Johannesburg International Airport (OR Tambo International Airport)


SA Logue’s handy guide to Johannesburg International Airport.

Vital information:

  • Airport code: JNB (Note: this may change once the Airport’s new name, OR Tambo International, comes into effect.)
  • Street Map: Click here
  • Floor plans: Click here
  • General info: +27 (0) 11 921 6262
  • Flight info via telephone: +27 (0) 86 727 7888
  • Flight info via SMS/text: Send flight number to 35007.
  • Flight info on the web: Click here. (This service is often down – it’s better to call.)
  • Hired/Rented cars: The area for hired/rented cars is outside the airport, in a separate building. It’s something of a slog to get there – though perfectly manageable with a cart – and using a porter is an option (see below).
  • Wifi? Domestic: retail and departures level restaurants, boarding gates, and airline lounges. International: arrivals mezzanine level restaurants, duty-free mall, SAA & Premier lounges.
  • Former & alt. names: OR Tambo (official name), Jan Smuts (previous name), Lughawe (Afrikaans for “Airport”).
  • Free carts? Yes
  • Porters? Available (look for bright orange uniforms), and aggressive.
  • Porter tip? R5-R10 per bag, don’t pay more.
  • Curbside drop-off/pick-up allowed? Yes
  • Parking? R6/hour uncovered, R8/hour covered, long-term available.
  • Disabled-friendly? Yes
  • Long Term parking? Yup, click me.

Johannesburg International is Africa’s busiest airport, and one of its best: it’s clean, modern, well-run, and replete with amenities – practically a city unto itself, as a large airport should be.

Many flights to South Africa end here, requiring visitors travelling on to Cape Town or Durban to switch terminals (from international to domestic) for their onward flights. This can cause a few heart-pounding moments, if the time-window between the flights is narrow. In this regard, here are a few tips:

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  • Tip 1: A good thing to check when booking a flight to South Africa is whether you’ll have to switch terminals at JNB to get to Cape Town or Durban (if you’re not flying direct).
  • Tip 2: if you do have to switch terminals, an ideal time window between flights is three hours: remember, you have to go through customs and immigration.
  • Tip 3: Once you’re through customs and immigration, look out simultaneously for men in orange suits and signs pointing to the domestic terminal. The men in orange suits are porters, who will probably clamor to help you get to domestic, and the signs are your means of escape.
  • It’s easy to get from international to domestic at JNB, though it is a bit of a long haul. The porters will probably get you there faster, so if you’re in a tight fix, use them. A normal tip is R5/bag, and a very good one R10/bag. Feel free to negotiate the tip up front.

JNB International Airlines:

JNB’s domestic terminal is brand new; the security check-through is on the top level, by domestic check-in. (Porters may come in handy for pushing carts up the series of inclines that lead to the top level, though these inclines are also motorized.)

JNB Domestic Airlines:

kiwi-south-africa

Stuck for transport? JNB is well out of the way (being wedged between Kempton Park and Boksburg) – getting to and from is not particularly cheap. The imaginatively-named Airport Shuttle service (no website), however, offers an excellent price, at R115/person each way (min. two people): +27 (0) 11 886 3095.


11 thoughts on “Johannesburg International Airport (OR Tambo International Airport)

  • Leticia

    greetings Ben–headed your way on the 16th of this month for two weeks…what is the most economical way to rent cell phones for use there–here in the states, or there (and if there, where? I imagine the airport charges the most, but what is a convenient alternative?) I am staying at a hostel (hope not hostile) place called Riverview in the Observatory area. Also, what is the best way to find out what performing arts events will be happening while I am there–especially interested in more insider stuff, not the big marquee events readily known by non-theatre types and concierge staff! Thank you so much in advance! Leticia

  • JAN DE DE KLERK

    GOEIE DAG KAN JUL ASB SE WAT MAG ONS SAAM VAT OP DIE VLIEGTUIG EN WAT NIE
    WAT IS DIE TAS GEWIG PERSOON
    AKTE TAS
    REGULASIE VAN DIE LUGHAWE

    ONS GAAN VIR FAMILIE IN AUSTRALIA KUIER EN WIL WEET WAT MAG SAAM EN WAT NIE

    ONS HET NOG NOOIT BUITELANDSE VLUGTE GENEEM NIE

    EN HOOR DAAR\’S GOED WAT MAG SAAM EN GOED WAT NIE MAG SAAM GAAN

    KAN JUL ASB VIR ONS \’N LYS VAN DIE MOETS EN MOENIES

    BAIE DANKIE
    JAN DE KLERK

  • thabethe sarah dorothy

    thabethe. id no;730104034808 3.
    and date of birth;1973-01-04,
    I ve’d got problem,
    some one stil my I.D to marre a ghanaian man cold
    {NEIZER DANIEL ESSIEDU} passport no;ho596810,
    sobefor i finout his in ghana, but now his coming back october nest month, so pls, I need immigration to cancell his marage-pemit, I know-niting about the marage,
    Hooping to hear from you soon, pls is ORGENT.

  • Anna

    Waar kan ek dringend inligting kry in verband met goedkoper parkering vir 7 dae by lughawe. En shuttle diens! Dankie!
    Anna

  • Anna Streuders

    Ek benodig dringend n telefoonnr/emailadres by wie ek kan uitvind in verband met goedkoper parkering vir 7 dae
    Dankie!

    Anna

  • Tanya

    hi there,

    the links for the cheaper parking no longer work?? what have they changed to and where can i find the parking bays?

    Thanks
    Tanya

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