Johannesburg Airport

Customer Reviews

3 star Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 137 reviews
4/10
3 star Skytrax Rating
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3/10

"the worst airport experience"

(Mauritius)

Trip Verified | Travelling across so many countries, I came across the worst airport experience. Catching a flight of 1.55am was not at all easy experience at Tambo. Freezing cold! It was absolutely like waiting for a bus in the open air in the middle of the night. We use an airport to reach our destination in safe hands. It was a shame to have all those 200 passengers with babies left out in the cold. I request to do the needful for people using your airport.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitOctober 2019
Type Of TravellerBusiness
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
7/10

"Security and Immigration was fine"

(United States)

Not Verified | Went through OR Tambo airport three times in the course of a month. Contrary to what I have read here I really had no issues. Arrival initially into the country, immigration took maybe a half hour. Gentleman at gate asked why I was traveling, stamped and I was off. He smiled and was friendly. Customs, literally walked down a hall and a guy was leaning on a wall and I was done. Departed to fly to another African country three days later. Check in went fine, lady at Airlink was very friendly. Security and Immigration was fine, all together maybe 30 minutes total and nobody was unfriendly. Three weeks later departing to go back to the States. Same, no issues. At a pizza place while waiting, lady who waited on me was super friendly. Everybody in the shops, same. Boarding a large Boeing 777 for Atlanta, they had a system and it worked. No issues.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitSeptember 2019
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

"will be avoiding Johannesburg in the future"

(Australia)

Trip Verified | Because I said I use this travel zip lock bag around the world - in relation to carrying liquids in a clear sealed bag, the security check staff at the gate said he wanted me to go buy another type of zip lock bag and come back. Literally he said “because you say you travel round the world, I’ll make you buy the right bag”. He took my items out of my bag and threw them on the floor. I then had to go to every shop to find someone who would sell me a zip lock bag - which ended up they sell big ones? I didn’t think this would be accepted as they gave to be less than 1 L. I was then ordered to join the back of the queue again. He then threw my items into the bag and said for me to go. The security employees were sneezing into their gloved hands then touching our items and bags. They were rude and treat passengers like they are poorly, shouting down orders without any notice. There was no order to embarking the aeroplane. The staff in the airport were grumpy, no pleasantries, most were watching YouTube on their computer or tv and didn’t want to serve you. Really will be avoiding Johannesburg in the future and likely South African airlines. Sad end to a good trip. Terrible airport with unprofessional, rude staff.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitSeptember 2019
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
7/10

"Scammed at check in kiosk machine"

(United States)

Not Verified | Scammed at check in kiosk machine inside terminal! Uniformed fellow said to use this machine yours is broken please. Use your credit card to check in. Machine grabbed card, guy disappeared! So canceled card right away on phone, summoned police officer. Unauthorized charges made. Credit card reversed charges later. Be careful!
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitJuly 2019
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

"unprofessional, rude staff"

(Cambodia)

Trip Verified | This is probably one of the worst airports I've ever had the misfortune of experiencing. Old decor, dirty, dark, with the worst employees. The security employees are rude and treat passengers like they are prisoners, shouting down orders without a please or a thank you. The immigration staff are grumpy and act like they are doing you a favour of letting you in their country even though you might be a tourist bringing in money . Staff working at different locations will not even give you directions when asked. Terrible airport made worse by the unprofessional, rude staff.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitJuly 2019
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
1/10

"a sense of shame and sadness"

(South Africa)

Not Verified | Every time I land at Johannesburg international arrivals and stand in the passport control queue, usually for between 45 minutes and an hour, I feel a sense of shame and sadness. Ashamed that we give our citizens such a shocking welcome home, we leave the first world and arrive in the third world every time. How hard is it to employ more staff who want to work and are prepared to smile? I pointed out to a staff member that the queue was so long people were unable to step off the escalator because the queue was up to the escalator. She didn’t even stop to listen to me, just gave me a death stare and walked past to the other passports queue which was surprisingly short for a change. Come on SA, make us excited and proud to come home.
Experience At AirportArrival Only
Date VisitJune 2019
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
2/10

"staff are rude beyond words"

(United Kingdom)

Trip Verified | For the international area, the staff are rude beyond words. A man dressed in Qatar Airways uniform talked to a colleague while checking me in and viewed me with a very contemptuous expression. I expect he is airport staff dressed in the airline's uniform since their customer service is usually so good. I'm sure he wouldn't last five minutes if he was directly employed by the airline or any Qatari company. Customs officials (apart from one) were lazy and unfriendly. Some just sat there without calling anyone over, others failed to greet customers and just talked to their colleagues while scanning and stamping passports. Highly unprofessional. Departures was much worse than arrivals for the bad attitude. One lady was very friendly and helpful in the wine shop in departures. She was the only one. Overall, the international departures section was probably the worst I have ever encountered. In the domestic area, staff were much friendlier and more helpful. Perhaps the airport should move these staff to the international area since its a good idea to welcome foreign visitors who bring so much money into the country and are vital to the economy.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitMay 2019
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"the customer service is disgraceful" ** EDITED - ASKED TICKET

(United Kingdom)

Not Verified | My wife and I were traveling through Johannesburg from Port Elizabeth on our way to Mauritius. We encountered a long delay of 11 hours due to a technical issue with the plane. This airport has to be the worst in the World for Customer Service. There are lots of staff working in every area of the airport (too many probably as they just talk amongst themselves and ignore the travelers!) and without exception the customer service is disgraceful. No manners, eye contact, please or thank you. No smiles and the staff don’t even open their mouths to speak, finding it easier just to point. We were going to come back next year and explore Cape Town but the experience at this airport has been so bad I don’t think we will ever visit South Africa again. Not a great way to encourage visitors and tourism!
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitApril 2019
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
8/10

"I have yet to have a bad experience at JNB"

(Norway)

Not Verified | There is a lot of bad reviews of Johannesburg airport, and i might not have as many airports on my "list" as many of the users of this website, but I have yet to have a bad experience at JNB, maybe it`s my state of mind, I don`t know, maybe i have been lucky with arrival/depature-times. My travels through JNB has been a breeze. My last time in November I tranferred to Hoedspruit with another airline. Very quickly through immigration/passportcontrol, baggage was collected quickly. Picked up my SA simcard, very helpful ladies in the store setting it up in my phone. Checking in to next flight, and through security again, no problems. I find in general the people working at the airport to be helpful and positive. If I would want something to get better at JNB, it`s signs and directions would be great.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitNovember 2018
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

"improve staff training"

(United Kingdom)

Not Verified | Please improve staff training, the quality of service is a disgrace, embarrassing and ill-mannered. Poor communication with customers, no greeting with a smile in the shops, when asking for help people don't open the mouth to talk, they just point. I even asked a lady at the Duty free shop for arrivals, why everyone is not responding verbally and give proper directions or answer nicely to customers. The whole airport a majority of people are the same. Staff in Passport check section can't even smile or greet customers upon arrival. They just take the passport and stamp without even saying hello. I understand you serve hundreds of customers per day, but the protocol of such a job requires a special welcoming approach. Foreigners are bringing money to the country and boosting the economy no need to be cold to them. I even asked one of the Officers why they don't greet customers let alone smile. He said according to SA culture, the person coming into the country must be the one greeting. Come on!!! we are in a modern world with diverse people and this requires adaptability when dealing with people. It costs nothing to serve people with a warm and friendly approach, but its always worth it. Another worst and embarrassing part is greed. They ask for some money to buy a drink from customers. That's a shame!! Create a forum to report this in the airport immediately it happens. It's always nice to give money or a tip to someone as a token of appreciation but not when they literally ask for it. Please come and learn customer services at Heathrow London. This the best place to benchmark. Airport staff provide the highest standard of service i.e professional, friendly, knowledgeable, understanding of diverse cultures, mannerism. Absolute great service in London.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitFebruary 2019
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no