Cape Town International: Luggage Guidelines

Luggage Guidelines for Cape Town International Airport


  • Keep your hand luggage with you at all times.
  • Ensure that all zips and fasteners are in good working condition – baggage can move about in the overhead compartment and unsecured items may fall out.
  • Don’t wrap gifts – it is possible that the security teams may wish to view them properly, and will unwrap them.
  • Keep electronic items to a minimum.
  • A change of clothes, or at least underwear and a spare shirt may also be appreciated, either at the end of a long-haul flight, or if hold baggage is delayed.
  • Don’t carry anything on to an aircraft for anyone else. If you are asked to do so, please contact Airport Security.
  • Remove old tags and barcodes from your hand luggage.


  • Each passenger is allowed one item of hand luggage which should not be bigger than the size indicated.
  • 56 centimetres tall (approximately 22 inches).
  • 45 centimetres wide (approximately 17.7 inches).
  • 25 centimetres deep (approximately 10 inches).


Keep your valuables such as jewellery and important documents safely stored in your hand baggage. It is a good idea to keep some money (local currency) on your person. Then, should you be separated from your bag, you will still be able to make payphone calls, pay for transport or purchase small items.


Laptops should be removed from their bags for screening prior to boarding the aircraft.

Many laptop bags look similar which can cause confusion when leaving the aircraft. Put a key ring, sticker or other identifying mark on your bag so that you can be sure that you are leaving with the correct computer.


The guideline is approximately 5kg for hand luggage. If you cannot easily lift your hand luggage above your head, it is probably too heavy.

Camera Film

The x-rays used to screen hold baggage should not affect most camera film. Film material over 1000ASA/31 DIN should be removed and offered for screening separately.


If taking medicines with you, try to keep in the original packaging. This will assist security to identify the medicines and will prevent delays.

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Cape Town International Airport – the only airport in the Cape Town metropolitan area

Cape Town International Airport (IATA: CPT, ICAO: FACT) is the primary airport serving the city of Cape Town, and is the second busiest airport in South Africa and third busiest in Africa. Located approximately 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the city centre, the airport was opened in 1954 to replace Cape Town’s previous airport, Wingfield Aerodrome.

Cape Town International Airport is the only airport in the Cape Town metropolitan area that offers scheduled passenger services. The airport has domestic and international terminals, linked by a common central terminal.

The airport has direct flights from South Africa’s other two main urban areas, Johannesburg and Durban, as well as flights to smaller centres in South Africa. Internationally, it has direct flights to several destinations in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe. The air route between Cape Town and Johannesburg was the world’s ninth busiest air route in 2011 with an estimated 4.5 million passengers.

Cape Town International Airport was opened in 1954, a year after Jan Smuts Airport (now OR Tambo International Airport) on the Witwatersrand opened. The airport replaced Cape Town’s previous airport, Wingfield Aerodrome. Originally called D.F. Malan Airport after the then South African prime minister, it initially offered two international flights: a direct flight to Britain and a second flight to Britain via Johannesburg.

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