For those afraid of flying the word “terminal” when used together with “building” are sure to put fear into even the most prepared traveler.
But before you even get to the airport there are a number of “challenges” to overcome.
First is the actual drive to the airport. If like me you live in a major city, the drive can be up to an hour depending on the time of day and the road works that seem to have become part of the landscape.
In Johannesburg there is the option of the Gautrain. But this high speed transport also has its drawbacks. There is a bus service that prowls the suburbs, but unless you have access to their web-site, you will have no idea where the routes are or what times they can be expected at a particular stop!
If you decide to drive to the Sandton station and park there, be aware that the parking bays are not numbered. So, trying to explain where you have parked your car can be quite tricky. The parking levels are marked, but after that you are on your own…
BUT…you finally make it to the turnstile (the on-duty staff are always incredibly helpful) and if ESKOM are load shedding, the long walk to the platforms many floors below can be rather daunting.
However, let me assume that all has gone well and that you have timed your arrival to coincide with the immanent arrival/departure of the train…then the joy of speeding past motorists stuck in the traffic is well worth the R100.00 cost of the ride.
Once at ORT International airport the next part of your adventure begins. Getting out of the Gautrain station has been turned into an obstacle course with the erection of poles to make bringing large bags through almost impossible. Not only that but the trolleys are on the far side of this barrier…. Really difficult if your luggage does not have wheels!
Signage at the airport can also be somewhat confusing, but there is staff on duty to help…if you can locate them.
One of the best kept secrets at ORT is the off-site long term parking which is impossible to find without previous knowledge and a GPS…and be aware that the busses that ferry passengers from this facility to the dreaded terminal building have no schedule. So allow yourself plenty of time. Or like my wife and I, who missed a recent flight because we did not factor in this unexpected delay.
Can someone PLEASE explain to me why you have to remove a laptop from its bag while nothing else has to be unpacked? Asking at the X-ray machine is liable to get you searched and your hand luggage checked for whatever it is that the security is looking for.
With all of the above, you would think that I don’t like flying…but I do.
The take-off and the landing are what excite me the most. And arriving at any destination is always exciting…ESPECIALLY if my luggage is on the same flight as I am!
So sit back and enjoy the ride….
Written on 1time flight T6 511 from Jhb- PE