Airport showdown: Lanseria vs O.R. Tambo

Wednesday, 27 January 2021 08:48 AM

With big jet planes taking off and landing from either airport, taking you to and from many destinations, Lanseria and OR Tambo International Airports have distinct similarities and differences. Depending on where you are in Gauteng, these airports will serve you differently.

Big city proximity

Depending on where you are or want to be in Jo’burg, proximity is a big determinator when choosing which airport to use. Both airports lie north of the big city, with O.R. Tambo northeast of central Jo’burg, while Lanseria is northwest. The distance between Jo’burg central to Lanseria International is 47km, while the center of Jo’burg to O.R. Tambo is not even half that - at 20km. The trip from Pretoria Central is a little further for both airports, with O.R. Tambo a 49km drive.

Who the airports best serve

Jo’burg and Pretoria are two large cities, each making use of Lanseria and O.R.Tambo. For Jo’burgers, airport choice will be stipulated by positioning, with O.R. Tambo serving well for suburbs found in the city’s East Rand, namely Alberton, Bedfordview, Benoni, Boksburg, Brakpan, Edenvale, Germiston, Kempton Park, and Modderfontein to name a few. Lanseria serves the northern suburbs like Randburg, Fourways, Melville, and Sandton. Lanseria and O.R. Tambo are virtually equidistant from one another when driving from Pretoria. The only real differentiator for Pretoria is the more direct route to O.R. Tambo, although drive time between the two is roughly the same.

To and from

You can choose public or private modes of transport to and from both airports. Transport is available 24 hours a day, so you’ll never find yourself at the airport exit, suitcase in hand, and no chance of leaving. The Gautrain service, a rapid rail system connects you to O.R. Tambo, running every 20 minutes from the East–West Line/O.R. Tambo Service and North–South Lines. Busses and shuttle services leave from O.R. Tambo but needs to be pre-arranged with hotels. Taxis and Ubers are popular transport options but beware that tariffs to and from Lanseria are more expensive and driving times longer.   

Long-stay parking

If you’re taking a trip out of the big city via Lanseria or O.R. Tambo, then you may be in the market for long-stay parking. Depending on where you’re coming from, a taxi or Uber trip might fall outside of your budget, so parking your car at the airport for the duration of your getaway or business trip could end up costing you less. For five days, you can expect to pay R503 at Lanseria, versus R310 at O.R. Tambo for long-stay parking. So, what’s the difference? To start, after the first five days, you will be charged an additional R62 for every 24 hours at O.R. Tambo, while at Lanseria, you will pay R677 for 11 days. Thereafter, you will pay R677 + R49 per additional day. Although Lanseria seems more expensive, finding parking is never a hassle and easily accessible from terminals. But, it must be noted that O.R. Tambo recently opened a long-stay parking just 500m from the terminals.

Airport experience

The airport experience at Lanseria and O.R. Tambo are vastly different from each other. When it comes to shopping, the latter boasts an incredible selection of stores ranging from art, antiques and gift shops to department and duty-free stores. Lanseria's store selection is limited but both enjoy comfortable lounges, namely the SLOW Lounge at O.R. Tambo and a SLOW Lounge XS at Lanseria. These exclusive transit lounges create a valuable and enjoyable “moment in time” between checking in and boarding. Due to the difference in size and popularity, queue times at Lanseria and O.R. Tambo will vary. Lanseria offers a far less busy airport experience than the mighty O.R. Tambo. Lanseria is also easily navigable, thanks to its compact size. 

Flying from Lanseria International has never been easier with With comfort and convenience at your fingertips, you can access affordable fares, take advantage of favourable flight schedules to Durban and Cape Town, and tailor your flight experience to suit your travel needs!

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