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Desert Traveller
22nd July 2007, 12:03 AM
This is work in progress. I've been there three times in the last twelve months on LX once in J, twice in Y, and most of what you'll read below is based on memory. I will be going there again on SQ in J in the next two weeks and will update accordingly.

The airport’s website: http://www.cairo-airport.com

Arriving: International Terminal 2

Customs and Immigration formalities. Do I need to fill out any forms?

Yes, one form which you usually receive on board. You also need a visa. Tourist visa can be bought on arrival by almost all nationalities at the forex counters in pretty much every currency. Cheapest is to pay in Egyptian Pounds (EGP), but only one counter accepts. I believe it was Thomas Cook (will update with definite info after my trip).

In general, you need a passport with a remaining validity of at least 6 months. There are exceptions to this rule, for example German citizens can travel on a passport which only has a minimum of 3 months remaining.
Also, some European nationals can enter Egypt just on their identity card and a separate photo. The visa requirement is not waived, it will just be issued on a separate piece of paper to which the photo will be attached. (Can't find the link at the moment to which nationalities can actually do that).

Different rules apply for business visa. For more info, go here: http://www.mfa.gov.eg/MFA_Portal/en-GB/Services/Rules+and+Regulations/

Citizens of the following countries are required to be in possession of a pre-arrival visa:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya, Croatia, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Lebanon, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, The Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Sri-Lanka, Tadzhikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and all African countries.

How do I get through quicker?

Being quick of the plane helps. And avoiding flights that arrive when a whole lot of other flights arrive.

Luggage reclaim : Do priority tags work? Is it quick or slow?

It's slow and priority tags don't seem to work.

Transport to Town tips – what’s the best way?

Cheapest option is by public bus. Take the airport shuttle bus to the bus terminal. From there, take line 356 to Midan Abdel Moniem Riad (basically in front of the Ramses Hilton). The bus has A/C and the trip will set you back EGP2 plus EGP0.5 per large piece of luggage.
One of the problems with this is finding the right airport shuttle bus. It's not one of the big ones and has no discernible markings on it. Taxi drivers will deny that the bus actually exists.

Are there any left luggage services? Where and how much?

Not that I know of.

Are there airport hotels? Are they airside? Are they within the compound?

There are no airside hotels. There are some hotels 'near' the airport (Novotel Cairo Airport, Mövenpick Cairo Heliopolis, Sheraton Heliopolis, Le Meridien Heliopolis).

Things to avoid: The pitfalls of this place

Being ripped off by taxi drivers. They try to charge you in hard currency and in general a lot more than you should be paying. Between EGP25-35 is acceptable. However, going from the airport it is rather difficult to find a taxi driver who will take you for that fare.

People offering to help with your luggage, etc generally expect a bakshish and can become rather aggressive.

Other general tips


Departing: International Terminal 2

Best way to get back to the airport from town. How much will it cost?

As for arrival, the bus is a good option. Also, getting a taxi to the airport is usually a lot easier than from the airport as there are no other ignorant foreigners about who can be ripped off.

Which terminal? Who flies out from where?

International flights leave from Terminal 2.

Who has lounges here, and which one can I use?

AFAIK, there are no dedicated lounges. There is a business and first class lounge. Also, the lounges are dry, ie serve no alcohol. However, soft drinks, non-alcoholic beer, coffees incl. arabic/turkish coffee and a selection of sweet and savoury snacks is available. The newspaper and magazine selection is limited.

What sort of food is available in the concourse areas?

There is a huge variety of food available. I have only ever had a coffee.

Any immigration forms on departure?

Yes, similar to the one required for arrival. It will be handed out at check-in together with your BP.

Any airport tax to be paid on departure?

No.

Is there free internet around somewhere?

No.

Any food or shopping that I shouldn’t miss before my flight?

How strict are they with hand luggage here?

Pretty relaxed but depending on the airline.

Security – Laptops out? Shoes off? Tips? Any No-Liquid restrictions?

Depends on the airline. Security checks are carried out at each gate separately.

Can I smoke in this airport? Where?

Anything I should avoid?

Other general tips

Connecting through here:
Are the international terminals and domestic terminals in the same building? How do I get around?

International flights are pretty much all in Terminal 2, domestic flights in Terminal 1. Transfer between terminals by shuttle bus.

Will I need to clear CIQ before going on to my next international or domestic flight?

AFAIK, yes.

Other general tips

Overnighting at this airport:
Is it possible? Does the terminal close?

I would think overnighting in the airport is not possible.

General commentary on this airport:

A bit chaotic. :smile:

Guy Betsy
2nd January 2010, 01:22 AM
...
Citizens of the following countries are required to be in possession of a pre-arrival visa:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya, Croatia, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Lebanon, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, The Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Sri-Lanka, Tadzhikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and all African countries.
..

Actually, Malaysians are issued a visa upon arrival free of charge. They do not need to apply for a visa beforehand if their visit is less than 15 days.

kapitan
2nd January 2010, 09:01 AM
Cairo ....... U call that an airport?

Danny Bhoy
3rd January 2010, 05:21 AM
Cairo ....... U call that an airport?

CAI is a pit but there are worse airports. JED for instance especially considering the supposed wealth of KSA and the importance of JED as the gateway of the Haj and the city as a/the major commercial hub of KSA.

Kiwi
4th January 2010, 08:19 AM
I agree - CAI is quite a good airport compared to some I've travelled to/from/through.