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Johannesburg Airport Guide

johannesburg airport guide

In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our Johannesburg Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!

Places to sleep, all in terminal B, domestic. Arrival floor (ground floor) lots of benches consisting of 4 padded seats, together about 2,2 meter long. - savan

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johannesburg airport
Photo credit: KaihsuTai / Wikipedia

by savan
March 2011 - I had to wait 26 hours in O.R.Tambo, Jo burg. Places to sleep, all in terminal B, domestic.
Arrival floor ( ground floor ) lots of benches consisting of 4 padded seats, together about 2,2 meter long.
If you go up 1 floor to the restaurants, they close at around 22 30 until 05 00 I have been told, after which you probably might use the soft benches to sleep.
I did choose the 2e floor, domestic departures.
In the middle of the hall, in front of the viewing platform which is 1 floor up , are 4 benches ( same as the ground floor) but they are much quieter, as the first people arriving to depart do that at around 04 30.
There are no announcements, its very quiet although a security guard asked my booking papers which I did not have ( showed my passport ) around 0030.
I slept here from 2100 until 0600, from 1000 until 1400 and 1600 until 1900 surrounded by people and even in the daytime security guards would not bother me. Toilets are 200 meter away.
With a sleeping bag you can use the viewing platform too, but there you might be alone.

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Johannesburg Airport Information

In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.

Airport Lounges

If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at Johannesburg airport either by purchasing a day pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):

  • Bidvest International Departures Lounge - Location: Terminal A, Upper Mezzanine Level, International Departures, Airside. Showers are available. Hours: Open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Book Online (£20) • Priority Pass.
  • Bidvest Domestic Departures Lounge - Location: 3rd Floor, Domestic Departures Hall. Hours: 5:00AM - 9:00PM (Mon - Fri) and 6:00AM - 9:00PM (Sat - Sun). Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Book Online (£20.00) • Priority Pass.
  • Bidvest Domestic Departures Sky Lounge - Location: Domestic Departures Hall, Airside, 4th Floor, . Hours: 5am - 9pm (Mon - Fri) • 6am - 9pm (Sat - Sun). Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Book Online (£20) • Priority Pass.
  • Shongololo Lounge - Location: International Terminal A, Airside. Showers are available. Hours: 6:00AM - 10:00PM. Lounge Access: Book Online (£24) • Priority Pass.
  • Mashonza Lounge - Location: Terminal A, International, Airside. Hours: 7am - 10pm. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Book Online (£24) • Priority Pass.
  • Ses'fikile Lounge - Location: Arrivals Terminal, Airside. Showers are available. Hours: 6:00AM - 7:00PM. Lounge Access: Book Online (£20) • Priority Pass

» Buy a Lounge Pass

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Airport WiFi / Internet

Free WiFi is available at Johannesburg Airport for 30 minutes. The internet provider is "AlwaysOn". There are also several Internet cafes that travellers can pay to use if they are not travelling with their laptops or mobile devices.

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Airport Hotels

If sleeping at the Johannesburg Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels inside and near the airport:

  • Protea Hotel Transit OR Tambo Airport - Located in the International Terminal. No visa is required. As you exit the plane, follow the signs for “International Transfers” into the transit lounge, pass through security, and walk straight to find the hotel entrance. To access the hotel, do not clear customs. Rooms are available for overnight stay, or for day use of 6 hour blocks from 6am to 6pm. [ more hotel info ]
  • Intercontinental Hotel Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport - A luxury hotel located just 70m (within an easy walk) from the front of International Arrivals Hall. Follow the signs for Short Term Parking and then you’ll see signs for the hotel. Day rooms are available from 9am to 5pm.
  • Southern Sun OR Tambo Airport - Located just 500m from the airport. Free 24-hr airport shuttle runs every 15 minutes. Airport pick-up is behind the Intercontinental Hotel at the bus/shuttle terminal. From the International/Domestic terminals, follow the “Public Transport” signs until you see the shuttle terminal.
  • City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport - Located above multi-story Parkade 2, level 5 at the airport.
  • Protea Hotel - (5 min from the airport) A free airport shuttle is available from 430am - 11pm every 30 minutes. The bus terminal is located behind the Intercontinental Hotel. Look for the bus that has "ITOURS" in green. There will be a notice board on the passenger side that says "PH OR Tambo".
  • Terrylin Guesthouse & Backpackers Hostel - (5 min from the airport) Airport transfers available ($).

To find a cheap room, there is a list of hotels near Johannesburg Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price.

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More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

  • ATMs / Cash Machines - Locations: food court area next to Wimpy and Spur • on the retail level in the bank area • in Terminal A departures (next to Wandie’s restaurant) • Terminal A arrivals • next to Khulula/BA/Comair ticket sales
  • Baby Care - Baby-changing facilities are provided in most women's washrooms.
  • Car Rentals - Avis • Budget • Europcar • First Car Rental • Hertz • National • National Alamo • Tempest • Thrifty. Location: multi-storey parkade, opposite the Domestic terminal.
  • Chapel / Prayer Room - The airport has a Christian Chapel (Terminal B, level 2, open 24 hours) and Muslim Prayer Room (Terminal A, Arrivals, Basement, open 24 hours).
  • Children's Play Areas - Information not available
  • Currency Exchange - Bidvest bank, Master Currency and Travelex are located in Terminal A (Arrivals).
  • Food & Drinks - At the time of this update it was not known if there are any 24 hour food concessions available at the airport.
  • Information Desk - Information kiosks are can be found in Terminal A (International Arrivals and Departures) and Terminal B (Domestic Arrivals).
  • Luggage Storage & Lockers - Information not available
  • Medical Care - First Aid, emergency care, immunizations and other services are provided at the Travel Clinic. Hours: open 24 hours.
  • Observation Deck - There are two public viewing decks available: Domestic Terminal (Terminal B) and International Terminal (Terminal A, 4th floor)
  • Post Office - Location: International Arrivals Terminal.
  • Showers - Available in the Bidvest, Ses'fikile and Shongolo Lounges. [ see Airport Lounges above ]

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Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

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Last Updated: 23 October 2015

The information in this Airport Guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airport's and their web sites. The information above is subject to change without notice. Use it for informational purposes only to help you during your stay. To report errors, or to add/change any items quoted in the guide, email me.

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