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Travellers to arrive early at bustling airports

by Edwin Tshivhidzo
on 20 Mar 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) on Wednesday urged all travellers to arrive at the country's airports earlier to allow for more time for check-in and security screening.

This comes as airports are busier than usual ahead of the Easter weekend as people travel to holiday destinations.

Passengers are advised to arrive at least 90 minutes prior to domestic departures and two and half hours before international flights.

This will enable passengers to experience a hassle-free transit, said ACSA.

During Easter period last year, ACSA airports handled about three million passengers during the month of April and that number is expected to exceed 3.5 million this year.

ACSA spokesperson Solomon Makgale said airports would be especially busy a day before the Easter weekend as well as at peak times of the day such as early mornings and late afternoons.

"The high number of travellers may have implications for parking, airport check-in and security screening as well as overall passenger experience particularly in view of changes in the ground handling environment," he said.

Apart from the two public holidays on Friday and Monday, government schools countrywide closed on Thursday and the Cape Town Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon is to be held on 22 March.

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is also to take place on 28 and 29 of March.

The country's largest airports, OR Tambo, Durban and Cape Town International, were already experiencing an influx of travellers by Thursday afternoon.

In Durban, Communications Manager Colin Naidoo told BuaNews that most flights were already fully booked.

"We expect this to continue till next when most people will be returning back," he said.

According to Nothemba Noruwana at the OR Tambo International, the number of people was picking up as the day progressed and that this is expected to last till next week.

The South African Airways, in a bid to accommodate the additional passengers, increased their flights to various destinations.

ACSA advised passengers to carry as little as possible on to the aircraft, and to ensure they do not possess prohibited items such as knives, needles, sharp objects.

Passengers on international flights are reminded that the Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (LAGs) measures are still in place and should be complied with.

Luggage should be locked and fitted with identification tags and avoid placing small valuable such as cell phones, laptops, watches into checked baggage. - BuaNews

Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System

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