover anyone with recent experience?

Lagos layover anyone with recent experience?

Old Jul 20, 2013, 9:47 am
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Lagos layover anyone with recent experience?

There is a thread in the old CO forum but its closed to posting now...
Laying over in LOS & IAH means significantly shorter travel time from JNB than flying through Europe. SA60 lands in LOS at 7:25 PM and UA143 takes off at 10:20 PM. How bad can LOS airport be, anyone with recent experience?
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Old Jul 20, 2013, 10:26 am
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There was a trip report about this not too long ago. It's bad, real bad.

edit:
Here's the one I was thinking of.
Here's a post from this year.
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Old Jul 20, 2013, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by escapefromphl
There is a thread in the old CO forum but its closed to posting now...
Laying over in LOS & IAH means significantly shorter travel time from JNB than flying through Europe. SA60 lands in LOS at 7:25 PM and UA143 takes off at 10:20 PM. How bad can LOS airport be, anyone with recent experience?
Horrible. I guess if time savings is worth 3 annoying and unpleasant hours, then Godspeed.
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Old Jul 20, 2013, 3:29 pm
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I've done a bit of flying in and out of LOS. If you are checking luggage and expecting a transfer, add a "T" to the three letter airport code to know what will happen with your bags.

Lagos a destination, not a hub or a connecting point. The whole feel of the airport culture is not inclined toward getting you on your way quickly or conveniently. Domestic flights take off from another airport, so there really isn't a sense of people connecting to other flights. I really doubt that baggage handlers would notice or know what to do with connecting baggage tags.

When I connect in an airport with low security, like JNB, I usually allow 2-3 hours for a connection so that I can collect my bags to be sure that I have them and then check them in again. If forced to do this in LOS, I think I would allow 4-5 hours. In Lagos, arriving bags usually take an hour to appear. And then you have to struggle or contend with the seemingly random procedures for entry. It's always different every time I go.

Sorry if I seem to have overstated the case against LOS. But do read some of the reviews of people who have struggled through the chaos, crime and filth of LOS. I've looked at some of the same connections you are seeing. But I've never been tempted once. There's a reason that a large part of the passenger traffic between African cities goes through Europe.
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 6:45 am
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Transfer of selves and luggage

My wife and I have reluctantly booked JNB-LOS-IAH reward tickets because it is all that I can find right now in business (IN saver). Actively seeking alternatives but I am stuck right now on Sept 3.

There are three issues that appear to be a problem, does anyone have any recent experience?

1. Getting ourselves through the airport on an international transfer. I have been to some bad airports and don't mind a few "gifts" to expedite the process.

2. Visas - There is supposedly an "airside" visa issued at the airport for international connections, anyone ever get one? I would certainly prefer not to buy a visa for just a connection. A gift would be cheaper than the regular visa.

3. Luggage - It appears prudent to pick up luggage and carry to check-in. Can I do this without a visa? Based on many comments, baggage may or may not be transferred like at most airports.

Does anyone have anything good to say about LOS? I know the problems go back many many years. Is it worth paying Standard rewards to avoid it?
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Old Jul 25, 2013, 8:50 am
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As this is much more about Lagos airport conditions and not about United operations, please follow the thread as it moves to the Africa forum. Ocn Vw 1K, Moderator, United.
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Old Jul 26, 2013, 5:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Platcomike
My wife and I have reluctantly booked JNB-LOS-IAH reward tickets because it is all that I can find right now in business (IN saver). Actively seeking alternatives but I am stuck right now on Sept 3.

There are three issues that appear to be a problem, does anyone have any recent experience?

1. Getting ourselves through the airport on an international transfer. I have been to some bad airports and don't mind a few "gifts" to expedite the process.

2. Visas - There is supposedly an "airside" visa issued at the airport for international connections, anyone ever get one? I would certainly prefer not to buy a visa for just a connection. A gift would be cheaper than the regular visa.

3. Luggage - It appears prudent to pick up luggage and carry to check-in. Can I do this without a visa? Based on many comments, baggage may or may not be transferred like at most airports.

Does anyone have anything good to say about LOS? I know the problems go back many many years. Is it worth paying Standard rewards to avoid it?
The place is a hellhole, plain and simple, so I don't think you'll get any good comments. I would be reluctant to pay a standard award to fly, I would buy a ticket before I did that. If I were you I would watch availability like a hawk (check every day), even grab an individual ticket with another routing so that your wife at least won't have to deal with it.
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Old Jul 26, 2013, 7:08 pm
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This was for a relative of mine going to a destination in Mexico, I booked a second ticket through LHR so will use that. Going through Lagos would have saved about 10 hours.

It seems you dont need a visa but 3 hours isn't nearly enough time to transit.

www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2327463c

Perhaps United should increase MCT at this airport to 5 hours?

Last edited by escapefromphl; Jul 26, 2013 at 7:25 pm
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Old Jul 28, 2013, 11:24 pm
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Originally Posted by WayMaker
There's a reason that a large part of the passenger traffic between African cities goes through Europe.
The idea that significant numbers of passengers routinely travel between African cities through European hubs is a myth.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 8:38 am
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Anyone have international transfer experience at LOS?

I have been hearing a lot of bad things about Lagos and know that these are all true.

I am still trying to re-route but availability is scarce.

Can someone tell me specifically their experience on an international transfer? I am coming in from JNB on South African and departing 3 hours later on United to IAH. I believe that we will have checked bags.

Thanks so much.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by Platcomike
Can someone tell me specifically their experience on an international transfer? I am coming in from JNB on South African and departing 3 hours later on United to IAH. I believe that we will have checked bags.
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.
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 2:31 am
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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.
What he says!

Particularly important are the bits about (1) being prepared to get assistance from the crew and ground-based agents of the airlines involved (2) NOT paying any kickbacks.

Point (2) is incredibly important for your own security and safety, and that of travellers who follow you. Bribery takes many subtle forms, and some not so subtle: but bribing officials in airports is certainly NOT routine, and it's both visible and dangerous.
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Old Aug 9, 2013, 1:45 am
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My only piece of advise: avoid Lagos and Nigeria in general at all cost!
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Old Aug 16, 2013, 6:33 pm
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I agree; if you have done the transfer before it is certainly achievable but it's a tough environment for first timers.

Here's the overview: When you exit your incoming flight you will proceed along a hallway that is separated from, but parallel to, the main terminal section (you can see the main terminal through plexiglas) and then eventually you get to a section that has a staircase going down. Don't go down the staircase, which is where immigration is (and where you are much more likely to waste time and get into a bureaucratic and corruption loop). You can ask someone at the top of the stairs where to go and say you are transferring; basically you want to stay airside and get back to the main terminal and lounges (which is super easy if you know where you are going). 3 hours is probably the minimum connection time and you are taking a risk in having your bags transfer, but I am not sure it would be any different if you had 4 or 5 hours.

Definitely agree to have someone from SAA walk you through if possible -- and certainly do not pay anyone anything.

Remember to stay upstairs at all costs and the whole process will be easier.
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Old Aug 28, 2013, 10:07 am
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Another datapoint....on my recent flight there were two ladies transferring JNB-LOS-IAH and I've never seen two travelers who looked so like they'd been through hell and back.

They were ranting on and on at the purser about what a hell it had been, etc etc, and how dare United give them such a routing. "Sure we'd heard about Nigeria but thought it was exaggerated." They learned otherwise.

That said, I had no troubles at LOS at all, but it's definitely not for the inexperienced traveler.
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