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Passengers advised to arrive early as airports will be busy over the festive season
Wednesday, November 21, 2007 | 00:00

Passenger volumes are expected to increase substantially over the festive season (November, December and January) across Airports Company South Africa’s (ACSA) network of airports and passengers are therefore advised to arrive early for their flights. For domestic flights, it is recommended that passengers arrive at the airport one and a half hour before scheduled departure time whilst international travellers should arrive at least two and half hours before.
 
Passenger traffic is expected to increase by 10 percent to 9,5 million people over the three months of November, December and January. This a strong 10% increase from 8,6 million passengers recorded over the same period last year. The increased traffic is generally due to a number of factors that contribute to this, chief amongst them is the country’s buoyant economy resulting in an increase in leisure and business travel activity and cheaper tickets offered by carriers such as Kulula, 1Time and Mango.

The festive travel period also coincides with the Hajj season, which will see thousands of South African Muslims passing through our airports to make their holy pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Special measures at O.R. Tambo, Cape Town and Durban International airports have been put in place to accommodate travellers and those accompanying them to the airport.
Durban International will also play host to the soccer enthusiasts who will be attending the Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates derby as well as the 2010 FIFA World Cup draw.

At O.R. Tambo International, in addition to the parking facilities available, an extra 200 parking bays have been opened at the second multi storey parkade bringing the total offering at the facility to 1000 bays. The facility is currently under construction and when completed early next year, will have a total of 5200 bays. Access will be through the existing multi storey parkade.

ACSA also recommends that passengers planning to travel over long periods of time this holiday season, use the low cost long term Super South parking facility located near Emperors Palace. This ‘park and ride’ facility costs R10 a day and parking bay capacity here has been increased to 3200. A complementary bus to the terminal building is available every 15 minutes.
 
A further three hundred trolleys will be added into the current circulation of trolleys at O.R. Tambo , with emphasis on circulating trolleys within the correct areas of the airport at all times. This will bring the number of trolleys currently in circulation to 4000.
 
At Cape Town International, an additional 280 parking bays, in the shade-net parking area, across the road from domestic departures have been made available, while the exit road is being widened from one lane to a dual lane carriage to facilitate the free flow of traffic out of the airport.
 
Furthermore, at O.R. Tambo and Cape Town international airports, several additional field officers have also been employed to assist passengers to easily locate vacant parking spots at all parking facilities as well as assist with management of traffic at the drop-off zones outside the terminal buildings. Also, additional client managers are expected to assist passengers with all airport related queries in order to assure ease of passenger flow through our terminal buildings.
 
ACSA’s primary objective is to make every passenger’s trip as safe, enjoyable and memorable as possible. “We do, however, require passengers’ co-operation if we are to realise this ambition. Passengers are urged to plan their trips properly and allow sufficient time for travelling to the airport, finding parking and checking-in and to exercise patience,” says ACSA’s communications manager Solomon Makgale.
 
Passengers should also remember that they will not be allowed beyond the security checkpoints if they are carrying prohibited items, such as knives, needles, scissors and other sharp objects. They may also be subjected to a body search, or be required to unpack their hand luggage if items are detected during the screening process. If you’re in doubt about carrying an item, check the detailed list on our website – www.airports.co.za – or leave it at home.
 
ACSA recommends the following tips for travellers:

  • Allow at least 30 more minutes to your normal airport travel time
  • If you are travelling internationally, aim to get to the airport at least 2.5 hours before your departure time.
  • If you are travelling domestically, get there at least 1.5 hours before your flight departure time.
  • Parking is at a premium. So, as you approach the airport complex, be on the look out for and follow signs that will direct you to the available parking areas. 
  • Use the drop-off zones for that purpose only: they are not for parking!
  • Be sure to pack your own baggage, secure it properly (loose straps may catch in the conveyor belts), lock it, if possible shrink wrap it and attach identification tags. Do not place small, valuable items into checked baggage (such as cellphones, laptop computers or jewellery), and do not leave your luggage unattended – whether check-in or carry-on luggage. 
  • Ensure that the check-in agent has tagged your bag with the bar code before it is sent into the system.
  • Your check-in agent will stick corresponding baggage tags to your air ticket. Do not throw these away as these will allow your bags to be tracked should something go wrong.
  • When checking large items such as golf clubs or prams, make sure the check-in agent is aware of this, to allow for manual loading through a separate chute.
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