Copyright: Toni Martins
Passengers in transit at Luanda Airport - Only place where you can smoke
Publicado por: Toni Martins em 2022-03-21
When I decided to buy a ticket from Brazil to Portugal with an 18-hour stopover at Luanda / Angola airport, many doubts, fears and lack of information left me wondering if I had made a good decision.
When I bought the ticket I thought that during the 18 hours I could leave the airport, go to a hotel or visit the city. You cannot unless you have obtained your transit visa at the nearest Angolan consulate, but in order to obtain the visa you need to have the yellow fever vaccine certificate.
So that others know what to do, I leave here my opinion and some information that I think is very useful.
The flight from São Paulo to Luanda was smooth, noting that the plane needed to be better maintained in terms of passenger comfort, the entertainment system does not work, staying next to the emergency exit door which was my case has bad insulation which makes it very uncomfortable due to the cold that comes with lack of insulation, but otherwise everything is normal, friendly crew, good food and nothing else to point out.
The problem comes from the 18-hour stopover that we have to do without being able to leave the airport, but if I had had adequate information, those hours would certainly pass better.
Starting in the morning. The flight arrives very early, before 5 am, when we arrived in the international area everything is closed, there is no support.
When support shops and restaurants start to open, around 7 am the options are not many and everything is very expensive.
For smokers, there is only one space (a bar) where you can smoke but they charge 2000 Kwanzas (about 5 usd) to use the space.
In the international area there are 2 VIP lounges, one by Pall and one by Taag and this is where the information failed.
The Taag lounge is for business passengers, but the Pall lounge can be used by everyone as long as they pay a fee of 16000 Kwanzas (about 35 usd) and then it's worth it.
If you take into account the price of a toast and a juice in any of the bars that cost around 10 usd, it is better to pay the VIP room because you have the right to drinks, including beer, toast and other things and you can spend all the time in excellent condition.
Another of the problems I found is that the airport does not have internet service nor paying, air conditioning is not even if it works, but all this is in the VIP lounge included in the fee you pay.
What I noticed was that the staff is friendly, helpful and some ask for money for coffee or soda but without being bothersome.
Another important information is that in the international area they do not accept payments with foreign cards, you must have money (kwanzas or USD or euros) for those who come in transit, it is difficult to have kwanzas, I thought the ideal would be to have USD but I was wrong, better have euros, USD do not have change and refuse to receive change unless you accept change in kwanzas.
In my case, I only brought 60usd because I thought I could pay with the card and I was limited, that's when the concierge of the VIP room explained to me how to do it.
Go to immigration, say that you need to eat and that you have no money and that you are in transit and that you need to go to the cash machine and they send someone to accompany you to the machine and withdraw the money. That's what I did, the immigration staff was very friendly and helpful, a girl accompanied me to the machine (but I had to give her my passport) I took out the kuanzas and that was it, problem solved.
So summarizing:
You must have money with you to pay expenses during the period you will spend in transit at Luanda airport (minimum 50 euros or usd).
Go to the VIP room (Pall) and buy your ticket, allowing you to sleep, eat and drink with air conditioning and internet, all included in the fee you paid.