Nervous about departing from Cairo Airport

To all of you who have been on the Jordan/Egypt or Egypt tour - a question!

When you leave Cairo from the airport, all bags have to be screened at Terminal 1 before you go to your terminal? When do you check the bags? When do you get your boarding passes? Did anyone use the Ahlan service assistant to depart and if so, how was that?

I read some super awful reviews of experiences with this bag thing - what was your experience? Thank you!

Comments

  • You will go thru security screening 3 times before you check your luggage. There’s a lot of patting down. The first is almost as you enter the airport. Then the second is right after that, and your luggage goes thru the X-ray machine. Then there’s a third time too. After that it seemed pretty standard. I did leave very early in the morning, and it was a year ago…..maybe I’m not remembering it very well. Enjoy the trip. Tauck will take good care of you.

  • edited November 22

    Everywhere we flew on tour (Mar 2022 J&E), there were multiple personal security checks- often within a few feet, one right after another, even flying to Abu Simbel on the charter.

    As for departing Cairo first check the date of the reviews- it sounds like old, very old info.

    Who are you flying with and to where?

    It might depend on class of ticket, airline and whether you are flying non-stop to the US. It was late, our flight on Turkish Air departed at 2:45 am, so we were a bit tired, but we don't remember any extra or special checked baggage inspections and just the standard carry-on inspection at security. Our flight (all Turkish Air flights, Egypt Air, and Star Alliance flights) departed from Terminal 3, the newest and the main terminal. We don't remember transiting Terminal 1 at all it was far from the main terminal (see map) on the opposite side of the airport and departure access roads.

    We flew Cairo to Istanbul to JFK with one checked bag each. We checked our bags and got our boarding passes during check-in in the main terminal like you would anywhere in the US (unless you use curbside bag check). It seems we got through check-in (business class- short line) and security to the air side quite quickly and effortlessly. Tauck will get you there in plenty of time (too much time?? ;) ). Unlike our arrival in Amman where Tauck provided an expediter to help get our Jordan visa upon arrival, we didn't feel the need for an expediter or other service to help us at Cairo International.

    Remember, on sites like TripAdvisor, etc. people who have a bad experience are more likely to post about it than those who didn't.

    Those who flew other airlines will likely chime in, but I don't recall ever seeing a forum post about trouble at Cairo International. Our main complaints were the contract lounge used by Turkish was tiny and substandard and I think I caught COVID from two people in the lounge
    who were hacking up lungs and obvious really sick- they were also on our flight to Istanbul! :o

  • My experience was similar to AlanS. Tauck took care of getting us through security quickly on the business class side. Tauck stayed with us checking the bags and getting our boarding pass. He gave us directions and off we went. No issues whatsoever.

  • We were also escorted by a Tauck representative (the same man who had met us upon arrival) through security and baggage check and escorted to the last passport checkpoint. There was a slow line at the luggage scanner, but it was not disorganized. We traveled in October 2021.

  • Leaving Cairo wasn't any more onerous than anywhere else in Egypt with their multiple security scans and putdowns. Tauck's local "handler" filled out the exit visa paperwork and escorted us as far as the passport station.

    For me, something odd happened at the passport station. The officer went thru the motions, then told me to stand by the side and wait. She made a phone call, hung up, and took a few others in the meantime., Phone rang, she chatted in Arabic for a minute, then told me I could go. I have no idea what it was about.

  • scarlettrosezz. I had the same positive experiences as everyone above. No issues. The Tauck rep took care of everything--he even called back to the Mena House to check out for me--somehow I forgot to tell the front desk I was departing--maybe my subconscious mind was just not ready to leave the pyramids behind ;) . I cannot comment on the checked luggage procedure as I NEVER check bags.

    Don't fret--Tauck will take care of you. Enjoy this wonderful adventure.

  • BKMD
    Phone rang, she chatted in Arabic for a minute, then told me I could go. I have no idea what it was about.

    Remember your comment about me getting onto the no fly list because of my Petra head wrap. Well this security check was KARMA for that comment (even though your stop occurred before the comment).

    I think Air Canada called Egyptian 'TSA' and told them you were a trouble maker that was making a big squawk about a piece of lost luggage.

    Or perhaps it's because you're a single guy, traveling alone. They always seem to be targets of extra security scrutiny. A solution for this is to Get Married or at least get a traveling partner!!!

    Ok, all you lovely, single, forum Taucktourians I'm sure BKMD (a retired doctor) would love to hear from any of you wishing to become his traveling partner. 😂😂

  • Smiling Sam
    Or perhaps it's because you're a single guy, traveling alone. They always seem to be targets of extra security scrutiny.

    Or maybe it's because I didn't have a checked bag.

    I had 2 possible comments rolling thru my head, but I refrained:
    1. Old white guys don't blow things up.
    2. I retired from the Mossad years ago. :)

  • edited November 23

    It used to be (and may still be) that if you have recently traveled to Israel before going to other Mideast countries and vice versa, you might get extra scrutiny. I think that is less likely these days, especially if you are an American geezer :D

    scarlettrosezz
    November 21 in Jordan & Egypt: Petra to the Pyramids

    From what I can tell, some of the posts above refer to arrival at Cairo International (Egypt; Jewels of the Nile), departing from Cairo ((Egypt; Jewels of the Nile and Jordan & Egypt) and on-tour flights.

    To be clear, as far as we remember, on departure we just had a driver take us from the Mena House to the departures terminal. He did not escort us into the terminal and we weren't met by anyone from Tauck in the terminal, but again we had no problems. You should have no problems either.

    One other thing that should be mentioned, because it might be a surprise- at some locations there will be separate lines for men and women, mainly at security, but possible at other locations. During our group flight from Luxor to Cairo, the lines got intermingled by some of us foreigners. Airport personnel and others got everyone into the correct line, but it was not a big deal like in the past or today in some other Middle Eastern countries.

    But bottom line, nowhere did we or anyone we know of on our tour feel unsafe, uncomfortable, bewildered, or need assistance (except getting our visas.) Most all signage is in two or more languages- Arabic and English, and possibly one or two others.

  • edited November 23

    I am traveling alone this trip, that's the main reason I am nervous on the Cairo departure. It would relieve my mind considerably if there was a Tauck representative to get me through that luggage scanning, checking in, security, passport check stuff.

    I am on the Jordan/Egypt tour starting Jan 8. I leave Jan 6, 2023 flying to Amman, through Houston and Frankfort then departing from Cairo I fly Lufthansa to Munich, then LA, then home to Salt Lake City. All the flights are United or Lufthansa.

    You all made me feel better, so thank you! <3

  • edited November 23

    Scarlettrosezz - l just completed the Egypt:Jewels of the Nile tour and a Tauck rep led us through the whole departure process. It was a no brainer with his assistance. I don’t know if the Jordan/Egypt tour has a different process but I would hope not.

  • edited November 24

    AlanS, I am surprised that there was no one at the departure airport to meet you. And yes, it's not needed, but in all 6 of my Tauck tours, there have been Tauck representatives waiting for us when we pulled up to the airport. Even last month in Mumbai, there was a Tauck rep at the curb to move us 20 feet to the airport entrance..,at 1am....he could go no further as one needs a ticket to get inside that airport. I always assumed it was Tauck's way of saying "The tour isn't over until we go as far as we can to get you home."

  • Again, as far as we remember, there was no Tauck expediter for our departure. We had a post stay, our flight departed at 2:45 am, and we have done a few Tauck tours. There were no others from the tour in the van, just the driver and us, but it is possible someone met us at the airport, but we didn’t need him.

  • I had a 2 AMJ departure from Cairo and there were 9 of us on the bus. As I stated earlier, the same local who expedited our entry visas stayed with us until going thru passport control within the terminal. IIRC, on all but one tour, there was a Tauck representative at the departure airport.

    Interestingly, our TD was on the same 2 AM flight, but he was not on our bus and made it pretty clear that the tour was over and he didn't want to socialize or hang out with any of us in the lounge.

  • Scarlett, I did the jewels of the Nile trip solo last year at this time. The Cairo airport was easy and you’ll be well taken care of. When I went on the Israel/Jordan trip (solo) and left out of Amman, the Tauck rep stayed with us until we entered an area that was for passengers only. I’m assuming your arrival will be flawless. Have a safe trip and enjoy yourself. Then when you get home, be sure and let us know how you liked the trip.

  • Thank you all for your comments and reassurance - I do appreciate it and I feel much better!

  • When we left Egypt (Cairo) on a Uniworld tour, one of the Uniworld people took us all the way through the airport.
    He communicated with the agent and made sure we got our boarding passes, then took us to security and only then said "Good-bye". It was nice to know that he would have been available if we had had any problems.

  • edited November 24

    After our recent J&E trip (October 2022), we were escorted by a Tauck contracted individual through all of the arrival security and check-in process. No complaints there. If traveling in business class on any Star Alliance flight, keep your expectations low for the Egyptair lounge.

  • edited November 24

    Agree with Portolan. First lounge I came across was closed. Second one was open, but, they wouldn't let me in the Egyptair lounge because it was full to capacity. I said I just wanted to get a bottle of water and they let me in after scanning the boarding pass. Once I got my water, I spotted a few tourmates there, so I hung out for a bit.

    Once you proceed to the gate, you go thru security again at the gate, shoes off, carry-on scanned, etc.

    (edited for typo)

  • and no alcohol on offer in the Egyptair lounge. Right at a time when you might want some wine to relax. Another reason why we exited Egypt on Austrian Air vice Egyptair (which is also dry).

  • We have travelled in and out of the Cairo airport twice. Most recently 5 years ago, and everything was fine. It was not with Tauck, but another high level tour. Do not be concerned, as others have said, Tauck will handle everything! Enjoy.

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