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O.R. Tambo International airport (ORTIA) is South Africa’s primary airport for international and domestic travel. It is South African Airways’ hub offering non-stop flights to over 20 South African destinations and to six continents globally.  

Terminals A and B

O.R. Tambo International Airport is organised into 2 main terminals, linked by a central atrium. International flights will arrive and depart from Terminal A and domestic flights via Terminal B.

Check-in

Airport check-in and bag drop

All SAA check-in desks are located in Terminal B and are to be used by both our domestic and international passengers. Self-service kiosks are also available for check-in at Terminal B. Check-in zones are listed on the information screens provided.

Airport check-in and bag drop:opens 04:30 hrs Monday – Friday and 05:30 hrs Saturday - Sunday

Online check-in:opens 24 hours before departure

Online check-in

To avoid queuing at the airport, online check-in opens 24 hours before each flight and will remain open up to 90 minutes before each domestic departure and 2 hours before each international departure.

  • You can select your seats free of charge and print your boarding pass in advance.
  • If you do not have access to a printer, you can print it at the self-service kiosks at the airport or download it to your mobile device, if you are flying from an eligible airport.
  • A dedicated bag drop is available at the airport, where your bags will be tagged.

Kerbside check-in

Our elite travellers don’t need to worry about printing out boarding passes and dropping off baggage, because our VIP Kerbside check-in service takes care of all that for you.

All you have to do is park and wait for our chauffeur-driven car to collect you at your home or office. You’ll be dropped off in good time right outside our private Kerbside check-in and a concierge will carry your bags for you. You can sit and have a tea, coffee or a drink of water while our dedicated staff handles the check-in formalities for you.

This quick and convenient service will leave you free to go straight up to our Platinum Lounge within seconds.

Platinum and Platinum Elect Members can bring two guests with them, while Lifetime Platinum Members are entitled to have three guests using this facility with them, if they are travelling on the same itinerary and checking-in at the same time. Kerbside check-in is subject to flying SAA operated flights only.

Investec Enigma clients can also use our kerbside check-in facility at OR Tambo International Airport. Each Investec Enigma client may bring one guest and one child with them to use this service, if they are travelling on the same itinerary and checking-in at the same time.

To take advantage of this service, please call the Platinum service desk to make your arrangements.

Connections

Connecting at O.R. Tambo is simple and easy.

Domestic – domestic connections

When flying within South Africa through O.R. Tambo International Airport, bags are through-checked to the final destination. There is no need to clear customs, simply collect your bags. Recommended minimum connecting time is 60 minutes. Please allow extra time if you require special assistance or you are travelling with children.

International - domestic connections

After clearing customs and collecting your bags at Terminal A, a fast bag drop re-check desk is available to smooth your transit. The desk is located on your left before reaching the central atrium. Once you have dropped your bag, head to Terminal B and pass through security before heading to your gate.

Recommended minimum connecting time is 90 minutes, there are exceptions on some routes so make sure you know the departure times. Please allow extra time if you require special assistance or you are travelling with children.

Domestic - international connections

When flying from another South African airport and connecting at O.R. Tambo for your international flight, there is no need to collect your bags. They will be through-checked to your final destination. You will be required to pass through security and customs at Terminal A before you reach your gate.

Recommended minimum connecting time is 90 minutes, there are exceptions on some routes so make sure you know the departure times. Please allow extra time if you require special assistance or you are travelling with children.

International - International connections

For both the outbound and return journeys, bags are through-checked to the final destination. There is no need to collect bags or clear customs. Simply follow the signs to International Transfers. Recommended minimum connecting time is 60 minutes, provided you are in possession of a boarding pass and your baggage is checked to your final destination. Please allow extra time if you require special assistance or you are travelling with children.

Lounges

At O.R. Tambo International Airport, we offer:

Departure Lounges:

Arrivals lounges:

  • O.R. Tambo Arrivals Lounge, directly after Customs Control (only for passengers who flew on SAA operated flights. The lounge operating times 04h30 – 12h30

Getting to and from the airport

Taxis

Unless you are familiar with Johannesburg, we recommend you travel by a metered taxi. The taxi rank is located just outside the arrivals atrium. A taxi ride from the airport to downtown Johannesburg takes approximately 40 minutes.

Train

The Gautrain is a regular, rapid rail service running daily from O.R. Tambo to Sandton, taking just 15 minutes. For trains to Pretoria or downtown Johannesburg, change at Sandton. The station platforms can be found on the upper level, between Terminals A and B.

Car hire

Several car hire providers can be found at O.R. Tambo. Simply follow the signs from the arrivals atrium.

Hotels at the airport

A number of hotels are located close to the terminal and can be reached on foot in minutes from check-in or arrivals. Our hotel partners can help you search for the right hotel for you.