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Johannesburg Airport

Customer Reviews

3 star Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 207 reviews
4/10
3 star Skytrax Rating
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7/10

"I was pleasantly surprised"

(Zambia)

Verified Review | We only had 1.5 hours to catch our connecting flight from JNB to CPT, and after hearing number of horror stories I was very worried. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Although the immigration queue was moving slowly, there was someone controlling it and we got through it in 30 minutes. In contrast to many reviews, immigration staff were friendly and pleasant to deal with. Once we got through the immigration, we had to collect our luggage and re-check it for the next leg of the journey. Time wasting experience in my opinion, but again no issues. Plain sailing. We easily found our way to domestic departures and we got there just as boarding has started. On the way back exactly same, just managed to get through quicker, with enough spare time to do some Duty Free shopping. To summarise, Johannesburg is NOT a fantastic airport, but I had absolutely no issues to complaint about.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitDecember 2016
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
yes
4/10

"domestic better than international"

(United States)

Verified Review | We had the opportunity of using domestic and international services at Johannesburg Airport, for both arrival and departure. Unlike what most people might have expected, the domestic terminal is in a much better shape than international. The domestic departure area is modern and easy to move around, though shops and restaurant options are limited. Domestic arrival is clean and modern as well, though baggage pickup area can do with some renovation. As for international arrival and departure, you can and will immediately realise this is like a developing airport. Immigration queues were long and slow (not sure why the immigration officers were all looking very unhappy, like they didn't want to be there). The facility was old and poorly laid out. Many ground staff seem more interested in chatting among themselves than assisting passengers. Airlines lounges and waiting lounges were outdated and crowded. There were a number of shops, but most of them seem unattractive. One positive about the airport is the easy and close link between domestic and international gates, so no worry about distance and time for connecting flights.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitDecember 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

"very rude staff, long delays"

(United Kingdom)

An awful airport. The organisation and management of travelers is appalling. We arrived from London passing through to Cape Town and experienced a two hour delay at immigration. Long queues of unhappy travellers. The problem seemed to be the use of biometric identification systems that slowed things to a crawl. Clearly the staff didn't know how to use the equipment and they weren't supervised nor helped. A total shambles. We returned from Cape Town on the same route and this time found the security queues totally uncontrolled. Very rude staff, long delays and no queue management resulted I a number of people becoming very bad tempered, not helped by school and sports parties jumping the queues. Overall a city I will not be coming back to. If I take a holiday I expect good management of airports and travelers and this airport is hopeless.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitNovember 2016
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"poor queue management"

(United Kingdom)

Arrived from Maputo around 1635 and took 1.5 hours to pass through immigration. Poor queue management and insufficient immigration officers. Rushed to collect bags and cross over to terminal A for onward flight to Heathrow. Check in okay, then faced with 30 minute queue followed by 45 minute queue through passport control. Queues were so long they extended beyond the barriers. In both queues, people were nipping under barriers with no control by staff. Again insufficient staff numbers. Generally a very hot and unpleasant experience. With check in time, that meant 3 hours were spent queuing. All unnecessary if proper management and resources had been in place. Instead of a leisurely transit spent in BA lounge, we just had time to grab a bowl of lukewarm curry and a stale pastry before being called to flight.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitNovember 2016
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
10/10

"passport control effective and no delays"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | From previous reviews OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg has been receiving very bad ratings. I have used this airport for both domestic and international travel quite extensively this year. Firstly the ease of the train service into the airport works for me. Check in always smooth, passport control effective and no delays. Arrivals once again passport control albeit South African passport side quick. Luggage quick off the plane. I don't understand the negativity or have I been lucky every time. The passengers who give the airport bad rating have clearly never used any other airports in Africa, which I have. To be honest the other African airports are improving quite fast but are still quite far away from what I have experienced at OR Tambo.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitOctober 2016
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
1/10

"the stations were alarmingly understaffed"

(South Africa)

On 2 October I was due to fly to Zimbabwe on an SAA flight at 10.50 am. I chacked in at 8.40 and had coffee before going to passport control at 9.40, giving myself just under an hour before boarding was due to close at 10.30. At customs, I was met with an extremely long queue with only one official working at all of the 16 desks, as well as a very unhelpful security guard who, when I asked about the possibility of moving to the front of the queue because my flight was boarding, laughed and told me I'd get there eventually. After waiting for nearly 30 minutes to get my passport stamped, I was also stuck in a queue at security for some time. The stations were alarmingly understaffed and the officials that were there were working extremely slowly, almost in a vindictive manner. Once through security, I ran to my gate and arrived at 10.32 - two minutes past boarding time. I had not once heard an announcement to board my flight over the intercom, and neither did the other at least eight passengers that were held up along with me in the queues. Upon arrival at the boarding desk, of which I could see the bus to my flight on the other side, I was completely ignored by the SAA official for ten minutes while I begged to be let through the gate because the bus was still there. The flight was subsequently delayed by almost 25 minutes while the luggage of all of us passengers was unloaded to be removed because we had not boarded the flight. I was then stuck in the airport for a further hour trying to find my way back through Immigrations so that I could leave, because SAA was unable to change my flight or find me another flight. Finally, an official offered to help me get back out of the airport, forcibly took my passport from me and then threatened that I would not leave the airport unless I paid him a "tip". I refused until he gave me back my passport without me paying him but I felt unsafe and extremely dissatisfied with the service of the Immigrations officials as well as the airline officials. If I had a choice I would not fly from this airport, and I would certainly not recommend it to tourists and other visitors.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitOctober 2016
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
no
1/10

"disorganised chaos"

(New Zealand)

Disorganised Chaos. Arrived on08 Oct 16 at 1540 ex Maun, Botswana. There was one flight ahead of us with pax already queuing. There were 4 x immigration staff working (all female) with 3 x down the visa waiver end. One female officer with very short hair extremely rude to passenger's. Another flight arrives and pax start climbing under barriers to join queues ahead of us. Immigration staff do nothing about the situation. Immigration staff ignorant of the fact we have been standing there for an hour. Inconsistent processing of pax with some booths having camera/fingerprint recognition. This obviously causes issues with pax processing times. Immigration staff need to lift their game and be hospitable not confrontational.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitOctober 2016
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"totally chaotic and poor quality service"

(New Zealand)

Iberia flight from Madrid arrived on time into Johannesburg with a 2 hour time to get through customs to connect with an SAA flight to Cape Town. Customs hall a shambles with slow and confusing officials. No way to move through if you were to catch a connecting flight. It took 2 hours to pass through customs even with a visa waiver. This meant missing a connecting flight and having to purchase a ticket on another airline as SAA unable to help. Totally chaotic and poor quality service.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitOctober 2016
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
4/10

"experienced terrible service"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | I was passing through Johannesburg from Botswana on my way to Namibia. I have never experienced such terrible service during a connecting flight. I waited in line for more than half an hour and there was only 10 people in front of me. The staff at the passport control counter was very rude and the staff at the transfer counter was extremely slow and also rude.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitOctober 2016
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
2/10

"frantic dash to our flight"

(Ireland)

We were transiting from Windhoek to London through Johannesburg airport last Saturday. We arrived at 17.15 with departure time 19.20. The airport has introduced biometric screening and hadn't enough staff on duty. It took us 1.45 hours to get through the queue. As each flight reached its 'gate closing' time passengers were called forward and fast tracked without the screening. I don't blame the staff on duty there just wasn't enough of them it was a total disaster. Instead of spending time shopping and having a drink in the airport we ended our holidays with a frantic dash to our flight. We would have been much quicker exiting at the arrivals and then checking through again. The airport needs to get its act together it was just not good enough. We'll be avoiding this airport in future
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitSeptember 2016
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no