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Addis Ababa Airport
6.6 out of 10  6.6 out of 10
30 reviews

 



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ADDIS ABABA AIRPORT customer review :  8 August 2014 by Jennifer Tseng    (USA)

Rating : 2/10

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Recommended

Awful and confusing airport, but better than others in East Africa. There are two terminals, and the airport authority frequently changes which departures leave from which terminal. It is not easy to get from one terminal to another - an infrequent shuttle bus is provided for this purpose. Entering Terminal 1 from Terminal 2 requires dragging your carry-on bags up a flight of stairs (no elevator provided) and the departure lounges and business class lounge in this terminal are uncomfortable, even if you can find a seat. Terminal 2 is only slightly better - but the bottleneck through security is ridiculously inefficient - full of pushing and shoving and cutting in line. The departure gates in Terminal 2 are slightly better than in Terminal 1, as is the business class lounge. That being said, the food at both lounges is terrible and the seating uncomfortable. Bathrooms in both business class lounges feature doors that do not close, cleaning buckets left inside, and unsanitary conditions.



ADDIS ABABA AIRPORT customer review :  30 July 2014 by C Wajsberg    (Israel)

Rating : 3/10

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Recommended

Still the same dirty and poorly organized airport as I remember it was some years ago during my first visit. Duty free stores as much as you want but do not wake up some of the ladies working there when you fly in early in the morning and payment by credit card is a no go as 7% surcharge added to your bill. Nearly no food outlets and the few available do not look very inspiring . Long cues for security check but that I can still accept no food or drink even not water to be bought after passing security. Still using the colored sticker system that sometimes does not even seems to be of any use. If it was not for Ethiopian airlines giving your great value and service for the price they charge I would not use this airport or at least avoid it.



ADDIS ABABA AIRPORT customer review :  26 June 2014 by Mario Eybers    (South Africa)

Rating : 0/10

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Recommended

By far the worst airport I have encountered. There is one working toilet in-transit. The shops look like they have been there since 1930. Even during the day the airport is dark and dusty. The staff are very helpful and friendly. The food and beverages in the shops looks unappetising. With so many people going through this airport one would expect more. Heavy security but that one can tolerate considering it is for everyone's benefit.



ADDIS ABABA AIRPORT customer review :  5 February 2014 by T Woyesa    (USA)

Rating : 0/10

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Recommended

Overflowing, crowded and completely disorganized. While the tight security is a necessity, the floor layout and the utter confusion inside the terminal makes this place absolutely nightmarish. This airport is way over capacity. The matter is made worse by the incompetent approach Ethiopian airlines has towards customer service. My family had confirmed ticket with seat assignment to IAD but were denied boarding due to apparent equipment change to a smaller airplane (777-300 to a 777-200). Can not wait for the day when KQ starts to fly to the US.



ADDIS ABABA AIRPORT customer review :  27 June 2013 by Alain Kupferman    (Thailand)

Rating : 3/10

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Recommended

Addis Ababa belongs to those airports, which should be avoided whenever possible: chaotic queuing, unclear announcements (if any), miserable business lounge.



ADDIS ABABA AIRPORT customer review :  14 January 2013 by Hendri Vorster    (New Zealand)

Rating : 3/10

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Recommended

The ATM didn't work and the credit card machines did not connect. People everywhere complaining about delayed flights. Communication of the ground staff was very poor if at all. Our boarding were moved 3 times from boarding gate no 1 to no 5. Nobody that worked there had an idea what was going on. About 100 people was trying to sort flights with one attendant with no information. Very poor for an airline.



ADDIS ABABA AIRPORT customer review :  3 December 2012 by C Wajsberg    (Isarel)

Rating : 0/10

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Recommended

I was only there flying in from Johannesburg and on to my next flight to Hong Kong, I found this airport to be a small provincial airport. Terminal is dirty, duty free dark and badly organized, cloud nine lounge small and old fashioned. No separate security control for business class passengers and if there was one business class seemed to be really large on my flight that evening. After queuing a second time after security check to receive some kind of coloured bar on your boarding pass that tells when you can board the plane, just wait until the duty officer calls for boarding, be careful not to be pushed aside by the mass of people running towards the stairs. Conclusions - this airport needs an urgent upgrade and be totally reorganized as this place is a real shame compared to most other intl airports I visit.



ADDIS ABABA AIRPORT customer review :  25 July 2012 by A Menon    (Zambia)

Rating : 8/10

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Recommended

Have visited Addis Ababa Bole International Airport several times in the past few years on transit. Been very pleased with the airport as it is really pleasant and clean for a short lay-over. Plenty of duty free stores and few restaurants with reasonable pricing. Also Business class lounge has quite good variety of food and clean toilets. There is free wi-fi available throughout the airport. Definitely one of the best African hubs, compared to others such as Nairobi. Would recommend this airport as a hub for anyone travelling to and from Africa.



ADDIS ABABA AIRPORT customer review :  10 July 2012 by Chris Foster    (UK)

Rating : 7/10

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Recommended

We had a 6 hour stopover from 9pm to 3am. There is a cafe airside with a great selection of food, beer soft drinks etc. I can't remember the name, but it is next to the "executive lounges" (actually 2 small rooms with chairs around). There is a TV and lots of tables available, with some very comfy chairs at no extra cost. There is free wi fi available, the prices are reasonable and the staff could not be nicer. They allowed us to stay after the cafe closed at 12pm and even offered my 10 year old daughter a mattress to sleep on. The rest of the airport is pretty so-so, toilets are ok (they work and are not overflowing). Without the cafe it would have been pretty unpleasant, but it made it a very bearable stop over. We went through security both inbound and outbound with no problems and it took less time than the queue length suggested. When you go through to the gate there are no shops available, so better leave this until the last minute if you can. Ethiopian airlines had everyone queue for a boarding order sticker, but then used a bus to get to the plane so that was a waste of time.



ADDIS ABABA AIRPORT customer review :  23 January 2012 by L Norton    (Zimbabwe)

Rating : 4/10

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Recommended

I don't care much for this airport. No wifi. No washrooms in the boarding area. There are designated smoking areas but people seem to smoke everywhere. Generally, the airport looks dinghy, maybe this is due to the renovations. The duty free shops did not accept international cards at the time I wanted to buy and the pickings were slim in the stores. If I could avoid this airport, I would.



Addis Ababa Airport customer review :  23 August 2011 by G McGillivray    (Australia)

Customer Rating :  4/5

4 Star Rating   

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Long and slow security checks to get into the airport, however once through this process it was smooth. A reasonable selection of cafes/restaurants and some good souvenir shops. The toilets were ok and generally clean. There is free wifi (which worked on my initial visit, but not on the return). A lot of flights left around 12-1am which meant the boarding/screening process was crowded and slow, but staff managed this quite well.


Addis Ababa Airport customer review :  28 June 2011 by K Sandvær    (Norway)

Customer Rating :  3/5

3 Star Rating   

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I have traveled trough Bole Airport 6 times. Getting a visa on arrival can take 20-40 mins. Then there is the passport control (immigration) and usually its a nice queue there that takes another 20-40 mins. The security staff will match you bag receipt with your bag before you are allowed to proceed to customs. At customs they will screen all your bags, but it normally doesn't take more than 5-10 mins. When departing from the international terminal the security queue usually go all the way out through the door and out. After that you get access to the duty free area with high prices, and before you get access to the gates you must pass through another security check. After the final check there is no washrooms. The airport is usually clean with fair washrooms. Not always soap and paper, and that is bad. Staff at the airport is friendly. All in all its ok airport.


Addis Ababa Airport customer review :  26 June 2011 by P Heintze    (Zimbabwe)

Customer Rating :  3/5

3 Star Rating   

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I have travelled through Addis 3 times now. 100s of passengers had to wait on the runway for 10 mins until the bus arrived. In the terminal there were no screens or signs directing people to their respective connecting flights. Airport staff shouted out names of African cities and asked as many passengers as they could. Thumbs up for commitment and being helpful to lost or confused travellers. I was surprised to see my luggage arrive at my final destination, but the transfer worked fine. When getting out of the airport, be prepared to spend another 30 mins waiting in line to have your luggage checked and screened again. What I really dislike is the security check procedure with screening at the entrance and screening at the gate again.


Addis Ababa Airport customer review :  25 January 2011 by N Hopkins    (USA)

Customer Rating :  3/5

3 Star Rating   

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At Bole International, as at other Ethiopian airports, one must go through security twice -- removing shoes, jackets, watches, and other items -- and going through the X-ray machines two times as well. Bole is a modern facility; but during my five hour layover, neither the escalators nor the elevators were working. Not that meant I missed much. The dining and shopping facilities were all but non-existent until I passed through security the second time and got to the departures area. There were then mostly cheap souvenir shops. Curiously, smoking is banned everywhere in the airport except at food and/or drinks bars.


Addis Ababa Airport customer review :  1 November 2010 by Keith Rogers    (Canada)

Customer Rating :  3/5

3 Star Rating   

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Had 1am departure so arrived at 10pm. Typical crush on airport entry with scanner at front door but no big deal overall. Check in smooth as we were business class, and customs process smooth with priority line. Upstairs area has a lot of shops and restaurants. Entry to boarding area processed volume well.


Addis Ababa Airport customer review :  24 June 2010 by Adam Simmons    (Spain)

Customer Rating :  3/5

3 Star Rating   

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I was also the victim of an Ethiopian Airways 757 jet fire, so spent rather longer in this airport than expected. For a major transit airport, it is astonishing that there is no newspaper or magazine outlet. Some of the duty free shops are rip-off joints, charging a seven percent surcharge on credit cards. They are also selective in what goods can be paid for in local currency (crisps) and which cannot (chocolate - go figure). My high point was a very tasty tilapia and french fries for only US$ and the airport was kept clean by a veritable army of support staff.


Addis Ababa Airport customer review : 23 June 2010 by Alistair Nicoll

Customer Rating : 4/5

4 Star Rating

Overall the airport is usually OK and it does not take long to get a visa on arrival. Duty free on the way out is expensive (local cigarettes nearly twice the price duty free than tax paid in town), and the bank will often claim to have no Western currency when you want to change Birr back. No consistent policy about what you can take on the plane, sometimes you can take bottled water other times you can not. last time the confiscated my lighter (cheap throw away).


Addis Ababa Airport customer review : 26 October 2009 by Harold Bush

Customer Rating : 2/5

2 Star Rating

Bole is modern and looks good. But it feels and works like an Eastern European or Cuban airport in the old days of the Cold War. Shops are 300% more expensive. Do not buy Ethiopian crosses and other metallic souvenirs as they will be confiscated or put in the hold. Do not take more that 250 birr out of the country if you plan to return. A friend of mine was leaving with 350 birrs but 100 was confiscated. He was told that on his return customs would return the cash. This is a lie. As our flight was cancelled due to a major technical matter (Ethiopian 757 engine caught fire on take off), we were allowed to go back into the country, yet when he tried to get the 100 birrs back he was told it was not possible because it now belonged to Ethiopia. This is corruption en masse, pure and simple robbery. 100 birr is just under 10 US$, but imagine if it was much more.


ADDIS ABABA AIRPORT review : 3 August 2009: by I Abodunrin

Customer Rating : 4/5

4 Star Rating

I've only used the Addis Ababa Airport twice, but both times have been great. The airport is one of the finest I've seen in Africa, and it's also relatively speedy. The staff are very polite and professional and very helpful.


ADDIS ABABA AIRPORT review : 14 January 2009: by J Abebe

Customer Rating : 4/5

4 Star Rating

Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa is clean, compact, and effective. Arrivals was quick. (I recommend getting your visa prior to arriving in ADD, as the visa application process does take a while) Clearing immigration and getting your passport stamp took no longer than 3 minutes. Bags took about 20 minutes to arrive and came out sporadically, but all came safely, and thats all that matters. Ethiopian customs x-rays all luggage prior to exiting, so that took some time as well, but you are dealt with in a professional and polite manner. As for departures, your tickets and passports are checked prior to entering the terminal building, and there is an x-ray and metal detector immediately upon entering. Check-in was efficient, USA departures have their own area where you are asked the typical security questions. Your passports/visas are heavily scrutinized, (presumably because of the large amount of fraudulent documents that make their way through ADD, and airlines getting charged large fines for transporting these people.) Passing through immigration is a simple exit stamp, and you proceed upstairs, where there is a fair amount of duty free shops and eateries. There is another security check to enter the specific gate area, (and might I add, the metal detector in the gate is extremely sensitive). Overall, ADD is a clean and efficient airport, with no major problems or difficulties encountered. 4 stars, only because they could use a better selection of eateries.



Addis Ababa Airport by S Rose

16 July 2008   Customer Rating : 4 Star Rating

Arrived Addis at 6am - luckily most passengers were in transit, so entering was easy but time consuming. First, you need to get your visa stamped in your passport, then you can proceed to passport control - very lengthy passprt check. To exit baggage area you must xray your bags, no line control ,which is a pity. Terminal clean and modern, but toilets smell horrible. Late night departure was easy, as very few departures, still, every step takes forever. Duty free decent, but wont take local currency which is annoying. More security at the gate, and then its a trap if the flight is delayed. Any trip to the bathroom requires a new security check.

Addis Ababa Airport by C Williams

24 June 2008   Customer Rating : 4 Star Rating

Addis Ababa's Bole Intl Airport is a new, 5 gate terminal. On arrival, immigration does take some time, but you are dealt with in a courteous and professional manner. Although there are signs on the queue's - (Ethiopians, Visitors, Diplomats, etc), you can use any queue. The visitor queue was quite long so we walked up to the diplomat queue, and we were stamped in with no questions asked. Luggage collection & customs are swift, although all bags are x-rayed by customs. The terminal is beautiful, with Ethiopian marble all over the ground, and a lot of cultural artefacts throughout the airport. Departures/check-in is fairly swift, immigration is a quick stamp out. Note that you are security screened immediately upon entering the airport, and before entering your gate. The duty free areas have a nice selection of Ethiopian artefacts. I have to agree with comments below about the bathrooms - they leave a lot to be desired.


Addis Ababa Airport by H Jackson

15 January 2008   Customer Rating : 3 Star Rating

Seems a clean and spacious airport. Quite a few restaurants in the departure area. Security is adequate. Not bad at all.

Addis Ababa Airport by Chris Aardt

13 January 2008   Customer Rating : 2 Star Rating

I flew from South Africa to the Middle East via Addis. Upon my arrival on Saturday evening just after 9 most of my fellow airplane passengers ran to the "next" destination - the hotel voucher transit booth. When I got there, I understood why the other ran! One big "Q" with only two staff issuing vouchers. I finally got my voucher and proceeded to the immigration booth - only one for all transit visitors, although all the other booths' Qs was rather empty... Finally got through and waited for the bus - it was now already past midnight!!! And we had to get the bus the next morning at 06:30! Not much sleep left. The airport itself was clean.

Addis Ababa Airport by P Bedson

30 November 2007   Customer Rating : 3 Star Rating

A nearly new airport with not much traffic but high stress. Check in always takes forever - regardless of airline or class. You then have to pass through a series of subsequent security checks before reaching airside. Passport control is quite quick outbound but less than fast inbound (depending on how many flights land at the time) Airside is clean and spacious with reasonable coffee bars and a few duty free shops selling all the usual stuff you don't need or want. I'm not sure how well the airport will look in 5 years time - it seems to be aging rather quickly.

Addis Ababa Airport by Sameer Sethi

23 October 2007   Customer Rating : 4 Star Rating

Clean spacious and modern. Staff is very friendly. Duty free shops are reasonable and has a good assortment of goods. Immigration is fast and courteous. All in all a very good experience.

Addis Ababa Airport by Steve Atkinson

20 June 2007   Customer Rating : 4 Star Rating

Having read the previous comments wasn't sure about spending four hours at this airport. In fact it was fine - very clean, a couple of restaurants/bars and a good selection of duty free shops. It can get a bit crowded when there are more than three flights due to depart, but generally there are plenty of seats available, especially in the area away from the shopping area. Immigration were friendly and fairly quick, and the security process is what we have come to expect these days, but certainly no worse than anywhere else. I have used this airport four times in the past six weeks and have no complaints - it is clean, comfortable and hassle free.

Addis Ababa Airport by Peter Whiting

13 February 2006   Customer Rating : n/a

Ethiopian Airlines suggested by travel agent as a value for money airline between South Africa and Thailand. And indeed, the stop-over periods at Addis Ababa seemed very good. But the airport itself negates the whole experience. While the whole airport is reasonably clean, the toilets and basins left a lot to be desired. Seats missing, taps not working, leaking basis and toilets etc. The Duty Free Shop is the only saving grace; a surprising array of goods on sale at even more surprising prices. The staff are friendly, helpful and courteous. There are not enough facilities for eating and drinking for the number of passengers in transit at any one time. You have to grab a seat quickly at Addis, as there aren't nearly enough chairs in the general area. Then your flight gets called about an hour and a half before you are due to leave; this is due to the most excruciating security check (transit passenger) where you virtually have to strip completely to satisfy the sensitivity of the metal detector. Naturally, this takes a long time. On presenting your Boarding Pass, you then have to hand over your Passport, which is subject to a full immigration check - in transit? After all this rigmarole, you are then summoned to the plane at once, so be careful - you could get trampled on by the ensuing rugby scrum. This comes to a screeching halt halfway to the plane itself - yet another bureaucratic official is present; he reduces your Boarding Pass ticket to the size of a pinhead. And then you find someone sitting in your seat. Ethiopian Airlines were nice once airborne, but that bureaucratic airport spoils the experience.

Addis Ababa Airport by Brett Borach

27 August 2004

This is a brand new state of the art terminal, as you land in Addis Ababa, you see a beautiful building made up of a combination of large glass panels and a shiny silver structure. The airport is very much open plan and very spacious, The staff at the airport are very friendly and helpful and is very convienant if you are in transit as all the flights leave from the same terminal. It does take sometime to pass through immigration, but when your turn arrives you are dealt with in a very polite and curtious manner. When I visited there was a limited selection of duty free items for sale, but there were some new shops preparing to open soon. The baggage delivery was rather quick and efficient. When you reach the arrivals section there is a tourist support service which can give you information about hotels and taxis to the centre of town. Another nice thing about this airport, is that it is so close to the centre of town that it is only a 10 minute drive. The only thing I can say that I did not like about this airport is that I passed through it three times and never was the bank open in the departures section open to change all your unused local currency, so my advice is change your money before leaving Addis, funny that the bank in the arrivals section by immigration always seems to be open to buy local currency. On the whole a very impressive airport and a pleasure to use.

Addis Ababa Airport by Matt Sudders

18 July 2003

Addis Ababa has a shiny new beautiful terminal building. Unfortunately it has also adopted the flexible space concept similar to London Stansted, which means that and area has thin cardboard dividing walls. Thus the Business lounge is a box in the middle of all the noise. In addition the facilities had not (mid may) fully opened meaning that there were no money exchange desks open prior to the evening departure of the international flights. The one thing they really need to sort out is the visa office. You have to pay a fee upon arrival which can only be paid in Ethiopian currency (which they only tell you when you finally reach the window). They then keep your passport - send you to another snail queue for the bank, before returning and rejoining afresh the visa snail pace queue. All in all over 2 hrs at midnight. The bizarre thing is that dollars are accepted for the departure tax, but not from the incoming visitors.







 


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