Sleeping in Airports

East London Airport Guide

Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or you are just quickly passing through, our East London Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit.  Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.

ELS Airport Overview

east london airport guideTo help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at East London Airport.

What to Expect

East London Airport (code: ELS) has a small terminal that serves a few domestic routes. Facilities include a few eateries and shops, though none are open 24 hours. Free WiFi is available to help pass the time.  For added comfort, economy class passengers can pay to enter one of the two airport lounges. See Airport Lounges in the guide below for location and access information.

Where to Sleep

We do not yet have any sleep-related airport reviews.  or uninterrupted sleep, nearby hotels offer shuttle service. See our Airport Hotels section below for more info or read some traveller airport reviews for more tips.

Covid-19 Update

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, all services and times listed below are subject to change. Some services and facilities may remain closed or operate with reduced hours.  Airport tips and suggestions in this guide and elsewhere on the site were written before March 2020 and may no longer be valid. If you are planning to sleep in the public area of the terminal overnight, have a back-up plan! We’ve heard from a few travellers at other airports and they were not permitted to stay overnight. We’re not sure if that will apply to this airport, until a reader lets us know the current situation. We will start updating all of our guides in October 2021.  To help us with this massive update, you can add or update information or write a review and submit photos and airport tips.

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.  For more information on Europe’s Schengen Area, click here.

Airport Hotels

If sleeping in East London Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:

  • Shabanga Guest Farm – Less than 3 miles from the airport. Free airport shuttle is available. » Check Rates
  • Road Lodge East London – 5 miles from the airport. No airport shuttle. » Check Rates
  • Premier Hotel Regent – 5.5 miles from the airport. No airport shuttle. » Check Rates

To find a cheap room, there is a list of hotels near East London Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.

Airport Lounges

Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships

Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there is a lounge that you can enter by purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!

Passes  Bidvest Domestic Lounge – Location: Domestic Departures Terminal, Airside, Ground Level, at the end of the corridor. Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.

Airlines Lounge

If you are a First or Business Class traveller you may have access to the lounges listed below. For more information, check the airline’s web site.

South African Airlines Lounge – Location: Domestic Terminal.

Related Pages: East London Airport Lounges

Airport WiFi/Internet

Free WiFi is available at East London Airport for up to 4 hours or 500MB, whichever comes first. Connect to the “Airports Free” network. Registration requires an email address and contact number. Once you have reached the maximum (hours or data) you may purchase additional service.

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

ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? There are 4 ATMs in the Departures area near central screening and they are run by Ned Bank, FNB and Standard. Fees may apply, so be sure to check your bank’s fee schedule and your daily withdrawal limit if you are travelling internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans.

Baby Care Facilities – Baby changing facilities are available in the ladies restrooms in the Departures terminal.

Disabled Services – Lifts and ramps available. Services are available for passengers needing boarding/disembarking assistance, but should be organized in advance with your airline.

Food & Drink – Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. At the time of this update, there are no 24-hour dining options. Food options include: Debonairs Pizza • Fishaways • Keg & Spitfire • Mugg & Bean.

Information Desk – Located in the arrivals terminal. Hours: 6:30AM – 8:30PM (Mon), 5:30AM – 8:30PM (Tues – Fri), 7:30AM – 6:00PM (Sat) and 8:00AM – 8:30PM (Sun).

Luggage Storage & Lockers – Not available.

Medical Services – Basic First-Aid services are available at the airport.

Mobile Charging – At the time of this update, we did not have any information about mobile charging availability. If you know, click here to update this airport guide.

Observation Deck – Relax and watch planes taking off and landing from the vantage point of the airport’s observation deck. Location: unknown.

Prayer Rooms – Available on request. Ask an airport staff member for assistance.

Rest Zones – There are no dedicated sleeping areas, quiet areas or rest zones. If this information has changed, click here to update this guide.

Showers – Not available.

Airport Hours

Information not available. If you know the hours, click here to update this airport guide.


East London airport is served by the following airlines: Airlink • Flysafair • Kulula • South African Airways • South African Express.


Car Rentals

Car rentals are available in the main terminal building. The following companies are represented: Avis • Bidvest • Europcar • First Car Rental • Hertz • Thrifty/Dollar • Tempest.

Public Transportation

Shuttle: Two shuttles depart from in front of the arrivals hall. They can be booked in advance by phone. See the East London Airport website for contact information.


Taxis are available.

Last updated: 2021-10-20

This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning.  All information, including rates and hours, are subject to change at any time without notice.   The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers and their web sites. We are not representatives of any of the above mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide: update the airport guide or  write a review.