The Nelson Mandela International Airport in Praia, also known by its airport code RAI, is always in progress, much like its home city. The pandemic’s aftereffects are still being felt in the hub, but most of the operations and services that were shut during the outbreak have resumed now.
Let’s understand what facilities are open, what are new inclusions, and how you make the most of RAI airport –
Quick RAI Airport Info
- Airport – Nelson Mandela International Airport
- Terminals – 1
- Distance from Downtown Praia – Approximately 2 miles
Security and Customs at RAI
Nelson Mandela International Airport has separate security checkpoints for each of its five terminals. Passengers are advised to check in 2 hours before a domestic flight and 3 hours before an international departure.
Refer to the airport website for the boarding cut-off and security times.
- TSA Pre Check – Each terminal at RAI has a dedicated TSA PreCheck facility. Passengers need to enroll online and need to pay an 85 USD service fee. The pRe Check counter is located at Terminal 1.
- Global Entry kiosks – Passengers who have been accepted for Global Entry can use the kiosks at RAI for quicker clearance. Candidates must submit an online application and schedule an interview at the departure/arrival airport.
- Mobile Passport – For quicker passage by US Customs and Border, RAI has designated Mobile Passport Control lanes. A passport and the required information must be submitted by eligible participants upon arrival at RAI. In return, they will receive an instant receipt that may be shown to a Customs and border protection agent.
RAI Airport Lounge
There are in total 24 airport lounges in the Nelson Mandela International Airport that are airline and non-airlines operated. We have listed below the dependent business lounges that offer access to the non frequent flyers members and passengers traveling with any airline.
How to access RAI Airport Transportation?
Passengers arriving at or departing from RAI airport have access to a variety of transit choices, the majority of which are located outside of each terminal.
- Bus from RAI – Another excellent and cost-effective option is to take the fast bus from RAI airport into the city. The bus picks up passengers in Terminal 1. and then puts them off at Times Square and Grand Central Station. This is a fantastic choice, but be aware that traffic in Praia City can be unexpected. The trip could take longer than two hours if you enter the city during rush hour.
- RAI airport car service – Car services to and from RAI to different parts of the city and other airports are offered both privately and in groups. Reservations can be made at the Main Lobby of each terminal when arriving at the airport. Before matching other travel arrangements, be careful to inquire about car services from your airport hotel or Parking lot.
- RAI airport taxi – A flat fare of $52 is charged by taxis from the airport to Downtown, and they are available outside of each terminal.
Best Places to Eat, Shop, and Unwind RAI
RAI airport features about 140 restaurants, pubs, and cafés between the terminals and pre-or post-security. Let’s delve into every terminal to understand what is the best option for you –
If you can get in, the T1 airline lounges provide business or first-class travelers a luxury area to until. In addition, there is a Prime class lounge available to Priority Pass holders that provides complimentary food and beverages as well as a calm setting away from the bustle.
The dining is mostly QSR here, and the options include –
- The Local
- Martini Bar
Additional services at Nelson Mandela International Airport
Passengers get access to the following additional services at the Nelson Mandela International Airport.
- Travelers Aid – Travelers Aid desks can be found in all terminals of RAI. These can be found on the arrivals level at the Main Lobby.
- Children’s gaming zone – There’s a special children’s play area in Terminal with a gladiator playground near gate 20. There is another play area in Terminal close to the Business lounge.
- Baby facilities – Nelson Mandela International Airport has 6 nursing rooms.
- Pet relief center – There’s a pet relief center at each of the terminals.
- Duty-free – The duty-free stores can be found at Terminals.
- Smoking areas – The RAI airport does not host any indoorSmoking zone. There are authorized Smoking spots outside of the terminals.
- ATMs – Standalone ATMs are situated in Terminals. Other terminals have foreign currency ATMs. currency exchange services are available at all terminals.
- Baggage counter – On the departure level of Terminal 1, luggage wrapping services are available. In the arrivals area of Terminal 1, Meegan Services offers cloakroom services.
- RAI Airport WiFi access – At Nelson Mandela International Airport, Wi-Fi is available for free in all common spaces. Choose “Free unlimited wifi” and the network “_Free RAI WiFi” to connect.
- Lost and Found Counter at RAI Airport – Depending on where you lost your baggage, the RAI airport has a lost and found a desk at Terminal 1. You must get in touch with the respective airline’s baggage service if your checked luggage was left in the terminal, at the curb, or aboard an aircraft.
RAI Airport Parking
The Nelson Mandela International Airport has 6 Parking areas. 5 of them are located outside the terminals and are best suited for a shorter duration. The AirTrain connects the terminals to Long Term Parking Lot 9. Visitors can check the Parking availability at the airport website. These 6 Parking areas include –
- Short duration Parking – The Blue, Green, Red, Orange, and Yellow Parking areas are where you can park near the terminal. Green Parking links to Terminal 1.
- Parking lots Green, Orange, and Red cost 4 USD for the first half-hour, or 8 USD for the first hour. And, then 4 USD for each consecutive 30 minutes or up to a maximum of 35 USD for every 24 hours.
- Blue and Yellow Parking charge 5 for the first 30 minutes, or 10 USD for the next 30 minutes with 5 USD for every additional 30 minutes. It costs a maximum of 39 USD every 24 hours.
- Long-term Parking lot 9 – The main terminal building offers long-term Parking. The fee for the first 24 hours is 18 USD, and 6 USD for each subsequent 8 hours.
Car Rentals at Nelson Mandela International Airport
Visit one of the car rental desks at the arrivals level to rent a car at RAI, or call one of them at the given numbers below. Federal Circle Station outside the Main Terminal building is where you’ll rent cars.
RAI Airport Hotels
With 1 on-site property and additional hotels ranging at 1.4 miles from the terminals, RAI offers a variety of 2- to 4-star lodging options. To assist you in matching your decision, we’ve provided each hotel’s Address, its star rating, and its proximity to the airport.
Nelson Mandela International Airport is a prominent international airport serving the Praia city area. It is conveniently close to hotels and various attractions. RAI is home to 6 active airline terminals that are encircled by a double ring of auxiliary taxiways. The terminals are served by more than 125 airline gates. The airport is connected to Praia City and beyond by the fast, light-rail AirTran service.
Due to the accessible AirTrain that connects Nelson Mandela International Airport to each terminal. Also, the rail network is also connected to the subway system and facilitates easy access to and from the airport.
Nelson Mandela International Airport – Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]
If an aircraft is delayed or there is a lengthy layover, people frequently do sleep in RAI. You have a choice of sleeping on seats, on the ground, or in one of the five sleeping pods in Terminal 1. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are free to use.
The airport offers free WiFi at all terminals and public areas. To connect, you need to select the network ‘Free RAI WiFi’. Also, there is 24*7 customer support is available by calling customer service.
RAI has an active AirTran station that connects to all 1 terminal. The train transports passengers to Howard Beach and Manhattan, where you can connect to the subway for onward travel.
A flat fare of $52 is charged by taxis from the airport to Downtown, and they are available outside of each terminal. On weekdays, there is a surge fee of 4.50 USD for trips between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
For passengers who qualify, certain airline lounges offer showers. You can also pay a fee to use the showers at Wingtips and Centurion lounges.