Johannesburg Airport

Customer Reviews

3 star Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 216 reviews
4/10
3 star Skytrax Rating
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2/10

"bereft of any customer friendly emotion"

(Ireland)

Verified Review | Had awful experience going through the passport control section. Completely disorganised staff herding us from one queue to another. I was in line to go through non SA passport but because of the queues I was redirected. Staff on 1 and 3 completely ignorant when I was trying to give a fingers/thumb print on the screen. I had never used one of these before and was did not know how to properly lay my fingers on the screen. The staff member sighed dismissively and stated if the screen doesnt go green you will have to go to another desk. My husbands finger was in a splint due to a broken tip, after at least 45 minutes and being sent to different desks staff at each desk sent him off to another desk until eventually he was processed and allowed to go through. Completely unprofessional and bereft of any customer friendly emotion. By comparison to staff at heathrow so friendly and interactive with us and our kids
Experience At AirportArrival Only
Date VisitOctober 2017
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
5/10

"No good morning, no smiles"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | SA190, 11 Oct 17, Johannesburg-Mauritius. Having through checked my baggage from Cape Town to Mauritius, went through the "quick" customs control. Hectic queues that took at least 45mins to reach 1 of +/- 6 desks being manned - far too understaffed. What really grabs my goat is the contempt that Customs officials have for their fellow beings! No good morning, no smiles, chatting away to each other and the supervisor laughing loudly with his colleagues. No "how are you", no "have a nice day" or "enjoy your flight", which is so untypical of friendly South Africans. As per my previous gripe in Aug 17, ORTIA officials lack any form of customer service. Once again security personnel here were very chatty and friendly. The return experience however, on SA191 / 22 Oct 17, was like chalk and cheese. A very friendly, responsive female customs official who wanted to know all about my trip, how Mauritius was, and whether I could take her there next time as my 2nd wife! All she would require from me would be "maintenance" - such a funny lady and we laughed - in typical South African fashion! The outbound experience unfortunately underscored the inbound experience.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitOctober 2017
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
2/10

"dreadful noisy experience"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | I use this airport weekly, the domestic terminal is relatively organized. What makes it so unpleasant is the incessant announcements which are shouted continuously around the terminal for boarding. You are almost deafened by this and it is impossible to make a phone call or focus on anything due to the horrific noise levels. The announcements are continuously blasted around the airport and when one stops another starts so you cannot decipher what is actually going on. If any pertinent information needs to be broadcast it may be largely ignored as people have stopped trying to hear what is going on. Usually airports use the screens to give the boarding information and passengers are told to follow the information on their boarding pass as to the departure gate and boarding time. It is ironic that most of the loud boarding announcements are from the smaller carriers who only have around 30 - 50 passengers on the plane as opposed to the ones which carry 180 passengers. All in all a dreadful noisy experience.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitOctober 2017
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
4/10

"a jigsaw puzzle of terminals"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | Departed on BA054 / 13 AUG 17, JNB-LHR. Johannesburg International (ORTIA) is a jigsaw puzzle of terminals coming from four different boxes! No flowing design structure. Domestic departures + arrivals (beautiful, airy, modern glass buildings), old domestic arrivals section (dark, stark and dirty). International departure check in area (disgusting, busy like a night market, no sunlight, stuffy). Poor airlines - their staff are squashed in a very chaotic workspace! ACSA, international departures needs serious attention! New International departure terminal, Gates and Duty Free areas are however very nice, bright, colourful and spacious. Immigration officials are so-so, not overly friendly and could do with a Customer Services course. Security officials however were very friendly and smiling and processed long queues relatively quickly. Heathrow Terminal 5 report follows.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJuly 2017
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
3/10

"Very understaffed immigration"

(Brazil)

Unverified | Very understaffed immigration. More than an hour on line to pass immigration, coming from a long flight from Brazil. Staff not supportive. Lack of information. Almost lost my connection. Confusing wifi. Has to reconnect once you move within the airport.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJune 2017
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
6/10

"immigration is very understaffed"

(South Africa)

Verified Review | Johannesburg airport is a good airport for African standards. It is clean, plenty of seating, and good shopping. However, there are 2 problems that I find very annoying every time I use it: on departure, immigration is very understaffed. I travelled on Saturday, the first day of the Easter school holidays at evening peak time. There were only 5 booths staffed (out of 17) by immigration officers, which resulted in having to close the security screening (just before immigration) every 20 minutes because passengers were piling up in front of the booths. Just to make it clear, the airport is not to blame, but the department of Home Affairs is! It has been like this since I moved to South Africa. On arrival, it is a shame that the airport management does not do anything about the crooks and hawkers standing in the arrival hall, trying to rip-off every single tourist. You don't find this in any other airport in South Africa, so why does Johannesburg tolerate it? I witnessed an american couple paying 20 dollars to get their luggage back from a guy that grabbed it as soon as they passed the door!
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitApril 2017
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
no
1/10

"chaotic and unorganized airport"

(United States)

This airport is by far the most chaotic and unorganized airport I have experienced. I showed up for my flight back to the U.S. 3 hours in advance, to give myself ample time (or so I thought). The differentiation between Terminals A and B is very confusing. The immigration line was snaked around the airport about .25 mile outside of the barrier. Once you got through you entered yet another line overflowing with people to screen your baggage. People were hopping barriers, skipping lines, pushing forward without regulation. I ended up missing my flight. There was another flight back to the states that night, leaving in a couple hours. They told me I wouldn't have enough time to make it, even though I had already been through all checkpoints. This is because they already unloaded my bag from the flight I was supposed to be on. Fair enough. I raced back to the opposite end of the airport to collect my baggage and no one could tell me where it was. The airport staff during this time was so unhelpful. Each staff member told me conflicting information than the one before. By the time i got my bag, it was too late. I would have to stay in SA another night. I have never been more frustrated in my life. Additionally, the following day there was a random bag just sitting in the middle of the passport line. Everyone just kept walking around it but no one was claiming it as their own. Finally, I reported it. Leaving your luggage attended is the Cardinal rule of airport traveling. The staff member shrugged it off and said whomever left it would come back for it. The entire situation made me feel extremely uncomfortable.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitApril 2017
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
no
8/10

"we managed everything in time"

(Germany)

Verified Review | Although the layout of OR Tambo Airport is a bit confusing, due to the separation of the domestic and the international terminal, we had a smooth transit. I flew from MUC to CPT return with my family and we had to change planes at JNB with only two hours time. Although immigration/emigration took a bit of time, baggage claim did not take too long and security was quite efficient. So in the end, we managed everything in time and even had time left for duty free shopping at low prices!
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitMarch 2017
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
1/10

"the queues were horrendous"

(United Kingdom)

Verified Review | Our flight landed from Cape Town with a two hour change around before our flight to London Heathrow. We have flow from Johannesburg many times and have never experienced such a shambles as we did on Saturday. The queues were horrendous, from the start of security to boarding. The new security system was slow, the passport control was even slower with hardly any staff on to start with, until people in the queues needed to be boarding planes, then they put a couple more people on. After that at the boarding gate, another queue and no staff actually doing anything. In that two hours we just managed to visit the toilet, not even sit down. What a shambles! It has put us off ever wanting to visit Johannesburg airport ever again.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitFebruary 2017
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Staff 12345
no
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