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Monday, September 23, 2013 | 00:00

 Airports Company South Africa, Cape Town International Airport (ACSA CTIA) has been facilitating the Haj delegation leaving for Mecca. In the month of September, about 800 pilgrims would have used the airport for domestic and international travel. The airport has been working closely with South African Haj and Umrah Council (SAHUC) as well the South African Tour Operators Association (SATOA) to ensure that this process is smooth for all airport users.

“We would like to urge passengers to arrive early for the check-in process and also take advantage of the online check-in facility offered by their airline,” said Deborah Francis, acting Communications Manager at Cape Town International Airport. “Passengers using the online check-in service should allow themselves enough time to drop off their luggage with their airlines. We encourage pilgrims and other passengers to be at the airport at least three hours prior to their international flights and two hours prior to their domestic flight,” added Francis.

Due to high passenger movement during this period, the airport would like to urge a family dropping off passengers to please use mosques in their areas as the prayer facility offered by the airport has limited space. “The airport ensures that there are contingencies in place for peak periods such as enough staff at check-in and security points for domestic and international departures,” said Francis. 

Those travelling with medication are advised to please ensure they carry their prescriptions with them. “The airport would also like to remind passengers to also be mindful of the LAGS (liquids, perfume), Aerosols (deodorant), and Gels (lotion, shaving creams) rules. Passengers are only allowed to carry containers that have a maximum capacity of 100ml each”, added Francis. Passengers may purchase items from the duty-free area, it is essential that they contact their airline prior to travelling to get the LAGS regulations especially on duty-free purchased items.

Passengers are urged not leave any baggage, handbags or parcels unattended and to report any unattended baggage to the nearest airport representative or the South African Police Service.

For the return leg in in the coming months, families of arriving pilgrims are advised to use the Pick-up area situated on the ground floor of P1; the airport offers a 30 minute free parking facility after which slightly higher rates kick in to discourage the abuse of the service.

The airport would like to take this opportunity to wish all the pilgrims a safe and blessed journey and thank the Muslim community for their continued support and adherence to the airport processes during this holy time.

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