Luggage transfer in JNB

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  goldaviator 20 Sep 2017
at 15:58
.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

  • goldaviator
    Participant

    I’ve heard some horror stories of lost, damaged and stolen luggage in JNB when on connecting flights. Anyone had a recent experience transferring in JNB and can comment on whether its better to check luggage just to JNB, collect on carousel and recheck or book it straight through?

    I am travelling tomorrow LHR – JNB – WDH on a BA ticket, BA F to JNB and SAA J to WDH. The thought of trekking around the Namibia desert for two weeks without luggage with no time to buy in Windhoek is not appealing.

    I have a two hour layover in JNB so could be tight if immigration is busy and if there are any delays.

    Thoughts…risk it or pick up luggage and recheck?


    openfly
    Participant

    You have to collect your checked baggage in JNB when connecting to any flight. You can’t check it through to WDH. No choice. When flying out of JNB you are allowed to check your bag through, so don’t put your “Crown Jewels” in your checked baggage on the way back!

    At times a 2 hour connection can be tight in JNB. Hopefully not.

    It’s a shame you are not flying in J with Air Namibia…unbelievably superb service!


    goldaviator
    Participant

    Openfly, thanks for your response. And thanks for info re not being able to check bags to WDH. I knew that you couldn’t for connecting via JNB to anywhere in SA but thought you would be able to for international. Oh well, solves that question then!

    I am flying back from WDH to JNB in J with Air Namibia….looking forward to it a lot more than the SAA leg.

    I am entering SA on a SA passport so hopefully will be ok and queues not too long.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    You have to collect your checked baggage in JNB when connecting to any flight. You can’t check it through to WDH. No choice. When flying out of JNB you are allowed to check your bag through, so don’t put your “Crown Jewels” in your checked baggage on the way back!

    At times a 2 hour connection can be tight in JNB. Hopefully not.

    It’s a shame you are not flying in J with Air Namibia…unbelievably superb service!

    I can safely say this is complete nonsense, as I do it regularly. If there is an interline agreement you can check through between international flights.

    I did it last month travelling from Dubai to Gaborone on EK/SAA both ways. I also did it going to/from Gaborone from Nairobi on SAA.

    The only time you need to collect in JNB is if you are connecting to a domestic flight.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I believe that SimonS1 is correct. Until about 1990 SWA (Namibia) was considered domestic but it is now treated as international.


    openfly
    Participant

    So the BA pre-landing, to JNB and CPT, cabin crew PA is totally incorrect. The BA rules in LHR T3/T5 check-in are incorrect. Hey ho.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    From SAA’s website. I can’t guarantee that this applies to a transfer BA – SA but it is probably the general rule.

    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.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Provided an interline agreement is in place (which applies to 90% plus of cases) the bags can be checked through.

    The BA website makes clear this must be on one booking with the same ticket number (which is what the OP suggests he/she has in referring to a BA ticket LHR-JNB-WDH). If your SAA connection to WDH is on the same booking/ticket number then BA will check it through.

    If is on a separate ticket it is a risky strategy as you will need to re-check bags and there are no protections. However there is a SAA bag drop as you exit international arrivals and I would say for 2 hours it is doable provided BA flight is not late.

    As a matter of interest when I came through JNB a couple of weeks ago on way from Bulawayo the rubber flaps at the wall of the relevant baggage belt were broken and you could see the guys outside sorting the bags. Bags for JNB were on the bottom rail (into the baggage hall) and bags for connections were on the top rail (which went off for re-sorting).


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I’ve just spoken to an ex-colleague, now retired,who worked in various passenger handling positions in both JNB and CPT, and she has confirmed that Simon and I are correct.

    International arrivals -> ZA domestic points – must clear bags through customs at first point of entry and then recheck to destination.

    International -> International : Through check in.

    So the BA pre-landing, to JNB and CPT, cabin crew PA is totally incorrect. The BA rules in LHR T3/T5 check-in are incorrect.

    If what they say is different to above, they are wrong. I don’t remember what the cabin crew PA says as I always go direct to CPT so it doesn’t apply to me and I don’t pay much attention.

    I cannot take responsibility for the accuracy of the above but it is given in good faith and comes from a reliable source.


    goldaviator
    Participant

    Thanks everyone for your input. The full itinerary is one ticket with BA on BA, SAA to Windhoek and Air Namibia, BA back to London. Sounds promising for a bag through check to Windhoek then.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I hope it works for you. I would suggest you double check with BA tonight when you check in, and if anything goes wrong at least you have a place to start the complaint. That said, I suspect that all will be fine and you will have a wonderful holiday.

    I also wish you luck with Air Namibia. My own experiences with them have been abysmal and I am right now dealing with a case on behalf of a friend’s teenage daughter who was booked FRA-WDH-CPT on them. The day before the flight, she was advised that the WDH-CPT connection was rescheduled and operating 10 hours later. Her parents booked her FRA-WDH for the following day, as they did not want her alone at the airport for 10 hours. When she arrived at WDH, she found that the connection to CPT had again been cancelled, so she was now 24 hours late and back to square one! Air Namibia offered no help or support to this child.

    I am now assisting them with an EU261/2004 claim


    goldaviator
    Participant

    So all checked in and have both BA and SAA boarding cards in my grubby paws and bags checked through to WDH.

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