Lagos Airport Arrival: 10 Burning Questions Answered

The Lagos airport experience only appears risky if you are not used to being in an environment where the "novelty factor" gets people to gawk at you.

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Lagos airport arrival might not be the safest or another routine passage, but if you book with a proper hotel or travel concierge, you should be OK.

RELATED: How Travel Concierge Services Work, A Useful Guide 

Nigeria is an enjoyable country, despite the many stories of scams, stealing and robbery. The Lagos airport experience only appears risky if you are not used to being in an environment where the “novelty factor” gets people to gawk at you.

Be, better still, prepared to deal with the “what did you bring for me” demand from officials on arrivals at Lagos international airport. You can always get through without meeting any demand for a bribe, unless, sadly so, you violate some guidelines or rules.

The coronavirus health check (body temperatures, facemask and hand sanitizing enforcement) usually comes before passport control. While the travelling public hope the Nigerian government find a better safety recommendation in place of the 14-day mandatory quarantine for international travellers, these are ten things you ought to know before your flight arrival in Lagos.


When will Lagos airport open for international flights?

The Civil Aviation Authority is preparing the industry for an “organised, safe, secure and efficient restart” in the wake of the pandemic. Government slammed all restrictions on international commercial flights when it closed its airports on 23rd March.

Nigerians are required to quarantine for 14 days while entering most parts of Europe and aware of many other countries they cannot visit as a result of entry restrictions. Her government plans to review its entry restrictions post-COVID. It’s more important than ever to check with your local airline or travel agent about these policies before landing in Lagos airport.

Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport


How long does immigration and customs procedures take?

Immigration procedures are quite fast at Lagos airport – with or without a local handler (escort) – depending on the type of flight and peak period (could be slower). Check that your travel documents are intact and updated to avoid delays.

Foreign visitors are required to submit a duly-completed immigration slip at immigration/passport control. This sheet is either distributed in the plane or the terminal. It, together with an accompanying visa preferably acquired in advance, an original copy of a vaccination certificate (with the yellow fever vaccine stamp if arriving from an area with known history), and passport, are the necessary travel documents.


Any Lagos airport Coronavirus recommendations?

It’s mandatory to wear a facemask throughout your time at Lagos airport and for the duration of the flight. Authorities carry out a routine but obligatory temperature checks and enforce social distancing. Non-travellers are not allowed into the terminal and loitering about the arrival hall is prohibited.

RELATED: What to Do If You Notice Symptoms Of Coronavirus

Other recommendations include frequent use of hand sanitiser and 14-day voluntary quarantine for international flight crew members. Authorities recommend travellers arrive at the airport at least one-and-a-half hour before domestic flight departure. Domestic travellers are advised to check-in online. The government regularly reviews these policies and could change at any time.


Lagos Government Mask-up campaign


Can I request an Uber from Lagos airport?

You can always hail a ride on Uber, Bolt and many up-and-coming ride-sharing apps when you arrive at the Lagos airport. The most important concern is having data/network coverage on your device. Taxi drivers will annoyingly approach you – in the terminal (more so outside) – with unsolicited perks.

Figure out pick-up and drop-off logistics well before touchdown. Most hotels and travel concierges offer different packages that’ll suit your needs. The best place to meet your driver is inside or right outside the building (Uber or Bolt drivers, who may be looking to avoid unending tension with Airport Taxis Association, may have to walk you further away for boarding). Moreover, there are no cars allowed in front of the arrival hall.

Lekki Bridge, with a far-off view of a toll plaza


Any hotel near Lagos airport?

Hotels, like the upscale Bluelodge Lounge and Restaurant and Legend Hotel (Curio Collection By Hilton), sit in very close proximity with the international airport (6 minutes drive away).

RELATED: Lagos Airport Lounges For Real Luxury Experiences

There are many other lodging facilities of different taste and ratings, with offerings between NGN11,999 and NGN50,000 per night, just outside the Lagos airport premises and around neighbouring Ikeja and Ajao Estate environs.

bluelodge-hotel


How effective extensive is Lagos airport security procedures?

The notion Lagos does not maintain effective security procedures isn’t uncommon with foreigners. Ever imagined how many Lagos airport arrival scenarios there could have been? Perhaps, judging the Nigerian airport from isolated cases is similar to narrow-mindedness. Don’t misconstrue “not effective” for “non-extensive”, however.

Lagos airport security checks are quite extensive and could take you around different locations. From luggage tag checks (keep those pesky slips for they’ll be needed at the luggage carousels) to the passport desks, its rigour borderline trouble for a solo Business Class traveller who may have checked in three luggage, with no help from a porter or an escort. You may be asked to open your cases for inspection if you have a ton of hold luggage.


Any Lagos airport arrival tips on baggage claim?

Someone once said, “add a ‘T’ to Lagos airport IATA code, and you have described what happens to many bags”. Do not leave items of marketable value in your checked luggage.

If possible, include arrangements for escorts and security who’ll take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their guests’ luggage.


Should I use a Lagos airport taxi?

Though it’s quite safe, its yet advisable first-time foreign visitors brush aside the commercial taxis much like many other countries. You may arrange for close friends or family or some recognised hotel or travel concierge to pick you up.

Discuss how and where to meet with your driver beforehand, possibly around the exit from the arrival hall. Avoid arriving Lagos at the dead night for your driver not to be hard to find and make sure your phone works. The airport car park is 6 minutes away, but a reliable escort service could jog you to a waiting-car, decent yards away from the terminal. Driving into town will take much longer and could lead straight into traffic congestion. Nearby lodging facilities are most preferable for nighttime arrivals.


Where to find legitimate airport porters?

You will be overwhelmed by ‘porters’ wanting to help in the arrival terminal. A reliable way to tell an opportunist (thief) from a legitimate porter is to look out for an official seal on his/her vest.

You have to pay for trolleys if you need one after collecting your luggage. Skyblue Logistics operates lots of porters and trolley wheels both at the Murtala Muhammed International and the local airports, affording travellers the possibility of holding the brand liable for unlikely misdeeds.

You can get trolley services on arrival in Lagos airport


Any info on Lagos airport flight schedule?

Domestic flight schedule across major Nigerian airports are quite sketchy, as local airlines berate load factor decline post-COVID.

The government recently resumed domestic flights at the Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, and Maiduguri airports as part of the gradual easing of the COVID-19-enforced restriction on economic activities. There have been provisions of repatriation flights in and out of the country – in instalments – since March, with hopes international commercial flights kick in soon after.

Ethiopian Airways

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