"very lengthy passport check"
S Rose (United Kingdom)
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 passport 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.
"leave a lot to be desired"
C Williams (United Kingdom)
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.
"a clean and spacious airport"
H Jackson (United Kingdom)
Seems a clean and spacious airport. Quite a few restaurants in the departure area. Security is adequate. Not bad at all.
"airport itself was clean"
Chris Aardt (United Kingdom)
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.
"not much traffic but high stress"
P Bedson (United Kingdom)
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.
"clean spacious and modern"
Sameer Sethi (United Kingdom)
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.
"can get a bit crowded"
Steve Atkinson (United Kingdom)
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.
"staff are friendly helpful and courteous"
Peter Whiting (United Kingdom)
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.
"open plan and very spacious"
Brett Borach (United Kingdom)
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.
"over 2 hrs at midnight"
Matt Sudders (United Kingdom)
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.