The difficult of transiting from flight to flight depends on the airport. Connecting from an international to an international flight in the USA requires going through passport control, customs, baggage re-check and security while in Amsterdam (for example) you can often walk from gate to gate without re-clearing security between international flights. Here’s how to transit in Cairo.
Cairo Transit: Terminal 3 to Terminal 3
This article will focus on transiting within Terminal 3 in Cairo (CAI), which means essentially connecting from an EgyptAir or other Star Alliance flight to EgyptAir or another Star Alliance flight.
Transiting from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1 is a bit more involved — read Lucky’s story here.
Step One: As you exit your flight, follow the signs for “connecting flight”
The terminal is certainly showing signs of aging, but is clean and no longer smells like an ashtray. As you exit the plane, you will likely have to proceed down an escalator.
The length of your walk will depend upon your gate position. My recent transit in Cairo (connecting from London to Beirut) involved 12 minutes of walking to reach the transit desk. Moving walkways and restrooms are available on the way.
Step Two: Collect Transit Boarding Pass
If you need to collect your boarding pass, a transit desk is available. There are special lines for business class and Star Alliance Gold passengers in Terminal 3. Collect your boarding pass from the desk, then proceed right to a podium in which your boarding pass and passport will be scrutinized.
Step Three: Proceed Downstairs to Re-Clear Security
After your passport is checked, you will be directed downstairs (departures levels) and asked to re-clear security. This check is fairly cursory: a more in-depth check is performed at the gate of your flight prior to boarding. Laptops can stay inside your bag and shoes remain on.
Once you clear security, you are now in the departures area and can proceed to your gate, a lounge, or one of the many shops or restaurants in the terminal.
I realize that is rather self-explanatory to follow signs for transit, yet I always appreciate being able to picture where I will be walking. Hopefully this guide will help you get through Cairo quicker during your next transit there.
I read everything you write so I’m not complaining, but do you think people will use this? I can’t picture this being easier or better than just asking someone/being able to follow signs, but it is an interesting idea to drive as-needed traffic. Interesting.
I can see what google search terms are bringing people into this site and indeed, these transit posts are intended to help fill that void. At the same time, I have many Award Expert clients who ask questions like this. This gives me an easy link to refer them to so they can picture exactly what their transit experience will be, even if following signs is just self-explanatory.
That makes sense- hadn’t thought about direct client referrals, thanks!
Thank you this is a dummy proof step by step guide.
When you say you have to go through security when transferring between international flights in Cairo, do you have to clear customs and have passport scanned, biometrics, etc?
Nope, just metal detector screening.
Very helpful article. We will be transferring from a JFK-CAI flight on Egypt Air to a domestic Egypt Air flight to Luxor. Do we need to purchase our visas and go through immigration in Cairo or can we do that in Luxor and just follow your steps above? I don’t sleep well on planes and it can help a lot to have an idea of what to expect as I’m usually pretty foggy/tired at arrival. Thank you.
I have the same question as Elizabeth. I am also taking the flight from JFK to CAI then transferring to Sharm el Sheikh. Where do I buy my visa?
Planning a Terminal 3 inwards to a Terminal 3 outward flight.
Is 1 hour and 10 minutes enough time to follow the process you outlined???
That is really cutting it close, but should be enough if you have both boarding passes.
Same process within terminal 2? In on BA. Out on QR. some say just go they immigration and check in then back thru is faster?
Yes, I would go though immigration and then back if you don’t already have your connecting boarding pass. If you do have both boarding passes, it’s not so bad to go to the transit counter and then head upstairs.
Hi Matthew, Thank you for these helpful steps.
I would like to know if I can reach the Vodafone shop in the transit Area in terminal 3 (arrival in terminal 3 ( Arrival in terminal 3 and departure in terminal 3 ).
Thank you in advance !!
It should not be a problem, though I personally do not recall seeing the Vodafone shop.
Not sure if this is too old of a post but I am going IAD-CAI-LUX. I land and depart in Terminal 3. Will I need to clear customs/immigration on the transfer? Also will I need to recheck bags?
You will need to clear customs/immigration for the domestic connection. Baggage should be transferred automatically.