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Getting through passport & customs

Godalming, United...
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Getting through passport & customs

I land at Joburg at 07.15 am (local time) on 24/12/17. I have been told it can take up to 3 hours to get from plane to arrivals. Is it worth paying $120 US to get priority clearance?

11 replies to this topic
Johannesburg, South...
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for Johannesburg
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1. Re: Getting through passport & customs

I have rarely waited more than 1 hour for passengers to emerge into the public arrivals area after the landing of an incoming international flight.

In those few cases (Probably less than 5 since 2004), when it took longer than 1 hour, it was usually about 1.5 hours, and due to passengers having to put in claims concerning lost luggage.

If your paperwork is in order, it should never take 3 hours.

Perhaps you are confusing the recommended time (3 hours) to allow between landing of incoming international, and take off of outgoing domestic flights.

Long Island, New...
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2. Re: Getting through passport & customs

If you are connecting to another flight, I’d allow three hours.

We have had long lines at passport control, it really depends on how many other flights land around the same time. But never three hours. To get out of the airport is another story - flight canceled so had to take the BA flight that lands at 9:15 instead of 7:15, luggage was delayed (long story), we had a problem with our bank letting us use our debit cards, the car rental counter didn’t have the correct paperwork... all on one trip. it all delayed us quite a long time. But we made our game drive (we never would have made Kruger that day but we went to a reserve a few hours north of JNB). Our last trip was seamless and we were on our way off the early flight, in our rental car, with our luggage, with cash, in less than 2 hours. Just be prepared - stuff happens.

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Johannesburg Intl Airport
Johannesburg Intl Airport
Johannesburg, South Africa
Leigh-on Sea...
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3. Re: Getting through passport & customs

around 7.15 am is a busy time , especially as British Airways A380 arrive with hundreds of passengers and even more luggage, we waited over an hour to retrieve our luggage and the porter said that was not unusual.

I have been very unlucky with OR Tambo so much so that I now try to avoid it.

We have experienced 2 incidents of tampering with luggage, queues at Immigration so long that people have missed connecting flights.

I would allow at least 3 hours for connections.

I don't know what power the $120 will have to enable the luggage to be off loaded more quickly or get to the front of the queues at Immigration, but I could be wrong.

Johannesburg, South...
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4. Re: Getting through passport & customs

3 hours is the recommended time for all connections.

BTW, Luggage tampering can occur anywhere.. I have had clients whose luggage was tampered with at home (Canada)

Abu Dhabi, United...
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5. Re: Getting through passport & customs

Why 120?? I got quote from Bidair, total of USD 89 for 2 persons. I have the connecting time of 3 hours but I use the fast track anyway. After 10+ hours of traveling, I do not want to wait another hour in the immigration line.

Saint Paul...
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6. Re: Getting through passport & customs

Is this service recommended even if your final destination is JNB? We will arrive after a 15 hour flight and the thought of 3 hours to clear customs is disheartening. It sounds like this is just the recommended window for transfer but then I've heard about horrible lines clearing customs.

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Johannesburg Intl Airport
Johannesburg Intl Airport
Johannesburg, South Africa
Aiea, Hawaii
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7. Re: Getting through passport & customs

It all depends. I left the airport 1 hour after landing at 8am on Virgin Atlantic out of London. A few days later it took me less than 2 min to clear immigration after a flight from Victoria Falls in the afternoon.

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Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls
Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe
Johannesburg, South...
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8. Re: Getting through passport & customs

Three hours doesn’t sound right at all. I arrive early morning from Europe once a month and am generally through within an hour after landing. Even with long queues and many flights arriving at the same time.

London, United...
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9. Re: Getting through passport & customs

What are the queues like at the moment? I will be arriving next Tuesday at 10.15am (BA)

Berkhamsted, United...
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10. Re: Getting through passport & customs

We were out in under an hour on BA57 on Thursday. Wheels touched the ground around 9.20am, taxied, parked up and disembarked around 9.40am. Through immigation by 9.55am, passed through customs and walked out into the arrivals area about 10.05am..

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