It is best advised to have at least 2 hours of time between the arrival time of your incoming plane and the departure time of your outgoing plane. This is because you will need at least 30 minutes to complete immigration and baggage claim and 30 mins, 15 mins to go to the domestic terminal and 30 mins to complete check in and security. You also need to leave a 45 minute buffer, so please do not take connecting flights which do not have at least a 2 hour gap in-between � if you do it will be very likely that you miss the connections.
I do not know if this is true but I have taken off and landed into Johannesburg�s O.R.Tambo International Airport, and every time we were descending or ascending from the airport we had real bad turbulence. Real Bad as in horrible, almost making me puke � so please brace yourself before the landing and take off ?
The check in / check-out and baggage claim processes are very efficient at O.R.Tambo International Airport. Terminal 1 in the International Terminal and Terminal 2 is the Domestic Terminal. Both the Terminals of the O.R.Tambo International Airport have got a major face lift for the FIFA World Cup. The Immigration Staff is very friendly and welcoming and does not ask you too many questions. Do keep in mind that if you are carrying any Food Items, it is better to declare them upfront to avoid any trouble.
Once you come out of Terminal 1, you are on Level 0 and you will enter a lobby area where there are money changers and ATMs. As I have stated in one of my other articles, it is best to withdraw cash from ATMs through your Indian Bank Account and not through the Money Changers. All the tour guides and taxi pickups are waiting here (in the lobby area) with nameplates.
If you have a domestic connection to catch, then you need to take the elevator and go to Level 2 which is the departures area for domestic flights. It is to be noted that on O.R.Tambo International Airport, Level 0 is the Arrivals area, Level 1 is shopping and restaurants and Level 2 is the departures area. In the domestic section there are about 100+ counters for the airlines � you just need to go to the set of Airline Counters and check in. Do not bother asking anyone or the information counter � as they are not able to understand much and ask you to show the ticket and try to sell you something. After domestic check-in there are only restaurants, so please complete all your shopping on Level 1 before check in.
ATMs are easily available on all Levels. Money changers are also there in abundance. An Internet Caf� is on level 0 charging ZAR 60 for 30 mins of browsing, the looks are very clean. Loads of restaurants and eating options on Level 1. Raj Indian Restaurant was my favorite and it serves awesome Chicken Biriyani. In the shopping options, Amarula is very cheap and you can but it at the airport, you will get cheaper Vuvuzela�s in the city. It is advisable to buy from a proper store and not from hawkers who are sitting near the check in area.
This is an efficient airport, but frankly I expected better.