We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Flight connections at Johannesburg Airport

Which Johannesburg hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Paradise Valley...
posts: 25
reviews: 21
Flight connections at Johannesburg Airport

I'll be travelling next January between Cape Town and Mauritius and am considering a South African Airways connection at Johannesburg Airport. The connection time is 1h20m.

Can anyone tell me if that's adequate time to get between my arriving flight from Cape Town and the international connection to Mauritius? How is South African Airways on time performance?

I understand there's construction going on at Johannesburg Airport. I won't be checking any luggage; just carry-on and wonder whether it's realistic to think I can physically make a one hour twenty minute connection (or less).

Thanks for any advise!

Albany, New York
posts: 550
reviews: 18
1. Re: Flight connections at Johannesburg Airport

We didn't go to Mauritius... but this is our experience...

JNB flights apparently have a reputation for being delayed-- our flight from JNB to Livingstone was delayed. From Livingstone to Cape Town (connecting in JNB), the flights left on time-- but JNB airport delayed the landing time so we stayed in the air for an extra 40 minutes, but it was ok because the JNB to Cape Town portion was delayed too!

Our Nelspruit flight to JNB left on time and I think they all generally do because it is a smaller airport than Cape Town. I think those flights only have a problem if JNB airport delays their landing time or if the weather is bad.

Internationally, we had a flight from Cape Town to JNB with SAA, then JNB to New York with SAA. The flight was delayed so we landed 10 minutes after the international flight was to leave. There were ~12 of us I think RUNNING thru the terminals (thru the parking garage!!!) to make the international flight (they said they would have someone at the gate to help us get thru the airport but there wasn't anyone). The international flight was held for 45 minutes? I think which made the other passengers cranky - esp without air conditioning! Not everyone made it from the Cape Town flight to the international flight. Our luggage didn't make it-- but was booked all the way thru- so they sent it on the SAA flight the next day.

Anyway, I think it is good that you are using SAA for both Cape Town- JNB and JNB to Mauritius-- at least they have to make sure that you will end up in Mauritius. If you had booked different airlines for the 2 segments, the initial flight would not be responsible for your next/connecting flight.

You might want to plan more time to get thru passport control... we went thru 4 times- landing in JNB from New York, flying from JNB to Zambia, returning to JNB from Zambia, flying to the USA... the wait time really depended on how many other international passengers were there...

Don't mean to worry you, just make you a well informed traveler! :)

north yorkshire
posts: 2,744
reviews: 18
2. Re: Flight connections at Johannesburg Airport

Previous poster makes a very valid point about going through passport control. This would not be an issue in some countries on an outbound flight as they just want you through the terminal. However, SA immigration check everyone out of the country as well as into it and this can add a significant amount of time to the bureaucracy. When I last went from international to domestic at JHB it was quite a hike past the building site. Lastly, I made my internal connection but my luggage caught me up in Durban the next day! However, if there is no viable alternative I'd run the risk rather than have a long boring lay-over in JHB.

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
posts: 11,728
reviews: 232
3. Re: Flight connections at Johannesburg Airport

I can tell you for certain that you absolutely CANNOT make this connection time, even if arrive on time. You'll arrive from CPT in the domestic terminal and have to walk a pretty decent distance to international - through a maze of construction.

Are you online with SAA all the way? If not, you'll for sure need to get boarding passes in JNB. And unless you do some good talking, it's probably not likely you'll be able to check bags all the way from CPT.

To cap it off, you'll have to go through outgoing immigration.

We just took 30 people to CPT for a weeklong meeting. We had several people misconnect on a 1:50 connect time in JNB. Most of the others then changed their tickets. I was on SAA CPT-JNB, then DL JNB-ATL. It took all the travel savvy and gold-level clout I could muster to get the CPT agent to check my bags to DL. We arrived early and it still took me 1:40 to get to my gate. The only way I made the flight was because it was delayed.

Also, the CPT-JNB flights run full. So despite the fact that they fly every 30 minutes, it's really difficult to get out early.

Paradise Valley...
posts: 25
reviews: 21
4. Re: Flight connections at Johannesburg Airport

Thanks a million for your responses. As it turned out, we elected to book a connecting flight later that day since, based on what you've recommended, it's unlikely we'd be able to make the earlier connection. On the chance we do arrive early, we'll attempt to stand-by for the earlier flight.

Thanks again for your help!

5. Re: Flight connections at Johannesburg Airport

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 6:23 am, October 02, 2009