International to domestic transit advice at JNB

Old Jun 29, 15, 10:35 pm
  #1  
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International to domestic transit advice at JNB

Hi there,

I am hoping for a little guidance on transit advice at JNB. I am traveling PER-JNB-PLZ. I arrive in JNB on SAA281 at 535am and depart on SAA 1453 at 710am. So not a whole lot of spare time to connect and I would like to make it as stress free as possible.

I have bare bones info from my travel agent – so some local/expert advice would be welcome.

I expect I will need to clear immigration/customs at JNB; and after that what do I do?

The international and domestic terminals look connected. What are the procedures to catch my domestic flight. Do I just drop bags somewhere (I am presuming I will have boarding pass for the domestic flight already), or do I need to check in again somewhere.

Thanks for your tips!
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Old Jun 30, 15, 1:22 am
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Indeed, you will have to clear immigration and customs in Johannesburg. You will then have to recheck your bags and make your way to the domestic departure gates, but as you say you will already have your domestic boarding pass given to you in Perth. International and domestic terminals are connected to each other and less than 10 minutes apart (not separate terminals like in Perth).

Johannesburg is a pretty good airport for connections like this and you have more than enough time!

Perth is also one of the earlier arrivals so immigration and customs won't be too crowded by then!
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Old Jun 30, 15, 1:55 am
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Second EvanB's comments but to add. The transit desk to drop your bags are located just after customs, but before you go out the doors landside. Once you have visited the transit desk go up the escalators before going landside and only exit upstairs (turn left as you go out the sliding doors). From there its a 3 or 4 min walk to the domestic security line.
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Old Jun 30, 15, 11:07 am
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The Africa forum has an excellent sticky on this: Guide to Connecting at Johannesburg / JNB.
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Old Jun 30, 15, 11:39 pm
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Pretty easy connection with everything under the same roof.

The main stressor I found doing this was the inbound JNB immigration line, which I found to be slow. There was no fast track or business class line either so get to the front of it if you can when you get off the plane (or the bus).

Connection desks are immediately before heading outside to the public side, like most other international airports.
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Old Jul 1, 15, 12:41 am
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by worldtraveller73 View Post
The main stressor I found doing this was the inbound JNB immigration line, which I found to be slow. There was no fast track or business class line either so get to the front of it if you can when you get off the plane (or the bus).
Bidair offers a VIP Assistance service - The cost thanks to the weak Rand is really cheap in foreign currency terms. They will meet you at the gate as you get off the plane, carry your hand luggage, (drive you in a car if you at an away gate) and skip the immigration queue.

They will assist you either to:

A) Your car or transfer
B) To your onward connecting flight, thereby skipping domestic security lines right up until the gate of the departing flight (plus if its an away gate, they will again drive you to the plane, avoiding the bus).
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Old Jul 2, 15, 2:42 pm
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thanks everyone, that is very helpful

my TA had of course not mentioned transfer desks, but was kind of thinking there must be some kind of arrangement

thanks again
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Old Jul 5, 15, 7:56 pm
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Originally Posted by SAWorldVoyager View Post
Bidair offers a VIP Assistance service - The cost thanks to the weak Rand is really cheap in foreign currency terms. They will meet you at the gate as you get off the plane, carry your hand luggage, (drive you in a car if you at an away gate) and skip the immigration queue.

They will assist you either to:

A) Your car or transfer
B) To your onward connecting flight, thereby skipping domestic security lines right up until the gate of the departing flight (plus if its an away gate, they will again drive you to the plane, avoiding the bus).
Thanks for the tip. I just received a quote:

MEET 4 PAX AND ASSIST TO CONNECTING FLIGHT SA5xx

Service Description No Pax Rate Total
ARRIVAL TO DEPARTURE 4 ZAR 1058.00 ZAR 1058.00
SUBTOTAL ZAR 1058.00
VAT ZAR 148.12
TOTAL ZAR 1206.12

So that's ~ ZAR 300 per pax

I'm assuming that as J class pax on the inbound Int and the outbound Dom we can use the Baobab domestic lounge and/or SA arrivals in International.
I don't think the quote includes Bidvest lounge access so from what I can tell, I'm paying ZAR1200 for someone to
A) meet us at the aircraft,
B) carry hand luggage
C) walk us through immigration
and D) show me to the door of the Baobab lounge?

What happens when/if we need to get to a remote stand for the domestic flight? Do they show up again an hour later outside the lounge and complete the transfer?

Slightly unclear on what they offer.
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Old Jul 6, 15, 1:11 am
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Originally Posted by Guvner067 View Post
Thanks for the tip. I just received a quote:

MEET 4 PAX AND ASSIST TO CONNECTING FLIGHT SA5xx

Service Description No Pax Rate Total
ARRIVAL TO DEPARTURE 4 ZAR 1058.00 ZAR 1058.00
SUBTOTAL ZAR 1058.00
VAT ZAR 148.12
TOTAL ZAR 1206.12

So that's ~ ZAR 300 per pax

I'm assuming that as J class pax on the inbound Int and the outbound Dom we can use the Baobab domestic lounge and/or SA arrivals in International.
I don't think the quote includes Bidvest lounge access so from what I can tell, I'm paying ZAR1200 for someone to
A) meet us at the aircraft,
B) carry hand luggage
C) walk us through immigration
and D) show me to the door of the Baobab lounge?

What happens when/if we need to get to a remote stand for the domestic flight? Do they show up again an hour later outside the lounge and complete the transfer?

Slightly unclear on what they offer.
They do take you to the onward plane by car if its a remote gate, or will walk you the entire way if its a regular gate.

I would use the arrivals lounge at international arrivals. The SAA domestic departures lounge is in construction mode. However although lounge access is NOT included their agents are more than happy to get you in to their lounge if it means shortening the walk.

Lastly at present the ability to use the diplomat queue for immigration is the real win. SA is now checking all unabridged birth certificates of under 18 year olds upon arrival and departure in SA - supposedly to combat child trafficking. The queues are mad, have a look here what is happening using the 'regular' queues: https://twitter.com/FrancisHerd/stat...78146954924032
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Old Jul 6, 15, 1:54 am
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Holy Moly, now that's a queue. Looks like money well spent then.
The arrivals lounge is before the queue I take it? What happens to checked bags while you are in the Arrivals lounge?

Thanks SAWV
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Old Jul 6, 15, 8:12 am
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Originally Posted by Guvner067 View Post
Holy Moly, now that's a queue. Looks like money well spent then.
The arrivals lounge is before the queue I take it? What happens to checked bags while you are in the Arrivals lounge?

Thanks SAWV
Not entirely sure if that picture is of passport control at departures or arrivals. It's a horrible thought that one could have to deal with queues like this on arrival and again on departure!

Be that as it may, if there is a massive queue at passport control at arrivals (as seems very likely these days) then this is before baggage collection and customs. The arrivals lounge is after all of those but before you re-check your luggage. You take your luggage with you to the arrivals lounge. If you have a cart you will have to leave it outside at the elevator lobby.
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Old Jul 12, 15, 7:34 pm
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Originally Posted by SAWorldVoyager View Post
They do take you to the onward plane by car if its a remote gate, or will walk you the entire way if its a regular gate.

I would use the arrivals lounge at international arrivals. The SAA domestic departures lounge is in construction mode. However although lounge access is NOT included their agents are more than happy to get you in to their lounge if it means shortening the walk.

Lastly at present the ability to use the diplomat queue for immigration is the real win. SA is now checking all unabridged birth certificates of under 18 year olds upon arrival and departure in SA - supposedly to combat child trafficking. The queues are mad, have a look here what is happening using the 'regular' queues: https://twitter.com/FrancisHerd/stat...78146954924032
So just clarified:

Good Morning Guvner067

The service is as follows. We meet the clients from the end of the chute \sky walk assist them through immigration then to collect luggage. Once that is done we then take them to the check in counters then to the lounge. It depends on where you like to be taken. I will have to amend the quotes if you would like to use our lounge… but if you have access to the baobab lounge we can take you there. We will collect you again to take you to the boarding gate.

Kind Regards
Keko
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Old Jul 19, 15, 10:38 pm
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Update on transfer at JNB

Hi all,

I thought I would update you ... I was travelling Perth-JNB-PLZ on SAA.

Immigration was quick, but a bit haphazard.

I found the transfer desk ok, but as I was transferring to a SAA Express flight I was told I could not use the transfer desk. A friend who was transferring to a Mango flight could also not use it.

So not exactly sure how beneficial the desk is? Staff were very economical with the information they provided. Plenty of staff with few bags to check through!

It was not a great difficulty to walk with bag to Terminal B to bag check.

On the return trip started off on Mango, and they could send bags through to destination, so had to collect at JNB and re-check in. Was glad I had read somewhere that SAA international flights check in at domestic terminal B - it was not that obvious I feel when at the airport.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 12:37 am
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I hate to bump this somewhat old thread, but is there an update on immigration lines/wait time at JNB? I'd consider booking the VIP Assistance service if the lines just to skip the lines.
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Old Jan 11, 16, 9:48 am
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Originally Posted by Pat+ View Post
I hate to bump this somewhat old thread, but is there an update on immigration lines/wait time at JNB? I'd consider booking the VIP Assistance service if the lines just to skip the lines.
It depends on the time of day - morning is apparently much busier than afternoon. Look at the airport activity on FlightAware to see how many int'l flights (and plane size) are arriving around your arrival time.
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