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SAA Business Class Transfer In Jo'Burg  
User currently offlineUmhlanga From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 128 posts, RR: 1
Posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks ago) and read 3810 times:

Hi all. Let me start by saying that these forums have extremely useful and enjoyable information. Keep up the good work!

My question:

In late July, I will fly from ATL to DUR via JHB on SAA (biz class). I haven't transited at JHB since 2000, and I know alot has changed since then! Can anyone tell me whether I have to drag my luggage from the Int'l Arrivals terminal to the Domestic Departures terminal, or is there a check-through service available in the Int'l Arrivals area?

Also, is there still an indoors connection between the 2 terminals? (I walked from Int'l to Domestic at CPT in 2003 and almost froze to death!)

Finally, what facilities are there for arriving iSAA nternational business class passengers at JHB?

Thanks in advance!

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3781 times:
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There is a "check-through service" available just outside Terminal 2A arrivals, where SA and all of its partners arrive. However, that being said, I have experienced numerous occasions when the SA check-in desks at "check-through service" were not attended by any SA ground staff. I have also been sent to the domestic terminal to recheck my bags. I don't know why, but this always seems to happen when I am on tight connections.

At this stage, due to construction in the Central Terminal Area, there is no indoor connection available when going from the international terminal to the domestic terminal. However, when connecting from a domestic flight to an international flight (with your baggage tagged through JNB to your final destination), there is an indoor connection available from the domestic terminal to the international terminal. IIRC it is on the retail level of the domestic terminal.

With regards to facilities for arriving SA Premium Class pax, there is an excellent arrivals lounge available with showers, etc. for incoming pax. The lounge is located on the mezzanine level of the arrivals hall, just to your right when you enter the hall.

International Arrivals Lounge (JIA)
This facility is for the exclusive use of our First Class, Business Class and Platinum and Gold Cardholders, and offers exceptional facilities, such as luxurious showers, an array of cold breakfast items, and high-tech business equipment. It is located on the Mezzanine level in the Arrivals Terminal. (As you exit the Customs area it is on the right hand side on the Mezzanine area.)


Here is a link:

http://ww4.flysaa.com/en/en_content_..._lounges_cabins_intro_content.html


Rgds

SA7700



When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently offlineUmhlanga From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 128 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3726 times:

Thank you for the quick response SA7700. Your information is very helpful.

Any idea when the Central Terminal Area will be complete?

Also, is SAA still on track to join Star Alliance on April Fool's Day?


User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3689 times:
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Quoting Umhlanga (Reply 2):
Thank you for the quick response SA7700. Your information is very helpful.

Any idea when the Central Terminal Area will be complete?

Also, is SAA still on track to join Star Alliance on April Fool's Day?

The CTA should be completed by 2010, before the Soccer World Cup. The last time I went through JNB, the construction site of the CTA was still a big gaping hole in the ground. At least the foundations of the new international pier, where the A380's will dock, has been laid.

I will be in JNB on March 21, so I will have a look what progress has been made at the CTA. I will also make sure for you on which level of the domestic terminal, the "inside connection area" is.

Star Alliance. What can I say? They are supposed to join on April 01, 2006; but hey its April's Fools Day, so who knows??


Rgds

SA7700



When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8443 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3620 times:
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If JNB is your point of entry you have to collect your baggage and clear customs there irrespective of checking through or class of travel. Sorry for the bad news.


After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineUmhlanga From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 128 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3605 times:

Andz,

Thanks for the reply. I knew I had to collect my bags and clear customs at JNB. But my concern was whether I would have to physically carry my bags from the International terminal to the Domestic terminal, and then check them through to DUR.

Based on what SA 7700 wrote, it seems that I may be able to give my bags to SAA staff (if they're at their stations!) in the International Terminal, who will then check the bags to DUR, allowing me to walk bag-free to the Domestic terminal. But, even if I have to use a luggage trolley to carry the bags myself, I guess it won't kill me!

I am eager to see all the changes at JNB since I last visited in 2000. The International terminal was more or less complete at that point, but the new Domestic terminal had yet to open. ACSA's website has some pics, but not nearly enough to satisfy my curiosity!


User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3585 times:
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Quoting Umhlanga (Reply 5):
But, even if I have to use a luggage trolley to carry the bags myself, I guess it won't kill me!

I am eager to see all the changes at JNB since I last visited in 2000. The International terminal was more or less complete at that point, but the new Domestic terminal had yet to open. ACSA's website has some pics, but not nearly enough to satisfy my curiosity!

Unlike some airports, ACSA (Airports Company of South Africa) provide free baggage trolleys at all their airports, whether you are arriving or departing on domestic or international flights. The trolleys at JNB are "state of the art" and are also equipped to be used on the escalators.

You will be pleasantly surprised by the new domestic terminal, compared to the old domestic terminal anyway, as it is very spacious and user friendly. There is also a great observation deck, with excellent views of the main runway (03L/21R), as well as some of the aprons. Big grin


Rgds

SA7700



When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently offlineUmhlanga From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 128 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3573 times:

SA7700,

Believe me, I'm well acquainted with ACSA's handy baggage trolleys. (I was just hoping to not have to use one!) Sometime in the mid-90s, my flight from JFK arrived late, forcing a tight connection with my scheduled flight to DUR. (Sure, I could've waited another hour, but I wanted to be in DUR in time for dinner. Selfish me!) After running to the domestic terminal check-in area, my path to the check-in counters was blocked by ACSA employees pushing a line of what seemed like hundreds of the trolleys. 2 minutes later, the 'trolley train' passed, and it was safe to walk to the check-in counter. The SAA agent told me that I had made it with <5 minutes to spare.  Smile (I got my dinner in DUR, too!)

Can anyone tell me if the new domestic business class lounge at JNB has views of the aprons, runways, etc.?


User currently offlineAT502B From South Africa, joined Dec 2004, 347 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3541 times:

Hey Umhlanga,

Nice Username, I used to live in Umhlanga Rocks and Umdloti areas!

Anyway last time I flew SA arriving into JNB from JFK(Feb 05), it took a good hour to clear customs and drag my bag over to the domestic terminal ( actually we hired one of the local baggage guys to help us)- there was a counter for checking your bags thru to domestic but no one was anywhere to be found.
Last time home (Dec/Jan) from the US we arrived into CPT and things went a lot smoother.
Enjoy the new JNB domestic terminal tho- it's stunning.



I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning.
User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3530 times:
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Quoting Umhlanga (Reply 7):
Can anyone tell me if the new domestic business class lounge at JNB has views of the aprons, runways, etc.?

Yes it does - floor to ceiling windows (270 degrees) with a view to kill. Big grin Once again, great views of the main runway and if you stretch your neck far enough, you can basically see all the aprons (A, B, C and D). It is quite a large lounge and surpasses the SA Business Class lounge in the departures area of the International terminal, in size. There are also shower facilities available in the SA Domestic Business Class lounge. Beverages; including alcohol, by the dozen; as well as light snacks like stuffed bread rolls, muffins, crisps, etc. are on offer.


Rgds

SA7700



When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8443 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3492 times:
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Sorry I misunderstood... I know that there used to be a recheck facility right outside international arrivals but I'm not sure if it is still there, as I terminate in JNB I have never had to use it. I will arrive back in JNB on Friday and I'll make a note to have a look and let you know.


After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineUmhlanga From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 128 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 3463 times:

AT502B, your experience of an hour-long trip through customs and on to the domestic check-in certainly fits with my past experiences.

Although I agree that connecting at CPT is easier in that the airport isn't as busy, SAA have done away with flights between the US and CPT, so that option is no longer on the table. Besides, I didn't enjoy walking outdoors between CPT's domestic and international terminals, and I definitely didn't enjoy it on an absolutely freezing July morning!

SA7700, thanks again for the info. I definitely think I'll try to spend some time in the domestic biz-class lounge. It sounds very enjoyable.

Andz, thanks for keeping an eye out for the recheck counter!

Best regards,
Umhlanga


User currently offlineAT502B From South Africa, joined Dec 2004, 347 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3446 times:

Quoting Umhlanga (Reply 11):
Although I agree that connecting at CPT is easier in that the airport isn't as busy, SAA have done away with flights between the US and CPT, so that option is no longer on the table

Yeah, sadly SA has done away with that route. We went BA IAH-LHR-CPT. We managed to get WTplus on BA for the same prices as SA standard economy. A little out of the way but we also stopped over in London for a couple of nights, so it broke up the trip for us and our kids.



I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning.
User currently offlineUmhlanga From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 128 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3412 times:

AT502B, I'm not all that sad about the loss of US-CPT flights. Sure, the airport is less crowded than JNB, but the lack of crowds never actually saved me any time vs. going via JNB. Also, if you missed your CTP-DUR flight, it was a relatively long wait for the next flight, as opposed to JNB, which has more frequent connections to DUR. But, all in all, CPT is a fine airport, especially the international terminal.

User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8443 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3367 times:
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Quoting Umhlanga (Reply 11):
Andz, thanks for keeping an eye out for the recheck counter!

As promised I had a look when I landed on Friday, there is a sign stating that the facility is closed and that you must proceed to the domestic terminal, so I'm afraid it is a case of grab a trolley and get pushing!



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineCrosswind From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 2598 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3318 times:
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Quoting SA7700 (Reply 1):
At this stage, due to construction in the Central Terminal Area, there is no indoor connection available when going from the international terminal to the domestic terminal. However, when connecting from a domestic flight to an international flight (with your baggage tagged through JNB to your final destination), there is an indoor connection available from the domestic terminal to the international terminal. IIRC it is on the retail level of the domestic terminal.

Are you sure about the indoor Domestic-International connection? I've never noticed that and have always had to walk outside both ways. Not that it's a problem, it's not far and the walk is generally in the shade so it doesn't get too hot... To be honest after a long-haul flight it's nice to get outside for a few minutes before getting on another plane!

Quoting Andz (Reply 14):
As promised I had a look when I landed on Friday, there is a sign stating that the facility is closed and that you must proceed to the domestic terminal, so I'm afraid it is a case of grab a trolley and get pushing!

That's a shame - the domestic recheck in International arrivals has always been very useful, I was shown it by one of the porters on my first visit to JNB - it's hidden away and would be easy to miss if you weren't looking for it! I wonder if the closure is just temporary for refrurbishment, the area is quite shabby but was really useful in avoiding you having to take your bags upstairs and walk to Domestic.

Umhlanga
My advice would be to use the porter service in International arrivals, they're dressed in Orange so you can't miss them - if it's open they'll take you to the Domestic recheck in the International terminal and then point you on upstairs to walk to the Domestic terminal. Otherwise they'll push your bags all the way to the Domestic terminal and save you the trouble. Fee is about R5 per bag, approx $0.80

Regards
CROSSWIND


User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 26
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3298 times:
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Quoting Crosswind (Reply 15):
Are you sure about the indoor Domestic-International connection?

Yes, I made use of it last year. You enter the airside part of the international departures terminal, just short of Exclusive Books. The entrance on the domestic side has moved since construction started on the CTA. I will have a look and see whether I can see the new entrance, next week Tuesday, when I am going through JNB.


Rgds

SA7700



When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently offlineUmhlanga From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 128 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3279 times:

Thanks again everyone, for all the information and advice. Even though the porters are relatively cheap, I think pushing a trolley the old fashioned way is probably best. As you said, Crosswind, a bit of exercise after such a long flight can't be bad!

Best regards,
Umhlanga


User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 26
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3273 times:
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HEAD MODERATOR

Quoting Umhlanga (Reply 17):
As you said, Crosswind, a bit of exercise after such a long flight can't be bad!

Except when your flight into JNB has been delayed and you are about to miss the last connecting domestic flight to your final destination.... Domestic departures are located on level 3 of the new terminal. It can get hectic running from international to domestic, managing three rather long sets of "moving walkways", from the arrivals (ground) level to the departures level, and try to get to check-in on time.... Just a prelude - been there done that Big grin


Rgds

SA7700



When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently offlineLhrmaccoll From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3264 times:

Quoting Umhlanga (Reply 17):
As you said, Crosswind, a bit of exercise after such a long flight can't be bad!

Hmm have to disagree there, I hate having to meet connections....
Have a nice time in Biz class Big grin
A


User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 26
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3173 times:
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Quoting Crosswind (Reply 15):
Are you sure about the indoor Domestic-International connection? I've never noticed that and have always had to walk outside both ways. Not that it's a problem, it's not far and the walk is generally in the shade so it doesn't get too hot...

The entrance to the old indoor "domestic-international connection" was located next to Rennies Foreign Exchange on the retail level of the domestic terminal. The new indoor "domestic-international connection" entrance, is located just next to 1Time Aero's ticket office on the departures level of the domestic terminal.

I have pictures to proof it - if I can just figure out how in hell to upload pictures onto the net. I have tried Photobucket, but as soon as I click to submit the photos, the "page can not be displayed".  embarrassed 


Rgds

SA7700



When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 26
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3126 times:
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JNB Domestic Terminal. Entering the baggage claims area.




JNB Domestic Terminal. The baggage claims area is quite spacious - I have never experienced any crowding here.




These escalators are to your right as you exit the baggage claims area and enter the arrivals hall. The escalators take you up-and down, to-and from the retail level and the domestic departures and check-in hall.




Part of the retail level. There are quite a few shops, a food court and foreign exchange facilities located here.




Looking down from the food court on the retail level, down to the baggage claim area on the ground floor.




The main set of ramps, with moving walkways, that goes from the ground floor up to the retail level and then on to the departures level. This photo was taken on the retail level.




The three level domestic terminal at JNB. Ground floor - arrivals. Middle floor - retail. Top floor - departures.




The outdoor walk from the domestic terminal to the international terminal.




The remains of the old domestic terminal, situated between the international-and new domestic terminal. This site is to become the new CTA (Central Terminal Area) of JNB.




The domestic departures-and check in hall.




This is where the old entrance to the international gates was situated, on the retail level, next to Rennies Foreign Exchange.




The new entrance to the international gates. This entrance is located next to 1Time Aero's ticket office on the domestic departures level of the domestic terminal. It is a much quicker and more convenient way to get to the international gates, duty-free shopping area and to avoid the crowds in the departures hall of the international terminal.




Entrance to the international gates in the domestic terminal. Yes, they are open and operational - I guess not many people know about this facility.




South African Airways Business Lounge Entrance - Located on the upper level of the boarding gates area.




Inside the lounge. There is much more space here than in the SAA Business Lounge in the International Terminal. Gorgeous views of the aprons and main runway are available.




Inside SAA's domestic lounge.




Part of the domestic departure gates area.


Rgds

SA7700

[Edited 2006-03-26 16:20:55]


When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
User currently offlineUmhlanga From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 128 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3100 times:

SA7700, thanks a million! Wonderful pics. ACSA's site is full of glowing descriptions about the new Domestic Terminal, but very few pics. They should hire you as a PR man!

Any idea why so few people use the indoor corridor when going from Domestic to International? (i.e., too few signs to alert people?)

And the SAA lounge looks wonderful. SAA get a gold star for that. (A star which will be taken away from them if they continue to sell their sorely-needed long-haul fleet!  Smile )

Best regards,
Umhlanga


User currently offlineAT502B From South Africa, joined Dec 2004, 347 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3088 times:

Great photo's SA7700. What is the CTA going to be? More shops etc? Or new International terminal?


I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning.
User currently offlineSA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 26
Reply 24, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3077 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Quoting Umhlanga (Reply 22):
SA7700, thanks a million! Wonderful pics. ACSA's site is full of glowing descriptions about the new Domestic Terminal, but very few pics. They should hire you as a PR man!

Any idea why so few people use the indoor corridor when going from Domestic to International? (i.e., too few signs to alert people?)

And the SAA lounge looks wonderful. SAA get a gold star for that. (A star which will be taken away from them if they continue to sell their sorely-needed long-haul fleet! )

Only a pleasure mate, I could have uploaded it sooner, on Tuesday to be exact. We had some bad luck with heavy rain and dense fog in BFN on Tuesday when we were supposed to fly out to JNB. You could hear the DH8 circling above the airport, be eventually they headed back to JNB. We stayed in BFN.

To be honest, in my humble opinion ACSA has never really been up to scratch with their PR. The website is quite outdated - they don't even have any real info on their website with regards to the new CTA or the international pier where the A380's will dock. BTW, I would love to do their PRBig grin

Very few people actually know about the indoor corridor from the domestic terminal to the international terminal. I would attribute that to poor and confusing signage.

SAA's Domestic Lounge is a dream and a spotter’s haven. I sat at the window, facing the main runway, watching EY604 taking off for AUH, GF716 to BAH, QR581 to DOH and finally SV446 to JED. SV's 777 blew up quite a lot of water when they started rolling - it was raining cats and dogs - as you can see from the pics.

I am off to JFK during Easter, so I will be making use of the indoor corridor. I will try to take some pics on the other end of the corridor.

Keep well!

SA7700



When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
25 Post contains images SA7700 : Thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it! There were rumours that SA's International flights would be moving to the CTA. However, I am not sure abo
26 Andz : Off topic but I remember circling above a fogged in BFN in a DH8 a few years ago, eventually we had consensus among all the pax to return to JNB but
27 SA7700 : To be honest, when I woke up on Tuesday morning and saw that it was still raining, I had a feeling that we would not be able to get out of BFN. I am
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