Uneducated Elephants Working At Cairo International Airport!

Lets talk Cairo INTERNATIONAL Airport for this post… A few experiences there have made me want to laugh out loud, cry a few tears and wonder what kind of people (animals?) ACTUALLY work there…

In order to get to the check-in counter one has to send your luggage through a x-ray machine and hand over your ticket and passport to a police officer… Security at this airport is suuuuper tight! Most of the time there is no one looking at the screen as your baggage gets x-rayed… A few times the computer screen has actually been switched off! The police officer looks at your passport and your ticket… Last time I was travelling to Bangkok the officer looks at the paper and says Johannesburg? I got so confused, I just replied Yes! And off I went to check-in to my Bangkok bound flight… I don’t think the officer could read.. He just knows that Johannesburg is a late evening flight, around the same time as Bangkok, and im white, non-asian looking, obviously means im going to South Africa! But the police officers at the x-ray machine are usually more interested in checking out your eyes and complimenting you on your smile, and checking your marital status, maybe even if your free for a date later on…

Now let me tell you about last time when I checked in for a REAL Johannesburg flight… The check-in guy took my passport and ticket, checked me in and gave me my ticket… My ticket was business but on the computer screen it was showing that business class was full… He knew my husband was a pilot on the flight, so he said he would ‘fix it’! Whatever that means (killing another business class passenger)!? He gave my passport and ticket to another random guy that was standing at the counter and told him to ‘fix’ something… The guy takes my stuff and continues talking to a friend about random stuff, that OBVIOUSLY is not more important than me catching this flight… The check-in guy told me to have a seat and this random guy would get my passport stamped at the passport control for me! JESUS, dude, im 26 years old and have been flying alone to Egypt the last 6 years, im a big girl, I can do this myself… No no no, please sit, he will fix! WHATEVER, there was no way I was getting my passport back from this random guy, I didn’t even remember what he looked like… So my whole holiday was in the hands of some random guy, including MY PASSPORT. My husband did know who this guy was though, and had spoken to the check-in guy, so it’s not like I was completely stupid! Anyhow the passport control had a very big queue and it was less than 30 minutes for boarding… I had been waiting for about half an hour for this guy to bring my passport and ticket back.

Tell me the point of me sitting beside the check-in counter, in front of the passport control and waiting for someone to carry my passport, get it stamped and come back to me… I still have to go the same way with my passport, and then if its stamped, I STILL have to wait in the queue, and then they will start asking how did you get your passport stamped… bla bla.. Why could I not take my passport, stand in the queue, get it stamped and go to the gate, like other normal people, and like ive done THOUSANDS of times before… Instead im sat like an idiot waiting… So the check-in guy asked me where the guy with my passport was… WHAT?!?!? YOU gave him my passport and told me to wait, I should be asking YOU where he is!? He went to go check, and came back 10 mins later… 20 minutes until boarding and im still at the check-in counter… Sorry there was a problem with your visa, it has expired, but anyways here is your passport… Wait 5 minutes here for me and we can go together to the gate… OKEY, now this is getting ridiculous… I can read, and I can follow signs, so I think I should be fine on my own now… I mean how did I get to Cairo the first time? I obviously wasnt born here, so I must have read the exit signs correctly to be able to leave the airport right?! Anyways this guy felt like mothering me, and I knew my husband would not fly without me (Not many times ive been able to say this flight aint leaving without me!) so I told him okey ill wait…. He finished what he needed to do, and then went to a group of friends, hugged them, kissed them, had a long nice chat… AND IM STILL WAITING to go through the passport control… I knew I would be late for the flight if I went through the passport control without him, the queue was huge and there was only 10 minutes until boarding… So I patiently waited…

And off we went to the gate… Through the ‘crew ONLY’ section, a police officer asked me if my passport was stamped, I said yes and continued walking… Why should I lie! HAHAHAHA… Secretly I had actually not checked, so I didn’t know if my passport was indeed stamped!? At the gate they had started boarding and the queue was veeeeeery long! Basically all the passengers were waiting in a nice organised queue… The guy tells me to follow him, which I do… STRAIGHT past the 300 people standing in a queue, excuse me, push, excuse me, push, excuse me…. TO THE FRONT and straight in front of the first passenger nicely handing over her passport and ticket to the boarding-guy (yes everyone in my story is a guy!)… I could feel the people behind me stabbing me in my back with their eyes… SUPER dirty looks, people whispering ‘who the hell does she think she is’…. I could have turned around and said MY HUSBAND IS FLYING THIS PLANE, so you BETTER be nice to me or he will kick you off!! BUUUT im not that mean, so I let them whisper and talk shit about me… So on I went to board the flight FIRST! Muahahaha!

So the check-in guy told me that the problem with my passport was that my visa had expired… I told him that im married to an Egyptian man and I therefore do not need a visa, I just get my passport stamped and they write ‘married to an Egyptian’… The police officer wanted money from him because of my expired visa, but the check-in guy had basically told him to go get a life and taken the passport from him…

The reason this happened is because you have un-educated elephants working at this airport… I had a 6 month tourist visa a while ago, and when I left the country, they stamped this visa and not my standard entry visa. This meant I had a standard visa that only had an arrival stamp,and not a departure stamp. The police officer wanted to stamp this visa, and get money from me for over staying my visa! This visa was from May and I was flying to Johannesburg in November… The visa is valid for 30 days, so just imagine how rich he would be if I would have to pay him… Anyways he ended up stamping a departure stamp on this standard visa from May (COMPLETELY WRONG PLACE TO STAMP!) and not taking any money.

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That meant I had an entry stamp as a ‘married to an Egyptian man’ that had not been stamped as departure yet… I know this is sooo messy and confusing, but im trying to explain it as easy as possible! When we arrived back from Johannesburg we went to the passport control. My husband explains I have forgotten the marriage contract (YES I need proof that im married) at home but as they could see, I have entered Egypt before with an arrival stamp as an Egyptian wife. He looks through my passport and says no problem, I see you just arrived from Bangkok… The police didn’t understand anything, and confused my husband, because we were arriving from Johannesburg!?!?! Anyways I got an arrival stamp in my passport, next to 3 other arrival stamps… DOES SOMEONE HERE UNDERSTAND?!? I mean you can’t have police officers working at an INTERNATIONAL airport and NOT be able to read… Now I have 3 arrival stamps and one departure… Now every SINGLE time I leave Egypt ill have a problem in the passport control, because they wont understand how I arrived twice to this country without leaving… I DONT EVEN UNDERSTAND THEIR FREAKING STAMPS!

I think im going to have to get a new passport and tell each police officer, PLEASE STAMP HERE!

Here are a few pictures from our little Johannesburg holiday!

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3 Comments

  1. Great story! I had a good laugh muahaha! I flew few times from Cairo Airport and I do I agree that system is so ‘perfectly’ secure!

  2. hehehe im asian and its not like i come across an egyptian every day, but your egyptian prince charming sure looks princely!! u sure are blessed! merry christmas ^^

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