Travel Tips for Fans during World Cup 2010

By Nthambeleni Gabara

Johannesburg - With more than half of the teams and their fans already in the country, the Airport Company South Africa (ACSA) recently issued travel tips to air travellers during the World Cup.

ACSA Group Communications Manager, Solomon Makgale said: "This is crunch time as we expect the greatest volume of visitors through our airports, with the next three weeks being a critical period for everyone involved in our operations."

He said their extensive planning and collaboration with all our stakeholders aims to minimise disruptions due to the increased volumes.

This also involves airport users fully understanding what the airport arrangements are for the duration of the tournament where on certain days the network of ACSA airports will facilitate more than 100 000 passengers a day.

ACSA has raised its operational capabilities and capacity in the areas of security, passenger processing, baggage handling and vehicle traffic control to avoid delays and ensure safe, hassle-free travelling.

Travellers are cautioned to note restrictions on what items may be carried on board so as to avoid inconvenience or delays when passing through security checkpoints.

The items include sharp objects such as scissors, nail clippers and knives.

Despite all measures to facilitate the quick and safe transportation of travellers, ACSA appeals to the public and soccer fans to take extra care when arranging their air travel over this period.

Procedures at airports to smoothen the transfer of passengers during such peak times include restricting certain roads for travel, transfer and tour bus operators.

The arrivals level at O R Tambo International is closed to the public for the duration of the tournament so that these vehicles have priority.

In view of this measure, ACSA has introduced the extension of the airport's 15 minute free parking to 30 minutes during this period.

To further facilitate easy parking access, OR Tambo International has the most advanced parking system in South Africa.

This includes an automated payment system that accepts all major credit cards on entry and exit, a vehicle number plate recognition system that combats crime effectively and a bay detection technology for hurried motorists.

In an effort to afford customers the opportunity to park at a designated premium parking in the Multi-Storey Parkade at a discounted rate, motorists can save up to 50 percent of their parking bill by booking five days in advance for 24-hour parking.

At King Shaka International in Durban, the public drop-off and pick- up area has been moved from the current location to a designated area in the shaded parking, which came into effect on 6 June until 11 July.

The eastern portion of the shaded parking has been temporarily converted into a pick-up and drop-off area.
The public and all unaccredited vehicles will be directed to this area to drop off and pick up free of charge.

The eastern entrance to the shaded parking and the northern entrance to the parkade will be closed to the general public. It will be used for the movement of World Cup accredited vehicles.

With extended hours of operations, ACSA is welcoming South Africans and foreign visitors alike to enjoy the World Cup buzz at its airports and take full advantage of convenient, on-airport shopping.

Banks at the airports are open 24 hours, well beyond conventional trading hours, thus meeting the needs of time-poor travellers, business owners and the public at large.

Located on the ground floor of Terminal B (domestic arrivals) is a fully equipped, 24-hour medical clinic which includes a Travel Vaccination Centre - offering, among others, vaccination for Yellow Fever, Cholera, Hepatitis, Polio, Malaria Prophylaxis and Typhoid.

Other services include a dental clinic, HIV and AIDS tests, pregnancy tests, and a dispensary, cholesterol tests, blood pressure readings, medical escorts, company medicals and even botox treatments.

Other conveniences include language services for passengers requiring assistance in various languages including Spanish, French, German and Italian.

The ACSA iHELP teams are positioned at strategic areas in the terminal building and will be able to assist foreign passengers.

They are dressed in ACSA iHELP uniform and visible signage will direct passengers to iHELP points. The team will be supported by the FIFA volunteers.

ACSA's office-bound as well as staff from head office have been deployed within the operational environment in order to render support to ensure that passenger facilitation at the airports is safe, secure and memorable. - BuaNews