OR Tambo International Airport
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

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Extremely rude immigration staff

I was traveling to JHB OR Tambo from Abu Dhabi Etihad flight. Upon landing at JHB, I proceeded to the passport control hall. It was all full since some other flights had also arrived same time. I had to wait in line for almost 2 hours. Then when my turn came, I handed over my passport to the officer for stamping. The officer with his SHIT attitude said to me why didn't I greet him at first. I mean how does it make sense? I walked to the counter and handed over the passport. After waiting in line for 2 hours I may not be in a mood to greet him! And is it not his responsibility as well to greet people entering in his country? Total SHAME! That counter is actually the entry gate to the country and when you face such rude people you feel like never coming back to the country. Is this how you welcome guests into South Africa? Really?

Also while waiting in line there was no sitting arrangement, no water nothing! There was free Wi-Fi just for name sake. (which didn't work as expected).

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Absolute chaos

It took me nearly two hours to get through passport control at Joburg airport this morning after my flight from the UK. It was absolutely chaotic with no organisation the queues were four deep and there were very few passport staff available. When approached the staff were most unhelpful avoiding eye contact and shrugging their shoulders saying we the travelling public were being aggressive. This is my first visit to South Africa, and I'm sorry to say it will be my last after this experience. Not a way to encourage tourism.

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Change the ICAO

Please change the ICAO code shown (FAJS) to FAOR.

Thank yoy

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dear /sir madam.

well im very sad to say that my friend was raped by friend but now we have 2 break the silince the guy is in kenya and he has to be arrested when coming in .

his name is emmanuel ole kipino tukkuo when you arrest him he will take you up to here where he raped my friend in vryburg northwest where he was working for insurance we reported but the guy talked with the police not to areest him now he has to be arrested.

thanks you lebohang

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Home Affairs agent refused to allow me into South Africa bec

I just passed through JNB airport (16:10 PM on December 21). I am on a one-night layover from Malawi to the United States, a layover I have a half dozen times per year for work-related travel. As I have completed this exact itinerary many times in the past, I was one of the first off of my flight to arrive in the cue for non-visa countries. Much to my dismay, between when I entered the metal maze to get to the front and when I actually got to the front, a Home Affairs agent had allowed dozens of people from the visa-required line into the non-visa line. So, I was about 30 people back in line than I would have been if I had gotten to the metal maze 30 seconds earlier seconds earlier. Now, I can understand reallocating people across lines, but the problem is that visa-required visitors take a longer time to process, so it is inefficient for everyone and frustrating for customers to reallocate people between these lines. By the time I got to the front of the line, I was admittedly impatient. I did not say anything, however, as I stepped up to the desk. The Home Affairs woman looked at me and said, "Choose another line." And I said, "Why?" And she said, "I did not like how you threw your passport at me." I moved to another line, where I was processed expediently.

Now, as a technical point, it would have been impossible for me to actually throw my passport, as I had to reach around the previous person to even put it on the counter, as he was taking a long time to pack up his belongings.

But that is, of course, not the point. The point is that it is not the role of an immigration agent to decide who gets to enter the country based on manners or demeanor. They process documents, not personalities. Further, my behavior was not at all problematic. I did not say a single word to her or take any action other than putting my passport on the counter. Again, I fully acknowledge I was impatient. But given the notorious lines at security and passport control at the Johannesburg airport, this is, unfortunately, a common sentiment among the customers waiting in line. As a visitor in this country, I have no obligation to arrive smiling and deferential when I greet the Home Affairs agent. For better or for worse, I am entitled entry to the country regardless of my mood, as long as my documents are in order and I present no security risk.

In fact, there is some argument to be made that I, as the visitor and the customer, have less of an obligation to be solicitous and courteous than she does, as a customer service agent representing the South African government and the first point of contact for hundreds of visitors to the country every day. The most unfortunate part of this interaction is that I told two people of the interaction after it happened and before I wrote this email - one person who let me go ahead of him in the other passport line, and one person at the baggage claim. Both said the same thing: “Well, welcome to South Africa.” It is people like this Home Affairs agent - people who prioritize their ego over hospitality, who wish to judge visitors instead of welcome them, and who believe they have power and discretion they do not have - that make people worldwide believe that South Africa is an unfriendly place. This belief, in turn, affects South Africa’s position in the global economy.

I sincerely hope that JNB takes this situation as an opportunity to educate Home Affairs agents on being ambassadors of courtesy and generosity to those visiting the country. South Africa certainly doesn’t need more of a reputation for exclusion and judgement.

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Passport check didn't stamp passport intentionally

Waited in like for my passports to be checked. Flying with a minor sister. The woman at the desk, Siphiwe Nkosi, then proceeded to threaten to cancel my flight as I was on my phone. My sister pointed out that the no cellphone sign was covered with a handwritten piece of paper that said RSA passports. She argued back with us and told me to Thula. Luckily, I checked my sister's passport which she intentionally hadn't stamped after the argument. Her supervisor was rude and did not once apologize for the poor behaviour of this woman. She knew that an unstamped minor's passport would make it impossible for us to get into any country!!!!!!

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The announcements at O.R. Tambo cannot be understood in spite of dedicated attempts. If your staff or system is incapable to delivering the required messages coherently rather put them up on digital displays. If I am wrong.....I challenge any of the management or staff to a decipher the announcements accurately.

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I parked my car in the lower basement at OR Tambo on 20th of October and returned from Cape Town on Sunday the 23rd of October. On my return found that my hubcaps were stolen!

I have paid for a service and included in that was a level of security. I have logged a case at the police station, went back within the same week to view the camera footage. It was no surprise conveniently enough when they told me the camera viewing my car have been out of order for a while now. In the first place could they not have told me this before I drove all the way to view this. However they could see on the camera that when I drove in my car had hubcaps and when I drove out there were no hubcaps. All the officer could tell me is that the case is now closed because there is no camera footage that proofs the hubcaps were stolen. The ACSA security just said they will inform management the camera needs to be replaced and in working order as this is now a hotspot. (My hubcaps weren't the only one's that was stolen on that day) I feel because their camera was not working it's no fault of mine. ACSA should then be responsible for this theft. It must be an inside job because they knew the camera is not working.

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very sad - International Transfer

I have been three times to O'Tambo airport within the past 2 weeks and with the exception of a 21 hour landing internationally and leaving internationally I have had negative experiences. There seems to be 6 or 7 desks but every time I had to go thru the international transfer it was manned by only 3 people and unfortunately with the introduction of fingerprint scan and picture taken it takes time so there is always chaos there. I am surprised how this has not been addressed to date and not sure this site is going to do anything about it.

People are missing flights, people are tired having to stand in line for a long time after getting off a long 16 hour flight only to get to their connecting flight. It makes little sense since we aren't leaving the airport. We are transferring.

Wish someone looked into this a bit more seriously...

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Since this is just a soundboard and no reply - listen to this one. Visitor come with Relative Visa issued in country of Origion - Customs Official at OR Tambo asks - Why is Visa issued abroad and not in South Africa - I tried to speak to official - I ask her name - she say its OFFICER - I ask kindly you name - "hey..hey..hey...you want to speak to me or not?" and handed the phone back. WTF? Home Affairs does mpy understand their own Immigration legislation?

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18 stations, 0ne working.

There are 18 stations at immigration for South African passport holders. Why is only one manned and operational?


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So this is a foreign visitor's first experience of South Africa.

Passport control for over 2 hours, standing, no food, no water, most people having not had the best night sleep on the plane.

Disgraceful. South Africa should be ashamed of its welcome.

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Immigration a joke

The Goverment is always saying they are creating employment. Well there there are twenty empty desks at ORT immigration and 300 customers. One hour to clear immigration is a minium. Fly via Durban or Cape Town if possible is my recommendation.

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Completely appalling

Passport control is slow as usual. I've been in a queue for almost TWO HOURS (and counting) just to get my passport stamped. No seating arrangements and no water provisions. This is ridiculous! I'm appalled. Why does no one do anything about this? It happens EVERY SINGLE TIME. No.

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Never have I had such a bad experience in an international airport. Waited 2 hours in the immigration line just to get a stamp on my passport. There were hundreds of people waiting and only two booths open! When we finally got through we had to hunt for our bags because the carousel for our flight was long finished! I find it hard to believe that a large international airport like Or Tambo wouldn't be able to plan ahead for the amount of arrivals and put on more staff! Absolutely appalling!

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Making people wait in a queue for three hours. ..no where to sit....no water....disgusting.

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O.R Tambo international airport customs

O.R tambo international airport immigration que is long again as usual with people taking almost more that two hours to come out into the arrivals hall.

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O.R Tambo international airport customs

Immigration today in O.R Tambo international airport seems to be a bit better today but still a long wait. Not as bad as yesterday waiting 2 & a half hours for guests to come out.

Bio-metirics still an issue causing delays & immigration need more staff.

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O.R Tambo international airport customs

Long que at immigration again with people & family's having to wait almost 3 hours just to get through to arrivals. Even the arrivals hall is packed with people because of the delay at immigration.

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Immigration at Arrival

Does anyone even read these comments and complaints? There are 46 immigration counters at the arrivals terminal. We arrived on the afternoon of 4th Sep and 4 or 5 planes must have arrived at the same time. The area was filled to capacity and overflowing. Yet there were less than 10 immigration officials manning the cubicles. Spent more than an hour on the que. So annoying!! Get more people!! Please!!

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(no subject)

With o the complaints about staff n their attitudes to travelers why is nothing being done. Its painful to see parents with babies standing over 1 hour in line at immigration. Babies r tired n irritated. Pipo missing their connections because there is no one to attend to them. I am an african n I feel so guilty to c my fellow brothers n sisters acting like we r still fighting 4 independence. Management kindly take a serious look at the situation at this airport before it is completely black listed n people lose their jobs

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Inbound immigration

As a international traveler I see many of the worlds immigration services and joburg inbound immigration are by far the worst I have ever seen . Very bad attitude. You are treated like a dog and the queuing system is so inefficient . Most days I'm left feeling disappointed and angry after clearing in to joburg. These officials think they are above the law.

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Immigration doing just great!

Incoming. July 29, Friday evening. In a rare gesture of thoughtfulness and hospitality, immigration has assigned 3 officers to process a handful of flights. After all, there are only 19 booths for foreigners. How kind! Done and dusted in less than 100 minutes which is exactly how long my flight lasted. Well done!

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1230 Friday 22nd. Security lines packed... only 3 gates operating..... lazy men in blue jackets standing around finding this very amusing..... passengers are running late..... incompetent, useless staff that don't seem to care and have a disgusting attitude.... foreigners find this unbelievable..... unless!!!!!!!.... embarrassing to be a South African....

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O.R Tambo international airport customs

17:00 - Airport customs for the moment has temporarily stopped using the Biometrics as it is causing some serious delay. But is still a problem.

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JHB Customs

JHB O.R Tambo customs very, very slow today with long que's taking almost 3 hours for guests to come out at arrivals after collecting luggage.

Reason being because Biometrics is not function ing correctly & creating delays.

Delays sometimes also caused because lack of staff especially early in the mornings when their are only 3 custom officials.

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2 customs officials at counters

Disgraceful poor service, 2 customs officials at international departures with hundreds of people queuing about to miss flights. I hate you

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Rude male member of staff

Gate A12/13 23/6/16 @ 17:30 sitting waiting for my husband to return with some pain killers as I am very weak with good poisoning & get told to go out of the gate to have passport checked. Explained I was alone & couldn't carry the bags alone so was told when my husband comes back the passports can be checked. 2 mins later a guy comes over & says exactly the same thing. I tried to explain but he was rude, obnoxious & continually over talked me. He threatened to have me removed & told me I could easily carry the bags myself. After 5 minutes of his constant rudeness & talking at me he told me to leave the bags where they were & walk 50 feet to have my passport checked - which he could easily have done himself. What a horrible rude unpleasant member of your staff. He is a disgrace to your organisation.

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10 people and still nothing!?

Our boarding has been delayed by over 20 minites. Sa1017 to bloemfontein at gate e8.

NO ONE knows whats going on,no one can tell us when we will be boarding - theres a foreign guy here that said he does not respect the way the staff spoke to him and that took 10 people to sort out.





Waste and joke of a service

I can literally swear right now at the incompetence of these people!!!

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I am disgusted by the fact that my property was stolen right out of my locked luggage. I flew on the 02/05/16 from Johannesburg to Cape town on mango flight JE123 at 5:55 this morning. After landing and checking my luggage i found that my lock had been removed and my hard drive taken from the bag. To say that this is the worst experience i have had , is an understatement. I feel that as a passenger my right to a safe flight and to not have any items stolen from checked in luggage has been violated. For goodness sake my bag was locked and the lock was removed by one of your personal , is this what we as passengers can expect from your airports staff!!!! i am disgusted and request that this situation be rectified immediately or i will be taking this further.

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re: complaint about immigration officials

Travelling through Oliver Tambo in December was a bitter experience. What is going on? on the 3rd December 18.00hrs.

We were a family of 5 travelling with friends who were connecting onto the BA to London . Our flight was delayed and we had 40 minutes to get through transit( why we need our passports stamped I will never understand) and collect our boarding passes from the ticket offices before proceeding to the security check. I ran to the front of the queue and received permission for the gentleman in front of the queue explaining my situation. He was most kind and let us go through - On arriving at the desk I was scorned and laughed at by a lady immigration official who told me to get to the back of the queue. Once again I showed her the ticket and explained our situation. She shouted and told us all to proceed to the back. I was determined to get some assistance and requested that she please assist us. A neighboring official abruptly got out of his cubicle aggressively stormed toward us and Screamed and shouted at us as if wee had committed a crime. He said - "GET TO THE BACK OF THE QUEUE - DONT THINK THAT BECAUSE YOU DO THAT IN YOUR COUNTRY YOU CAN DO THAT HERE!" I was completely stunned - An Australian lady in the queue and an elderly Nigerian gentleman called and asked us please to go in front of them as they too were embarrassed at the way this officer was treating us. If this is the welcome into South Africa as a transit point - i shudder to think what its like when you are entering - Surely it is common sense to have a fast track or lane for business class travellers or under an hour connection queue without having to beg and be humiliated. Disgusted.

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Think about the passagers.

We have now been sitting on a plane at OR Tambo for 50min because of bad weather - which is definately not the airports fault. However, when we are told that we are nr 13 in line to take off (after 50min), my question is "Why did you not give the flight a delayed status and leave us in the airport building where we would at least be comfortable and could get something to eat". Your conveniance when it comes to staying on schedule should not be put above your customers wellbeing. Sitting on a plane for an extra hour - means the Cape Town flight is now 3 hours long!!!!!!

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poor and unfair treatment by Etihad airways and personnel at

On 19 December 2015 we were to fly to Bali for our honeymoon. All of our bookings and payments has been done in advance in October. Our booking numbers 6079397385844/5. We were the first in line to board at terminalA at counter A21since 6h00 this morning of 19 December, but were pulled out of line by ground hostess from Etihad Airways. She kept on saying we need to get visas although we told her that we did all the relevant enquiries and that visas will be done on arrival and thatwe have direct flight. We think that this lady made space for friends or latecomers. We have tried though all the avenues to get their numbers or mailaddress at OR Tambo without success.we also completed the complaint form on the web without any satisfaction or feedback. We feel it need to be brought to your attention as it reflects badly upon the airport overall practises such as these. Maybe you canassistus with all THeir relitave detail locally it will be highly appreciated.

Yours sincerely

Barenda Gouws (Te Brugge)


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flight information

When the status of a flight is "landed / delayed", what does it mean?

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Airport Announcements

I am the airport from 5pm (my flight is at 7) .... Just need to mention how totally embarrassing it is to be a South African as the announcements being made are in very bad accents - unclear, and one can barely hear what is being said. In addition the announcer either shouts over the PA system or two announcements are made simultaneously. I can barely understand what is being said & doubt whether any foreigners will be able to understand.

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delayed flights

I see the Arrival time and DELAYED is shown but NO aprox time of Delays????

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complaint about customs officials

Can someone save us at O.R.Tambo International Airport at international arrival department.I am sick and tired of the treatment and harassment we get there in the hands of the corrupt officials when we arrive with our luggage.Worst part of it they target us blacks,no matter how may suitcases the whites carry they don't bother them because they know very well that they know their rights.Can somebody email me all the rules and conditions when you buy some goods outside the country for your family.I am always prepared to pay tax and duty costs but most of the time the officials become fussy because you don't want to comply with their favours of corruption.Everytime I return from my trips it's like I'm taken to he'll when I reach that place of which that's not what it's supposed to be.Even after you finish declaring your goods and paying the duties policemen will keep on wanting to check your goods until you are saved by your pick up car.Please help.

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Book in

How long before the time does one have to be at the airport for an international flight?

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Waiting at OR Tambo Airport

I am travelling from Cape Town to JHB and have to wait quite a long time for my flight to Malawi, is there a facility at the airport where I can wait for a few hours?

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tracking down someone

hi, is it possible to track down someone I was sitting next to?

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Website is useless

What is the point of simply listing all the flights coming in without providing any search facilities. I am trying to find out if there is a flight coming in from the DRC today and I have to scroll through endless lists. Surely it would be very simple to add a few search criteria such as departure airport, local or international, airline etc.

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People behavior towards airport peronal

Who it may concern

I was at OR Tambo airport for a flight to Maputo and what catching my eye is how the airport personal has to deal with everyday nonsense of passengers, passengers get angry with airport personal because the idiots don’t lessen when their names are called because they delaying the aircraft or they don’t read there information on their boarding pass nor there tickets.

From that I board my ticket all the necessary information is on there were to go, how mush bags are allowed and even their weight is specified.

We was in line for a flight to Maputo the other day and as usual the airport was very busy, I’ve standing there and watch people’s behavior and lessening to remarks what people have to say towards airport personal is hard to believe. Just before our boarding time our company called and inform us not to board because of something out of there control.

Our luggage was already checked in and now to get it back was what’s amassing me how well the airport personal behaved and responded when inform them that we are not boarding were to go and claim our luggage back… very quick and friendly. While collecting our luggage a very angry passenger also comes to collect her bags and stated that she were treated unfair… this is totally nonsense. I was there and hear the airport personal calling her numerous times because she was delaying the flight… good luck to you women and with some wake up pills you probably catch your flight next time. My feel really goes out to the airport personal for what they have to deal with every day.

Sincerely Yours

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Thank You

Hi. This site was really helpful. Thank you so much for providing this info.

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Ladies Toilets

There was a cleaner at the ladies toilet who was simply waiting for weary passengers and was insisting we pay her some cash for cleaning the toilets.

I did not see any notice to that effect. I have traveled several times in and out of OR Tambo Airport but never experienced this demand.

What next ? do we have to pay for a toilet roll before entering the toilet ?

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flight times

May I make a suggestion. Please use 24 hour time reference. If only for one reason: there are 24 hours in a day and not 2 x 12 hours. I am looking at your arrival times for today for instance. You refer to flights landing at 12.55 pm and the next flight after that is 1.00pm which goes to prove that you are even confused yourselves! after 12h00 should be 13h00, 14h00 etc because there is no way that anyone can be confused by this. Do you even know what pm and am stands for? it is latin and I am sure that not one of you can speak this language. Most Italians can not even speak it. Lastly, there is a very good reason why armies world wide use 24 hours a day time reference.

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Flight Status

Your website is abseluetly useless. but then should i be amazed i guess not???

Ask your PR team to give custemors the link to flightstats dot com at least that works.


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Flight status

Please tell me why Kulula flights are not listed on the flight status page.

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Flight information on this site

On Thursday morning, before the huge storm struck in mid afternoon, I looked at International Arrivals to see what the scheduled time for the afternoon SAA flight from Lilongwe was noted as. It said 3.30pm and LANDED. All day it said LANDED, which was very inaccurate. It was diverted to Durban at 3.30 as the pilot could not land the aircraft! The passengers eventually landed back in Johannesburg at 8pm.....I was too busy driving back to the Sandton Gautrain pick up point to be able to check to see if the site had been updated. If it had said DIVERTED at 4pm I would have saved myself a nightmare trip to Sandton and back.

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The announcements at the airport drive me crazy. The terrible use of their voices, the pitch of the voice, the pronouncements and the tone is absolutely terrible. I just can't understand why you don't coach your announcers properly. This is a world-class airport, except for the terrible annoucements. It seems as if they really don't care what they sounds like and if they have no proud of who they are or who they represent. Kindly note that I have made a sound rcording of this unslaught on our ears and will definitely bring it to the attention of whoever wants to hear it.

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Excellent web site, saved me many hours waiting at the airport!

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