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How early to arrive JNB for international flight at 6:50PM

Atlanta
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895 posts
26 reviews
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How early to arrive JNB for international flight at 6:50PM

I swear I saw this posted but now cannot find it. We are on a Tuesday night international flight that leaves JNB at 6:50 PM (it's the Air France one) and will be heading from Graskop to the airport that day. I've read that we should be there 2 hours ahead, which puts ideal arrival time at JNB at 4:50 minus 30 minutes for returning an Avis car. So estimated arrival at airport would be 4:20 for 6:50 PM flight. That, I presume, is inching on rush hour. What time would you all recommend we arrive at airport given the time of day?

I don't want to be panicked if we hit Joburg at 4 and get stuck in horrific traffic. But I also want to try to spend as much of my morning as possible in Graskop.

Herndon, Virginia
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44 posts
16 reviews
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1. Re: How early to arrive JNB for international flight at 6:50PM

We had a similar flight time during our recent trip and everyone highly recommended to us that we avoid the rush hour because it can be unpredictable and cause you to miss a flight or be extremely rushed after arriving late. We took the recommendations and arrived at the airport by 4 pm. We had a couple hours to wait but there are some really nice stores and restaurants so it was easy to pass the time comfortably. Also, they tended to start boarding the planes quite early (like 45 mins prior to takeoff) so we had less time to kill that we anticipated.

Brisbane, Australia
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450 posts
105 reviews
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2. Re: How early to arrive JNB for international flight at 6:50PM

I often catch a flight at 6:15pm out of JNB and always leave work at a time that would under normal traffic get me to the airport by 3pm. This is partly to leave work early :-) and partly to avoid any traffic/delays.

FYI Traffic tends to build up from 3:30-4pm, even from the side you will be approaching from. I've also noticed that generally after this time the inside of the International airport starts to fill up. I've not experienced significant delays getting through check-in, security etc but I think that as it gets closer to 5 it would get busier that side.

As mentioned there are a number of shops both prior to boarding and on the International side (as well as some nice lounges if you have the privilege) and there is a nice bar/restaurant that looks over the tarmac, not far from the main immigration gate.

Atlanta
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895 posts
26 reviews
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3. Re: How early to arrive JNB for international flight at 6:50PM

Thanks! This is exactly the info I was wanting. Will plan to arrive at JNB 3:30-4.

4. Re: How early to arrive JNB for international flight at 6:50PM

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