Vote Airport  

Johannesburg Airport

Customer Reviews

3 star Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 178 reviews
4/10
3 star Skytrax Rating
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9/10

"nothing adverse to report"

(Indonesia)

Reading the recent reviews I consider myself fortunate to have used the airport 4 times in a month with nothing adverse to report. I arrived early at 6.00am and was through immigration and collected my luggage in 20 minutes. Domestic departure was fine, security no issue. Arrived back into the domestic terminal and our luggage was already on the carousel. The only confusing part was after International checking in you have to walk behind the desks to get to immigration etc. Plenty of shops and dining options. I paid for the bidvest lounge which was a great way to spend a few hours before the flight.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJanuary 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"tiring process at the airport"

(Netherlands)

We arrived late in the evening, around 10pm with two kids, 5 yrs old twins. All our paperwork was in order with birth certificates with us. But still the official wanted to have our papers checked by a senior manager because the immigration employee shared a personal opinion about who should be on the birth certificate. We had our original UK birth certificates with us, according to the employee we should have them translated. Even though English is an official language in SA. Then her senior manager came, who took our papers, passports and told us to wait. The arrival hall was empty now whilst we stood there waiting with two very tired kids. Even the employee who wanted to have a moral discussion with us left. In all it took us over an hour. The senior manager was very kind and nice, even apologetic for the wait we had to endure. In all it gave us a very mixed feeling about the welcome in SA, the employee made us feel incredibly unwelcome, her manager made us feel very welcome. The next day we had to fly onwards within SA, this was fine. Once you're in the country it's very relaxed. A single parent we met up with in Port Elizabeth from Germany, told us exactly the same, she had to wait for over 2.5 hours before let in with her two kids. She had all papers with her and the consent letter of her ex-partner, but still had to wait 2.5 hours. This new law is ridiculous. During our holiday we heard more horror stories, which made us feel as if our story wasn't that bad after all. During our wait we couldn't sit, after we were let in the country all places to get a drink or something to eat were already closed. In the customs area the floor wasn't terribly clean anymore after a day of thousands of people coming in. In all, once you go through this tiring process at the airport, you are in the most beautiful country ever. But even so, we haven't forgotten the treatment we got by the first official we met trying to enter this country.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJanuary 2016
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
2/10

"Immigration lines are huge "

(Australia)

Immigration lines are huge and not enough staff working to process passengers and no one seemed to care about the huge lines or length of time it took. Several flights arrived and there were only 3 immigration officers serving the non South Africa line, the South African line looked worse. Bag drop is not well marked, nor is signage to terminal A or which one you need to go to for domestic connection. We were travelling business but had to queue for an hour.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitJanuary 2016
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"a travelers nightmare"

(United Kingdom)

Using Johannesburg Airport (OR Tambo) in South Africa as transit to any other airport in South Africa or abroad is a travelers nightmare. This is the only airport that I know of, where you have to collect your bagage and re-check it in, when in transit. And this is where it all goes horribly wrong for the passenger. Airport staff is extremely slow in performing their duty, resulting in very long queues and passengers missing their connection flights. The incompetence and rude arrogance of staff is a common experience for many passengers. I have noticed many upset and very worried travellers that missed their connection flights, as a result of staff incompetence. Do not expect any help or simpathy from OR Tambo staff should this happen to you. Announcements over their system is of very poor quality (can not be heard or understand, it is there for of no help to the international traveller). Toilets ran out of toilet paper. Customer service and satisfaction is non existent at OR Tambo Johannesburg Airport in South Africa.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitJanuary 2016
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
7/10

"always a pleasure"

(South Africa)

Johannesburg Airport is my most frequented airport. It's always a pleasure when using the terminal when it's not peak traffic. Then it's such a breeze. Great to see more lounges being added and also spread out in the building this helps with feet traffic. Time at immigration is always questionable but last few times have been pleasantly surprised. Disappointed that flights to destinations that have added security checks, the space at the boarding gate gets crowded and confusing. Would like to see more places to recharge mobile phones or laptops. Weird to see actual birds in the terminal. Some pigeons have made it their home.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitNovember 2015
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"staff are rude"

(Zimbabwe)

Spent more time in an immigration queue than we did flying into country. Staff are rude and have no rush to do any clearance.
Experience At AirportArrival Only
Date VisitNovember 2015
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
3/10

"endless walks with no travelators"

(France)

Apart from the shopping which is pretty much okay, this airport is terrible. Endless walks with no travelators, pretty depressing decor but worst of all endless queues for immigration and security. This is not a problem of design as there are enough potential lanes but the problem is that there are never more than half, if not one third, that are manned. This must also be one of the very last airports, at least among the important ones, with no fast track for security and no fast track for immigration. Most other African countries put up a much better show when South Africa is the most developed country on the continent: quite a shame.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitOctober 2015
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
8/10

"free wifi is limited"

(Australia)

Found from several arrivals and departures in a couple of weeks that: Check in experience depends largely on the airline being used, Kenya Airlines (Term A) was the worst. Free wifi is limited to 30 minutes or 50Mb if you're lucky and that's why people visit coffee shops to use the separate wifi available there. The Lounge Dragons at the Sholongolo lounge appear to try and refuse entry to those with valid access, but once inside the facilities were very good. Security and Immigration / Customs was comparatively straight forward compared to other international airports When arriving from Kigali, the screens in the arrivals hall indicated that our flight had been delayed by minus 90 minutes (it was close to time) and indicated baggage would appear on carousel 7 when it appeared on carousel 8.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitOctober 2015
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
1/10

"they would not let me pass"

(United States)

Being an architect, I always keep a small tape measure (about 3x3 inches) in my carry-on bag when I travel for business. That small tape measure has never been an issue at airport security checkpoints anywhere in the world, except Johannesburg Airport. On a recent flight from Lilongwe to Atlanta I had to make a connection in Jo'burg. As I was going through the International Transfer security checkpoint, the guys who manned that area told me that they would not let me pass through with the tape measure in my carry-on bag. They wanted to confiscate it, but I absolutely refused to give in. Fortunately I had enough time to exit the transit area and check in my bag. Funny thing was that a few days earlier, I had to go through another security checkpoint at Terminal A of this very same airport to catch my outbound flight from Joburg to Lilongwe. I had no problem whatsoever with the tape measure in my carry-on bag at that time, so why now? On my next trip to a Southern African country I will do everything possible to avoid making a connection at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo airport.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitSeptember 2015
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
9/10

Johannesburg Airport customer review

(South Africa)

I travel from and to JNB on average +-15 times per year and rate it from an overall perspective. The airport is modern and I always find it to be well maintained, clean and neat. There are several good, well priced restaurants inside and outside of the departure halls. The arrivals customs queue for SA passport holders usually moves relatively fast with waiting times between 1 and 10 minutes (average +- 3 minutes). I have noticed that the queue for the non-SA passport holders is often very long though. Customs officials are usually friendly and polite. I have experienced maybe 5 unfriendly ones out of more than 100 traverses. There are two departure customs areas. The waiting times for both are quite similar; usually between 2 and 15 minutes - average about 5 minutes. There are many shops in the international departure hall, quite pricey though, but I find "duty free" shops at airports are always expensive. The term "duty free" baffles me - goods may be exempt from taxes, but then the mark-ups are exuberant. Easy luggage collection - I experienced only one incident where my luggage was lost at JNB, which happened 17 years ago - another passenger accidentally took my bag and left his bag on the carousel. I noticed the last bag on the carousel looking similar to mine and realized the owner of that bag probably took mine. I spotted my bag at the domestic side of the airport when the person was about to pass through security to catch a domestic flight to George. Bathroom cleaning staff sometimes blatantly beg for a tip - this can be quite irritating. I have been to 15 out of the 30 best airports in the world (Skytrax 2015), which includes JNB at no. 22 and have to say JNB is still one of my favorite airports - after Amsterdam, Singapore and Munich.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitAugust 2015
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
yes
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